Unemployed by Matthew, workers seek temporary help

By Saul Saenz, Volusia County Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 6:02 PM EDT

Hurricane Matthew is expected to have an effect on unemployment numbers for the month of October.

  • Dozens of businesses were forced to close because of Matthew damage
  • CareerSource working to help find temporary jobs
  • COMPLETE COVERAGE: Hurricane Matthew

That’s because dozens of businesses were forced to close because of extensive damage, leaving workers, like Katrina Hart, to fend for themselves.

Hart survived the hurricane, but she worked at the The Seabreeze hotel. Her supervisor said the hotel was closing for repairs, leaving her without a job, and more importantly, without a paycheck.

She and her husband have six kids, with a grandchild on the way.

“We really need the help, because like I said, we have a lot of bills, a lot,” said Hart.

Although final numbers are not in, workers at the CareerSource Center in Daytona Beach say they have been seeing at least 30 people a day who lost their jobs because of Hurricane Matthew -- people who worked in either hotels, motels or restaurants closed due to extensive damage.

“We’ve seen people that have lost their employment temporarily," said Career Source CEO Robin King. "[If] the business has closed down, they’re coming in as well.”

CareerSource is teaming up with the Lodging and Hospitality Association of Volusia County, hiring the unemployed for temporary employment for clean-up and humanitarian efforts. They reach out to cities and not-for profit organizations that need temporary help.

FEMA is also providing disaster unemployment benefits and is getting ready to open recovery centers, one in Flagler County on Thursday.

The location for the Volusia County center is yet to be announced.

“It doesn’t pay for the whole check that they might’ve missed, it would pay for some of it. So individuals who qualify for that need to apply within 30 days of Oct. 19,” said King.

“It’s life, you know. I've got to keep my head up and keep moving forward everyday, because I got my kids to think about,” said Hart.

King says the best bet for workers is to visit the CareerSource Center until a Volusia County Disaster Recovery Center location is announced.

Officials at the CareerSource Center also provided a phone number people can call if they have any questions. That number is 386-561-9750.