Guide created by both Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Long Island, NY - February 20, 2019 - The Bi-County Shutdown Working Group, led by former Congressman Steve Israel and created by both Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, in partnership with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, today announced a comprehensive resource guide for federal furloughed and contract workers in response to the recent shutdown and in preparation for potential future government shutdowns.
The Working Group was established in response to the 35-day partial government shutdown with the goal of alleviating the extraordinary burden on federal workers and their families during these extraordinary times. The regional working group is comprised of nearly 30 representatives from nonprofit organizations, government agencies, elected representatives and private citizens.
The group met for the first time on February 6, 2019, and quickly developed a resource guide comprised of nutritional, legal, energy savings, financial assistance, and mental health services for those affected by the shutdown. There are approximately 1,600 federal employees living on Long Island, countless contracted workers, and numerous Long Islanders whose federal jobs are located in New York City.
"While it appears that another federal government shutdown has been averted, last month's shutdown showed us how vulnerable thousands of Long Islanders are in the event of another,” said former Congressman Steve Israel, who was appointed Chairman of the Working Group. “With so many Long Islanders and organizations working to provide assistance, it is critical that these resources be assembled in a one-stop shop that facilitates easy access by those in need. I am glad that the Bi-County Shutdown Working Group has been able to assemble a comprehensive and accessible fact sheet as a first step to help Long Island families who are affected.”
“While Washington remains ensnared in partisan gridlock, here on Long Island we are making sure residents have access to the information and resources they need during a shutdown,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “The efforts of the bi-county working group to collaborate and pool assets together has resulted in the creation of an all-inclusive resource guide for furloughed federal employees to ensure those affected know what is available to them from the get-go and can receive assistance in a much quicker and more effective manner.”
“Last month’s shutdown debacle demonstrated the clear need for local government to respond quickly and effectively on behalf of the thousands of Long Islanders who are impacted when the federal government shuts down,” said Nassau Executive Laura Curran. “In the event of another shutdown, our bi-county working group has developed a comprehensive resource guide that will give furloughed or unpaid federal employees everything they need to know from day one.”
“The Bi-County Shutdown Working Group is an example of government and the nonprofit sector planning collaboratively and regionally to evaluate resources and ensure that our ability to support Long Islanders at the local level is organized and strong when a crisis is created in Washington DC,” said Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. “We must continue to build a strong regional infrastructure on Long Island that ensures that whether crises develop from national shutdowns, changing immigration policies, funding shifts or any directive that impacts our region that the health and human services sector, in collaboration with government continues to be ready to meet emerging needs.”
The resource guide is posted on both Nassau County and Suffolk County websites at the links below and is being circulated to nonprofit organizations that are continuing to meet the needs of families affected by the most recent shutdown.