Where Federal Workers Can Find Support Amid The Shutdown
The current partial pause in federal operations is the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. Meanwhile, many government employees are continuing to work without pay or are on furlough. Businesses and organizations in San Diego are stepping in to help workers and their families stay afloat as the debate over re-opening the government trudges on.
Community Resource Center — The organization's Food and Nutrition Center will provide emergency food and personal care items and offer help applying for the CalFresh program. Those interested can contact the center by phone at (760) 753-8300 or in person at 650 Second St. in Encinitas. (Hours: Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Jewish Family Service of San Diego — The relief agency is offering fresh and packaged foods every Tuesday for furloughed workers until the end of the shutdown. Parties must show a federal ID, CAC card or contractor ID to receive assistance. Employees affected can contact JFS at (858) 637-3210 or visit its Kearny Mesa location at 8788 Balboa Ave. on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.
Feeding San Diego — The organization is encouraging full-time and contract federal workers to access food assistance at one of its 250 locations in the county. It will also help eligible workers apply for CalFresh.
Even kids are stepping in to help. Students at Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet in San Diego's Linda Vista community are collecting canned goods through Friday for local Transportation Security Administration employees.
The San Diego Unified School District is also reminding families that as the shutdown continues, their incomes may change and possibly make them eligible for subsidized lunch program.
Salvation Army San Diego — The organization is offering help with bills that are likely piling up for unpaid employees. That may include assistance to cover utilities and rent for those who qualify. The nonprofit will also provide groceries and meals. You can contact the group by phone at (619) 446-0274 or visit one of seven locations in San Diego County.
Temporary staffing company Manpower West also announced it will assist furloughed employees by offering short-term jobs to help fund daily and weekly living expenses.
"It's a fact of everyday life that bills must be paid, groceries must be purchased, mouths must be fed,'' Manpower West Executive Officer Phil Blair said. "Within San Diego's military community, hundreds, perhaps thousands of locally-based families have been burdened by this ongoing crisis."
California Coast Credit Union, the San Diego County Apartment Association and the Combined Federal Campaign, the federal government's workplace fundraising program, have all previously announced their intent to help San Diego County's government workers during the shutdown as well.
Something To Do
Balboa Park Museums — Some federal workers may be looking for fun ways to fill their time while out of work, like these Washington, D.C.-based employees who attended free improv workshops. In San Diego, those affected can attend the Air and Space Museum, Fleet Science Center, Natural History Museum, San Diego History Center and several other park attractions for free to pass the time. Bring your government identification for complimentary access and most museums are extending the offer to family members or other guests.
Other locations, including the Balboa Park Visitor Center's gift shop and Daniel’s Coffee Cart Spanish Village Patio are offering discounts.