This Hot Bread Kitchen workforce alumna is secure in her new apartment, thanks to quick access to unemployment insurance and the support of Hot Bread Kitchen.
Hot Bread Kitchen Workforce Alumna Barbara Dorio had found her stride working at a New York City bagel shop. After three years of baking and preparing sandwiches at a cafe in the heart of midtown Manhattan, Barbara found the interactions with customers the most rewarding part of her job. “I love customer service—I try to give people the best experience,” Barbara said.
In January 2020, Barbara finally achieved a milestone that she had been working toward for three years—a studio apartment in affordable housing was available and she could finally move into a home that was all hers. After navigating the NYC shelter system for two and a half years all while maintaining a full time job, an apartment all to herself was a huge step toward achieving housing stability and financial independence.
But in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant where Barbara worked was forced to make changes to their business and reduced staffing needs. With guidance from Hot Bread Kitchen, Barbara was able to file for unemployment immediately and is able to put those funds toward her rent, utilities, and other basics. Despite job loss, Barbara is staying positive.
“I just moved to a studio apt in January after being in the NYC Shelter system. Hot Bread Kitchen gave me the information on how to file for unemployment, and now I am putting that toward my rent. I feel peaceful right now that I can keep up with my rent. I am not worried that I’m going to go back to the shelter system.“Barbara, Hot Bread Kitchen Alumna
For now, Barbara is unable to return to the job she loves. “I miss going to work every morning,” Barbara said. “I opened the bagel shop every morning, 5am-12pm. I still wake up at 3am out of habit.” While she misses going to work, she is meditating in the morning, making sure to get daily walks in, and keeping in touch with Hot Bread Kitchen.
“I appreciate Hot Bread Kitchen keeping morale high during this time. After three years, I still feel like a part of the bigger picture at Hot Bread Kitchen. I met people from all over the world. I appreciate it, I’m eternally grateful.”Barbara, Hot Bread Kitchen Alumna
Learn more about Hot Bread Kitchen’s COVID-19 relief + recovery effort.