With so many New York and New Jersey residents out of the work, it is becoming a common sight to see hundreds of workers lining up in hopes of securing a temporary job. In Staten Island recently there was an opportunity at the career center to help find day work in cleanup positions. With a total of 240 open positions on the line, more than 500 people showed up with high hopes.


In the devastated areas, people have lost jobs, homes, and much of their belongings. In many cases, workers can’t even fathom interviewing for a new position if they can find it because they lack the basic necessities to get to their interview including clothing, resumes, and even vehicles. Unemployment income is not enough to get the bills paid.


The devastation in the aftermath of Sandy can place a large amount of stress on one’s health, which can severe consequences. Many people lack hope that things will get back to normal, especially those who have held the same job for several decades and have no idea where to go next.


Those who are finding work farther away from home will now face higher commuting costs and smaller benefits packages just to bring home a paycheck. This additional stress can take a serious toll on one’s physical and mental health. While money is certainly a necessity, workers are cautioned to realize when they are working on overload.


Depression is affecting not only the cleanup workers on-site but also the residents who have essentially lost their entire worlds. It is important to seek mental health care and keep yourself in good physical condition by speaking with your family doctor about your health concerns, depression, and anxiety. If you fall ill due to the stress of daily life, you may find it impossible to return to work when it is available.