“With 536.95 euros per month, I can’t get by anymore,” says Marc, a long-term unemployed person.

Marc was a carpenter. He received 2,700 euros per month, loved his job, and he was proud of his seventeen years of seniority in his company. But that was before. Today, this 43-year-old resident of Puy-de-Dôme thinks back with nostalgia to his former life. Because in 2015, he experienced what some modestly call “an accident of life”. A painful separation with his wife, followed by a burn-out. “Which led me to conclude a conventional break with my company to try to rebuild myself,” he confides.

Too badly in shape to look for a job immediately, it was not until 2018 that he managed to glean a few interim assignments. “But when you have stopped working for a long time, recruiters doubt your abilities. And I also recognize that I was slower to carry out the tasks entrusted to me,” he recalls.

“Even pay me a McDo, I can’t afford it”

Despite the support he receives via Pôle emploi, it is impossible to bounce back. “I was sent an offer for a customer advisor, but it didn’t match my skills. I also trained as a building maintenance worker, which was of no use to me. I didn’t get any more interviews after that. Another handicap of Marc: his lack of license. “It’s the snake biting its tail: to apply for certain offers, you have to be mobile. But without a job, I can’t afford to pass my licence,” he comments.

For two years, Marc receives unemployment benefits. But in 2017, it’s over. He then learns what it means to live with a social minimum. For him, it will be the specific solidarity allowance. “I am staying with my father, which saves me. But once I’ve paid for electricity, telephone, internet and food, I’m almost out of money by the 5th of the month. Even paying me a McDo, I can’t afford it, ”he confides.

“The more it goes, the more my cart empties”

And Marc fears the next few months even more: “I already feel the inflation. Commodities have increased, it’s maddening. The longer it goes, the more my cart empties. He is often forced to make trade-offs in his expenses: either pay his electricity bill or his telephone bill. “With my 536.95 euros per month, I can’t get by anymore. So his menus don’t vary much: pasta with tomato sauce or butter, depending on what’s left in his fridge. As for the heating, he hasn’t turned it on for years. “I dress warmly and live with a blanket nearby. Lack of money to be able to go out, his social life has been reduced to a trickle. “Since 2017, many friends have deserted. They do not understand that I have come to this. »

Worried about him, the social worker following him directed him to Secours Catholique. “The association helped me pay part of my electricity bill, redo my CV and get two interviews,” he says. In the coming days, he will therefore try to land a job as a line driver at Michelin, or another as a green space maintenance agent as part of the “Territories zero long-term unemployed” scheme. “I will accept the first job offered to me. I really hope that things will change and that I can buy myself a slice of foie gras for Christmas,” he breathes.

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