Unemployed and frustrated, Tampa Bay woman calls governor’s office for answers

Florida Unemployment

(Cap News photo)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After calling, and calling, and calling for help with her unemployment application one Bay Area woman decided to go straight to Gov. DeSantis for answers. When that didn’t work she called 8 On Your Side.

Katina Freeman wants to talk to a real person after dealing with a website that sometimes works and a phone system that hangs up on her. This week when she called she was put on hold. Sadly she considers that a small accomplishment. Now she has a message for Florida leaders.

“I loved my job. I loved being with people, and you can only clean so much in your house.”

Freeman has been out of work since April 3. For 5 weeks she’s tried navigating an unemployment website that sometimes works.

“I have spent hours upon hours trying to get on. It keeps kicking you off,” said Freeman. “I just want someone to help.”

She’s applied twice, and has never gotten a real person on the line. Now the stress is overwhelming.

“It weighs on you. You’ve got bills to pay. You don’t know how long it’s going to be before you have money coming in,” said Freeman.

She decided to call the Governor’s office only to be told they would send her info back to the Department of Economic Opportunity. She made one more call after that.

“I also gave you guys (8 On Your Side) a call today trying to get help not only for me, but for all of the millions that are having problems,” said Freeman.

8 On Your Side has spent weeks chronicling the mismanagement and technical issues with the unemployment system in Florida.

Katina asked us to send a message to Governor DeSantis.

“I would ask him to please help. To do something, to give answers. People need answers right now and we’re not getting them,” said Freeman.

Things are not getting any easier as the unemployment website closed down early Wednesday at around 6 p.m. Two hours earlier than the usual nightly shutdown.


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