As shutdown drags on, more local companies, groups step up to provide support to furloughed workers

Posted at 4:04 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 16:04:41-05

CLEVELAND — As of Thursday, the partial government shutdown has stretched into its 34th day, the longest government shutdown in history. Many local businesses and organizations continue to provide support and resources to federal employees affected by the shutdown and their families.

Food assistance:

  • The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is offering help to connect people to food and other resources during the government shutdown. If you need help, call the food bank's help center at 216-738-2067.
  • For those receiving SNAP, February benefits are being disbursed early, and March benefits will be distributed on their regular date if the shutdown is resolved. Read more here.
  • Starting Tuesday, Jan. 22, Burntwood Tavern, M Italian and Rose Italian Kitchen will offer all federal workers a complimentary meal every Tuesday until the shutdown ends.
  • Complimentary lunch — From Monday through Friday, Jan. 25, Urban Farmer is offering furloughed government employees a complimentary lunch. Workers must present a government I.D. to receive one free entree from our lunch menu.
  • Food pantry — The Rotary Club of Solon is opening a pantry to government and contractor employees affected by the shutdown with proof of a government badge. There will be meat, produce and other staples for 150 families. The pantry will be open on Jan. 24 from 4:45 to 6 p.m. at Church of The Resurrection-Solon, 32001 Cannon Road. Families should register here.
  • Community Resource Services in Avon Lake is offering to help those employees who are having difficulty making ends meet while the shutdown is ongoing. The organization is offering free food to employees for the length of the shutdown. Read more here.
  • The folks at Lago East Bankin the flats are offering free spaghetti and meatballs to all federal workers and their families until the shutdown is over.

Banking/Bill Assistance

  • Wells Fargo is working with customers whose income has been disrupted as a result of the shutdown. Customers should call 1-800-869-3557 or the number on their credit card or debit card for assistance. Those who have a Wells Fargo mortgage or loan may qualify for forbearance or other payment assistance programs.
  • Help with paying internet and phone bill — For those who find themselves in a bind by not being able to pay their phone or internet bill, AT&T will waive late fees, provide extensions and coordinate with affected customers on revised payment schedules. Here's how government workers can take advantage of this offer.

Shopping/Service Discounts

  • Our Favorite Things Boutique and Event Center is offering 10 percent to all government employees at their store, 12730 Larchmere Boulevard in Cleveland.
  • Le Chaperone Rouge Daycare is offering free tuition to families affected by the shutdown, amounting to a savings of $200 per week. Read more here.
  • The downtown YMCA is waiving monthly fees for government employees impacted during the shutdown.
  • The Mentor Salt Cave is offering free visits to furloughed federal workers. The owner says sitting in the cave helps combat respiratory issues. It’s usually $25 per visit.
  • Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, all federal employees can ride the Akron Metro buses for free during the shutdown. Federal workers are eligible for free fares on any METRO service, including line service, Northcoast Express, SCAT and Call-A-Bus. This promotion will continue until the shutdown ends.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters are offering free tickets to all U.S. government employees who are not being paid because of the government shutdown.

Assistance for Coast Guard members

The USO of Northern Ohio is helping men and women enlisted in the Coast Guard who are waiting on their paychecks. The organization is putting together a fundraiser to help subsidize Coast Guard members while their paychecks are on hold.

RELATED: Port Clinton Coast Guard family pinching pennies during shutdown

Non-perishable items such as baby diapers, laundry soap, cleaning products, gas cards to get to and from work and grocer cards to buy perishable items are being collected at two locations:

  • Brook Park Recreation Center, 17400 Holland Road, Brook Park, Ohio
  • Highway Garage, 8410 E. Washington St., Bainbridge, Ohio

Active Coast Guard members who have minor children can apply for a temporary financial assistance grant through the America Legion. An American Legion representative said that phone lines have been very active an applications for the grant are backed up. Find more information about this grant here.

Other Assistance

  • Extra $110 for Airbnb hosts: Any federal executive branch employee in Ohio who hosts either an experience or three nights in their home over three months between Dec. 18 and March 18, 2019, will receive up to $110 from Airbnb.

How you can help

This article outlines some of the ways you can support furloughed federal workers, such as donating to the United for US Fund and Feeding America.