How has the recession affected you? Readers share their stories

The Times invites readers to share stories about how America’s economic downturn has changed their lives.
I can't afford to live month to month on this.”
I'm 65, 100% disable Vietnam Veteran and I receive benefits from the VA,on SS $500.00 per month and I can't afford to live month to month on this. I know people that are living on $700.00 per month. Something is wrong with ...
Thomas M. Calderon
Bakersfield, Calif.
I went 29 months without work.”
After the economy really started going south, the media company I worked for got spooked, pulled up stakes, and relocated to New Mexico in early 2009. I went 29 months without work. Through a friend, I finally found full-time employment last summer, ...
Los Angeles, Calif.
You feel that you lose everything when you lose your job after so long.”
I am computer tech. I have been laid off from the LAUSD District. After working for the district for 13 ...
Los Angeles, Calif.
I think society has failed my son.”
While my husband the bread winner is still doing well knock wood this economy has affected us in a very unexpected way none ...
Judy Elmayan
Upland, Calif.
I have lost everything but a small fragment of hope for a productive future.”
I once had a wife with a stepdaughter, job, church, growth potential, bank accounts, health/dental insurance, home, etc.. In 01/2008 had a routine layoff as an electrician apprentice with the union. Figured it was time to get ...
Brian W Cilley
Holmen, Wis.
Even with a University Degree there is no guarantee of a future.”
In the beginning of May 2009 I was laid off from a law firm for 17 1/2 years of service because they filed for Chapter ...
Chris West
Los Angeles, Calif.
Above all, it's caused anger and resentment among a lot of people I know.”
It's stopped growth. It's stopped purchasing. It's stopped consuming, except for what's necessary. Above all, it's caused anger and resentment among a lot of people I know, who ...
Lynn-Harold Thompson
Chicago, Ill.
I will struggle with not living in California, however as they say a job is the new raise!”
The recession has hit my family very hard. After living over seas for 3 years My wife and I decided to move back to California. We arrived in 2007, since that time I have ...
Jim Gwinner
Cleveland, Ohio
I moved in with my parents. My wife divorced me.”
I have been unable to work since July 1 2008. I moved in with my parents. My wife divorced me. I finally got on the Social Security Disability Insurance. It pays for my rent and Medicare A and ...
Michael Oh
Beaverton, Ore.
Me and my wife resort to recycling cans.”
Yes, the recession has taken a one-two punch on me, too. I'm an Honorably Discharged Retired Navy Veteran who retired in 2005, just before things got hairy. After I retired, I went to college at San Diego City College, then transferred to ...
Michael White
Imperial Beach, Calif.
The Great Recession took my house and car, but not my job.”
Bouncing over the potholes on Washington Boulevard in the early morning light, I am thankful that my ten year old, recently bought pick-up truck stays in one piece ...
Helen Tackett
Whittier, Calif.
I am 56 years old and everything that I have saved is gone. Now its time to start over.”
Boy where do I start. I am a plumber who has worked for myself for the last 33 years. In 2004 I saw what was going to happen (shit hitting the fan) was going to effect me and my company. So I cross ...
Barry Schultz Sr.
Lewiston, Idaho
I have applied for many jobs outside my field, only to be told I am either over-qualified or ill-equipped.”
Thank you for your thoughtful article in today's LAT "A Lasting Toll." I would like to share my story with you as well. While ...
Jane Hope
Los Angeles, Calif.
Remember that Los Angeles is still a city of hope and dreams.”
When I was 30 years old, I returned to college to escape a life of dead end jobs, poverty, and alcoholism. In 2010, at age 35, I attained a bachelors degree in business administration and film; graduating with honors. My dream was to make it to Los Angeles , ...
Chicago, Ill.
I wanted to help my parents financially and also make them proud. ”
I am a recent college graduate. A second generation Mexican American, I was the first in my family to attend a four year university. I wanted to help my parents financially and also make them proud. Today I find myself unemployed and living with them.
Tony H
Oxnard, Calif.
Now we don't look forward. It's too scary. ”
My husband was laid off in December of 2008. He worked as a painter/wall-paperer in the commercial construction industry. He is now 55 years old. There are very few job openings for painters and if anyone 54 years ...
Christina Thompson
Agawam, Mass.
I cook everything from scratch, don't buy coffee out and don't go to movies.”
I worked pretty much all my life up until 35, when diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder I opted for the Social Security / ...
John Donohue
Los Angeles, Calif.
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