The Face of the Government Shutdown: A Family Furloughed
This is the face of the government shutdown. This is what the news doesn't show you when they state "hundreds of thousands without pay." This is my family on Christmas morning. Our son, Jack, is nearly four months old. The next morning my fiancé was to report to work in order to sign paperwork stating he understood he was being furloughed and would enter a period without work and uncertain pay.
We picked up our lives and moved a thousand miles out west in order for Anthony to pursue a dream. A dream he was worked toward for five years. He would finally train to be an air traffic controller. So with hearts full and hope aplenty we settled into life in Oklahoma City. This new feeling of security was short lived, though. Two weeks into class, there started to be talks of a government shutdown. Surely, we thought, it couldn't come to that. So, we continued on spending money for Jack's first Christmas. Conservatively, but also under the impression we would continue to have income. But the last day of class before the holidays came and went without a deal being struck, making it nearly certain that we would spend the holidays unsure of how we would continue to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads.
The government pays for our home. If the government isn't paying, the rent isn't getting paid. Our bright light in the darkness is our property management company who is willing to work with us, and not turn us out in a new city with a newborn. My hope is that Congress and the President will come to a resolution soon, despite Trump's threats of the shut down continuing on "months, maybe even years."
Today my fiancé will sit down and file for unemployment. Though he is officially employed by the government, he will have to collect state money until a budget is approved. This all feels surreal. To have worked so hard for so long to end up in such dire straits. We are the government shutdown. We are furloughed.
Editor's note: We're going through one of the most frustrating times in the history of the United States of America, and families like Ashley's are among those suffering the most. We wanted to provide a practical way to support a struggling family during the shutdown. You can also send them a little help directly to their Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org