Emily's Story

Emily A is a restaurant worker from Michigan who was furloughed during the pandemic. Scroll below to read her story.

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Coronavirus. Why did our lives become so disrupted? Where do people turn for help? For answers? When will things get better? 
 
As a single mother in the service industry here in the suburbs of Detroit, these are questions I've asked repeatedly over the course of the past year. Our governor shut my job down on March 28th, 2020, and there's no end in sight. Do we bar waitresses get unemployment? Personally, I haven't received a dime since August 2020. Are we back to work? Not 50% of us because we finally opened in February at 25% until 10pm now we are open until 11 pm at 50%. As of now, I'm on an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication because the past year has been completely hopeless for me. I've been completely broke, barely able to provide and hoping not to be evicted month after month. Thankfully I'm blessed with a gift; I'm a great cook and have been able to expand the small baking business I've had for years to earn some money by doing fantastic meal prep. I charge a prep fee and the cost of groceries for orders. Even more importantly, I found out through the Help SOAR team that having your home kitchen licensed is possible! They've offered me the support that gave me the boost I've needed to pull through and see the light at the end of the tunnel. In addition to the valuable information given to me by Ronit in regards to legalizing my home food business, they've linked me with potential resources to get grants to get through. The compassion and willingness to help by total strangers was so comforting to me during this incredibly difficult time. 


Where my situation still isn't great; I'm not back to work, my daughter is graduating another is about to turn 5 talking day after day about her birthday party, my rent isn't paid, my car needs an $100+ repair and unemployment is just a joke of misinformation.... I'm looking forward to this all being a thing of the past and growing as a small business owner given the resources and information from such an outstanding group of people whose only motivation is wanting to help.