At organizations where the unemployed come to get help finding a job or seek food, the numbers were no surprise.
“In the decade I’ve been doing this work, this is a low point,” said Jason Perkins-Cohen, executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore. “We’re getting a real feeling of desperation. For sheer numbers, it’s a new, unhappy world.”
At the nonprofit Action Though Service in Prince William County late Thursday morning, the shelves of the agency’s pantry were starting to empty, as the line for help snaked out the door with a few dozen people seeking assistance.
Prince William resident Carol Williams said she has come to the shelter once a month since January, when she was laid off from her job at United Medical Center due to budget woes.
“I worked since I was 15, and, now, for the first time I don’t have a job and I can’t feed my family,” said Williams, 55. “I have a degree; doesn’t matter. The jobs aren’t there.”
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