Many people hurt by the shutdown are the working poor. Consider the child care worker who was laid off because furloughed federal workers could not afford to keep their kids in daycare, or the low-wage contractor who will not receive back pay and risks falling deeper into credit card debt. Individuals participating in federal programs face disruption in benefits, creating even more stress. SNAP (the federal food assistance program) benefits must last through March and those with Section 8 vouchers fear eviction as the government falls behind on payments to landlords. A recent article in the Washington Post highlights how many people were pushed in to crisis. Those on the frontline of our community’s safety net are worried about the shutdown’s short- and long-term effects. This week, several nonprofits are reporting increases in requests for help. They are ramping up their programs to respond to the need. However, doing so without funding puts their organization’s financial health at risk. ACT and the City of Alexandria are each investing $25,000 in the ACT Now Fund. The Fund will provide emergency funding to nonprofits that are delivering the critical services and programs that are needed by Alexandrians right now. We are currently accepting applications for up to $5,000 in funding. Click here to learn more about how funds will be dispersed. Join us in supporting our neighbors in need by donating to the ACT Now Fund.