Job Hunting: OC mom navigates unemployment during COVID-19

ABC7's Job Hunting follows people who are unemployed and looking for work during the pandemic.
BREA, Calif. (KABC) -- Priscilla Fuentes is a mother of two from Brea. After her husband was laid off from his job, Priscilla found herself furloughed from her teaching position. Check back for updates on Priscilla's job hunt.

May 1, 2020

As the unemployment rate in California continues to rise, many families across the Southland are dealing with a similar reality.

"I have no idea what's going to happen," Priscilla Fuentes said. "Am I going to have a job? Is my husband going to have a job? Are my kids going to be able to go back to school and see their friends?"

Fuentes is a mother to two young children. Until March 8, she worked as a teacher at a nonprofit school in Orange County.

"I remember I went in on a Monday. I was planning a big St. Patrick's Day party for the following week for the kids," Fuentes said. "I didn't even get to say goodbye to them."

Fuentes said the school closed the next day and her employer was only able to pay her for three sick days.

"They just closed the school and they said, 'Try to file for unemployment.' But since the school is a nonprofit and we don't pay the state unemployment money, we don'tqualify for unemployment," she said.

Fuentes' husband's entire department was laid off from Bank of America in January.

"After he got laid off, he started doing the job search, looking for another mean of income," she said. "But then COVID came and everything shut down. It was just onebig storm after another."

Fuentes has been applying to jobs, but has not had any luck.

"We had to take out our savings. We were hoping to buy a house with that savings and now we're using that just to keep the roof over our head," she said.

In the meantime, Fuentes is keeping busy homeschooling her six-year-old son and trying to stay positive.

"It's brought us closer together, a lot closer together," she said. "That's always a good thing."
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