Montgomery County JFS creates WiFi hotspot for unemployed residents

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The number of jobless Ohioans is increasing. Last week, Ohio jobs and family services reported more than 158,000 jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The total number of initial jobless claims filed in the state over the last four weeks has now increased to 855,197. To put that in perspective, the total for the last four weeks of claims is 139,685 more than the combined total of 715,512 for the last two years. That’s nearly 140,000 more than the last two years combined.

Montgomery County residents seeking benefits amid a surge of jobless claims said getting the resources they need during this time hasn’t been easy.

“I have no money coming in at all. My wife got laid off the second week of the stay at home order. She’s able to get hers which is not very much, but without mine we can’t pay bills. I know that they’re doing everything, but I still need to feed my family and everything,” said Terry Wilson.

Wilson’s position at Stacked Pickle was terminated during the first week of the stay-at-home order.

To help ease the burden of some of these unemployment claims, the Job Center in Montgomery County has created a WiFi hot spot in the north parking lot of its building. The purpose is to help people access the resources they need, like unemployment benefits, food assistance, Medicaid and cash assistance.

Over these last four weeks, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has distributed more than $227 million in unemployment payments to more than 271,000 people.

ODJFS has extended its call center to a seven-day-a-week operation and has nearly 1,200 staff taking calls with plans to launch a virtual call center by the end of next week.

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