How the Government Shutdown is Affecting Single Moms

Being a working single mom is tough enough. For those that work for the federal government, things are becoming even tougher during the government shutdown. As I’m writing this, the government has been partially shut down for almost three weeks. Some federal workers are working without pay and others are simply furloughed.

While Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer battle about the wall on Capitol Hill, single moms are having trouble caring for their children. I wish I could tell you when it would end, but I can tell you the effects of the shutdown while it lasts.

Possible effects of the government shutdown on WIC

The assistance program that helps women, infants, and children (WIC) thankfully has enough funding to run through the middle of February. Funds will start to get cut after that, which will affect nearly 8 million moms and kids. WIC and the food stamp program called SNAP are run by the USDA, which is now talking with states to see if funds can be reallocated to these programs, if need be.

Unfortunately, confusion concerning the shutdown’s effects on the programs has already caused some issues. Vendors who don’t know if WIC and SNAP still apply have mistakenly told some shoppers that they can’t use their benefits.

How some single moms are getting by

A GoFundMe for Her Family

In Arizona, single mother Jo Ann Goodlow set up a GoFundMe after the government stopped paying her for her career at the Department of the Interior in the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, where she has worked for 19 years. She already had a part-time job and even signed up to sell her plasma just to make ends meet. Luckily, the GoFundMe helped. But she doesn’t know how much longer she can last if the shutdown continues.

Forced to File for Unemployment

A California mom named Kristie Scarazzo works as a botanist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Currently, she’s one of the federal workers who is not receiving any pay. She filed for unemployment in the state of California, but as of January 5th, she hadn’t heard back. She’s looking for a temporary job in retail.

Part-Time Work & Another GoFundMe

In Missouri, Julie Barr is working a temporary job at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. To keep a roof over her and her children’s heads, she had to use all of her savings to pay January’s rent. She’s hoping her job at the bookstore will help get her and her children through February if the shutdown continues. Like Goodlow, she also decided to set up a GoFundMe page.

Cutting Costs and Freelancing

Kelly Shott, a single mom and contract worker for the Environmental Protection Agency, filed for unemployment in the state of Virginia and started looking for freelance gigs. She said that she and her 16-year-old daughter may be having “a lot of pasta meals” now that they have to cut costs at the grocery store.

Tips for Single Moms During the Government Shutdown

Miss Money Bee is all about helping women get out of debt and save money. If you are one of the many single moms (or anyone else) affected by the government shutdown, take a look at these articles about ways to save:

If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage due to the shutdown, the FDIC released a statement encouraging lenders to cooperate with borrowers like you. Read more about this on Consolidated Credit.