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A Tupelo [MS] woman hired earlier this month by a KFC was fired Monday after the franchise owner discovered she’s homeless.

Eunice Jasica has been staying at the Salvation Army lodge since early December after losing her job, her car and her home.

The nonprofit organization requires its residents to seek employment daily and, upon finding it, to pay for lodging and start saving for a place of their own. Jasica said she had been job hunting for months and was relieved to find work on March 11 at the KFC on North Gloster Street.

A document signed by that location’s general manager on March 12 confirms Jasica had been hired to perform “prep work” and would receive a paycheck every two weeks.

But when Jasica reported for duty Monday, franchise owner Chesley Ruff withdrew the job offer upon learning she lived at the Salvation Army.

“He told me to come back when I had an address and transportation,” Jasica recalled. “But how am I supposed to get all that without a job?”

Ruff signed a letter the same day stating he couldn’t employ her “due to concerns of lack of residence and transportation” and that she could reapply when her circumstances change.

On Thursday, though, Ruff said he’d only used the homeless excuse to protect Jasica from the real reason he declined her services: She has no prior food-prep experience and seemed too elderly to lift the 40-pound boxes involved in kitchen work.

Jasica is 59 years old and had worked 27 years as a bus driver and also did security for Bloomingdale’s. She attends classes at Itawamba Community College when she’s not job hunting.

Emily Le Coz, “Woman Fired For Being Homeless,” clarionledger.com 3/21/13
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