- Melody Morris last received a paycheck in March when the school she was driving a bus for was closed due to the corona virus.
- In the months since, she has sold most of her belongings and used her CARES Law stimulus check to keep a roof over her and her daughter's heads.
- But jobs are in short supply and Morris' bank account is running out, so she doesn't know how she will come up with August's rent.
- The pandemic has led to historic unemployment and economic uncertainty in the United States, and millions like Morris don't know how to pay for the bare essentials.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Melody Morris regrets buying a new pair of shoes.
She took the plunge in June because her only other shoes lacked a sole.
But Morris said, "I feel guilty because this money could go to my daughter in some way. I have no idea how to buy her school clothes or other items that she'll need."
This is just one example of how the corona virus wiped out the financial security of this 52-year-old mother of three.
The longtime school bus driver lost her income in March when schools in Horseshoe Bay, Texas and the rest of the United States had to be closed. Morris injured his knee – she can't afford knee replacement surgery – and has asthma, so it was difficult to walk, let alone find a new job.
As expenses increased and their unemployment benefits application was silenced, Morris sold her clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and even curtains to protect herself and her 16-year-old daughter from losing their home. With her stimulus check, Morris paid the rent until July 31 and a handful of bills and food stamps worth $ 16 to get two meals a day.
But Morris has no idea how she's going to scratch rent or utilities or insurance and bill payments in August over the coming weeks.
"This pandemic is terrible," Morris told Business Insider. "Financially I'm devastated. I want to work again, but the virus has made it almost impossible to find a job. I'm so stressed out that I don't know what to do."
Morris is not alone.
A US Census Bureau survey, July 2-7 found that more than 43 million Americans – around 25% of the country's adult population – missed or deferred last month's rent or mortgage payments or are not sure whether they can afford to pay on time next month. according to USA Today. And the American Apartment Owners Association 60% of the landlords indicated that their tenants cannot afford to rent.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March, prohibited the eviction of tenants living in buildings with government-sponsored mortgages.
In May, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that some of the protective measures originally introduced at the federal level by the CARES Act could be reversed. Landlords across the state were may initiate a clearance process from May 18Although many municipalities decided to continue with the evacuation protection.
And then the federal eviction moratorium expired on July 24th. A whopping 28 million Americans could lose their homes in the coming months, Emily Benfer, one of the creators of Princeton University's clearance laboratory. Reuters said.
And on Friday, the weekly unemployment benefit of $ 600 fell and failed millions as Congress tried to work out the details of the next stimulus package.
Emily Benfer, one of the creators of Princeton University's Eviction Lab, told Reuters that a whopping 28 million Americans could lose their homes in the coming months.
The GOP Coronavirus Relief Bill proposes a weekly Unemployment benefit of $ 200which was criticized as too little to make a difference. Morris agrees that it shouldn't be "one thing forever," but believes that "it must gradually decrease, not just stop suddenly," she said.
However, it is a sad state of affairs that "self-sufficiency" is causing people to associate coronavirus restrictions with the trampling of civil liberties, Morris said.
"The attitude & # 39; You deprive me of my freedom & # 39; that & # 39; You cannot tell me what to do & # 39; and the attitude & # 39; This virus does not affect me & # 39; that I see in my state and elsewhere is disheartening, "she added. "If people did exactly what was suggested, the virus would go away."
What Morris said, she doesn't understand why people are ready to take precautions for less serious illnesses, but is outraged by the instruction to wear a face mask, maintain social distance, and avoid crowds.
"The fact that the numbers were so low before the states opened and how high they are now should tell us something. I've heard of people who dissect this virus, don't wear a mask, do their own thing and then die from it ", she said.
When asked what she plans to do when the rent is due tomorrow, Morris said, "I hope my landlord will give me time to start working and somehow find rent. I can't be homeless."
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