Stigma haunts the father who can’t get a job and lives on £2 a day


The father of two, who struggles with addiction and homelessness, hopes to break the stigma and find a new job by posting his job search on Twitter. James Doris, 35, has an impressive work history with major employers in the rail industry.

However, the persevering father said he had difficulty finding a job due to the tight budget he could not afford to buy a suit or a laptop for virtual interviews. His fall began after a spinal cord injury.

Because of his addiction to painkillers, he was taking 32 pills a day. His relationship soon fell apart, leaving him homeless and sleeping at bus stops.

James has been clean for two years and is grateful for the roof. According to BirminghamLive, James lives in a dormitory near downtown Solihull and is “in dire need of a contribution to society.”

He says competition for jobs, problems with the benefits system and switching to remote interviews make it very difficult for people who have not been so lucky to find a job. After taxes, James said his universal loan allowance leaves him 2 2 a day to live on.

He also had to rely on the kindness of strangers on Twitter to give him a laptop and a suit for interviews. It is not enough to live, said James, who is from Kingshurst.

“After taxes and basic shopping, I live on two pounds a day. If I need to rent a bus somewhere, I should try to plan for the same day.

“I’ve been on the system for over two years. I had a good job, but eventually the doctor got addicted to painkillers.

“Two years later I realized I had lost a lot of weight and at the worst moment my relationship broke down. I was taking 32 pills a day, it was really bad.

I’ve lived on people’s sofas, at bus stops, I’ve already been homeless for four weeks and have been unemployed.

“I cleaned up and went to the dorm and about a year ago I started trying to get my career back on track. But it is very difficult when there is no support.”

James said he was fired because he wasn’t wearing a uniform. The Department of Work and Pensions gave him $70 for new clothes, and James said it was too late for an interview.

“I’ve had six interviews in the past three weeks, and I’ve turned them down,” he said. “It breaks your confidence if you get rejected over and over again, but you just have to move on.

“Firstly, I didn’t accept it because I didn’t have a dress, I felt like a tramp.

“I asked Universal Credit for help, but it may take a long time before they get it back to you. I had an interview where they wanted me to shoot a video but they couldn’t get my laptop in time.

Where to find help with the rising cost of living

The rising cost of living puts pressure on the family budget, as some are forced to choose between warmth and dining.

Here are some resources if you need help.

Citizens Council

Citizens Advice is an independent charity that provides free and confidential help with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other matters. Their website explains what help is available and where the nearest office for face-to-face advice is.

Help line: 0800144 8848 England / 0800702 2020 Wales (Open 09:00 – 17:00 Mon-Fri)

Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust supports the national network of more than 1,200 food banks, which provide free emergency food to those in need. You can use their website to find support wherever you are.

Helpline: 0808208 2138 (Open 09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday)


Turn2us is a national charity that provides practical help to people with financial hardship. Their website contains a benefits calculator and details of the schemes and benefits available in your area, including energy and water bills.

Helpline: 0808802 2000 (Open 09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday)

“There is a lot of demand for work right now, so a lot of people are seeking a role. After the pandemic, many places have also switched to technical conversations, which is not an option for some.

“It’s embarrassing to say I don’t own a wetsuit or laptop. I got A and BA levels, working at Network Rail as a planner. I worked at Chiltern and then at Wembley.

“I have a good CV and experience, but think how many people don’t have it. How do they treat it and bring it back to life?”

I just want to contribute to society. James recently tweeted and asked for help before a job interview and received two donated suits and a laptop loaned to a loyal stranger who came on a bike to take him home.

James Doris is actively looking for a job, but finds it difficult despite his impressive CV

He hopes to change people’s perception of benefits candidates and spread the job search experience on Twitter. “The idea of ​​sitting at home with the latest phone and a widescreen TV, and living in dreams, is bullshit,” James said.

“I’m up every day, I’m working. I have a little girl who needs a mannequin, I don’t have time to waste.

“I think a lot of people see the benefits system as broken, but they tend to get frustrated when people complain. But there are a lot of people like me who are desperately looking for work.

“In the past few weeks I have received a lot of kindness from people, and I am very grateful for it. I hope more people will stop generalizing about the benefits of people and be a little nice.”

A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said, “We have provided Mr. Doris, 5 70.57, with clothing and travel. We have provided access to computer facilities and our job tutors have been the recipients and supporters of Mr. Doris’ job search.

“Universal Credit provides a lifelong safety net for millions of people, enabling them to provide for themselves and their families as they strive to achieve financial independence through work. Our dedicated coaches connect people to opportunities and help reach more people.

Source: Belfastlive


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