Single mom dealing with impact of coronavirus

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jackie Winchester
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Woods

Unemployed, nearly broke, and with school out, no options for child care.

A single mother in Naples is dealing with many of the same problems many others are. While unemployment is at the top of her list, she wonders how she can even look for a job when her kids are at home.

“They canceled summer camps and programs for these kids. That was my babysitter,” said Kimberly Woods.

A few months ago, she was a full-time chef. Then the pandemic happened, forcing her to take unpaid leave to care for her kids, Ty and Brielle.

Woods said Tuesday she only has $20 left.

“The fear of not being able to provide for my children is really overwhelming. The fear of losing the roof over my head, the electricity. I can’t get through to FPL, I can’t get through to the United Way. People are giving me all these resources and it’s just roadblock after roadblock.”

Woods said she never would have seen herself in this position. What about explaining it to her kids?

“We pray a lot, we pray a lot. Um, that’s really what … I kind of let the word of God go through them because there’s really nothing to say,” she said. “I don’t want to cry but, you know, I want to give my kids the world and I can’t even.”

“I love my mom and I’m thankful for all she does. I know we’re going through hard times right now,” said Ty Woods, Kimberly’s son.

The state may be reopening the economy, but that’s not a good thing for Woods, who has no place for her kids to go so she can get back to work.

“There are people here that cannot go back to work. So then what happens to us? There are no answers. what are we supposed to do?” she asked.

That’s why she wants to get her story out there.

“I know as a mother there are a lot of single-parent households out there in the world that are struggling more than ever now,” she said.

Woods said she tried to file for unemployment benefits, but like many others, is having trouble getting approved.

As for child care, she depended on school and summer camps, which right now aren’t an option.

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