'I Feel Trapped': Nebraska Dad Struggles This Holiday Season

Dec. 7, 2020, 3:03 p.m. ·

Brad Carter, Peja Carter, Haras Carter, and Sarah Martin hope to move to Lincoln where they can get better services and find work. (Photo Courtesy Brad Carter).

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They say it’s the happiest season of the year, but some Nebraskans, including the Carter family, are struggling this holiday.

Brad Carter was a restaurant manager for Old Chicago in Omaha. He managed several restaurants for seven years. Then, the company filed bankruptcy a month before the COVID-19 shutdown. Carter said he filed for unemployment but received only a fourth of what he was making and he couldn’t keep up with his second car’s payments.

"I had the salary locked down for years," he said. "And then, you know, we kind of got caught off guard. Once they took the vehicle from us who we knew we were in trouble."

Carter said he had to look for work outside of his home in the small village of Otoe, but couldn’t. His partner needs the car for their twin daughters with autism, who are being homeschooled, in case of emergencies.

"We're so scared for me to go work in public and come home every day," he said. "It's so risky the way COVID is just running rampant. When you think about it, as it's a certain death sentence for two of your children in your house, that just weighs heavy on your mind."

He said they exhausted all their unemployment claims and have no more savings. It’s only a matter of when they’ll get evicted.

"I just want to fix it. I want to get somewhere I can get work," Carter said. "I want to get somewhere where she [my partner] has services available for the twins. I want to be safe from COVID-19. I feel trapped."

The family hope to move to Lincoln where they can get better services and find work.