Confronting COVID-19: Erika's Story

Confronting COVID-19: Erika's Story

Like many American families, Erika Schoenhofer, Admissions Counselor for VOA Texas and her husband Robert live pay check to pay check while raising young children ages six and seven. In early 2020, the couple believed they had finally caught up on bills and were beginning to save money. When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit unexpectedly across the country, the family suddenly found themselves over spending on food and supplies to hopefully last until the crisis was under control and shelter in place orders were lifted. Unfortunately, the costs of preparing was overwhelming as they could not afford the supplies and food. While prices increased for basic daily necessities and many items couldn't be easily found, this required many trips around the city. As they traveled from store to store, the sight of empty shelves left them with stress and anxiety. While dealing with the fear of a failing supply chain, Robert received news that he would be laid off from his job. As the bills pile up, Robert is still weeks away from receiving his first unemployment check, leaving Erika with the brunt of the financial responsibility for the household. Having suffered from a substance use disorder, Erika says her faith in God has given her comfort during this difficult time and adds, she’s grateful and fortunate to still be working for VOA Texas.