I am constantly worried about my friends and family back in Detroit (my hometown) and this week has been a particularly bad one.
First, one of my best friends from high school was laid off from her sales job at Visteon, where she sold parts to GM. She is married and her husband was laid off his job at the airport over 6 months ago and still has not been able to find anything. I don't know how they are going to survive for long and wonder if she will be able to find another job in that area. They own their home so moving out of state is probably not an option. I think we were the last people to sell a house in Detroit and that was in 2006!
The second story is even more desperate. Yesterday my sister's husband found out he is being laid off at the end of next week. He's worked in this particular plant (which is also tied to the automotive industry) for almost 10 years. The rumor is that it's not going to ever re-open. Once his lay-off starts, they will only give him medical insurance for another 30 days. It's a union job so they have really good medical and they NEED it, as he takes medication daily to control his epileptic seizures. They also have two children, so health insurance is always a concern. (Here in WI, we just got health care for all children regardless of income last year, but they don't have that in MI) My sister still has her temp job, but that will most likely end in June. Again, not sure how they are going to make it and with the job market such as it is, it will be difficult for them to find anything else.
I really wanted to stay in Detroit for a little while longer when my "dream job" in West Virginia fell through in spring of 2006. But Chris told me "If we don't get out now, we'll NEVER get out." How right he was! I thank God every day that we were able to sell our house and start a new life in rural Wisconsin where our boys can grow up with woods to explore, frogs to catch, horses to feed, etc. However, I do feel a bit guilty, just as the people on the life rafts watching the Titanic sink into the ocean must have felt. ALL our friends and family are back in Detroit and the situation there is DISMAL! I just can't believe how bad it's gotten in just the 3 years since we left. The boys and I pray for everyone back there nightly and we hope it will start to get better soon.