As the government shutdown stretches into its 33rd day, nearly 800,000 federal employees continue to work without pay or remain furloughed across the country. Recognizing the impact that a missed paycheck can have on these individuals, United Way of the Midlands is encouraging Omaha-Council Bluffs metro residents who have been affected by the shutdown to call its 2-1-1 Helpline.
About 60% of Americans don’t have enough savings to pay for an emergency between $500 and $1,000, which means an average federal employee, whose weekly take-home pay is about $500, may currently be struggling to pay their bills or buy necessities such as food. Because the government shutdown may impact the distribution of March SNAP benefits and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ability to provide funding for public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, the number of individuals impacted by the shutdown may continue to increase.
UWM’s 2-1-1 Helpline, a free, confidential Information and Referral service, can connect Nebraska and Southwest Iowa residents who have been affected by the shutdown to a specialist who will help them find local health and human services, including the following:
- Utility/Rent/Financial Assistance
- Abuse Prevention
- Counseling/Mental Health Services
- Support Groups
- Senior Services
- Children/Teen Services
To access Helpline resources, individuals should dial 2-1-1, text their zip code to 898211 or visit http://ne211.org. Specialists will be available to assist individuals over the phone or via text between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. After these hours, individuals can leave a message that will be returned.
You can visit UnitedWayMidlands.org for more information.