Before the pandemic, Aretha Alonzo of Medford balanced three jobs.
Now, her income has been halved; she struggles to pay bills and put her kids through college. "I have no money to buy food," she says.
Michelle Acompora of Brentwood is a freelance hair stylist.
But she can't work now — and because she's self-employed, she faces more hurdles in getting unemployment benefits. "So much has changed in so little time," she says.
These are the new faces of need on Long Island, the coronavirus pandemic having cut their income and access.
In fact, applications for food stamps have doubled on LI. And more than a fifth of the Island has filed for unemployment.
That includes Patrick McAlevey of Lindenhurst, furloughed from his job two months ago — and he still hasn't seen a dime from unemployment.
'I have nowhere to go. I'm broke, I'm bored ... I'm not proud of this at all," he says.