A little rain didn’t dampen Yudania Fries’ spirits, but what did bother her was hearing that her federal unemployment benefits would be cut soon.
“They’re cutting everyone. Its not fair, not at all,” said Fries, a Newark resident. “It’s hard for us to look for a job. We don’t find a job and then the little thing that we have, they cut it off.”
She’s not alone. Tens of thousands of New Jersey residents receive federal emergency unemployment compensation. They will see their weekly benefits payments cut by 22 percent starting at the end of the month because of automatic federal spending cuts tied to sequestration. That’s a big bite out of John Fugazzie’s unemployment benefits. The River Edge resident lost his job back in October.
“Essentially, I’m getting $611 a week, so that’s $120 of that? estimated Fugazzie. “I mean, it’s impossible with food costs, with electric. I happen to be living back here in the house I grew up in for free, so I have no rent payment, and I’m finding it a struggle for our family to be able to survive.”
Knowing that others are struggling, Fugazzie started a group to help the unemployed called “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” The weekly local meetings offer job search tips, networking opportunities, and motivation.
Read the full story on the NJ Today website.