United Way of the Black Hills provides list of resources for government shutdown

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the government shutdown continues, the effects are starting to be felt by federal employees throughout South Dakota.

There are more than 11,000 employees living in South Dakota that have missed their first paycheck of the year.

To help, United Way of the Black Hills, along with its community partners, has compiled a list of resources to help workers through the shutdown.

The list includes contact information for programs that will help with food, child care, counseling and more.

According to Jamie Toennies, the Executive Direct at United Way, “No matter your political views, it is heartbreaking to watch hard-working families here in our community caught in the middle of this situation. We have compiled a number of resources that may be of assistance to you during the Government shutdown. This is by no means a complete list, but I hope it may bring some comfort to you and your family if you are in need during this time. Please know that the community, is working together to help in any way we can.”

One Stop Connection to Resources:

2-1-1 Helpline
Simply dial “211” to speak to a specialist or search their local website at http://www.helplinecenter.org/. 2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that connects individuals to resources and services in their local communities by phone, text and on the web. With nearly 4,000 resources in the database they’re able to make referrals for anything from basic needs, mental health and health resources, employment support, and a variety of other resources.

Resource Guides
There are resource guides which have a comprehensive list many of the services available in the Black Hills. You can access the guides at https://www.helplinecenter.org/2-1-1-commu…/resource-guides/.

Food Assistance:
• Feeding South Dakota is working with hundreds of agency partners including small food pantries across the black hills to help those impacted. The Storehouse food pantry in Custer is one example of a food pantry offering help to those impacted in their community. Call Feeding SD at (605) 348-2689 or go to their website at http://feedingsouthdakota.org and click the “Get Help button”
• All Local School Districts are encouraging families impacted by the shutdown to sign-up their children for free or reduced school lunches. Contact your child’s school district to learn more.
• Calvary Lutheran Church is providing free dinner on Wednesdays to families that are affected by the Federal shutdown. Wednesday meals start at 4:45 and end at 6:15 p.m. at 5311 Sheridan Lake Rd.

Utility Assistance:
• Black Hills Energy is encouraging customers to visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/solutions to review options for managing bills.
• Salvation Army provides assistance for utility bills including gas, electric, and propane if their guidelines are met. Call (605) 791-4046 for more information.

Financial Assistance:
• Most of the financial institutions have various programs and services in place to assist their customers affected by the shutdown. Some of these programs are 0% short term loans, no penalty certificate withdrawals, skip payments on loans, reducing or removing some fees, etc. Contact your banks and credit unions to see what is available.
• Wells Fargo has pledged $250,000 in grant support to help federal employees meet their most basic needs: food, bill assistance, shelter etc., in addition to waiving fees for customers who have direct deposit from the federal government, and offering short and long-term assistance for those who need extra time to make payments. Customers should call 800-219-9739 for help, or visit any branch.
• Nationwide will institute a grace period and delayed payments for standard personal lines; expedite requests for withdrawals and loans to disburse money quickly; waive certain fees; and extend due dates for insurance premium and loan payments. Customers should refer to the contact information on their policy or contact their agent for more information.
• U.S. Bank is offering a new low-rate quick loan designed to help customers’ families impacted by the shutdown. Qualified federal government employees can apply for a $100-$6,000 low-rate, quick loan, or find out about mortgage relief options. Customers should call U.S. Bank’s designated federal government shutdown line at 877-760-6046.
• Sprint is encouraging customers struggling to pay bills because of the shutdown to call (888) 211-4727 or go online at Sprint.com to talk with a customer care representative about short-term payment solutions to keep service uninterrupted.
• Midco encourages federal workers to call 800-888-1300 or visit their website at https://www.midco.com/…/bil…/government-shutdown-assistance/ to find a payment solution that works for them.

Financial counseling and resources:
• Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills provides financial and housing counseling at no charge. During this session a trained certified financial counselor will work with the individual/couple to review their resources and current financial situation to determine the best options to handle their day to day expenses as well as payments to creditors. This service is available in person, by phone, or over the Internet. For appointments call 1-800-568-6615 or for an online or phone consultation go to www.cccsbh.com.

• Catholic Social Services provides mental health counseling to all individuals and they can address stress related issues caused by the government shut down. Call them at (605)348-6086 or visit their website for a complete list of their services https://catholicsocialservicesrapidcity.com/.

Child Care Assistance:
• Kids Club Kids in Spearfish will be offering free tuition opportunities for families impacted by the shutdown. For more information contact them at (605) 717-1236.

Additional Resources:
• Humane Society of the Black Hills offers a food assistance program for pets of those impacted. Call them at (605) 394-4170 for details.
• Unemployment Benefits for Furloughed workers can be found at guidance about unemployment benefits.
• SNAP Benefits, WIC, and other food security benefits are still active but check USDA for updated information. The February SNAP benefits will be given early, on January 20th, to help families impacted.
• Public Housing (section 8) for most recipients should be paid through February.
• Medicaid, CHIP, Disability, and Social Security Benefits are NOT affected by the shutdown.
• Benefits for Veterans through the VA are NOT affected by the shutdown.
• Federal tax refunds are being accepted and processed as scheduled, beginning January 28th. More information is available here.


Categories: Local News, South Dakota News