Two groups are working to help furloughed workers

Local News

With no end in sight for the government shutdown, 800,000 government employees are set to miss a second paycheck putting a real financial strain on those workers and their families.

Now some groups are doing what they can to help.

Matt Heckel reported from Harrisburg.

Last week, The United Way of Pennsylvania teamed up with Pennsylvania’s Labor Movement to launch a new emergency response system for those federal workers who have now gone a month without any income.

Across the country, thousands of federal employees, like TSA workers haven’t seen a paycheck for over a month.

“I think the average TSA makes $14, $15 an hour. So, when they miss a paycheck, they’re really struggling,” said Rick Bloomingdale, President of the PA NIA AFL-CIO

Which is why Pennsylvania’s AFL-CIO is going out of their way to help from visiting local food banks, to now teaming up with the United Way of Pennsylvania, to launch a new emergency response system.

“It’s a stressful time,” said United Way President Kristen Rotz. “And sometimes, people just need help to think through the possibilities that are available to them.”

The Text Code Initiative was launched last week, through the PA 211 System. Impacted workers can text “fedsd” to 898-211 and every day, they will be given information about community resources they can use, for assistance with things like food, utility bills, and housing.

“So, for example, today we’re going to be pushing out information about banks who have said we are going to waive late fees or we’re going to be flexible with people who are impacted,” said Rotz.

The Text Code will be active until the shutdown is over…which Bloomingdale hopes is sooner rather than later.

“We have to keep up the pressure on our elected officials to end the shutdown,” said Bloomingdale. “Get folks paid. They shouldn’t be pawns in a political game.”

Anyone with an immediate need can call 211 to be connected to resources close to your home.

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