Workers line up every day in Biloxi, hoping for a job

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The scene plays out every morning.  People line up, fingers crossed, nervously pacing the sidewalk hoping for the news what someone will hire them for the day.

It's a daily routine for Lena Davis, who once owned his own business in Florida.

"I get here every morning about 5am and it's pretty much, just say a prayer and wait and see what happens, whether you're going to go out and work or not," Davis said.

James Reed once worked full time in construction, but not anymore.  And he's not very optimistic about the future.

"I think it's going to stay this way for a while, a long while because right now everybody is cutting back," Reed said. "After Labor day, the casinos cut back."

As the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. And some of the folks looking for jobs, who have no money coming in, resort to any means to make ends meet.

One of those workers is Julian Watson. He's a husband and the father of five and used to drive a truck full time. Now he does whatever he has to do.

"I had to sell my vehicle about a month or so ago just to keep the lights on," Watson said.  "I didn't even get what the vehicle was worth."

Inside Able Body employment service, Manager Gene Lowery does his best to help the unemployed. But there's only so much that he can do.

"You only have so many job orders and more people than you have job orders, so it makes you worry and it makes you wonder," Lowery said.

Also wondering are the people left standing outside, who don't land a job today. Even the lucky ones who do make the walk to the bus that will take them to work know it could be a different story tomorrow.

About half the people who show up every day at Able Body land a job for the day. The other half leaving and hoping for better luck the next morning.

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