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Any Hope for Unemployed 99ers?

As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year in our country.  The chronically homeless population is much lower (between 125,000 – 175,000), and one man, Ted Williams, has became the face of the chronically homeless.  Thanks to YouTube, Mr Williams has gone from the streets of Ohio to the Today Show.  In one week.  Call it the golden voice effect, but I noticed a homeless veteran holding a sign that says “Will work for food” by the expressway exit yesterday. Is anyone else noticing?

It is estimated the recession will have forced 1.5 million more people into homelessness.

Just ask the 99ers.  These are United States citizens who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and extensions after 99 weeks of unemployment.

How many do you ask?

How about 7 million.

Like any social crisis, we hear the alarming statistics.  But we respond to individual stories.

Bari Rubin is a 99er.

I’ve know Bari for probably a year now.  We connected first on Twitter and now on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Her story was the subject of a newspaper article in New Jersey this week.  Take a few minutes to read it.

Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC Columnist (aka @CareerDiva), shared Bari’s story as well on her blog.  Eve recognizes Mr. Williams’ instant fame and fortune, but reminds job seekers to put his situation into perspective.  Great things do happen, but for the 99ers it takes a level of persistence many of us will never experience.

They will likely never become an overnight sensation.  Bari is just looking for a break.

Have the 99ers become nothing more than a statistic on capital hill?

Is there a connection you can offer Bari?  One simple email or phone call perhaps.

Bari thanked me for offering her one of my padfolios to use in her next job interview.  But the thanks deservedly goes to a father in North Carolina who ordered one of the Interview Angel padfolios for his daughter in Virginia.

As a business social commitment, I simply match customer orders with an equal product donation to a charity or individual in need.

(If you have any suggested organizations to receive donated copies of my product, please share on the Interview Angel Facebook page.  Your feedback would mean a lot and can perhaps change someone’s life.)

What advice do you have for Bari or other 99ers?

Is there any hope for them after two years of unemployment?

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  • http://twitter.com/ed_han ed han

    Brent, I’m truly sorry I haven’t seen this already. I got here via the question you posed on LinkedIn. My thoughts will be posted in an answer thereto.

  • http://www.ianmayman.com/ Ian

    This makes me glad I live in the UK where there is no such time limit, some people here have claimed unemployment benefits for as long 35 years without asking for charity, though they are very few and far between. In the UK, in addition to unemployment benefit that never ends, there in housing benefit to cover the cost of rent. That all sounds good but the cost of living is a lot higher in the UK, such as fuel which is now over 150% higher than in the U.S.

    Another fact is that a time limit is incentivising, and that incentive I am sure has helped some Americans find work whereas under a UK system they would have stayed comfortable with their very low (but secure) income.

    This difference in how unemployment benefits are provided suggests higher unemployment in the UK, but the most recent figures I can find are 9.4% unemployed in December 2010 in the U.S compared to 7.2% in the UK at the same time.

    • Jkeegan764

      europe still care better care of the people . sadly the US has gotten lost but hopfully thing like 99% will bring people to there senses

  • Bridget

    I hope there is help for Bari and for myself and the rest of the 99ers who are still looking. I was laid off from a position with the local university (ran the radio reading service for vision handicapped) when budget cuts started 2 years ago. At the same time Wichita was hit by massive layoffs at the aircraft industry plants and other local businesses (yes it does trickle down…not in a good way!) I’ve sent thousands of applications since 6/2009 and had a few (very few) interviews, but no luck yet. I’ve not given up…but have used my savings and had no retirement to speak of…sooooooo things are getting to the point that for the first time I will probably miss payments starting next month. It breaks my heart to have worked in the US for 40 years and now to be heading into this. I wish there was more the govt. could/would do for us…I’ve NEVER had my hand out before but unemployment has been a lifeline for the past months. Now we don’t even count as unemployed…we just disappear.
    Bridget in Wichita