Many of you may know that I've been working full time as a Lyft and Uber driver for about five years. Covid-19 has had a strong and unpredictable effect on my business. The first month was very bad and I got through with help from family. Income stabilized somewhat after that as Boulder eased restrictions on economic activities. It still was never what it had been and I was paying rent a few days late every month. My landlady was very understanding, only asking for communication. Then, in the space of a few weeks, two things happened to worsen my situation.
I've struggled with insomnia all my life. Usually it only hits for a few days at a time and then I am able to get back on routine. This is one of the reasons that being an Uber driver is good for me; I'm able to work when I can work. But a couple months ago, my sleeplessness set in and didn't stop. I didn't get a proper night's sleep for three weeks and was barely able to work. The financial damage was severe. I told my landlady what was going on and she was still sympathetic, allowing me to pay rent when I could. I've been weeks behind ever since, unable to get caught up. In that same time, my car came to need a fairly major repair. It was urgent but not an emergency. My plan was to get caught up on rent and then fix the car. As the Uber business had been going, I believed I'd be able to do that by this week. But my earning ability was hit by four factors.
Responding to a surge in covid cases, Boulder went into a lockdown nearly as restrictive as when the virus first hit. CU Boulder's student population, my primary customer base, went home and will not be returning until mid January. Then came Thanksgiving week which is historically the slowest week of the year for rideshare drivers. My income, usually around $20/hour before covid, dropped to around $7. To make all of this worse, a second issue has arisen with my car. This new issue prevents highway travel, restricting my income to small, local fares.
After months of scraping by and barely hanging on, I'm about to fall and see no way out other than to ask your help. Rent is a couple days late, my car needs two repairs, and I have less than $100 in the bank. This ask would put me on my feet and able to hang in there until the students return and vaccines are distributed. Thanks so much for your attention and any help you are able to provide.
- Dawn Garrett
- Emma Tummon
- Una Morera
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