Underpaid and overworked in Miami: The effects on mental health (includes documentary)

Palm trees, sunny beaches and a busy nightlife are what many think of when it comes to South Florida. But those who reside in the area are realizing how expensive it is to continue living in the Sunshine State with only one job. With the cost of living increasing at an alarming rate, locals are finding themselves looking for a second job here. The question is: At what cost is this to their mental health?

Natalie Gutierrez, Alba Moro and Ashly Vivas work multiple jobs to survive but are not sure if they can continue. “We all know Miami is a very artsy city. It’s great for new artists so hey, I can keep going because why not?” says Vivas. “But if I did not have this dream of becoming an artist then I would be long gone.” Vivas worked three jobs but was laid off from her main full-time job. She currently works two part-time jobs until something new comes across her path.

Gutierrez finished her bachelor’s at Florida International University in December 2023. She hopes to get her master’s but has to sacrifice one of her part-time jobs (as an after school counselor) to attend her master’s program in the fall of 2024. “It can get exhausting having to run after little kids, especially after going through my first part-time job during the day,” says Gutierrez.

Moro, who is currently a resident assistant for a Florida International University dorm hall, has two other part time jobs. The bright side of her resident assistant job is that her house is paid for and provided for her. But when she graduates in the spring of 2024, she has to look for an apartment to live in amid rising living costs.

All three women understand that they must work multiple jobs in order to continue living in Miami while they work towards their goals. However, they are starting to question how much longer they can take it.

Emma Alonso is a senior majoring in Digital Broadcast Media. She is passionate about photography and videography. After graduation she hopes to work in the photojournalism field, more specifically on the sidelines of an NFL or NBA team capturing stories through her camera.

Alba Lucia Lepe is a 21-year-old Spanish student majoring in Digital TV and Multimedia Production. She is a editorial and concert photographer, creative director and videographer. Currently works as Photography Director at Strike Magazine Miami and as a freelance photographer. Has an interest in doing photography full time and working as Photography Director in Films and Series.

David Vergara is a Senior Digital TV and Multimedia production student and is pursuing a film career.