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Cape Coral family struggles to make ends meet amid government shutdown

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 22:33:36-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Alejandra gave birth to a baby girl last week. Her husband works a federal job to provide for her, the newborn and their two older kids. But he hasn’t gotten paid since the government shutdown started five weeks ago.

Alejandra said if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, she doesn’t know how they’re going to pay the bills.

Her son PJ said it’s not fair.

“I think it’s unfair because he’s doing work and he’s protecting all of us and I don’t think it’s fair because he’s not getting paid for what he’s doing for us,” said PJ.

Alejandra said they’ve been on a tight budget since the shutdown started.

“Just financially it’s hard because he’s not getting paid. We just cut back on a lot of our spending. Normal things that we would purchase, we’re just not doing,” she said.

She said they’re buying less food. And she said the little money they had saved is running low. And there are things she just can’t cut back on, like bills. She’s worried if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, they’ll have to pay them late.

“Our electricity, our water, to pay for our home. We don’t want to get behind on any payments because there’s late fees that we have to spend out of pocket,” she said.

Alejandra said she would work to help out, but it just isn’t possible right now.

“We can’t even afford a babysitter if I needed to get a side job,” she said.

She said she hopes things will go back to normal soon.

“As a mother with three kids…and how long it’s been…we just need help,” she said. “It’s hard.”

There are resources for some federal employees affected by the government shutdown in Southwest Florida.

Sea Tow Fort Myers will hand out donated food to Coast Guard members at the Publix on Summerlin Rd. and San Carlos Blvd. Wednesday January 23, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Harry Chapin will host a mobile food pantry at the Southwest Florida International Airport 16000 Chamberlin Parkway, Lot #12 on Friday January 25, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.