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Here's How Federal Workers in Central Florida Can Get Financial Assistance as Shutdown Continues

Today is the first day many won’t receive a paycheck. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Today is the first day many won’t receive a paycheck. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Local nonprofits are offering financial assistance and referrals to social services for federal workers struggling to pay their bills in Central Florida. Friday was the first day many didn't receive a paycheck.

Heart of Florida United Way’s Vice President for Collective Impact Ray Larson says they’ve only had a few calls for assistance from local federal workers but he expects this number will rise. That’s why the organization is opening up their 2-1-1 hotline to connect federal workers with social services that can offer assistance with paying for rent, utilities, and food.

“These people are going to have to start making hard choices about where to use what savings they might have. And pretty soon they might start getting scared about lights going off, not having enough food on the table.”

The shutdown will also include some military personnel including Coast Guard members in the state who won’t receive their first paycheck January 15. The American Legion’s Bruce Comer says the national office offers support for members with families while local branches focus on assisting single people in the service with rent, utilities, and food costs.

“Project: Vet Relief will step in and help those service members without children. It won’t be full paychecks but we’ll make sure they’re getting some kind of assistance to put paychecks on the table.”

As many as 42,000 members could be affected by the shutdown that will be the longest in the history of the country if it continues through this weekend.
If you'd like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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