When the pandemic started, thousands of businesses closed, with the majority of them permanently. This resulted in a spike in the unemployment rate from 4.4 percent in March 2020 to 14.7 percent in April 2020. While this improved in January 2021 at 6.2 percent, it’s still higher than the rate before the pandemic started.
There is a good number of people who are still out of work. Some of them may not be able to file for unemployment benefits since they could not meet the requirements. An employment attorney could help here if they were laid off for reasons other than the pandemic. If not, the community can pitch in to help these people get back on their feet.
Here are some things people in the community can do for neighbors who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Check the Neighbors
One thing people can do is to check with their neighbors and see how they are doing. The pandemic resulted in lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders that essentially isolated many people across the country. This physical isolation caused anxiety, insomnia, and even depression among many people. These people will appreciate it if someone passes by to check on how they are doing.
Besides checking on the neighbors, people can also help them with extra groceries if they are still looking for a job. For neighbors who are not keen on leaving their homes due to their health issues, doing errands is also a good way to help them in these troubling times.
These acts of kindness are great if people may not offer financial support to their neighbors. For city dwellers who are not acquainted with their neighbors they can donate extra goods to organizations that help people who lost their jobs. Aside from goods, they can also donate money if they have a little extra in the budget.
When checking up on the neighbors, it’s advisable to listen to them rather than assume what they need. People have different needs, and they may not be what others perceived them to be. For instance, a little old lady living in a modest two-bedroom home in the suburbs may have a stash of food in the basement in preparation for any eventualities. In this case, this old lady may only need someone to talk to and does not need any groceries or financial support.
There are instances when people make assumptions about the situations of other people based on their past experiences. But people are unique, and their situations are different from each other. Some may need financial support, while others want someone to talk to.
Due to this, it’s important to talk with the neighbors and ask how they are doing. Have a conversation with them and check if they are bringing up their needs. While some may need financial support, others may only need someone to bring their mail to the post office since they like to communicate with their family the old-fashioned way.
Many people are still looking for work in traditional companies. But finding a job in traditional companies is challenging these days. So, people may want to consider working as a freelancer or an independent contractor.
A study has shown that around 59 million Americans worked on freelance jobs, representing around a third of the workforce in the United States. Despite its downsides of no job security or benefits, freelancing offers many advantages over working for a traditional company. It offers a higher earning potential and helps people hone their skills.
While most freelance workers are in the 18 to 22 age group, the industry does not have any age requirements since some freelancers are already at least 55 years old. With this, people can help their jobless neighbor find work as a freelancer.
The work is essentially anything a person can do on a computer. So, they can work anywhere as long as they have a computer and an internet connection.
Donate to Foundations
Donating to organizations and foundations providing social services is another thing people can consider doing. Aside from providing social services, these organizations and foundations also help unemployed people while still looking for a job.
Financial support is welcome, but if people do not have extra funds, they can also donate food and supplies. The food banks can also need a helping hand, especially during the health crisis where many people lost their jobs after their companies closed.
Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. With this, the community can come together to help these people get back on their feet and move forward with their lives.