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Job Loss or Hard Times Now verses The Great Depression

Updated on March 8, 2016


Only have a few cents due to job loss?
Only have a few cents due to job loss? | Source

Job Loss

Our neighbor called us last night and we were introduced to another "sign of the times"...this time, close to home where she will be lending a helping hand to family members who have lost their jobs.

We have a wonderful neighborly relationship. She knows that we watch her house for her while she is at work or on vacation.

During Hurricane Ike, we looked out for one another and shared what we each had to contribute. We helped rake her yard of fallen debris; she loaned us a land line phone and we ate meals together.

It was an uncommon time for more bonding between people who live close to one another but still lead separate lives.

It was a short time that we suffered electricity and telephone outages following the hurricane, but it helped forge a stronger relationship between us.

It is good to know that others care and are willing to share during times of crisis.

Mixed foliage colors

Just some pretty different colored leaves representing (to me) our new blended household next door.
Just some pretty different colored leaves representing (to me) our new blended household next door. | Source

Living here just two years after having moved from our old subdivision about 3 miles away where we lived for 28 years, we feel fortunate to have met some friendly and helpful new neighbors.

Our next door neighbor is a very like-able lady.

She took in some foster kids shortly after we moved next to her and nurtured them for about a year. She did a great job and the kids are now living back with their mother. An ongoing saga there... Last we heard, the kids are now in a homeless shelter. That biological mother seems to be making continually bad choices which impact her children. Sad! Our neighbor would have happily taken the children back, but they have now moved out of this area.

The reason she called us last night was to notify us that we will be seeing new people moving into her house.

These people are family members.......her brother and sister-in-law along with their dog and cat.

They have joined the ranks of many people in this day and age who are without jobs. Obviously hopeful that the job market is better here in Houston than where they have been living, they have been invited to live with our neighbor until their situation improves.

Being jobless, they are truly fortunate to have a family member invite them into her home. They will not have to live in their car or join the ranks of those living in tent cities that are springing up in other parts of the country where people have no better options.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression era

My mother and I were talking about this situation at the kitchen table this morning.

Mother was born in 1925 and when the Great Depression came along and the Stock Market crashed in 1929, she was a little tyke.

Growing up in the City of Milwaukee, she remembered the fact of it being commonplace that many generations lived under the same roof.

In fact, extended families were the norm back then. Parents and children typically shared housing with grandparents and sometimes aunts, uncles or cousins.

In my mother's case, her widowed maternal grandfather lived with them full time until his death.

1925 Street Scene Photo of My Mother in a Baby Carriage

My mother is in the baby carriage with her maternal grandfather pushing the carriage.  He lived with my mother's family in his later years.  Her sister and a little friend are walking alongside the carriage.
My mother is in the baby carriage with her maternal grandfather pushing the carriage. He lived with my mother's family in his later years. Her sister and a little friend are walking alongside the carriage. | Source

Old family photo

My mother's fraternal grandparents
My mother's fraternal grandparents | Source

Family history

My mother's fraternal grandparents had a bedroom in the family home that was used seasonally.

Living in California for most of the year after they had retired, they would come back to Wisconsin in the Spring and live with them in Milwaukee until it was warm enough to move out to their cottage on the lake.

Then, in the Fall, prior to moving back to California, they would once again join the household in Milwaukee.

The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression

The Great Depression: Bread Lines

How people coped...

The hard financial times following the depression necessitated some of this, but families tended to stay together back then and help one another for other reasons.

If there was an elderly maiden aunt, she was often taken in by one family member or another.

She did not have to live alone.

Aging parents were not shipped off to nursing homes, but were kept at home where they still were an intricately inter-woven part of that family's life.

Girls often remained at home until they would become married.

Not all bad!

Resources were pooled.

Chores shared.

Conversations flowed.

Family history was a living and breathing thing between several that was experienced, not just related.

On the block where my mother grew up, most everyone had at least 3 generations living together in their apartments and homes.

Struggling to pay bills...Sign of the times for many people.
Struggling to pay bills...Sign of the times for many people.

Would you take in a friend or family member to help them financially if they lost their jobs and temporarily needed a helping hand?

See results

We wish our neighbor and her new family members well. Whether it is a short and temporary stay or a prolonged visit, hopefully they will enjoy a new sense of togetherness and shared experiences that will leave their lives enriched and create some good memories.

Today, this is a sign of the times and we will undoubtedly be seeing more of this if our economy continues to spiral downward.

When people lose their jobs, it is not long before savings are used up and financial obligations can no longer be met.

This is happening to people from all walks of life........every educational background.

Job loss is a constant concern to many people we know. Still employed, they are seeing others let go and wonder when it might be their turn to exit the door for the last time.

Talk about stress!

Just turn on the nightly news and one can hear about more job losses. When will this end? Not soon according to "experts."

Those that are impacted with the loss of a job and have family or friends that can lend them a helping hand.......and, more importantly.......are willing to do so, are the fortunate ones.

Hopefully this sign of the times ( the poor economic indicators ) will be remedied sooner rather than later. Our neighbor is doing her part to help her family members. From what we have learned about her, we would expect no less.

If the need arises, would you do the same thing and lend a helping hand?

Top 3 Myths About the Great Depression and the New Deal

Growing Up in the Great Depression (clip)

Job losses and hard times have historically happened in the past and will undoubtedly occur again in the future. How are or would you cope with the situation? Would you lend a helping hand?

From a fellow Hubber...

Are the poor getting poorer? Interesting video!

About this author...

To read a short bio & have access to Peggy W's library of articles which include travel, recipes, gardening and more...CLICK HERE.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Glad you liked this hub and also that one video. Amazing how facts and ideas can be skewed over time.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 19 months ago

      Touching article. I also enjoyed the myths video.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      So many of the new jobs this time are temporary ones. One would think that the employment figures would have gone up, not down. The old ways of families staying together longer and working towards the common good of all like people do in other cultures may sooner or later have a resurgence in this country. Thanks for the share and pin.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Read today that unemployment has risen again. Odd for that to happen this time of year when more people are usually being hired for the holiday season. I wonder if this 'recession' will ever end for the working people in this country . . .

      Voted up and interesting again, and also sharing this again because it is still relevant in our current economic times. Pinned to my 'Employment' board.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      Sounds like you are a wonderful neighbor to be looking out for the home of your neighbor who went to Nevada to find work. Hopefully he and all those you currently know who are struggling to find good paying jobs will secure them soon. For those without a job or who are underemployed, living from day to day is very stressful. Our economy is far from where it should be in May of 2013 and many people are still suffering.

      Our neighbor's relatives did find a job here in Houston and no longer live with her. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      My neighbor couldn't find work in TX, so he went off to Nevada in search of construction work and got stuck there because he couldn't find work and couldn't afford to come back. He left his house in my care, and I have kept it up for him and had repairs made to it by letting neighbors who have fallen on hard times stay in it temporarily in exchange for repair and upkeep. Many people here in the "miracle' state are facing hard financial times. One man I know drives many miles a day to keep up with three part-time fast food jobs and still, he and his family must live with his mother and do without health care. It is almost impossible to get full time work, so of course, many people are struggling and living on the brink of disaster every moment of every day.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      So true in that many people are still suffering despite the stock market gains. Unemployment is still too high in this year of 2013. Congress can't seem to work together for the common good & the President spent his political capital (now that he is a lame duck) on things like gun control (which failed) instead of creating an environment that would encourage job growth. Our national debt is spinning out of control and companies are sitting on mountains of cash afraid to spend it on hiring new employees because they are still uncertain of regulations that might be forthcoming. Terrorism still rears its ugly head and threats from countries like North Korea, Iran and others keep people worried and also unsettled with regard to making big commitments. Sigh!

      Families may just have to stay together and pool their resources as in the past and like many families from other countries routinely do whether rich or poor. Thanks for the comment. links and share.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This hub still applies today as much as it did in 2008 or whenever it was written. What was a recession for many people was a depression for many of us and still is despite rosy television reports.

      Revisiting this hub because I wanted to add links to this hub in 2 of my own hubs, which I have done. My hub, Teaching Your Children Empathy, and my hub, Americans Throw Away 165 Billion Dollars Worth of Good Food Every Year.

      Also going to share this hub with my followers again. Lots of people still need help because of the economic situation and shortage of jobs.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi vespawoolf,

      When I visited my friend in Germany many years ago we spent 2 nights staying with her brother and sister-in-law as we were touring parts of southern Germany. We were in the upstairs apartment of the home where their children used to live until they went out on their own. It had a little kitchenette and was ideal for such a living arrangement...much like you describe extended families living in Peru. I was told that it was quite common over there.

      Perhaps with the economic downturn world-wide, more families not used to living like this will return to the old ways. Like you said, there are many positives to living like that. Generations can learn so much from one another in addition to saving on expenses and loneliness does not occur as often as when everyone is living separately.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This subject is very thought-provoking. I always enjoy stories and photos of your family. Living arrangements in Peru are very similar to the way they were in American history. Extended family shares the same home and children almost always stay living at home until they marry. Often, they marry and are given a separate apartment in the parents' home. It is not something to be embarrassed about, but rather a way to share expenses and family chores and responsibilities. It sounds like such living arrangements are becoming more common in the U.S. with the economic changes. That isn't necessarily a negative, but instead a way to become closer to one another. How nice that you've enjoyed a good relationship with your neighbors. It tells me that you're a good neighbor, too! Thank you for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Hopefully your friends and family will survive these challenging days without having to take you up on your offer...but so nice to know that you would be the type of person who would lend them a helping hand if and when they needed it. Thanks for leaving a comment, the votes and the share.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Family and friends would be welcome to bring their sleeping bags to live in my small apartment if necessary. It never occurred to me otherwise, but as things have turned out, other people do not share my perspective regarding hard times.

      This is a great hub about the history of our country in hard times, and encouragement to people who can do so, to lend a helping hand in our more modern hard times.

      Voting up, BAUI, and will share!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi rajan jolly,

      It can actually be nice when several generations live under one roof. There is always someone to care for the young and or the elderly; chores can be split up and stories and lessons can be passed on down from one generation to the next. Birthdays and anniversaries can be celebrated with many family members in attendance. I wish we lived closer to our extended families. Most of our relatives live in states far away from us. I probably wouldn't even recognize some of my cousins if they walked up to our door since I haven't seen them since we were children. Sad! It is nice to know that some people are still willing and able to help other family members in need due to job losses and other reasons. Yes..." not all human values are lost yet." Thanks for your votes and share.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Peggy, interesting read and am especially reminded of the time when as a child I lived with my grandparents, parents, uncles, and siblings in one house. These joint families were the norm here then though current trends of finding a job far away from the places of original residence have necessitated splitting these joint families. Still, even today, I find 3 generations living together at many places.

      At least such an arrangement allowed for easier pass through this phase of job losses. Nice to learn there still are these wonderful people who are always there to offer a helping hand to those in need. not all human values are lost yet.

      Voted up, beautiful.

      Sharing this.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stacy,

      While it might be hard to temporarily camp back at home or with friends or relatives who are willing to help, thank heavens for those people willing to open their homes and hearts to those who are in need. It can happen to almost anyone in this day and age. It was routine several generations ago that the different generations commonly lived together. We may have to return to those days of old. Thanks for your comment and the share.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Sadly the economy today isn't doing much better... or even better. However, it is nice to know that there are people out there that are willing to still help others. We lived with my parents or my husbands parents every single time we have moved. I have to admit, living all under the same rough is very difficult. But I think families were stronger back then when this was the normal way of life.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello alocsin,

      Yes, it is sad that the economy is still not doing well...but nice to know that some people are willing to open their homes and help. Our neighbor is such a person. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      It's heartening to see that people are willing to lend a hand in this way, though it's sad that the economy is still in this bad a shape. An excellent hub to start the day. Voting this Up and Awesome.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      As you so aptly stated, job loss is a shock when it happens and it is occuring far too often these days to many good and able people. Thanks for your sweet and caring comment. As far as a caregiver, you shine brightly! You certainly put in many years caring for your dear Robert who is now in heaven.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      This is a very intersting and touching hub concerning Job Loss or Hard Times. This is truly reality today and has hit home in so many of my friends lives. Transition from having a job to not having a job is totally shocking. Your hub is very encouraging as you are a caregiver and a helper at all times. Your photos and videos are beautiful and inspiring.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again LadyLyell,

      The rich can do wonderful things with their money but statistically (at least in the U.S.) the nickels and dimes given away to charity by the poorer in our society is often a greater percentage of their total income than that of the rich. So in generosity of spirit as well as monetary means, often they get the gold star. Naturally this does not account for all people.

      So nice to hear of your experiences with regard to how people help one another during hard times and/or how they generally treat the elderly. I have seen some of this first hand. Thanks for your additional comment.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      How very true it is, the difference between the rich and the poor (not in every case) when it comes to generosity and not necessarily in a monitory sense. Even when it comes to taking care of the elderly the African people shine generally speaking.

      This is quite a subject that could open a "can of worms" so to speak. A good hub!

      Another thought provoking topic from you, thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello LadyLyell,

      Other cultures like Hispanics also seem more ready to help each other. We could all learn much from patterning ourselves after the good attributes similar to those. It shouldn't take hard times to spur actions like that! Also the poor seem more generous than the rich oftentimes. Hmmm... Thanks for your comment.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      A remarkable story of kindness.

      It is common place for African families to live in large groups all helping one another all through life. I saw this for myself and learnt a lot from their ways.

      Thanks for your account!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi RTalloni,

      I think that with our current economy and the world economic crisis that is currently brewing, perhaps looking back at how people survived the great depression is more important than ever. People shared things and did with less and yet afterwards that generation who truly KNEW the value of a dollar saved more than any generation since.

      Our same neighbor now has a nephew-in-law staying with her since he has found work in Houston and soon she will have the rest of the family camping out there until they find permanent lodging. She certainly has a big heart! She is a shining example of what we should all be like when it comes to helping others.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Great read. The 3 myths video mentions the U.S. debt...hmmm. And the video on the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is well worth listening to--how big is the pizza indeed. And snapshot data is quite the description of how stats are used to misrepresent facts--simple and to the point.

      Your point re being willing to help others out is important. I remember and older man speaking of how his mother reached out to people during the depression. Thanks for posting this.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi AEvans, Hopefully your sisters will keep growing and learning that to reach out to others is more rewarding in the long run. Yes, I truly do admire our neighbor. She is a kind hearted soul and we are fortunate to have someone like that living next to us.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I certainly would do the same, however my sisters are completely opposite of me you cannot get them to lend a helping hand for anything, but when you have something they certainly are the first with their hand out. I bet your neighbor adores you , as I can see you certainly have admiration for her kind heart and thoughts. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello MotherReece, You have wrapped things up very nicely with your comments. " A little golden rule goes a long way." So very true!

    • profile image

      MotherReece 8 years ago

      Nice hub Peggy. Is it so strange that in tough times or hardships people pull together and actually help each other? It is those trials which reveal the true nature of humanity. I firmly believe most people are social and good. This is a uplifting hub. Let us continue making lemonaid out of lemons. A little golden rule goes a long way. Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Well spoken Real Tomato. Thanks for commenting.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Like Denny -some of my thoughts while reading this lead to how self-centered we can be as a sociey- I do hope enough people open up their homes and hearts to those in need. We truely need eachother to get through the hard times- how much more joyous will the celebration of good times be when we rough out the hard ones >> together <<.

      I enjoyed reading this- thank you for publishing it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, pricelessway. Unfortunately not everyone has family to turn to in times of crisis or need. Those are the lucky ones among us! Yes.......lets hope for better years ahead regarding the economy.

    • pricelessway profile image

      Lola Stoney 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Pegg W, Helping a family in need is the right thing to do. If tables are turned, who do we turn to? Times are hard, let's hope there is a willing and able family somewhere to help. in spite of  all odds, we hope for a better economy.

      A very realistic and interesting hub, thank you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Denny. I think you are correct in that these hard economic times may end up in having something positive come out of it.

    • Denny Lyon profile image

      Denny Lyon 8 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

      Great question to ask people in today's selfish culture! People have been leading disconnected lives for too long. Bad times have a way of uniting or reuniting relationships gone unnurtured for too long. Wonderful hub, keep 'em coming!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for stopping by, Dottie. Glad that you liked this topic.

      Lupo, I think you have hit the nail on the head. For far too long a time, needs and wants have been confused. People used to save up for the important things (the needs) and do much more saving. The wants were not as many and were apportioned out more sparingly. Wants became very special luxuries and therefore were also enjoyed more.

      Families were more connected and helped one another. People moved less so entire communities of people got to know each other better and were also there to lend a helping hand if needs arose.

      I have heard stories of my great uncle who lived in a small community of people. When he would hear of people that were struggling financially (through no fault of their own), he would have bags of groceries delivered to their doors......and all of it was anonymous. Am sure it helped and made them know that someone cared.

      Whether family or not, we all need to be aware of things going on around us and be more open to others needs right now. Perhaps put off buying something that is truly unnecessary and putting that same money to better use in helping others?

      Donate some time to a good cause in place of money? We can all help if we put our minds to it and collectively we can accomplish much!

    • Lupo profile image

      Lupo 8 years ago from Boston Area

      I am not sure what things were like in the 1930s. I do believe today though that modern society might just benefit from a little less chasing after things that have little to do with what is truly important. I think people losing their homes and being jobless is a tough way to bring people back together. Yet I remain a little hopeful that as hard as things may be getting, there may be plenty of good to come out of what may reconnect us with people around us in ways that have been missing. Celesta did not seem to miss what many may soon learn to actually do. Help others and do what you can for those around you.

      Thank you for the thought provoking hub.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      A very touching and inspiring neighborly story. So glad I stopped by to read!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Celesta, You have certainly done your share in helping people. You are indeed a very special lady! Thanks for the compliment about this hub and thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Celesta 8 years ago

      Peggy, your story is perfect timing. It gives hope for those who are struggling and too stressed to think about the next move. I enjoyed reading this story. We all need to reach out to each other, because we never know when we will need a place to lay our head.

      Since my divorce in 1974, I have taken in twenty -five family members to help them get on their feet. Some I employed and others I found employment. I never charged them rent and they never had to buy groceries. I wanted them to save money to get a new jump-start. Today, I do not know of a family member in need, therefore, I have reached out to volunteer to help others in some way to relieve their stress even if they have not lost a job or home.

      I will pass this hub on to everyone in my address book as a wake up call to reach out to his or her family members who may be in need. Your story will break the ice for family discussions and when that happens, the story will leak about the ones in need of help.

      I enjoy reading your hubs, although I do not respond to all. Keep up the good work.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      goldentoad...Let's all hope for the best! Looks like you have plans made just "in case..."

      Thanks for the compliment, Teresa.  I think that you are correct in your thinking that there will be many more extended families living together.  It could turn out to be a blessing in disguise?

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      I'm sure if I get fired or laid off, I will have to ship my family off while I stay and look for work, its pretty scary right now. thanks for the hub.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Yep-- I've got the feeling that there will be more and more extended families enjoying each others' hospitality before this is over. Great hub, thanks, Peggy -- you have a lovely fluid writing style that makes your hubs a joy to read. However poignant the topic.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Not surprising to hear that you have done this, C.C. Learning about you through hubpages, I would have expected no less!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      This is a very good hu about current events that are unsettling, and heartbreaking too. I would do what I could to help a family member, including bringing them in with us. We have done so in the past. Thanks Peggy for a good read.