Colorado Couple Takes Job Hunt to the Street
An unemployed couple in Grand Junction, Colo., is so desperate for work that they're handing out their resumes on street corners that normally had been the domain of homeless people looking for a handout.
While it was never the couple's intention to take "business" away from the homeless, Josie Wilson says she plans to give back to a homeless man who asked her when she would be done handing out resumes near where he normally stands and panhandles -- when she gets a job.
Wilson, in a telephone interview with AOL Jobs, said she has been offered money from kind strangers, but she doesn't want it. She wants a job.
"I don't want what someone else has worked for," she said. "I want what I've worked for. I want to be a valuable member of society. I'm not the type of person to have their hand out."
Wilson, 31, lost her job as a home health care worker a few months ago when the elderly cancer patient she was working for died. Because she was paid under the table without taxes taken out, she's ineligible for unemployment benefits. She's willing to take any job, and came up with the idea of handing out resumes on the streets after constantly hitting dead ends on her job hunt.
"I figured standing on the street corner, somebody's going to tell me about a job I wouldn't have heard about otherwise," she said.
Wilson gets up at 5:30AM to get her two daughters, ages 11 and 13, off to school, then stands in front of a mall, one of two Walmarts in town, or any busy intersection with a sign reading, "I need a job. Please ask for resume." She takes a bus home at 11AM, when her husband, Joshua, 25, goes back out to give resumes to anyone with job information.
"I've had a job. This is just the first time I've ever been down and out," Wilson said.
In the last month, Wilson said she has handed out about 300 resumes and applied for 100 jobs. She's a high school graduate who has done mostly clerical and office work, with her last job before the caretaking work as an administrative assistant at a car lot for a year before getting laid off. Her husband worked as a customer service representative for AT&T for nine months before being laid off two months ago, she said.
"I have applied at every fast-food place," she said. "I don't have a boundary of 'I won't do this.'"
When she and her husband find a job, Wilson said she plans to find the homeless man she displaced, and give him a donation. Wilson can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org with job offers.
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