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A press release on behalf of Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Last Friday, while many St. Louisans were buying last minute sidewalk salt or shovels to prepare for the snow storm, thousands of local federal workers living here in St. Louis were coping with an urgent issue, missing paychecks. January 11 should have been a payday for federal employees, but due to the shutdown, paychecks were held from 800,000 government employees nationwide. Here in St. Louis, we estimate 15,500 federal employees work in the metropolitan area, many of whom are currently furloughed without pay and wondering how they will make rent, pay for groceries, or pick up their costly medical prescriptions.

For many decades, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of St. Louis (JF&CS) has provided emergency funding to members of the Jewish community facing difficult financial circumstances. Whether they are struggling to keep the heat on after a lost job or working to pay off a medical bill after an unexpected surgery, JF&CS is here to help them get back on their feet. Due to the unexpected burden the government shutdown has placed on federal workers in the Jewish community, JF&CS will be working closely with the Jewish Federation to provide emergency assistance to those in need starting immediately.

“For many people, the government shutdown may be just another headline, but for those individuals and families affected, this can mean eviction from their apartment, empty kitchen cupboards, or unpaid utility bills. According to CNBC, 78% of full-time workers in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck. They don’t have a savings cushion to help them meet their basic needs during this kind of unexpected emergency. It’s our duty and our mission to help these community members in every way we can to ensure that they can make it through this,” remarked Lou Albert, CEO of Jewish Family & Children’s Service.

JF&CS has dedicated Patricia Harris, a full-time staff member, to this task. Ms. Harris, the Financial Assistance Care Manager for JF&CS, will be fielding all calls and e-mails from community members affected by the government shut down. If you have been affected by the shutdown, please reach out to her confidentially at 314-513-1678 or pharris@jfcs-stl.org.

The agency is in close communication with the other faith communities and organizations here in St. Louis to ensure a joint effort to support affected workers. As the shutdown continues, the number of affected community members will grow. Those relying on SNAP (food stamps), tax refunds, or other federal benefits may be unable to receive the resources they rely on to make ends meet. JF&CS will continue working with the Jewish Federation and our partner agencies to help community members through this very difficult time.

 

About JF&CS


For generations, Jewish Family & Children’s Service has offered compassionate support and practical solutions to help people in our community navigate life’s challenges. JF&CS and its licensed, professional staff assist the elderly, protect children at risk, provide food and services for the needy, resolve family problems and enhance Jewish connections. We serve those in need regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.