How local organizations are helping neighbors affected by gov shutdown
In addition to Alpine Bank’s offer of interest-free loans for federal employees, many of whom have not been paid since Christmas, local businesses and other organizations are pitching in to help their neighbors. This post will be updated.
Construction Company reaches out on facebook
Gilberto Landeros, owner of GLC Custom Finishes in Glenwood Springs, has been advertising on Facebook that his company will help families affected by the shutdown.
“We’re just trying to help people in our community. We’re not going to change the world, but hopefully we can put a smile on people’s face,” Landeros said.
His company has already helped four individuals who were struggling through the furlough, some who worked for the Transportation Security Administration and others who work for the U.S. Forest Service. Anything his employees give to the cause, he said he will match.
Landeros has given cash to help with food, gas and other necessities. “I don’t think we can solve their problems with rent or mortgage, but at least we can help with food,” Landeros said.
Concerned citizens have started collecting food for needy families on food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefit Program benefits.
Around 1,600 families in Garfield County were receiving food stamps in July, according to the most recent federal data.
Colorado may not have enough federal funds to continue sending out the benefits if the shutdown persists, according to numerous news reports, so a group of local businesses are collecting food that will be distributed by the Family Resource Center.
Donation boxes are located at the dental office of Dr. Corey Johnson, Neil Garing Insurance, Glenwood Insurance, Defiance Gym and Holy Cross Energy.
Church ready to help
Some organizations are ready to help federal employees affected by the shutdown, but have not been asked.
“No one has reached out to me yet,” Will Fisher, vicar of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Basalt, said. “But if this goes on longer, I think I may see people.”
Fisher said he can help families with specific bills. “If there’s things like utility bills or other expenses, something with a specific amount with documentation, that’s the kind of thing I can help with,” Fisher said.
“We are prepared. Anytime somebody calls with a particular need, we’ll be on it,” he said.
Hair stylist Lorelei Myers, who works at Aria Salon in Glenwood Springs, is offering free haircuts to furloughed federal employees. “I’ve been here for a long time, I thought this was something I could offer,” Myers said. Myers posted the offer on a Facebook community group, and has had one person contact her. “This is just something I’ve wanted to do. I thought it up on my own and put it in,” Myers said.