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Government shutdown: Where you can start in finding help

Posted: 12:51 PM, Jan 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-11 20:53:05Z
Government shutdown: Where you can start in finding help

Friday, thousands of federal workers didn’t receive their usual paycheck. Many stories have surfaced about struggling furlough workers, who live paycheck to paycheck.

A Bankrate study found 4 out of 5 workers live paycheck to paycheck.

The tragic stories are ones many Americans can relate to. It also leaves many people wondering what they could do if they found themselves in a similar situation.

First, calling 211 would be a great place to start.

Christine Benero, the president and CEO of Mile High United Way, says every call is confidential.

"But it's hard to make that first call,” she says. “It’s hard to call and say, ‘I need help,’ particularly right now when you never saw this coming."

Whether you need help paying for rent, your utility bill or buying groceries, Benero says 211 will point you in the right direction to get the financial assistance you are looking for.

"211 is a wonderful place to begin to sort through what places you should call, so you can get the help you need,” Benero says.

The 211 program is not the only place to turn to for assistance.

Benefits.gov is a great place to start. You can search for all types of assistance that the government helps fund.

The site explains what the program does, qualifications and how to apply.

Another way to find help is to contact the non-profit group called The Community Action Agency (CAA). In a crisis, they can offer short-term help with costs like energy bills, housing, and even transportation.

"This is where we all ban together,” Benero says. “This is where you literally unite communities together to say we are going to step up. We are going to be there for you. If we can't do it, we will help you find an organization that is helping to do it as well."