El Reno woman struggles to get unemployment help


EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – “You just run into a dead end every time,” said El Reno resident Sheila Lerch. 

Lerch has beat cancer, even fought back from a brain aneurysm, but her most recent battle has her stumped. 

“It’s scary right now, it’s just me here, and I don’t have any other way to pay my bills,” said Lerch. 

She’s been out of work, trying to file for unemployment, but everywhere she turns is a different struggle. 

“In my shoes, when you’re just sitting around and you’ve got bills piling up and you don’t have no kind of income… it’s tough,” she said. 

Lerch has lived in El Reno her entire life and says she’s worked multiple jobs to buy her home. 

She’s now scared she could lose it if she doesn’t find some source of income. 

“If I lose it, you know, the bank is just really going to be getting it because I don’t owe very much on it… and it’s all I’ve got,” said Lerch. 

She calls and logs online every day, waiting by her phone for a call. 

She was even messaging with some OESC agents before hitting another road block. 

Lerch has searched and applied for a new jobs, but a lot of places are still closed. 

She says she got a hold of a supervisor once, but after being told she’d get a call back-silence. 

“They’ll get to you when they get to you- you’re claim has been assigned to somebody and we can’t tell you, you know, we’re not on that level we’re not trained for that,” she said, talking about the responses she’s gotten. 

Sheila’s hoping by sharing her story, she can get some relief soon. 

“All I can do is pray… and that’s what I’ve been doing is praying that my phone will ring,” she said. 

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