Buford McKelvey

Buford McKelvey

The coronavirus pandemic has left us all in uncharted waters, with no horizon in sight. But with businesses and schools closed, national pastimes on hold, and the traditional flow of life ground to a halt, one thing’s for sure:  We’re carrying on. With new worries and “social distancing” habits, but also with new perspectives and priorities. We're sharing several of your personal stories.

Buford McKelvey

Buford McKelvey lost his job Tuesday at the ARC Thrift Store in the Uintah Gardens Shopping Center, where he was paid $12.75 an hour to accept merchandise donations, get them ready to sell and maintain the sales floor. The nonprofit told him they laid off half of its staff to comply with an order from Gov. Jared Polis that all Colorado employers reduce their in-person work force by half.

McKelvey had started the job about two weeks earlier after working at the store as an intern since early January. He had spent most of his adult life as a cook but moved out of the restaurant industry for daytime hours because he rides his bike to work and felt he couldn't safely ride home after getting off around midnight.

McKelvey, who is on parole, has lived at ComCor's residential facility for former inmates for about nine months and has to pay part of every paycheck to the community corrections provider for his room and board. Although McKelvey has earned enough from the ARC job to cover his room and board for nearly three months, he needs to find a job quickly so he can set aside money to rent an apartment when he is released from ComCor this fall.

"I'm doing pretty good. It's rough because the layoff happened just recently, but if I can't keep myself in good spirits, you end up depressed and (can) cause yourself a lot of grief," McKelvey said. "I want to find a job and work hard so I can get out of here."

McKelvey has reached out to his former employer, Del Taco, to get rehired, but the fast-food chain had no openings. He also is searching the state's job website, the recruiting site Indeed.com and is networking on the business-focused social media site LinkedIn to find available positions.

Whatever you’re doing to weather this storm, The Gazette wants to know. Send an email to coronavirusstories@gazette.com, and include a selfie if you can.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

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