JF&CS launches financial support during federal shutdown

Jewish Family & Children’s Service is working to make emergency funding available for members of the St. Louis Jewish community who have been affected by the federal shutdown.

“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,” JF&CS announced in a news release.

Jewish community members affected by the shutdown can contact Patricia Harris, the financial assistance care manager for JF&CS at 314-513-1678 or [email protected]

JF&CS estimates that 15,500 federal employees work in the St. Louis metropolitan area, many of whom are currently furloughed without pay. The agency has had longstanding programs to provide emergency funding to members of the Jewish community facing difficult financial circumstances such as a job loss or unexpected medical bills. 

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“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,” JF&CS CEO Lou Albert said in a statement.  Citing a CNBC report that 78 percent of American workers say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, Albert said many employees “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.” 

JF&CS said it is “in close communication with the other faith communities and organizations here in St. Louis to ensure a joint effort to support affected workers.” The agency said it will work to assist other members of the Jewish community who may need assistance if the shutdown continues and affects SNAP benefits (food stamps), tax refunds or other federal benefits.