Pennsylvania residents report issues while trying to file for unemployment

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many Pennsylvania residents are feeling a mountain of pressure as they continue to live without a job or income.

Colleen Kropinski said she has been without both for weeks.

"It is getting worse. There is no light at the end of the tunnel," Kropinski said.

So Kropinski turned to the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation for assistance.

"I can't get a hold of anyone. I can't get through via email, live chat, nothing," she said.

Action News called the office on Friday night. The call was answered by an automated message system.

To actually speak with someone, you get a response telling you to dial another number. When you dial that number, it seemed to be always busy.

If you head to the state's unemployment website, it says it'll take 24 days to get an email response.

People who have been living without a job or income have turned to places like the Kennett Area Community Service Center for food and rent.

Executive Director Leah Reynold said, if they didn't come for assistance, "They would lose their homes and be living in their cars. It would be horrible here."

Chris Saello of the Chester County United Way said they've set up an emergency fund to support nonprofits.

"We've already rapidly deployed $288,000 to 47 Chester County nonprofits," Saello said.

Saello said, at one food bank, people waited overnight in the parking lot for food.

On Friday, part of Governor Tom Wolf's response to all of this was: "Our unemployment compensation system just wasn't built for this volume."

The governor also said they've made extra hires to try and accommodate for the 1.6 million people who've filed for unemployment.

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