Today we take a close look at just one of these individuals.
The Press-Register is profiling people who have lost work due to the oil spill, one of which is a 72-year-old immigrant who can no longer earn an income shucking oysters:
Huynh is precisely the type of person a doubled $250,000 grant from Pepsi could help. And there are thousands and thousands more like her.
Cua Thi Huynh, 72, Grand Bay, oyster shucker
The Press-Register reported in a July 6 article that Huynh became unemployed when a seafood processing plant shut down after the spill. She had been collecting cans and selling eggs to make ends meet.
History: Huynh came to the United States from Vietnam about 13 years ago. She settled in Bayou La Batre and worked in the seafood processing industry, along with her daughter.
Outlook: On the day of the Press-Register’s first visit with Huynh, she asked David Pham, a program administrator with Boat People SOS who was translating for her, to read a letter. She was eligible for food stamps and would receive $150 a month in assistance. That lasted one month, she said. Officials with the Alabama Department of Human Resources dropped her, saying that she was earning income from selling the aluminum cans. She did not receive assistance in July or August, she said. Pham said Huynh was told that she was receiving “odd income” and therefore was not eligible for food stamps. The local office of Boat People SOS — a national group that advocates for Asian communities — is working to restore her food stamp benefits, Pham said.
Claims process: She has filed two claims and has received two payments of $1,000 each. She has filed for a third payment. She “has been waiting, waiting, waiting like everyone else but hasn’t heard anything from it,” Pham said. “She said she doesn’t complain because they haven’t said no. So she is still waiting.”
[Photo by Press-Register/John David Mercer]