For months now, our “Jobless in Idaho” series has followed people here in Idaho as they search for work against hard odds. Kelly Barker, a single mom from Meridian, had been out of work for the better part of a year when we met her last winter. Since then, she’s made do with a combination of temp work, food stamps and unemployment benefits. In April, those benefits were running out.
Barker was scouring the web for job possibilities when we last met. It was a tense time, and Barker knew there was only one option. She had to find work. “I don’t have a contingency plan,” she said. “You know, a mortgage payment – you’d have to have a lot of savings to sustain you for a long period of time, and I don’t, so I have ten weeks to find a job. Period.”