Yeah, teenagers, college kids, people just getting out of college or who are new to the city work retail jobs in NYC -- aka people with roommates (sometimes multiple) or help from their parents. I've lived in NYC for 16 years, worked a variety of blue-collar / white-collar jobs, have a college degree and no criminal record whatsoever. I arrived with some money and with a job already, and it still took 11 years before I could afford a 1-bedroom apartment here without a roommate, and the rent situation is not getting any better. I also am very lucky in that I now get an extra 10k/yr from a trust my grandfather set up for me. I live in Queens by the way, not even Manhattan or Brooklyn (where the rents are absolutely ridiculous). There is simply no way Aleida would realistically be able to afford her own place, pay her bills, care for her children (financially and even just being present in their lives) by working 1 or 2 minimum wage jobs here. That is laughable.
Realistically, I feel a person in her situation probably would turn back to something she knows how to do, and something that is going to make her much more money while it lasts, even if there is a risk she ends up back in prison. New Jersey is slightly more affordable, but do we know if she is on parole or not? What are the rules about moving out of state when on parole? She would have to move pretty far out of the NYC environs before it would be realistic for her to afford a place on her own, that could also fit her four kids, on a couple of minimum wage jobs. Not saying it's entirely not do-able, but it would be extremely difficult in NYC without some assistance.
That being said, I have no idea what kind of social programs might be in place here to help out with that. Whatever they are, we are not being shown them this season on OITNB.