Laid Off Firefighter Takes to the Streets to Earn Wages
Chicago Tribune via Yellowbrix
January 04, 2011
GARY, Ind. — A furloughed Gary firefighter has turned to panhandling to support his family.
Gary Pickering is one of 34 firefighters the city laid off last week. The 34-year-old married father of four man has been wearing his turnout gear while he solicits donations from passersby in downtown Gary.
He tells The Times of Munster that he receives only $350 a week in jobless benefits but has a mortgage, a car payment and other bills to pay. He says he collected $400 during four hours on Sunday.
He also hopes his panhandling will raise raise awareness about the layoffs.
Gary officials say the layoffs were made necessary by the city’s budget problems.