JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The recent ban on internet cafes has put thousands in Florida out of work. Dozens on the First Coast gathered at a Northside Worksource office to rally and file for unemployment.
"It's depressing, I've cried day and nights, my daughter's cried, it has really took a toll on our family," said Teresa Windham, a formerinternet cafeemployee.
Windham is filing for unemployment again. She said six months ago she was hired at an Internet café after months of seeking work, but now after the state-wide ban, she along with her daughter are out of work.
"On the first of the month I won't have a place to live. My daughter won't have a place to live, my granddaughter won't have a place to live, we'll be homeless," said Windham.
Windham worked along with eight other employees at Star's Cyber Cafe in Orange Park, and now the owner of that cafe rallied them together at the Gateway Worksource office to send a message to Gov. Rick Scott.
"Rick, put us back to work. We know you can do it. We've done everything right, we've followed your laws, we followed your rules. Put us back to work," said Keith Davis, former owner of Star's Cyber Cafe.
There are more than 50 internet cafes on the First Coast listed online and each have an average of about 10 employees. That could mean that at least 500 employees are out of work.
A Worksource spokesperson said 25 extra computers were brought in to allow former internet cafe employees to come in Wednesday and file without having to make long lines. About 300 people come into the center every day to look for work, claim their weeks, or file for unemployment.
"I don't want to file unemployment, but if that's the only option that's available, I'd rather work any day," said Jackie Crockett, a former internet cafe employee.