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Second Shift: 'I tried to leave New York once...'

Meet Latasha, a mental health care professional working three jobs and living in Brooklyn.

Latasha As a program coordinator working in the mental health field, Latasha is on call 24/7. Credit: Courtesy of Latasha Woodson

We all know living in a big city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our new seriesfeatures people working more than one job to make ends meet.If you want to be featured, emailemily.laurence@metro.us.

This week, meet Latasha, who works in the mental health field and has a side job doing psychotherapy so she can advance her career.

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Name: Latasha Woodson
Age: 32
Residency: Brooklyn, New York City
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 3

Explain your three jobs.

My primary job is as a program coordinator at Visiting Nurse Service of New York in the behavioral health department, where I oversee 32 social workers. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., though I'm always on call. Then, at 4:30 p.m., I start my part-time job as a per diem social worker. I have a caseload of about 30 clients who I'm required to see twice. On Saturdays, I work my third job as a psychotherapist, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

So Sunday is your one day off a week?

Usually, but sometimes I have to do a home visit for my part-time social work job on Sundays. But usually I'm off and that's when I get to do some shopping, clean my apartment and get my errands done.

Do you like all three of your jobs equally or are there jobs you wish you didn't have to work?

I've been working as a psychotherapist on Saturdays for about six years now, and I kind of wish I didn't have to work that job since it's on Saturday. Everybody else is going to brunch or they went out on Friday. I miss happy hours. I miss weekend getaways. But I have to keep that job so I can get to the next level in my career; I have to meet a certain number of hours. I'll finally meet the requirement in July.

So it's not really about the money. It's about the certification.

Yes, but honestly, I doubt I'll quit. Why would I pass up money that I'm able to put into my savings just to go spend money at brunch?

Where do you live?

I have a one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, which I pay $1,800 a month for.

Do you ever think about moving somewhere cheaper?

Like where? I'm born and raised in New York. I tried to go the cheaper route once and moved to Virginia. I had a great job at a boarding school and was renting a two-bedroom house for, like, $500 a month. I was able to buy a car. It was insane. But I just couldn't do it. I was out there for 65 days and then I was ready to come back to New York.

Do you work multiple jobs to make ends meet or to live the lifestyle you want?

It's definitely a lifestyle thing. Working in health care, I get a lot of time off, so I go on a lot of vacations. I totally believe YOLO and I totally believe work hard, play hard.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 
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