The Government Shutdown: What You Can Do
Today marks the start of the third week of the government shutdown. We are also staring down a financial disaster if Congress doesn’t make a move quickly to raise the debt ceiling. But quickly and Congress are two words that shouldn’t be used together these days. In fact, the harm caused by these congressional battles has already been done to many employers, nonprofit organizations, individuals, and families.
While it is true that congress agreed to provide back pay for those government workers not currently receiving pay, that doesn’t extend to the many companies that provide contract services to government agencies through contract employees. That doesn’t extend to the local tourism-related industries and their employees. That doesn’t extend to employees of nonprofit organizations that provide critical services in our region who have been furloughed due to the lack of funding of federal contracts. The damage has already been done.
So the question for those of us who want to support our community through this crisis is what do we do now? It is clear that individuals who live paycheck-to-paycheck are looking for help where they can get it – at the doorway of nonprofit organizations that provide critical services such as food and emergency financial assistance for rent, mortgages, or prescriptions. We are at the very beginning of the Fall giving season and our nonprofit partners who are key to our region’s already fragile safety net need your help.
If you were planning on making a gift at the end of the year, you might consider making it now. Or, maybe the bull financial markets have afforded you more charitable dollars and you can make an additional gift that will make a difference to the nonprofit organization of your choice and the individuals they serve. Maybe, both of these are options, but you’re not sure who to give to. Below is a list of nonprofit organizations serving the region, that provide emergency services – food, clothing, shelter and financial assistance – to help people get over the hump.
It’s times like these that confirm the need for a sustainable safety net, because “life” happens. It’s unfortunate, however, when the difficulty happens at the hands of our own government.
(Please note the list below is not exhaustive, but includes many of the nonprofits that we have funded through our Safety Net efforts and Neighbors In Need Fund.)
Bread for the City
Calvary Women’s Services
Capital Area Food Bank
Community of Hope
DC Central Kitchen
District Alliance for Safe Housing
N Street Village
So Others Might Eat
Community Crisis Services, Hyattsville
Community Support Systems, Brandywine
Housing Initiative Partnership, Hyattsville
Identity, Inc., Gaithersburg
Interfaith Works, Rockville
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Prince George’s/Montgomery County
Manna Food Center, Gaithersburg
Shabach! Ministries, Inc., Landover
United Communities Against Poverty, Inc., Capitol Heights
Western Upper Montgomery County Help, Inc. (WUMCO), Poolesville
Action In Community Through Service of Prince William, Inc., Dumfries
Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington
Carpenter’s Shelter, Alexandria
Doorways for Women & Families, Arlington
Fairfax Area Christian Emergency and Transitional Services, Fairfax
Food for Others, Fairfax
Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, Alexandria
Herndon-Reston FISH, Herndon
Northern Virginia Family Services, Oakton