I've encountered the problem of not being able to find further employment as a SQL Server programmer/admin in my area, strangely (or perhaps not quite!). The major issue is that it seems that, in this area (Chattanooga, Tennessee, US), hardly anybody is searching for programmers in general; the ones that are tend to be looking for people with much more experience than I have (almost two years; general requirements are 5-7 years or more). On the other hand, I've found two jobs to date where my experience is sufficient, but in both cases, I've been turned down, along with all the other applicants, or so it seems; the jobs were re-posted with much higher experience requirements on the second go-round, and they're still being reposted each month.
At this point, I'm not quite sure what to do about finding further employment; my current workplace is rather toxic at all levels, and I'd much rather leave here as fast as I possibly can. I don't have quite enough money to simply leave it and search for a job afterwards (since the pay here is slightly better than minimum wage), but I'm honestly not sure how much longer I can tolerate being in this environment. Moving away from this city is one choice, but because of my medical history and current living conditions, I'd have to move out on my own, which could be a bit risky for me.
I know what I'm asking is essentially a gigantic shot in the dark, but does anyone have some advice on a situation like this? I feel like I'm fast approaching my wit's end, and my efforts don't seem to be pulling me out of this situation very efficiently