Influence of the Recession

November 20, 2009
“I’ll be home soon, I promise.” Those words haunt Lewis B., a local business man, as he repeatedly tells his three children that he will see them soon. He doesn’t know how long it will be before their next encounter.
After quitting his manufacturing job to pursue his dreams, Lewis became destitute and could no longer support his family. His dreams soon became a mere fantasy as he was forced into bankruptcy. Jobs were no longer available to him. He became so worried that he applied for a job over 100 miles away from his home in hopes of being able to work from home. He was given a glimmer of hope. The job was his.

“I was so thrilled to finally get a job after six months of searching.” Lewis said. “I don’t know what we would’ve done if I couldn’t find one.”

The bad news soon arrived. He could not work from home. His life was thrust into a loop. Should he leave his family to bring in an immediate paycheck, or should he keep searching? Moving the family was not an option. It was the middle of the school year and the housing market was dreadful. He was left with no choice. Rent an apartment near his new company and leave his children and his wife.

As paychecks began rolling in, and bills were paid, the Braid household soon realized how much they missed their father. Life was getting better but a separated family was not the way they wanted to live.
“The children were affected terribly,” Michelle B. said. “They missed their dad and they kept pleading for him to come home. Work was a priority and we needed the money badly, but I couldn’t explain this to my 6-year-old daughter, as she was too young to understand.”
The rent for the apartment, and the housing costs became too much to handle. They were soon forced into another ditch struggling with payments.
The B. family, like millions of other families around the world, has been affected by one of the worst recessions since the early 1900s. Many people have lost their homes and their possessions, some being reduced to living on the street or in their cars. Seeing begging people on the side of the road working for a little food is almost the norm in some places since the recession hit.
“All everybody wants to know is when is it going to end?” local senior citizen Rose said. “It’s not fair that company managers can arrive on private planes and get money from the government when so many people have been forced out of their homes. The government needs to rethink the decision to save car manufacturers when people are starving on the streets.”
Many people feel the same way as Rose does, but some have found new hope in this time.
Frank S. and his daughter Jessica were abandoned by Jessica’s mother soon after she was born. Frank, in desperation, became a full-time chef and when he wasn’t cooking, he was attempting to make extra money by selling magazines online. By the time Jessica was 4 years old, she saw her father less than an hour a day. She was placed into one day care after another and eventually Frank hired a nanny to take care of her in the house.
Once the recession hit, Frank lost his job and could no longer afford his house and a nanny to care for Jessica. The two were forced to live with Frank’s parents and Frank’s search for a job became hopeless.
His unemployment benefits helped to pay his parents a little money for keeping them. During this time, Frank concentrated on the only light in his situation--Jessica.
“I began to appreciate the basics instead of striving for the luxuries of life,” Frank said, as his daughter playfully bounced on his knee. “It was tough, but my parents were very supportive and Jess and I grew closer together. My search for a job continued. I have yet to find a job, but I now realize that Jess means so much more than I could ever imagine.”
Frank and his daughter now live in an apartment with another family, sharing the bills and keeping each other company.
“It’s a lot easier when there are multiple people in the apartment.” Julie, Frank’s roommate, said. “I don’t have to worry about the kids as much, and there’s always someone to take care of them if I need to leave for a job interview.”
Life has become simple for some and extremely difficult for others. For the B. family, life recently offered them the hope they needed. They now live just five miles away from the company Lewis works for and the children don’t miss their dad as much. They rent an apartment just big enough for them, and they don’t worry about the bills as much as they used to.
The impact of the recession has hit everyone in many ways. Whether it be talking about it, or living it. Everyone has felt it ripple through the economy and change their lives.
The B. family found an escape. They were able to rely on others to help them out. They moved in with their neighbors until they can get back on their feet. The children are happy to be with their father and the family has grown closer through the struggle they have endured.
“As hard as it is to admit,” Michelle Braid said, “I always saw a silver lining to the situation, even though I thought we could be homeless.”

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