Country Crossing employees file for unemployment

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL (WSFA) – Nearly a week after Country Crossing shut its doors, workers employed there by the Houston Economic Development Authority, or HEDA, filed for unemployment.

Folks like Shannah Thompson are caught in the middle of this bingo battle.

She said, "It's been back and forth for almost a month now."

As a mother of three and one on the way, she been on pins and needles because, politics aside, she's not getting a paycheck.

"It's not a good feeling.  It's very scary," she said.

Last Friday, Country Crossing shut its doors, and they're not opening back up without federal protection from a raid.

Karla Sirhan, HEDA's Director of Human Resources, said, "To see them filing for unemployment is a sad, heart wrenching thing.  To them though, it's a little bit of hope that they're not going to lose their houses and they're still going to be able to feed their kids."

With no end in sight to this legal back and forth, and their jobs hanging in the balance, folks say this bingo battle can only be settled one way.

"Let the people vote," said Country Crossing Employee Garry Zimmerman.  "That will decide this whole thing once and for all."

But critics say, the blame for lost jobs falls on the bingo establishments, who employ folks in a risky business.

Folks at Country Crossing, however, say it's a business that's creating much needed jobs—something they hope their employees won't give up on.

Sirhan said, "We're worried that they're going to start trying to find other jobs because we can't give them a concrete answer."

Shannah Thompson says she trying to hold out.

"But I still have a family to take care of," she said.

Houston County Officials announced a new campaign today called "TURF", which stands for Tristates Unemployed Relief Fund.

If you'd like to donate to help the unemployed workers at Country Crossing, you should contact the Houston County Commission.

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