She had income from three jobs. The pandemic took it all away.


To support her family as a single mother, Connie Sarmiento used to work three jobs. She would start her workday at 6:30 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, where she was employed as a telephone operator. At 2:30 p.m. on game days, she would catch a bus to Oracle Park, the Giants’ baseball stadium, where she worked as a cashier until 10:30 p.m. She also served concessions at Chase Center, home to the N.B.A.’s Golden State Warriors.

While it was exhausting to work 16-hour days, she felt proud of being able to pay her bills and provide for her three children. But after the pandemic hit, she lost all her jobs. She was furloughed from the Hyatt in mid-March, and from the sports venues in April.

She started receiving $450 a week in state unemployment benefits, along with the $600 federal supplement. But once the federal payments ended in July, Ms. Sarmiento struggled to pay her monthly bills, including $3,000 in rent for a three-bedroom apartment that she shares with her children, a $500 car payment, $200 for car insurance and $500 for utilities.

Ms. Sarmiento’s October rent was due Thursday, but she has only half the money she needs to pay it. “I have to tell my landlord that I am unable to pay,” she said. “I’m afraid he’s going to tell me I have to move out. That’s really scary.”

In late July, Ms. Sarmiento was one of 2,100 concession workers to receive termination notices from Bon Appétit, the food-service contractor for Oracle Park and Chase Center. But she joined with her union and pushed back, successfully negotiating for the terminations to be rescinded at Oracle Park.

Ms. Sarmiento hopes to return to work at the Hyatt this fall and at Oracle Park next season. In the meantime, she spends her days filling out job applications, on the chance that something will come through.

“I feel hopeless,” she said. “Some of the only jobs I can find are in warehouses. I’m 60 years old and I don’t know if I can lift big, heavy stuff anymore. My body is getting weak.”



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