Sarah Ford | October 3, 2013

Believe It Or Not, There Actually Is Some Good News (and some bad of course)

The Federal government shutdown has been the talk of the town all week. And we all want to know: how will this impact our guests?

Believe it or not, there actually is some good news: the D.C. Government found a way to stay open, and Miriam’s Kitchen is incredibly grateful that they did. Through the use of the District’s “rainy day fund,” the City is expected to be funded through the next two weeks.

That means that shelters and housing will be unaffected for the next two weeks, and libraries and other government facilities where our guests often go during the days will remain open. Additionally, local outpatient health, mental health and substance abuse services that are funded by the government should remain open as well.

Federally, HUD and HHS homelessness assistance programs are considered essential, and are operating with funds from fiscal year 2012 and 2013. 

That doesn’t mean it is all good news. 

Certain benefits that our guests rely upon are expected to be affected. Specifically, new applications for Social Security benefits, Medicaid, food stamps and even Veteran’s pensions and disability payments could likely see longer than usual processing times.  

And our guests are feeling the pinch in other, unexpected ways. One guest told us that his Street Sense sales had plummeted so far this week, because Federal employees aren’t out and about during the day.

Here at MK, it is business as usual. We are open Monday through Friday, as we are year-round, providing the same high quality meals and case management services for which we are known. If you’re a Federal employee who has been furloughed and is in need, please know that we are here –whether that need is for a hot meal, or to fill your time with some volunteer hours.

In the meantime, we’re standing with our guests and the rest of the nation, hoping that Congress can finally please work things out.

Source: Miriam’s Kitchen

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