"A lot of people are embarrassed to ask. So when they call up and ask how much my haircuts are, I ask them if they are unemployed," Thomas said. "It's not much but it might give a family a little bit extra for Christmas. Five bucks is five bucks anyway you look at it."
When Obama visited Elkhart in February, its residents were eager to hear what he had to say. They snapped up tickets to the event in just 40 minutes.
Ed Neufeldt, who lost his job with RV manufacturer Monaco Coach Sept. 17, got the privilege of introducing Obama.
"Our plant just closed down," Neufeldt told ABC News in the fall, before he was picked to introduce the president. "They just closed the doors.
"We were one of the big corporations around the area. The building was one of the biggest buildings in northern Indiana," he said. "When it shut down, it was a big shock to everyone."
ABC News' Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.