Woman says stimulus money never came; family’s struggling without

Local woman says that despite all of the money being handed out from the government during the pandemic, her family hasn’t seen any of it and is still struggling.

Emily Cruz, of Lewisport, said her problems began when her husband Marcos closed the Mexican restaurant the couple operated in Lewisport, in the hopes of opening up another business in Michigan in 2018.
“Well after he did that, it all went downhill from there,” said Emily Cruz. “He ended up getting health problems.”

The couple and their four kids, ages 17, 13, 10, and 9, live in an apartment on 4th Street in Lewisport.

While her husband is still there, she said he’ll soon be her ex-husband and he’s not helping with the bills.
“He ended up getting the COVID and getting health issues, but he’s not physically paying anything,” she said. “He’s still in the picture but he’s not basically helping.”

She said she’s gotten help on her utilities from Audubon Area, but she’s behind on her rent and there’s no place to get help with that.
“I’m just $550 behind,” she said. “When I asked about the eviction thing I know they’re still letting people file evictions now. I think that they’ve reinstated that.”

Stimulus payments sent out to nearly every American during the pandemic, $1,200 for every adult last year and $600 so far this year, haven’t reached her.

“I didn’t even get a stimulus,” she said. “I didn’t get a stimulus for last year for me or my kids. I don’t know what’s up with that.”
She said she was told you can file for a rebate on taxes, but her taxes were held up too.
“I never even got my tax return,” she said. “We haven’t even got it yet. It says it’s still processing when you go online. It’s crazy.”

Cruz says that right now she and her four kids all have COVID-19.
“We all five have it,” she said. “It just seems like it’s just a flu that never ends.”
She’s applied for jobs, but she’s limited by her skill set and by where she can apply because she doesn’t have a car.
“Really I’ve got to find something close because of the transportation issue, that’s within walking distance,” she said. “I’ve even went door to door trying to find cleaning jobs because that’s basically the only experience that I have besides serving.”

She wants to get financially stable so she and the kids can be on their own, but for that to happen she’ll have to keep a roof over their heads and be able to begin to bring in some income.

“I would basically just say the immediate need is children’s clothes, the rent to get us through just for this month, next month, and food,” she said. “And then help finding a job. That’s the first priority. If anybody knows of any jobs, like they need help cleaning houses or stuff like that.”

By Dave Taylor

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