Not Shut Out by Shutdown

Montgomery County provides assistance to furloughed federal workers

MoCo families are struggling to stay afloat as the shutdown keeps employees on furlough.

MoCo families are struggling to stay afloat as the shutdown keeps employees on furlough.

By Jordan Doss, Clarksburg High School

Due to a disagreement between the democratic and republican party, the United States government went into a shutdown December 22. Trump requested $5.7 billion for the development of the wall between the US and Mexico, but the Democrats denied his plea. The following day the shutdown began and is currently on its 33rd day making it the longest government shutdown in history (Jan. 23).

The shutdown has impacted over 800,00 federal workers. Montgomery County is extremely close to D.C., leaving many MoCo residents without adequate pay or resources.

“People including my mom are working without pay, and some of these people are not working their job at a peak performance level,” junior Hannah King said. “TSA isn’t checking luggage as efficiently, FDA isn’t checking food as efficiently etc. It’s becoming an epidemic.”

MCPS is hosting multiple job fair during the shutdown to offer furloughed federal workers an opportunity to begin earning money again.

“This is a great opportunity for people to have a change in career and it can give them a chance to help their families. This is the time for communities to come together and support one another through it all,” CHS art teacher Emily Hoponick said.

MoCo has taken it upon themselves to provide help to students and families who have been negatively impacted by the shutdown. Many local businesses and services are offering help to citizens. The WSSC has suspended all water service shutdowns to ensure clean water to homes. Many organizations like the Manna Food Center are allowing those impacted by the shutdown free food or emergency materials, amongst many other resources.

“Soon my family is gonna run out of food stamps but programs like these might actually be able to help us until this thing is over,” senior Tammy Ngo said.

Until the funds regarding the wall are properly sorted and agreed upon by both political parties, an end to the shutdown does not appear to be in the nearby future.

This story was originally published on The Clarksburg Howl on January 25, 2019.