This is the story of a service worker formerly employed at Stanford. At the onset of the pandemic, she was told to not come back to work with no word of when she might be able to return and no continuance of pay.

I worked at Stanford in cleaning. I wasn’t there long. I was going to be there three months in April. And I was working. I was happy, but this happened and well, they fired those of us who were there the least amount of time. And well it happened to me. Yes, this has affected us a lot. Like I said, there’s nothing to do. Just be at home. Hoping that they call me, but they haven’t called me to let me know if they’ll give me my job back, nothing.

Without an income, she was left to provide for her 4 children on her own.

I’m an immigrant single mom. Now I am alone with my four kids: a 19 year old, a 15 year old, an 11 year old, and a baby of one year and 10 months. And yes it’s affected me because I depended on my job and nothing else. I’m just at home. I’m not working anywhere.

Sometimes I feel very stressed. Sometimes I even cry because I worry about everything that’s happening. I’m very stressed. Because there’s no work, and I’m just at home. Sometimes I feel sick – I don’t know.

Many of the stories these workers have shared carry a similar underlining message: they work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and healthy but when they need support, they’re left on their own to keep surviving.

I haven’t paid full month’s rent, and I start to think about how my rent is going to keep accumulating and I’ll have to pay it all at the end of the day. Everything’s bad. Like me, there are people who are worried about rent, about food. At the end of the day we will need to pay it.

I’m alone, and there are many people like this. Moreover, I feel more alone because I am the only one. I was the only one who ran the household. The rent, the food, everything for the kids. 

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