Mid-South mother of 11 cannot find work, close to eviction

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — "If I had family to go to like immediate family, I’d go and ask them, but I don’t have any immediate family,” said Jessica Sumlin. “It’s just me and my kids."

That Mid-South mother said she is about to be evicted because she can’t find work.

It's a harsh reality many people in our area experience as several companies have announced layoffs in recent months that carry into this new year.

Sumlin’s was just laid off days before Christmas and her story is similar to hundreds of families across the Mid-South.

She’s a single mother applying for jobs while the bills pile up and available jobs fill up.

“I’ve been filling out job applications, going places and everything is just piling up,” she said.

Making ends meet for Sumlin and her 11 children is nearly impossible right now.

The Whitehaven mother left her job after 12 years at Taco Bell because she had a high-risk pregnancy.

She found a temporary job in November, but she was laid off five days before Christmas.

“I went to work that day and I didn’t know I was let go,” Sumlin said. “When I had got to the gate, my badge didn’t work, and I was wondering why my badge didn’t work.”

That’s when she learned her seasonal job was cut short.

Sumlin said she thinks she was let go because she didn’t have transportation, which made it tough to get to work.

She spent about $20 a day for Uber.

“I’m just doing what I can for me and my kids, but right now my bills have overwhelmed me,” she said.

Earlier this month, we reviewed closure notices reported to the state and we found out there were 1,680 layoffs in Shelby County.

We asked if this was the first time she’s been unemployed.

“Right now, I’m in a bad situation because my lights,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they go off now, because my light bill is due today the cut off notice due today. My rent man constantly calling and texting me saying that I’m past due I rent.”

Sumlin applied at several companies like Technicolor and even reapplied to Taco Bell.

“I want to continue putting in applications,” Sumlin said. “Continue interviews. Hopefully lord’s will I find a job real soon and keep trying to do for my kids.

So, who do you call and where do you turn when you lose a job?

FOX13 found a number of resources that include Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA). You can also call 901-527-0208 for more information.

When you visit their website, you will find programs in the family’s section for emergency services and food pantry assistance.

Those you can apply online or in person.

There are emergency services listed on MIFA’s website to assist seniors on fixed incomes and low-income families who experienced a temporary crisis making it impossible to pay rent.

Shelby County also has a program that helps with Memphis Light Gas and Water payment assistance called CSA Utility Assistance.

For more information call CSA at 901-222-4315.

Tenants are also asked to contact the city’s 211 call center for social services referrals.

As far as the Emergency Services with MIFA, Shelby County residents can only receive assistance for that program every two years.

That does not apply to all the programs.