Local News

'We don't ask for this:' Durham mother expresses concern over family's future in wake of pandemic

Posted October 7, 2020 11:31 p.m. EDT

— Thousands of North Carolinians are in limbo, facing financial uncertainty as they wait to see if the White House and Congress can finally agree on some kind of COVID-19 relief package.

For many, that means extended unemployment aid is about to come to a screeching halt. On Tuesday, when President Donald Trump tweeted out that stimulus talks were over until after the election, a single mother of two from Durham said she was crushed over the news.

"I wanted to cry. I really wanted to cry," said Kelli Brown, who said she is just trying to make ends meet while still hoping for pandemic relief. "I’m a single mother of two. I’m not out of work because I want to, I’m out of work because I have to.”

Brown said she has two weeks left until her unemployment runs out completely. A cook by trade, she’s been weighing her options. She said she's even had discussions with the unemployment office about what steps she should take next.

"I talked to someone last week and she told me last week that there is nothing that they would be able to do until I run out (of unemployment money), and I would have to put in an appeal," Brown said.

With no answer in sight, Brown is making an appeal to those on both sides of the aisle to get a stimulus bill passed now.

"Help your people," Brown said. "We are Americans that pay our taxes. We don’t ask to be put in these situations. That’s out of the table for us to live on day by day by day. We don’t ask for this."

Brown said she is preparing herself to file for an appeal to get an extension on her benefits. She said she is not very optimistic it will happen.

Brown said she is crediting her mom and dad with helping her to keep things afloat.

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