The news has been filled with the faces of the federal employees impacted by the ongoing government shutdown, across the nation and in our Western Connecticut region. From TSA agents at the airports and federal corrections employees to businesses unable to process SBA Loans, and employees at military bases and installations, the impact is widespread and tangible.
Regardless of your political views, it’s heartbreaking to watch hard-working families, including neighbors and friends, caught in the middle, suddenly finding themselves as struggling ALICE® households (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). through forces beyond their control.
In Connecticut, our United Way 2-1-1 service will anchor United Way's community support by providing information about local health and human services, including the availability of basic needs such as food and utilities, public benefits and corporate assistance programs. Those impacted by the federal government shutdown—both federal workers and people in need of federal government services—are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 by visiting www.211ct.org or dialing 2-1-1, both available 24 hours a day.
In addition, we are heartened by the collaborative actions between Connecticut state government and private business, such as the actions announced yesterday by Governor Lamont and Webster Bank (CT Mirror, 1/15/2019).
On a national level, United Way Worldwide recently announced that it will lead the formation of the United for U.S. coalition, a joint effort by corporate partners, organized labor, the United Way network and nonprofits to assist furloughed federal workers and others impacted by the ongoing government shutdown. United Way and its community partners are preparing for an expected uptick in calls to 2-1-1 from those seeking assistance with rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and groceries. United for U.S. will address these needs by bringing together United Way's deep community knowledge with organized labor and our corporate partners who want to help those in need during the extended shutdown.
While are only beginning to see the impact this shutdown will have on Western Connecticut, our state and the country as a whole, we all hope and pray that it comes to a swift resolution. Until then, we are ready and committed to meet the needs of those affected in our communities.
* United Way Mobile Food Pantries
Wed., Feb. 6, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Faith Church, 600 Danbury Road, New Milford
* Pop-Up Mobile Food Distribution by Connecticut Food Bank
Sat., Jan. 26, 11 am - 12 pm Jericho Partnership, Inc. at 44 Spring Street, Danbury
* Neighbor-to-Neighbor, located at 248 E Putnam Ave. Greenwich, is providing food to furloughed workers and not requiring the traditional referrals. For more information, call 203-622-9208
* Person-to-Person, with locations in Stamford, Norwalk and Darien, is waiving its food pantry income guidelines for federal employees affected by the shutdown, allowing those in need to access seven days of food for the size of the family (covering three meals per day) by showing their federal employee ID card. Clothing and financial assistance are also available. For more information, call 203-724-9111.