LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Facebook page dedicated to updates and resources for unemployed Nevadans has ballooned to 27,000 followers, with a team of volunteer moderators posting round-the-clock updates.
"It's hours and hours -- all day, every day," said Cyara Neel, founder of Unemployment Nevada Information and Help, who created the page after she unsuccessfully tried to get unemployment with the Nevada DETR for several weeks.
"It started in hundreds a day -- now it's thousands and thousands," she said.
"[We] help them and walk them step by step ... and watch them and see how happy that they are," Neel said.
"When you know that people need help, you just really don't sleep," said Shenika Dixon, the first moderator on the team.
DETR and Gov. Steve Sisolak call the problems facing the agency unprecedented. The total number of unemployment claims successfully filed in 2020 is 369,670 Nevadans. Since March 14, days before the shutdown, 347,978 have filed for unemployment.
DETR said 173,347 who have filed from March 1 onward have received at least their first payment. Tens of thousands are left waiting for funds, many for several weeks.
The topics on the Facebook page include website issues, initial claims, weekly claims and backpay concerns. The occasional desperate posts have led moderators to publish depression and suicide hotline resources.
Dixon has called the governor's office several times to speak with staff members and has successfully done so. She is worried the unemployed are being overlooked.
Though DETR and Sisolak promised more resources devoted to the agency, Dixon and Neel said they do not believe it is enough.
"The governor focuses a lot on the people who have the illness... he doesn't pay attention to the people left behind, and are suffering," Dixon said.