Struggling to obtain Internet Access in order to work from home
April 26,2020 at 2:24PM UTC
Since the start of the COVID-19, my employer advised if the opportunity to work from home. I enjoy this opportunity which allows me to balance out my finances and ultimately save money. I am currently free from the $240 monthly transportation cost, the 3 hour commute ( 1/2 hours ea. way), the $800 monthly childcare costs, and hopefully no traffic tickets.
About 2 months ago due to the volatile things happening in my place if residence, I had to immediately move out for the safety of both me and my
child. I am temporarily residing in a domestic violence Shelter in NYC.
The struggle also came about when I had to travel from Upper Manhattan to Queens at 6 am to take my 6 year old daughter to her school. Then I would leave from Queens to travel back to the Lower East side of Manhattan to go to work. Then in the evenings, I would leave work and travel back to Queens to pick up my daughter and finally get back to the Shelter at 9:30 pm. I was exhausted.
With the COVID-19 order, at least I am relieved for a temporary moment. Then the other struggle begins, the lack of WiFi access. The DOE provided me with a laptop for my child which is WiFi enabled not Internet Ready. The Shelter does not have the capability to provide WiFi for the residents and I have discussed this issue numerous times with the Director, wrote a letter to the Mayor’s office, and even contacted the Homeless Shelter Administrative offices to no avail. I haven’t even received a call back. It’s been 3 weeks and I do not have the resources for my child to homeschool. My daughter also has ADHD not yet officially diagnosed because we are awaiting a follow-up appointment. It is difficult for me to work an homeschool at the same time although I’ve set up a schedule and behavioral reward system. Apart from my trying to homeschool my adhd child, I’m struggling to focus on my work with the constant distractions. I also believe that I may have ADD undiagnosed. Since the start of Covid19, I had to take 2 days pto because I attempted to connect to WiFi but could not obtain a strong enough connection. I was fortunate to have a relative lend me hers, which led to the successful ability to work from home. At times, I would loose connection and I would have to reconnect which was a bit frustrating.
Last week, I had to return the small WiFi device back to my cousin. While I was using my cousin’s WiFi, I ordered my own from Amazon and awaited for it to arrive. When it arrived, I had already returned the other to my cousin per her request but now I had to wait for the SIM card to arrive yet another 2 days.
I was left without any opportunity to connect and struggled to find an opportunity to work. Early last week Monday, I drove to a library nearby Queens to connect. I did gain connection but later had to leave due to the request of a Security Guard who told me that the library is closed and off limits. Then I drove to a Starbucks parking lot and successfully connected but had to assist my child with using the restroom in the ice storm. The next day, I learned of NYC Link which allows free Internet and you can park nearby. I still struggled with restroom issues for my child and it was difficult for her to sit still in the car so I was often distracted. I had deadlines, meetings, and important conference calls. I felt so overwhelmed. Then my car battery died and I to stop working and contact my insurance company and was towed to PepBoys. The same thing happened the next day. This time I bought a battery costs $185.00.
I really broke down. I did not want to tell my employer my personal issues but my counselor at the Shelter advised me too.
Currently I’m not sure what is going to happen next week. I make to much money at $50 K to qualify for any programs but I am told by landlords that I do not make enough to rent an apartment. The average cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in NYC is $1500.
I am looking to relocate and find a place to call home. I’ve looked into relocating to Atlanta, GA ( former residence), Arlington, Virginia, North Carolina, or Stamford Connecticut as a more affordable place to live. I have a bachelors and Masters degree but still struggling. I’ve applied for other positions with my company as well.
I have to find a stable place of residence for the Fall season for my daughter. I’m not sure what the opportunities are now due to the COVID situation. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
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