BROKEN HEARTHS: San Luis Obispo County voices on trying times

September 17, 2010 

Jennifer Maw, unemployed San Luis Obispo mother of three:

“My kids worry about not having the things that they need. We’re trying to keep stuff as normal as possible. As adults, we have the responsibility to make sure that nothing for them is changing.”

Laurie Morgan, director of the South County S.A.F.E. Family Resource Centers in Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and Oceano:

“They worry about their parents. They have to grow up way too fast. They’re becoming almost like little adults and helping their parents problem-solve. A lot of the parents we work with try to keep things normal, but a lot of times kids get dragged into that discussion of ‘Where do we go? Do we go to the shelter? Do we stay in the car?’ Those kinds of questions.”

Liz Repp, lead employment service specialist, Shoreline Workforce Development Services, San Luis Obispo:

“It’s hard to find a job not knowing where your family is going to stay the night. It’s a vicious cycle right now.”

Traice Caretto, director of operations, Boys & Girls Club of South San Luis Obispo County:

“We have a lot of families over the summer who are moving in with cousins and aunts. Kids are sharing rooms with parents or cousins, something they wouldn’t have to do otherwise. You can see it when they’re here. They’re restless and need their own space more than they have in the past.”

Jackie Kirk-Martinez, director of student services for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District:

“We’re even hearing it from friends of the children, their buddies. It’s affecting the children who are good friends with another child down the street whose parents may have lost their job.”

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