Roslyn is unemployed and looking for work.
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In January 2009, more than 598,000 Americans lost their jobs. Many of these people were once middle-class homeowners like 33-year-old Roslyn, a mother of two.

When her company downsized in 2007, Roslyn says she lost her $70,000-a-year job as a sales training manager. Even though her boyfriend, John, is employed, his salary wasn't enough to cover the bills and support their family of four. They lost their home to foreclosure, and are currently living in a rental apartment.

Roslyn says she spends most days looking for work. "I want a job," she says. "I don't want a hand-me-out. I want a job."

At one career resource center, Roslyn finds herself overqualified for most openings. "You often find yourself with a whole new career path in situations like this," she says.

If she could go back, Roslyn says there are two things she'd do differently—save and give more to others. "For me, the saving is huge. You have to have something that you can fall back on. Even if it's six months holding you stable down the line—that may be all you need," she says. "And tithing and giving to others...my motto is: 'You've got to release to increase,' and there's something to be said about it."

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FROM: Tent Cities in America: A Lisa Ling Special Report
Published on February 25, 2009

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