Local furloughed single mom of 3 talks about hardships during coronavirus pandemic

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Right now, families across the country are struggling due to the pandemic and it’s no different here at home.

Single mother of three and High Point resident, Katina Matthews, said her faith and community have been helping her get through her recent trials and tribulations.

“I got furloughed April the 14th,” she said.

Like millions of working Americans, Matthews was furloughed from her job. She was an information services specialist at FirstPoint Resources.

She told FOX8 she applied for unemployment back in April, but has yet to be approved.

So, each day she gets on her computer looking for jobs.

“Usually go through and check my emails, just to see if anything went through,” she said.

For now, she uses the money she has saved up over the years to pay the bills.

“I’m just trying to make sure I prepare food that can last a couple of days. Doing the whole pasta meals,” Matthews said.

Each week a representative from the nonprofit Communities in Schools of High Point drops off a box filled with food from one of their donation pantries.

“She brings it at least once a week, or if I need more, she will call me, or I can text her like, ‘hey, we are running low’ and she’ll go to the food pantry and she can bring us out the food,” Matthews said.

It’s this food she calls a blessing.

“My refrigerator went out Friday evening. All of the food that was in there, we lost it,” she said.

The one thing this single mother was looking forward to this year, was her first-born walking across the stage as a Southern Guilford High graduate — the pandemic taking that from her too.

“That’s sad. I’m still hurt on that,” she said.

Like any parent, this was a big deal. But for Matthews, who had her son, Raheen, when she was only 15 years old, him graduating means the world.

“I want them to know, understand, no matter what goes on, you have to push through,” Matthews said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

She hopes to encourage other single moms to keep going.

“It’s OK. You’re going to make it. And find someone that can be there in your corner. It’s OK to ask for help,” she said.

The one thing Matthews is looking forward to though is Raheen’s drive-thru graduation on June 15.

Raheen is looking into a career in mechanics at Guilford Technical Community College.

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