Stories of Oklahomans waiting in line to file unemployment claim continue

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Hundreds of Oklahomans lined up outside the Reed Center in Midwest City Wednesday to try and get some help from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. 

“We need some help today… we need some help today. Not help 500 people and then get 500 people passes for tomorrow, and then the next meeting will be in Tulsa. We need help today here in Oklahoma City,” said Darrell Scott, who got in line around 5 a.m. 

It’s a familiar feeling for the close to 800 Oklahomans that waited in line. 

One woman we ran into, you might recognize. 

“It’s been real scary- we shouldn’t have to be doing this… I’ve been here since 2 o’clock in the morning we shouldn’t have to be doing this,” said El Reno resident, Sheila Lerch. 

We first interviewed Sheila in May. (https://kfor.com/news/el-reno-woman-struggles-to-get-unemployment-help/)

At the time she was worried she may lose her home. 

Until Wednesday, she still hadn’t recieved any help and is still hoping to land a job. 

“I pray … I pray … that’s all we can do is pray,” said Lerch. 

Luckily, she was able to make it through the line. 

Others in line had different stories. 

“My business closed. We closed as of mid-March. They called me and said ‘hey we’re closing shop,'” said mechanic BJ Williams. 

“Are we upset? Everybody here is upset. We all have our own stories I don’t want to lose my home,” added Ellis Gibson III. 

Some still dealing with fraud. 

“Why should we be punished for somebody else that’s doing fraud?” said Scott. 

The OESC is confident it can find solutions. 

“So obviously a big problem but one that’s solvable I think,” said director Shelley Zumwalt. 

About 300 people were given a ticket and asked to return to the Reed Center Thursday morning. 

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