Federal workers and contractors in La Plata County still feeling the financial pinch from the partial government shutdown in December and January can apply for assistance through the Community Emergency Assistance Coalition.
United Way of Southwest Colorado received about $7,000 last week from United Way Worldwide to distribute to families in need, said Lynn Urban, president and CEO of the local nonprofit.
More than 500 people across the region are employed by the federal government.
United Way Worldwide raised $1.19 million from corporations, such as Walmart, Airbnb and Smuckers, for those hurt by the shutdown, Urban said.
Federal employees received back pay after the 35-day shutdown, but some may still face financial hardship if they missed bills and now owe late fees, she said. Federal government contractors who did not get paid during the shutdown may also be in need, she said.
“We have learned through our experience with community shutdowns (for example from the 416 Fire) that many people can make things work financially for a period of time and then, perhaps several months later, the loss catches up with them financially and they could use some help,” Urban wrote in an email to The Durango Herald.
The coalition received an application in February from someone in need of financial help, nine months after the 416 Fire.
The coalition can help applicants with rent, mortgage assistance, transportation, child care and other costs.
There are no limitations on how much assistance an applicant can request from the coalition.
Residents of La Plata and San Juan counties can apply through the Community Emergency Assistance Coalition at 259-1086. Archuleta County residents can apply through Pagosa Outreach Connection at 264-2182, and residents of Montezuma and Dolores counties can apply through the Montelores Emergency Assistance Coalition at 564-1195.