Harsh Reality: Many Americans work multiple jobs but still live paycheck to paycheck
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Kevin Carr looks like the picture of success. In the field of video production, he has worked the Oscars and the Golden Globes. But the 46-year-old man in the tuxedo fell on hard times and has had to rely on food banks in Brooklyn to help him survive.
"When I first went there, felt a little bit ashamed. Kind of like a failure," Kevin said. "But I met people who ran this and they made me feel comfortable and they got to know my name. 'How are you? What can we do for you?' And that was such a relief."
Kevin said he has met a lot of people at the food banks who are living paycheck to paycheck.
"So we kind of do what we have to do in this tough time," he said.
After more than 20 years working in Los Angeles, Kevin moved back to New York in 2016 for a production job. A year later, he lost that job after the company laid off about 2,000 employees. Since then, he has been struggling to find full-time work.
"I didn't budget enough to sustain me. I didn't anticipate finding a job would take so long," he said. "People think it's easy to get a job. You just send out a resume. People are like, 'Why can't you get the job?' and I'm like, 'I'm qualified but I'm not getting the interviews.'"
Kevin said his dog, Serena, has provided comfort during his struggle. His situation got so bad he couldn't pay his rent and he was facing eviction.
Kevin has been working three part-time jobs to survive. This is the only work he has been able to find. He is a porter at a bar, works at a frame shop, and works overnight shifts delivering laundry. On top of that, he volunteers at a dog shelter in Brooklyn.
"Whether it be mopping floors, working in a frame shop, delivering laundry—that's what I do," he said. "And in the spare time, I look for a job."
Unfortunately, Kevin's story isn't uncommon. People are working two, three and four jobs and are living paycheck to paycheck.
Monsignor Alfred LoPinto is the CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. He said many Kevins are out there.
"There are probably more than we can number," he said. "The situation is critical in that sense of people struggling to make their way. Individuals, families, young, seniors."
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens helped Kevin earn a grant in order to pay his back rent.
"The poverty rate here in Brooklyn and Queens is probably 35-plus percent of the people living in poverty," the monsignor said.
But Kevin is determined to find a full-time job in his field of video production.
"You have to be strong," he said. "You have to keep the faith that things are going to change for the better."