United Way of Bay County offering help to federal workers

BAY COUNTY (WJRT) - (01/15/19) - It's day 25 of the government shutdown and people here at home are starting to feel the pinch.

Their first missed paycheck was last week and many have bills that are due.

Today the United Way of Bay County announced special assistance for impacted federal workers.

The Board of Directors authorized the funding, which is a separate from the existing General Emergency Fund.

The United Way is asking impacted workers to call 211 to be connected with resources specific to their needs.

"They have to pay for fuel to get back and forth to their job, they have to pay for daycare. They still have to pay for their mortgages, utility bills, all those things that are out there that aren't going to go away simply because somebody says, 'we expect you to work, but you're not getting money'," said United Way of Bay County RSVP Community Services Director Archie Gittins.

The United Way isn't sure how many federal workers are impacted locally, but are aware of a few groups of employees who are still working but not getting paid.

They include crewmembers at U.S. Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, TSA agents, and even some federal courthouse workers.

The non-profit is working to spread the word about the help its offering for two reasons. First, so other businesses and entities can get involved to help. Second, the board realizes some of the federal workers have likely never had to ask for help before.

"Do not be concerned about feelings of what it might be like since they've never gone through this before. Anything that we take as intake with applications is completely private," Gittins said.

If you are an impacted federal working living in another community you're asked to contact your local United Way or call 211 to find out what resources are available.

Below is the news release from the United Way of Bay County:

"On January 11, 2019, United Way Worldwide announced that it will lead the formation of the United for U.S. coalition, a joint effort by corporate partners, organized labor and the United Way network and nonprofits to assist furloughed federal workers and others impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.

United Way is also inviting other corporate partners to join the coalition effort.

As part of its long-standing association with the labor movement, United Way is working with a number of organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), to distribute information on resources available to assist with needs and living expenses.

Local United Ways are also providing a host of services in areas with federal workers, including financial services and counseling, and where available, Emergency Housing and Assistance Funds for food, rent and other assistance.

United Way of Bay County has an established Community Services Emergency Fund to provide assistance to furloughed government workers for household bills, groceries and other basics. Other corporations interested in helping, can contact United Way at 989.893.7508.

Bay County residents effected by the government shutdown, and require assistance are asked to contact 2-1-1 Northeast Michigan with all human care needs inquires, to be effectively directed to the best resources available.

"United Way of Bay County positions itself as a hub for human services, and is here for disaster and emergency situations, such as the current government shutdown, in addition to our everyday commitment to making an IMPACT in our community. Our partnership with 2-1-1 should serve as a valuable tool during this time of need." Marybeth Laisure, CEO United Way of Bay County."

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