Families Coping: Single mom of 2 discouraged but hopeful

Reported by Chrys Peterson email

Posted by Kate Oatis email

(WTOL) - Shaun Purley is a divorced mom of two whose job has been cut back to just 24 hours a week. She has a college degree, so it feels like life should be a little easier.

Instead, she's getting frustrated with life's setbacks.

"I want to work 40 hours, I want to go to the doctor's when I need to go, I want to pay the light company on time, I want to pay the water on time," said Shaun Purley. "I want to take my kids to the movies. I just want to do that. I just want a little piece of the pie. I'll take the crumbs."

These days, Purley and her boys are grateful for whatever crumbs make it to their dinner table.

"The first thing you look at is what can go away. I used to get my nails done every two weeks; that was my gift to myself. That's gone. I can't cut off a nail and put it on a plate with ketchup on it."

Purley had to make a choice between the internet and cable TV. They agreed the internet was more useful, so now they make due with the local channels. Also, 20-year-old Roosevelt just got a job at McDonald's so he can help with the bills.

"I know there's more I can do. There's more I'm capable of doing, but as of right now, there's no resources," Roosevelt said.

Even 9-year-old Jordan is feeling the economic stress.

"Around Christmastime if I wanted something really expensive, sometimes I would think before I would ask her."

But Purley and her boys are grateful for so much. They're able to access programs for food and medicine for her diabetes and that of Jordan.

And she's been able to scrape enough together for the mortgage so they don't lose their home.

"It could be worse. I could be in foreclosure. I could not have a house. I saw a story where people are sleeping in parking lots in cars in California."

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.