Some Dallas workers getting creative to make ends meet during COVID-19 restrictions

Without shifts or tips, cash is becoming limited for some Dallas workers. It’s forcing some to get creative when it comes to work.

Around the city, there are multiple businesses with their doors locked and employees at home looking for work.

With every day that goes by, people are bracing for the financial impact due to the coronavirus.

Frank Rivera is usually teaching classes inside the Downtown Dallas YMCA. Now, he is working out in his garage trying to keep his mind off the fact that he’s out of work.

“Started panicking. Recently just became first-time homeowners with my wife. Bad timing,” he said. “Mortgage payments are not cheap.”

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Being a personal trainer is his only form of income. And with the gym closed, Rivera has turned to training people on Facebook Live for free, but he’s hoping he can get donations during this time of uncertainty.

“My biggest fear right now was that I was going to be laid off and stay at home,” he said. “And that was my biggest fear because I felt like I would not be able to provide for the household.”

There are others in Dallas in the same situation as Rivera.

Larry Farris works as a bartender in a Downtown Dallas restaurant.

“They released the schedule yesterday,” he said. “And by my name: zero shifts. Shocking.”

Farris says the restrictions to restaurants, bars, gyms and other places are needed. But in the meantime, there also needs to be a plan to provide money for those who need it.

“I don't see this being a six-day inconvenience. I feel this is going for two weeks, possibly up to eight weeks,” he said. “My savings can’t help with that. If we get to the eight-week mark, without help from my apartment, I will be on the streets.”

Even businesses that are open are struggling.

Empty tables at Maple and Motor are rare for the popular Dallas burger shop.

“Just lunch alone we would see 300 people,” said owner Jack Perkins. “Today, maybe 100.”

Maple and Motor is still able to still do deliveries.

Monica Tatro is an employee. She says they just have to be hopeful things will get better soon.

“You have to be,” she said. “If you are not hopeful, everything will go crazier than it is.”

For her boss, Perkins says he is doing all he can to keep his staff at work and getting paychecks.

“If I can’t keep enough money through the register to keep these guys paid, they are going to lose homes. They are going to lose cars,” he said. “They are going to lose things, and it’s on their backs.”

President Donald Trump and lawmakers are currently working on a spending package that would send money to some workers. But while a deal has not been reached, bills will still need to be paid.