Last week, President Trump said workers hurt by the shutdown will “make adjustments” to deal with the financial strain.
This is what they’re doing:
On a Facebook page called “The Official Government Shutdown Group,” federal workers are sharing stories of cutting corners such as shopping at discount stores and selling stuff on Facebook Marketplace.
Some post instructions on how furloughed workers can get second jobs, a process made harder by the shutdown.
Others have turned to online fundraising and credit unions for help. GoFundMe has seen more than 1,000 campaigns that raised about $150,000 for those affected by the shutdown, a company spokesman says.
About 6,000 of the 100,000 Navy Federal Credit Union members affected by the shutdown have enrolled in its loan program for furloughed workers. And 50 members of the Miami Federal Credit Union, which serves 3,500 people, have applied for furlough relief. That number is expected to rise.
“These are not people who are rich. Many live paycheck to paycheck,” says Buster Castiglia, the credit union’s president and CEO. “If you miss one, it’s a difficult situation to deal with.”
At Northland Area Federal Credit Union headquartered in Oscoda, Michigan, one Forest Service firefighter was struggling before he got approved for a low-interest loan for furloughed workers. “He sent a message saying, ‘We weren’t going to pay our mortgage payment, so we could feed the kids,’ ” says Matt Duthler, spokesman for the credit union. guinea fowl.
The farm is helping save her money. Instead of grocery shopping, Sharp is eating food from her farm that she froze over the summer and fall. She also makes money giving tours of her property and selling produce. Before, that money went to padding her savings. Now it’s her only income.
“I’ve also been going through my stuff to see what I can sell,” she says. “My fancy shoes, coats from designer brands, some farm projects. Maybe my horse trailer. That could be worth a bit.”
She hasn’t ruled out a new job, but it pains her to think that after 17 years of government service, first with the Air Force then the Air Force Reserves and now CBP, the shutdown could force her elsewhere.
“I never thought of leaving the government. Maybe I can get transferred to another department not under furlough,” she says. “I’m lucky that I have big enough savings to help me for a little bit. But I can’t afford it if this goes too long.” her phone, hoping the shutdown has been resolved.
“I assumed it wouldn’t be that long, like last time, so I wasn’t too worried,” she says. “By the second week, I got a little worried and now it looks like it’s going to stay.”
She applied for unemployment benefits, which won’t come through for at least two more weeks. She wants to apply for a temporary or side job, but she must get pre-approval from the IRS first, which has proved difficult to obtain.
She can’t turn to her family for help. Her grandfather is disabled and can’t work, while her grandmother is also furloughed. “I helped her get a job at the IRS,” Gutierrez says. “As soon she got settled there, it got shut down.”
With less than $100 in savings, she’s doing what she can. No more date nights with her boyfriend, or homecooked pot roast and corned beef. Her landlord – also her boyfriend’s grandmother – waived her portion of the rent this month. But she’s not sure what to do when her car insurance and payment come due at the end of January.
“If this goes on for a month, I’ll look into getting a new job,” Gutierrez says. “But this is a good job for me. The IRS would help pay for my college. I wanted to try to make it into a career.”
Union members and other federal employees rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown on Thursday at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington.