RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Before the announcement January 25, 2019 that the government shutdown had come to an end, Catholic Charities in Reno was planning on participating in a resource fair for federal workers.
“The Reno Airport Authority had reached out to a variety of different agencies about providing different resources, particularly for TSA agents, but obviously for anyone impacted by the government shutdown. And so they had a couple of resource fairs that they've got scheduled where all of us were going to come together. And on site we would have been able to review people's situations and get them access to their clarity card that they need to get to be able to get food from our food pantry,” says Catholic Charities' Marie Baxter of the now-canceled events.
Baxter says if called upon again, they will be ready to help out with such a community event.
She says it was tough to hear federal workers scared and unsure of when they would get back to work.
“We need to go back to work because we have bills to pay,” one woman said on a television interview.
“Everyone just got done paying for Christmas, and now there is no money coming in,” said another man.
“Savings are gone. We don't want apology, we just want our jobs back, and we want them to make it right,” said one woman during a protest march.
Over the last month, Catholic Charities received more requests than normal for rental or mortgage assistance, some of that coming from federal workers who could not make ends meet.
The program, she says, acts as a bridge to get a client over tough times, and fits perfectly with what was happening to federal workers.
While Catholic Charities planned on more demand at the food pantry, that did not happen. But she says the invitation is still there for federal workers who are food-insecure at least until they get their back pay.
Baxter says we don't know what will happen three weeks from now when the government may be shut down again.
She suggests a week before that, if it looks like Congress and the President can't come to some terms, you might want to head to Catholic Charities and check and see what your resources are.