CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Federal workers are all set to get back to work after the longest partial government shutdown in history.
As they get back into their routines, and await back pay, members of the Richmond community are finding new ways to show support for their neighbors.
President Trump says he will give it three weeks to find a budget resolution that allows him to build the wall he wants to see on the southern border of America. Congress is making no assurances that will happen.
Richmond area families affected by the ongoing impasse got a show of support in North Chesterfield Saturday.
Kingdom Pursuers on Hull Street Road invited furloughed or essential unpaid federal workers and their families for a Day of Hope.
Felicia King said she “really enjoyed" the event.
“We felt as a church that we needed to do something,” Pastor Ronald Johnson said. “We knew we had members in our congregation who had gone weeks without getting paid, and they had needs, and we knew there was a greater community that had needs, as well.”
Praise and entertainment alongside gift bags with supplies, grocery cards and more may bridge the gap between now and whenever these families start seeing paychecks again.
“We wanted to be able to offer them hope, bring some laughter, bring some entertainment as well as provide some food,” Pastor Johnson said.
The shutdown lasted for 35 days and saw affected 9 of 15 federal departments and many more agencies. Over time, a number of essential services were unavailable or greatly compromised. Airlines on Friday reported a number of flight delays. This stopgap budget lasts for 3 weeks. After that time, President Trump says, he may issue an emergency to secure the funds for a border wall or he might consider shutting down the government again.
“It has been a hardship for my co-workers and a lot of the government workers, so I hope it will stay open,” King said.
The shutdown also postponed of the annual State of The Union address. There has been no official word on when the speech before both houses of Congress might happen, though some say it could be as early as this week.