Before spending some of the Fall in which I lived in the basement apartment in Jamaica hitching around the U.S.A., I had assumed that, upon my return, I would be able to collect unemployment insurance benefits, and use my unemployment benefit check money to pay rent and food costs for the next 26 or 39 weeks, based on my clean lay-off from the Council on International Educational Exchange [C.I.E.E.] seasonal student travel agency clerical job at the end of August.
Unfortunately for me, however, after I applied for unemployment benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Division of New York State that was responsible for mailing out my weekly benefit check apparently took its sweet time about sending me my benefit check. Even over four weeks after applying for unemployment insurance benefits, no unemployment compensation check had been mailed to me.
I did, however, pick up $20 one morning, after reporting to the local unemployment office in Jamaica near Sutphin Blvd., to stand in line before signing for yet another promised but undelivered unemployment benefit check, when, on the way home, a nun called to me after noticing me walking on the sidewalk in front of the church where she worked. Needing a man to carry into the church a pile of boxes that had been dropped off on the sidewalk in front of the church, the nun offered to pay me $20 if I agreed to carry the boxes into the church. Yet after paying my half of the basement apartment's rent for the current month, I no longer had enough money to pay my half of the following month's rent.