Queens Parishioners Among Millions of Americans Facing Unemployment

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Coronavirus, Diocese of Brooklyn, Economy, Family, Jobs, Media, National News, New York News, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment is a crisis within a crisis. 

Millions of Americans are out of work as the virus crushes the U.S. economy.

Last week an additional 4.4 million people filed unemployment claims, bringing the five-week total to over 26 million. 

Forty-three percent of all American adults say they or someone in their home has either lost a job or taken a pay cut because of the pandemic. 

Regina Santoro is one of them. She’s a real estate agent, and her industry is basically shut down. 

“Since the pandemic started, I have not had one offer, on one property,” she told Currents News. 

“It slows down, it peaks, it goes up and down,” she explained. “I never thought it would be closed. Yeah, so we are closed. People are bleeding because I can’t even put people in apartments, we are not allowed to show.” 

Regina is a parishioner of Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill, Queens. 

Like many, she says she has been trying to file for unemployment for over a week, but keeps hitting roadblocks. However, her family is still in better shape than most.  

“I’m a little frustrated about it. I’m more frustrated for some of my co-workers, my husband is still working,” she said. 

Teddy and Rachel Aviles also attend Holy Child Jesus Church. Teddy is still getting a paycheck from his sports job while Rachel, who’s a flight attendant, is now on unemployment. 

They’re safe for the time being, but like millions of other families across the country, they fear what’s next. These concerns are sharpened because they’re parents to a toddler, and new homeowners.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, how long it’s going to take for flying to get resumed, or for Teddy to get back to work,” said Rachel. “We really have no clue. It feels really unsettling because you don’t really know how to prepare for the future.”

New York State has paid out $2.2 billion in unemployment to 1.1 million people so far.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said thousands of staffers are working to get through the overload of backlogged unemployment claims.