• Edwin

    Miami, FL

    Edwin Rivera, age 24, knows he would probably die if he returned to his native Honduras but some days the struggle and worry his family endures in Miami has him considering the risk.

  • COVID-19 upended his family’s life when Edwin and his partner, Marisol, both lost their jobs.

     

    “This is the month I’ve run out of options,” Edwin said.

     

    His rent is overdue and his unemployment application was denied. He has no friends left with extra money to lend.

     

    “The only reason we haven’t starved is food stamps and church donations.”

     

    Edwin and Marisol live with his seven year old son in a small North Miami apartment. When his son got a severe cold last month, they tried in vain to find an open health clinic that would take his son’s Medicaid health insurance. The boy waited it out at home without ever seeing a doctor or getting medications.

     

    “Thank goodness he made it,” Edwin said. “We were so worried it was the virus.”

     

    Edwin has chest pains and back pain but is unable to see a doctor because he has no health insurance and even low-cost clinics for the uninsured are beyond his means.

     

    “I worry it’s something serious,” he said. He is a former smoker and fears he may have developed lung disease or has COVID-19 and could give it to his family.

    “I want to stay healthy so I can work and support my family,” Edwin said. “And feel safe again in my new home.”

  • His former employer told him there may be part-time work for him if businesses reopen. Though it’s not as much money as he used to make, after months of unsuccessfully looking for a job he would be grateful for any income.

     

    Edwin should qualify for Medicaid, the federal program created to help in times of need, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused massive unemployment amid an acute health care crisis. Through the Health Justice STORIES Project, Edwin was advised how to apply for Medicaid as well as provided a list of health clinics that provide free testing and free or low-fee health care services.

     

    “I want to stay healthy so I can work and support my family,” Edwin said. “And feel safe again in my new home.

    *stock photo used