‘I just need a job’: Unemployed La. man who lost home only one of millions hinging on fate of COVID relief bill

Updated: Dec. 24, 2020 at 7:47 AM CST
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BAKER, La. (WAFB) - Ferzell Shepard, of Baker, is one of the millions of Americans who are desperately in need of help.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken everything away from him, including both his job and his home.

“It’s Christmas time, it’s supposed to be the time for family, happiness; this isn’t right,” Sheppard says.

RELATED: Trump threatens COVID relief, stimulus checks; Pelosi urges ‘sign the bill’

He and his family won’t be home for the holidays this year, because they were evicted from their home back in October.

Instead, Shepard, his fiancé Carissa, and four kids will be in a small, two-bed motel room in Baker.

“It’s frustration. They can’t believe we’re in a motel room, they can’t believe we spent thanksgiving in a motel room, they can’t believe that everything they love to do is limited in one room and it’s just hard for them,” Shepard says.

RELATED: Baker family’s Christmas a lot brighter thanks to outpouring of help from community

He worked as a cook at a restaurant in Zachary until March, when the COVID-19 prompted shutdowns of businesses.

They managed to get by on his fiancé's paycheck with a little help from the last stimulus and unemployment benefits but then her hours were reduced.

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“I told my landlord that was my situation and she still processed the eviction,” Shepard says.

Since then, they’ve been surviving off a few hundred bucks every two weeks with little to no hope of making more.

“I’m always looking but it’s the pandemic. Not too many people are hiring because it’s social distancing and they’ve halved the employees so it’s never a callback,” Shepard says.

He says doesn’t want a handout, instead just a job that’ll pay the bills and maybe a little extra money to give his kids a Christmas gift.

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“Christmas is right around the corner, it’s not about me, it’s about my kids and they don’t deserve this,” Shepard says.

Now, they don’t even have a place for a tree, let alone the presents to go underneath.

“I just need a job. Just need a job,” Shepard says.

A new job would be a Christmas miracle.

EDITORS NOTE: Since the story aired on 9News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, many people have reached out to WAFB about how they can help Mr. Sheppard and his family.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Sheppard and his family. Click here for more information on how to donate.

WAFB makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of any GoFundMe campaign. Any donations you make to such campaigns are strictly at your own risk. If you have any questions related to the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of a GoFundMe campaign, please contact GoFundMe directly or consult the GoFundMe Guarantee Policy.

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