Kimberly Jones says thanks to a glitch with Florida's unemployment website she'll like be evicted
10:50 PM, Jan 15, 2014
2:48 AM, Jan 16, 2014
LARGO, Fla. - Should you stop by Kimberly Jones' Largo apartment, the 44-year-old will warn you at the door that she is embarrassed about what you will find inside.
There are baskets full of unpaid bills, there is little food in the fridge, decorations are sparse, and their internet has been disconnected.
"I am just more miserable alive," explained Jones.
Things are about to get a lot worse.
Jones and her husband are facing immediate eviction, their phone company says they will cut service by the weekend, and the electric company is threatening to shut off power to the one bedroom apartment.
Jones has been unemployed since October. She lost her job in October at an air conditioning company she'd worked at for two years.
She immediately filed for unemployment and showed ABC Action News documentation showing the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity approved her for benefits.
Jones says she received one check a month ago and another last week. The checks totaled $320. However, she says she should have already received $3,700.
"I thought the people in our government were supposed to look after us, you know. I thought, that is why they are there," Jones said.
Jones first tried logging onto the troubled DEO unemployment website. The glitches that have impacted thousands of Floridians, found their way right into Jones' living room. She recalls not even being able to log on.
In recent days, her internet service was cut because the bill had not been paid. Now, she has no way of accessing the site.
Jones decided to reach out to state senators and representatives but said her messages went unreturned.
She also says she called DEO multiple times and was given the run around or deferred to different agencies.
"It takes forever to sit on the phone and trying to get unemployment and go back and forth with these people. I am spending 30 hours a week trying to do that when I should be out looking for a job," Jones said.
Frustrated, Jones turned to ABC Action News for help.
Jones' husband, Mark, works as a mechanic. She says his income is not enough to pay the bills so he is resorting to donating blood to get money.
"He has to go donate blood for two hours for $25, but that is literally the only way we can eat. That is how bad it is," Jones explained.
They are also pawning anything worth money.
"I am at a loss. I don't know what else to do," she said.
ABC Action News contacted the DEO on her behalf Wednesday night. Within an hour, an agent called Jones to help resolve the issue. She was told she would receive another call Thursday to resolve the issue.
She just is leery that help will come in time. She has until this weekend to pay her rent.
"My husband said we could go to Safe Haven," she said while breaking down in tears.
Jones refuses to give up hope. She is still walking around to local businesses applying for jobs. Her husband takes the car to work so she has no choice but to walk. She says she cannot even afford bus fare.