Federal workers impacted by the government shutdown received help from the ‘Stand with Federal Workers’ event today at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, where food and metro cards were provided. Photo by Julia Lee
Federal workers impacted by the recently ended 35-day shutdown, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, received help from the ‘Stand with Federal Workers’ event yesterday at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, where food and metro cards were provided.
“I’m the wife of a government employee,” New York City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel who co-hosted the event said. “We’re two working parents and so it was a concern just within my household.”
Ampry-Samuel sent out a notice on social media asking families who’ve been impacted by the shutdown to inbox her and let her know how they can help, she said.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect but we were alarmed at the number of messages we’ve seen,” she said.
Ampry-Samuel addressed people’s needs for help with food and housing by connecting with organizations. The event today was supported by One Brooklyn Health and Campaign Against Hunger and Power of Two.
“We were getting by knowing another check was definitely going to be there,” said a federal worker who did not want to give his name.. “But with that second check not coming in, we had to be really on the grind, and know what we had to do. Those were definitely rough times.”
Before the furlough, the workers had to pick up extra hours or work overtime to make ends meet, they said.
“My rent is $2100 a month and I have electricity bills to pay, college tuition, I have daycare, things of that matter,” said another federal worker who did not want to give her name. “So when this happened, it’s like what am I going to do.”
The federal workers said events like these are “extremely helpful.”
“It makes me so happy to see all these people that’s helping us,” said another federal worker.. “You see all these bad things, but then you see there’s still good people around. It’s such a beautiful thing to see.”
During the shutdown, the employees said they have also been supporting one another by having potlucks at work.
The government is opened for another three weeks and there is uncertainty as to what will happen next.
The workers are worried another shutdown is coming.
Trump has said he will declare a national emergency if he doesn’t receive funding for the border wall.
But Ampry-Samuel is hopeful that there will not a second shutdown.
“At the end of the day, I truly believe we live in a great country and our leaders will do the right thing on behalf of the people,” she said.