Not everyone has the same luxury of looking for work like woman in one of the above stories. I used to work two part-time jobs and go to school full-time. I was working at GRTC/Keolis Transit and Dominoes Pizza as a Delivery Driver. I had started trying to save some money, but my babysitter quit on me. I was not able to find another night/weekend babysitter and I had to quit both of my jobs. It is hard being a single parent trying to make it out here. Babysitters and daycares want to charge you $10/hour when you only make $8/hr. I am also still employed through the Richmond Marriott but I have no babysitter...so I am not on the schedule, but they still send it to me via e-mail.
I had been panhandling with my three year old in Henrico trying to get gas money and money for babysitting just so I can go to work. I was questioned by two police officers in Henrico who at first stated that as long as my sign didn't ask for money then I was okay, but then changed their story about fifteen minutes later. They said that Henrico had a new ban against panhandling and that my daughter and I should go to Richmond.
It sucks because when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had a really good job in Dallas, TX working for a contractor under TSA (Transportation Security Administration). I had medical, dental, 401K, and everything. About four months before I was supposed to have paid maternity leave, the company announced that they were laying everyone off. I had worked my way off of welfare and in 2009, was put right back on.
I am currently still in school and social services was paying for my childcare in conjunction with me working a job at Beth Shalom Lifecare Community. However, I have been working on my degree for about 13 years and am finally about to graduate in May 2014. Social Services told me at the end of September that they will no longer be paying for my childcare because my two year term for TANF had ended. I was devastated because it was right in the middle of the term and couldn't just quit school. If I did, then I would have to pay back all of the Financial Aid I had just received. I again had to quit my job due to no babysitter. I have tried everything. i have posted an ad on Craigslist. I paid for an account onCare.com to try and find a babysitter, but still had no luck.
It is like a trickle down effect. If I can't panhandle the money for gas and a babysitter soon ($590/babysitter and $300 in gas cards) just to let me make it until my next financial aid check which is issued in March, then everything for my daughter and I will fall apart. Not everyone has the luxury of looking for work or finding a great job. I have no problem with the job because I could continue working at the Marriott Downtown Richmond...but I would only make $8/hr. My biggest problem is finding a babysitter who I can pay with that little bit of money and also pay for gas to get to work. I am all over the internet, I have experience in different areas, but no degree, and that's what a lot of really good companies are looking for....Degrees, not experience. I just hope my daughter and I can find a place in Richmond to panhandle before it is too late.