Grand Valley feels pain of lingering shutdown; businesses try to help

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It's more than just federal workers who are affected by the government shutdown. Many people who get government benefits are worried about certainty getting them for much longer. Businesses and organizations are doing what they can to help out.

Hundreds of people had to get their SNAP benefits renewed by noon on Tuesday. Only people who had to re-certify for February had to meet this early deadline, since the program is now running on reserve funds due to the shutdown.

The room was jam-packed with people trying to get in by 12.

"I'm 100 percent disabled, and I'd be up the creek without a paddle," said William Giddings, who was renewing his SNAP benefits.

The Mesa County Human Services Department said there were 900 people trying to renew their benefits, all processed in 48 hours.

"I think that Democrats and Republicans should come together and get this all done,” said Peter Chaney, who wants a solution.

A lot of people who were renewing their benefits said they did not get any notification about the deadline being moved up. The department said they sent information out and called people.

They said if people missed the noon deadline, they will still process the paperwork, it just isn't guaranteed.

Meanwhile, many furloughed workers have been wondering where the money will come from to pay their bills as the government shutdown continues. Alpine Bank is hoping to help out. They are giving out interest free loans to furloughed federal workers.

"I found it a little bit demeaning, and being in a position to ask for help…we don't think about that when we have a job," said Beth McBride, a furloughed BLM administrator who just took out a loan.

"I don't think this is really a political statement of any kind…we're just trying to help folks who really have nothing to do with the government shutdown," Clay Tufly, Regional President Alpine Bank Mesa County.

So far, Alpine Bank has issued loans for about 130 people across the state. Alpine Bank has done this in 2013 and the 1995/96 with other shutdowns.



 
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