Local social services are worried about government shutdown

Food Finders and Lafayette Transitional Housing are some of the firsts to see the negative impact of no government help.

Posted: Jan. 7, 2019 6:01 PM
Updated: Jan. 7, 2019 6:21 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As we enter week three of the government shutdown, local social service agencies are starting to worry.

Food Finders and Lafayette Transitional Housing are some of the firsts to see the negative impact of no government help.

Jay McCann, a Political Science Professor at Purdue University said the government's shutdown will have major implications for everyone, the longer it continues.

“A rough statistic is that about a quarter of the workforce employed by the federal government, right now, is technically furloughed or otherwise, not being paid,” said McCann.

Those workers include the people who provide food and shelter assistance for those in need. Without help from the federal government, local resources like Food Finders and Lafayette Transitional Housing will find it harder to do their job.

“Immediately, nothing will change. In the middle of February, if SNAP benefits are cut off then food finders will see a huge influx of clients and the clients that we already see that get SNAP benefits will need more food from us,” said Katy Bunder, the CEO and President of Food Finders.

Bunder isn't the only one concerned. Jennifer Layton, the Executive Director of Lafayette Transitional Housing said they rely on federal funding from Housing and Urban Development.

“They actually provide resources, financial resources that help us eliminate homelessness in our community,” said Layton.

The winter time is when Food Finders and Transitional Housing often see a spike in people needing resources. Layton and Bunder hope the government shutdown doesn't last much longer.

"It's also the season when people start paying the higher heating bills and that really impacts how much a family might have to pay for groceries. The timing couldn't be worse,” said Bunder.

Today the White House Office of Management and Budget department announced the IRS will pay tax refunds. This was a concern for Layton and Bunder.

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