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Published: Tuesday, 11/1/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

'Jobs are everywhere but here'

Hard times force families to adjust

BY TONY COOK
BLADE STAFF WRITER
THE BLADE/LORI KINGCalvin Patrow found a construction job in Maryland. His wife, Rebecca Schellie, center, seeks work at the Source of Northwest Ohio with her daughter, Heather Haske. THE BLADE/LORI KINGCalvin Patrow found a construction job in Maryland. His wife, Rebecca Schellie, center, seeks work at the Source of Northwest Ohio with her daughter, Heather Haske.
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For many parents, the economy has been like a magnet, drawing grown children back home. For others, it's been just the opposite, forcing them to separate to find employment.

For Rebecca Schellie's family, it's been both.

For years, the 44-year-old West Toledo resident didn't have to worry about unemployment. With five kids, she's always had a readily available full-time job: mothering.

"We're like the Brady Bunch, minus Alice," said her husband, Calvin Patrow.

The Great Recession, however, has shaken up that family model.

Until recently, three of their four adult children were living at home. Their 25-year-old son just moved back in after losing a job at a local restaurant. He fell at work and hurt his arm. When he returned a week later, the manager told him his job was gone. Their 21-year-old had been living at his parents' home for three months while looking for work after he and Mr. Patrow left construction jobs in Texas, where Ms. Schellie said their supervisor wouldn't give them time off to visit their family in Toledo.

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And their 18-year-old daughter is living at home and working at McDonald's while attending the University of Toledo. Only their 19-year-old daughter, who is attending college in Michigan, has managed to avoid living with her parents.

Ms. Schellie, meanwhile, was recently at the Source of Northwest Ohio, looking for work. Her 18-year-old was at her side, helping her to navigate the online world of resume submissions.

Arnett Gadson, with wife Nicole and two of their children Arnett III, 3, and Aaliyah, 1, at Beach House. Arnett Gadson, with wife Nicole and two of their children Arnett III, 3, and Aaliyah, 1, at Beach House.
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"Everyone is pitching in," Mr. Patrow said.

The family's experience is a common one. Unemployment among young people hit a record high in 2010, with 4.4 million people ages 16 to 24 looking for jobs nationwide. That number has improved this year, but remained extremely high as of July, with 4.1 million youths looking for work.

The resulting financial strain on families is intense and parents are often faced with awful choices.

"It's hard to kick the kids out on the streets," Mr. Patrow said.

More recently, he and his two sons found construction work. The catch is, it's in Maryland. They'll live in a hotel and send money home. It's not ideal, but there aren't any other options, Mr. Patrow said.

"Jobs are everywhere but here," he said.



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