I am out of work and need help now.

Information on social services, government and non-profit assistance for those who are out of work and need help now.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster has put many people in vulnerable positions due to lack of work and/or property damage. State social services can help fill the gap in income while transitioning jobs. If you are in need of urgent help please call 2-1-1 for assistance. Also see Resources in Your Area for information on local social services. Some non-profits have established programs to support families directly impacted by the oil spill. marketumbrella.org, for example, has begun a “Mariners Match” program which provides $40 to spend at a local farmer’s market to anyone with a commercial fishing license and photo ID. Information on this program is available in English and Vietnamese.

Greater New Orleans, Inc. had released a study on the Economic Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill which details income and job losses. When examining this information it is important to contextualize this disaster which disproportionally affected small, rural, coastal towns. These areas also suffered the majority of job losses and income decline. The loss of a few thousand jobs to small, low-income economies it can be a fatal blow, similar to the devastating industry shut-downs in towns across the country. Additionally, our job loss estimates are based on Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), not the total number of workers affected. For many coastal workers, a small reduction in hours (for example, working four days a week instead of five), could place themselves and their families in financial trouble, risking their homes, health and security. This example emphasizes the difference between “job loss” and “under-employment” both of which have the potential to be devastating.

The influx of GCCF Claims money and Vessel of Opportunity income may buffer these effects temporarily, this short-term “false economy” is not sustainable. It also creates different spending habits which affects components of the fishing industry differently. For example, the business of running an ice house may become unsustainable because while fishermen are getting paid to take their boats out to assist in the spill clean-up, they no longer have a need for ice.

GNO, Inc. found in Part Two of the Economic Impact Series that many businesses suffering the impacts of the drilling moratoria have been able to retain workers, but have done so by utilizing savings and cutting costs elsewhere. Should the number of drilling permits remain low, we foresee businesses forced to make significant lay-offs.

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