Many Americans Desperate to Find Work

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Jobseekers who've been unemployed for months can now reapply for benefits.

President Obama signed an benefits extension plan Thursday, which costs $18 billion, just hours after Congress passed it. The law temporarily extends help for people whose state benefits have run out.

More than 15 million Americans are unemployed, and nearly all of them are turning to the government for help.

"I'm here today to try to get assistance with my medications that I need to take, and it's just hard," Pam Milledge, who lost her job due to illness, said.

Another benefits seeker, Rosemarie Oliva, said she can't provide clothes for her children.

"Yesterday, I had to go to the clothes closet to get some clothes for me and the kids, it's just so hard not having a job," she said.

Terrence Bresnihan said waiting to receive unemployment benefits after losing his job is a long and frustrating process.

"It was supposed to be two weeks, it's gone all the way up to eight or nine weeks," he said. "So how can people live without income nine weeks?".

Ernest Gibbs has been out of work for more than a year. His unemployment benefits have run out. "

I've been out of work since November '07. I have a class, a CDL, with a perfect driving record, and it's still hard for me to find a job," he said.

No work means no income, and no way to pay the bills or make ends meet. The situation has forced many to seek government aid.

"We see the unemployed come in that's no longer receiving their unemployment insurance benefits, or either their last check will be received within that month," Laverne Thomas with the Norfolk Department of Human Services explained. "And they're a little of course, they're just, they don't know what to do. So they come in as a last resort, and they basically apply for food stamps,"

Thomas has been a case worker for the Norfolk for nearly 30 years. She said the number of people applying for aid in recent months is the most she has ever seen.

"There's certain times of the year that you see an influx of people, but all of a sudden we're seeing it everyday now," she said. "We interview anywhere between 80 and 90 people a day, and that's a lot, that's a lot of people."

"At this point I'm unemployed. My husband does work, the hours are very slim to none, so that's how everything started to build up on us," Teyonnda DeJesus said

For most, there appears to be no end in sight. Even though the economy added 162,000 jobs in March, the largest gain in three years, for many, finding work is still tough.

"I put in 25, 30 applications a day online, it's bad for everybody. Everybody's struggling right now," DeJesus said.

Sill, while more Americans are increasingly forced to turn to the government for help, some have said their ultimate trust is in God.

"I know that God is constantly taking care of me, so I have no doubt about that," Gibbs said.

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