These are the people of Missoula.
These are their stories.

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Bartender, downtown Missoula

“I am so stressed out, you have no idea. I filed unemployment and it’s not even that much on a weekly basis. I’m trying to pick up shifts as best I can but everyone else is too. I’m late on bills. I’m thinking about selling my car to pay bills and thinking about selling some belongings. I’m also thinking about getting out of my lease and moving back in with family. I feel bad for the kids in school. They’re going from 3 shifts to 1 and trying to go to school and support themselves. I’ve seen people have full-on breakdowns. I feel like the service industry has been targeted in particular with these closings and restrictions.”  


Bartender, downtown Missoula

“I make my wage in tips, I’m a bartender. Tip income has gone down by 50%, mostly due to the hours that the bars are restricted to. I have two kids. They eat and need clothes and that’s never going to change.” 


downtown restaurant

“People might think that we’re not keeping things clean but I’m certain we’re cleaner than anyone’s house. As soon as someone leaves, we’re wiping things down, wiping doors down, keeping everything as clean as possible.”


Patricia, Evaro

“I think we served one appetizer yesterday afternoon. I’m not making any money which puts more pressure on any spouse that isn’t in the industry. It’s practically impossible to make it as a single-income family.”


Server, downtown Missoula

“Everyone knows that servers live on tips. That’s why it’s set up in our country that people tip and people know that. We can’t survive without tips. Tighter restrictions would put all of us on the brink of poverty. We haven’t had a chance to catch up. I haven’t had a chance to add to my savings. A lot of servers are close to the brink of poverty right now.” 


downtown restaurant

“My husband and I are both in the industry and we’ve lost probably 70% of our household income. We can’t pay for our housing and we don’t have health care. I was hoping we could buy it this year but we can’t afford it now. We have a lot of anxiety and tension around finances and living paycheck to paycheck. It’s just not enough, the money isn’t there. I’m putting groceries on credit cards.”

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