Assistance provided to affected families | New
President Donald Trump’s announcement Friday that a deal had been reached and a partial federal government shutdown was ending was good news for thousands of workers on leave or forced to work without receiving a paycheck as the stalemate had lasted for 35 days.
While not a permanent solution, Trump announced on Friday afternoon that he would sign a bill that would reopen government operations for three weeks, or until February 15. This would allow the government to reopen while continuing to strive to reach a final deal between its administration. and Democratic leaders in Congress.
The shutdown began when Trump and Democrats disagreed over Trump’s $ 5.7 billion insistence on a wall on the country’s southern border with Mexico.
While the shutdown was in effect, DeSoto County joined others across the country who stepped in to help workers directly affected by the president’s actions.
Federal workers not receiving a paycheck, for example, have been offered interest-free loans of up to $ 1,500 by Southern Bancorp to cover their expenses. Southern Bancorp is a regional financial institution with an office in Hernando.
“All they need to do is bring their federal government ID and their most recent paycheck. We’ll help you complete the loan documents and paperwork, ”said Southern Bancorp DeSoto County President Alan Sims. “Some of these people don’t know when they’ll get their paycheck.”
The Arkansas-based banking company also waived overdraft fees for its clients who were federal employees during the shutdown. The loans came with no fees, no credit checks, and no interest.
Emergency loans are payable within six months or upon resumption of government operations and payroll processing, whichever occurs first.
“Southern Bancorp is ready to help its customers during this stressful time,” said Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc. in a statement. “In addition to these immediate steps, our team of credit counselors and financial service providers stands ready to provide additional support, not only during this crisis, but also in the period after, as people begin to rebuild their lives. financial life. “
The Heartland Hands pantry in Southaven also received assistance.
Manager Connie James said Thursday the pantry has seen an increase in demand for food in recent weeks from federal workers unemployed and trying to feed their families.
Even a group from the Coast Guard came earlier in the week asking for help. They were Mississippi Coast Guardsmen serving on the Mississippi River, James said.
“I guess for the last 2-3 weeks we’ve had people everyday,” James said. “Some of them live in Southaven, because one of them goes to church here (at Heartland Church) and he knew he was coming here. He’s watching something on the Mississippi River.
Heartland Hands, from its location on Stateline Road in Southaven, has also helped other food organizations who have also felt the pressure of increased demand for food.
“Some of the other pantries came to us and said, ‘We live on a budget, so if we feed 100 families, we buy food for 100 families. We cannot serve 60 more families. “We told the other pantries that if they couldn’t serve them, we could, so send them here.
James said she also wrote to First District Representative Trent Kelly and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith to let their offices know that Heartland Hands will be responsible for providing food to all government employees affected by the shutdown.
Bob Bakken is editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.