Sunday, February 27, 2011

bent, not broken

another from the economy series i'm working on:

Larry Dart smiles as people pass.

“Hi, how are you?” he asks, like a greeter at church. A man in a suit slips between two booths and a women in high heels hangs nearby. She thumbs through her folder.

“I can imagine what it's like for them, getting their hopes up,” says Dart, a recruiter with Geico.

They're all at a job fair at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, in search of future employees and employment. “I'm seeing a lot longer gaps in employment. It's much more difficult for people to find a job,” says Dart.

Dart is at the fair to do preliminary interviews for his company. “It's the first step to get the ball rolling,” says Dart. The recruiter is sympathetic to those in search of a job, “I'd love to give a job to everybody,” he adds. “I can imagine how frustrating it is.”

After a while a woman approaches Dart and they speak for a few moments. She inquires about Geico and requests the preliminary interview. The two sit down at a small table draped with a white cloth. Dart takes notes and their conversation is hushed by the carpet and curtains. After the interview he stands up and shakes her hand.

She walks out and he waits for another candidate.

Monday, February 21, 2011

bent, not broken

more from the series on the economy:

Kathy Garrett, center, quietly sorts clothing as scores of homeless men and women weave past, not knowing how much they share in common.

“I know how they feel,” said Garrett, “I've been in their situation.”

Garrett is a volunteer with Project Homeless Connect, along with Luz Colon, to the eft of her. On this day, they're helping to serve the needs of hundreds of homeless people.

She recollects to the years she was homeless and says,“It was a group like this that put me back on my feet, and I haven't looked back.”

Garrett has volunteered the past three years at the event, which offers a variety of services including medical treatment, housing services and donated clothing. The project is held at Norfolk Scope Exhibition Hall, and is run by the city's Office to End Homelessness. It comes at a time when people across the area are in need of assistance.

“It's rough, there's not many jobs out there for people,” says Garrett. “There's many things that prevent you from getting a job. It's important to be able to look right. You can't to an interview with holes in your clothes.”

“If you can get just simple basics, it can make a world of difference,” she says. Moments later, Timothy Snider, at left, remarks, “This is definitely helping me out.” Snider is one of the hundreds in attendance. “I was really needing the clothing,” he says.

“It's a big help towards keeping me off the streets.”

Monday, February 14, 2011


Another from the series of the wake of the recession: Note: the images is taken through a screen door, creating the soft, streaking effect.


“We're the invisible people,” says Pat Bitter. “We need jobs just as much as the younger ones do.”

Bitter, who is in her 60s, is in search of a job. She's one of tens of thousands of older people who are struggling to find work.

“I feel like older people are just getting brushed off from employers, and even though it's illegal, they won't tell you that's why.”

She's been told she's not qualified enough, and she's also been told she's too qualified for jobs. It's hard for Bitter, of Norfolk, who has worked since she was 16.

She has looked for work since September of 2008, when she lost her last job. At first she said she applied to around 10 positions per week. Over time her job application pace has slowed down, but in all, she says she's applied to more than 100 jobs.

She says she feels she's not alone in her struggle.

“It's not just my story, there's a lot of people in the same position.”

The months of unemployment, however, are beginning to take their toll.

“Employers start asking what's wrong with you (when they see the employment gap), and the bad part is...” she trails off, then says: “You start believing there is something wrong with you.”

Bitter adds, “To get the American Dream, you have to work for it. If there's no work to be done, there's no dream.”

Monday, February 07, 2011


before speakers took to the podium.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

super bowl illustration

we did a story on getting out and watching the super bowl in unusual places like the movie theater.
this is an illustration for it.