Her Recession: Single mom struggles to provide for her son as she waits for unemployment

SPOKANE, Wash. — This pandemic has pulled women out of the workforce at an alarming rate. Like so many, one local woman is waiting for her unemployment to survive.

Most parents would agree, their kid means the world to them.

“Now that he’s here all I want to do is give him a good life,” said Tia Erwin.

It’s a life Erwin says seems out of reach ever since the pandemic took away nearly everything from them.

“I try to find the meaning in every unfortunate situation and right now I just don’t understand,” said Erwin.

Erwin was forced to leave her job as an at-home nursing assistant back in December so that she could take care of her one-year-old son Aemon. Since paying for childcare was out of the question, she filed for unemployment.

Two months later, Erwin still hasn’t received a single payment.

“Every path that I’m trying to carve for myself is just being shut down for me. I have no idea what I’m going to do. I have no idea,” said Erwin.

She tried for weeks to reach the Employment Security Department. When that didn’t work, she turned to state representatives.

“What we want to make sure of is that everyone gets the information they need, they get their questions answered, and that they get a fair consideration of their case,” said Washington Senator Andy Billig.

Senator Billig and his team were able to get through to the Employment Security Department. Tia is approved for $500 a week, but as of right now, she still doesn’t know when she’ll get that money.

“If I were getting $500 a week right now, my entire life would change,” Erwin said.

Not just her life, but also her sons.

“I wouldn’t stay awake at night wondering, ‘Am I going to give my son a rash if I ration 5 diapers a day? Am I going to be able to get him formula?’,” she said.

For now, she’s hoping for a formula out of this pandemic, so that she can give Aemon the life he deserves.