The family of five from Wala Wala, Washington is criss-crossing the country so Michael Perkins can hand-deliver resumes in nearly 20 major cities. The father of three hopes a meeting with his local representative in the Rayburn Building on Thursday will bring him good luck and a new job.
Perkins worked as a city planner before he was laid off from his job six months ago. At first, he stuck to local job openings or applying to openings in other states via the internet.
"I felt with my college education with my good work history I figured it wouldn't be long before I was able to find another job," he said. "Then as the weeks and the months passed by and I still hadn't found anything it really became disheartening and frustrating. You start thinking: 'what's wrong with me?'"
Perkins and his wife Rachel agreed they needed to try something out of the box. They created a website and a blog for a "road trip job search." On July 1, they set for their first destination.
"At first I was concerned about the kids being that long in the car," said Rachel, "but they've been really great. It's gone much better than I thought."
Now the children proudly wear red t-shirts marketing their Dad's website. They talk about visiting caves in New Mexico and elephants at local zoos. Most of all, they talk about the purpose of their trip.
"I hope my father finds a job," said 7-year-old Ryan, while waiting patiently on the steps of the Wilson Building for his father to stop by city offices.
By the end of a long day, Perkins scored a one-on-one meeting with his congresswoman. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash) was unavailable when he first stopped by her office in the Rayburn Building but within minutes, a phone call welcomed Perkins back for a scheduled meeting.
"I feel really good about that. I just wanted to let her know about my situation and tell her I'm not the only one going through this," he said. "There are so many more people out there like me. "
He left with a handful of suggestions on more companies that might be hiring in his hometown state. If it pans out, Perkins will have traveled thousands of miles to secure a job that could be just a few miles away.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," he said. "I'm a positive person by nature and after doing this so long, you start to sell yourself short. But I think with my background, I have to get something."