INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. – Amie Stanley is heading back to her job as a restaurant server next week, ironically just days after she received unemployment checks from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. She’s been waiting for more than a month since she was furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Like so many other frustrated Floridians across the state Stanley experienced the delays and glitches of the now infamous DEO web site CONNECT.
“This is week 6 and I just finally got payments this week,” Stanley said.
The single mom was able to make ends meet with the help of a $2,400 stimulus check donated to her by News 6 viewers Rick and Margie Weinkauf.
The call to return to work came after Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled Phase One of the state’s plan to re-open the economy on Wednesday.
Under the governor’s new order, restaurants are limited to 25% capacity inside while outside locations must enforce the 6-feet social distance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that soon, Stanley said.“I hope it sticks, I hope we keep working.”
The Labor Department’s dismal Thursday jobless report showed 3.84 million new unemployment claims for the week ending April 24, bringing the 6-week unemployment claims total to 30 million people out of work nationwide.
During a Zoom interview from her kitchen Stanley said the new workplace protocol had her a bit anxious.
“I’m a little nervous about how everything is going to have to go with everybody wearing masks,” she said. “You know, everything, all the changes.”
Stanley who works for a restaurant in Indian River County has been told to bring a mask when she reports to work next week.
“It’s survival mode," she said. "Everybody is in survival mode and it’s scary.”
If you would like to donate funds to someone like Amie or have an unemployment story to share contact News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.