Sep 7, 2011 8:26 PM by Trovette Tottress

Many unemployed families are now seeking government assistance


Leanne Regan is doing something she never imagined she would do.

"Times are hard. They laid me off", said Leanne Regan. "When you're doing well, you think you're always going to do well. You don't imagine that you're going to need help"

But like millions across the country, Leanne, who's a mother of three, is applying for government assistance.

"You feel like a failure as a parent because you're not able to provide for them like you were able to before. So it feels like a huge slap in the face", said Leanne Regan.

She's applied for a number of jobs, but so far no luck.

"It's frustrating. You put in hundreds of applications and you may get one call back and then no response", said Leanne Regan.

The Department of Human Services says they've seen a huge increase in the amount of applications for food assistance.

"This month of August we've had about 600 new cases added onto our additional case load", said Arturo Serrano. "We have 27,000 in food assistance cases."

The cost...More than $9 million dollars.

"To put that into perspective, prior to the economic down turn we were issuing 3.5 million", said Arturo Serrano

Currently the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. But in many counties that number is higher. In Colorado Springs the unemployment rate is 9.8 percent. In Pueblo it's 10.5 percent.

Leanne plans to continue her search, and although the government assistance will help she says its still hard.

"Its a constant struggle. You question your worth a lot", said Leanne Regan.

And her next step.

"Hopefully finding a place to stay and if not it's a homeless shelter", said Leanne Regan.



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