EVANSTON, Ill. — As the stalemate in Washington continues, agencies in the Chicago area are helping those in need and are calling for an end to the shutdown.
The City of Evanston is reaching out to local residents who are directly affected by the shutdown.
The city has always had an Emergency Assistance Program to provide financial grants, for housing or utilities, to those who qualify. Usually, those who qualify need to show a delinquency in payment. But an exception is being made as the government shutdown is now in its 25th day, making it the longest in America's history.
About 800,000 people across the country are not getting paid because of the shutdown. In Chicago, there is an estimated 40,000 people who may be affected.
Officials in Evanston said upcoming bills are sure to cause some anxiety.
"When people are trying to stay warm and trying to get by the best they can at the beginning of the year, we just feel that they know that their local government agency is here for them," Kimberly Richardson, Deputy City Manager, said.
Furloughed workers can apply for emergency assistance at the Morton Civic Center. They must be able to prove their residency and work status. Repayment of financial assistance is not expected for those who qualify.
Jim Cromwell with the Greater Chicago Food depository is encouraging all federal workers impacted in Cook County to take advantage of one of their food banks or mobile distributions.
“We're here to help we want to make sure everyone is comfortable who is seeking help. for any circumstance but especially during this time of the government shutdown when there's extra confusion and uncertainty. many people might be seeking help for the first time in their lives,” Jim Cromwell, Greater Chicago Food Depository, said.
You can go to chicagosfoodbank.org to find the nearest food pantry to you.
Moraine and West Deerfield townships are also offering financial assistance for federal workers.