Furloughed federal workers look for help at resource fair

Resource fair for furloughed workers

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Furloughed federal workers in Tucson were seeking answers, help at a labor resource fair.

For many at the event this is the first paycheck they’ve missed. For some it has already become a financial hardship, for others finding resources is a way to get through the shutdown if it goes a while longer.

The American Federation of Government Employees sponsored the resource fair, the group represents thousands of federal workers in southern Arizona from office workers to Customs and Border Protection.

According to the group it is already knee deep in collection activities.

"A lot of the affiliates are coming together to raise money for gas cards, raising money for gift certificates for Fry's and other food stores. We're looking for donations for food boxes," said Joe Diggs, with the American Federation of Government Employees.

Some are better prepared than others, but the problem is no one is sure if they will miss the next paycheck or the one after that.

“With both sides this far apart, who knows how long this is going to continue, meanwhile people are suffering,” said Moses Sterngast, a U.S. Census Bureau worker.

On hand at the fair were people who could help the workers with mortgage or rent issues, a concern of many, for some since the payment is an automatic deduction from the paycheck and there is no paycheck.

Others wondering what happens with their health insurance and how do they pay for needed medications. Another big concern here, especially since its beginning to look like the shutdown may go on for a while.

Some have a bit of savings, while others are using credit cards to pay for necessities.

Kenneth Beyersdorf supports a family of five on one paycheck and he's already feeling the pinch.

“I’m going to have to make a lot of phone calls asking for people to give me a break. Probably going to skip payments and there’s a chance it will affect my credit rating,” said Beyersdorf. “And whose fault is that? It’s not my fault.”

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