News Council sends letter to DC delegation on shutdown

The Providers’ Council on Wednesday, January 23 sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as the nine U.S. Representatives from Massachusetts, urging them to “work with the Administration and legislative leaders in Washington D.C. to immediately reopen the federal government and limit the harm your constituents are already experiencing in the Commonwealth.”

The Council noted several impacts in its letter, which can be downloaded in its entirety here. (While this letter is addressed to Sen. Warren, identical letters went to all 11 members of the state’s Washington delegation).

  • Council members help individuals with disabilities secure jobs cleaning federal buildings and sites in Boston. These individuals with disabilities are not out of work — and not receiving a paycheck.
  • Human services organizations providing re-entry services to the Bureau of Prisons are being told they must continue providing services, but they will not receive payment until the federal government reopens.
  • Several providers have noted that property acquisitions under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are being delayed or held up due to the government closure.
  • Federal departments including the Office on Violence Against Women and Office for Victims of Crime were expected to close on Friday, January 18, though the closure date has been extended.

Additionally, many providers discussed the impact on the human services workforce, where one-of-eight workers is living at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and may be eligible for subsidies. One provider wrote:

“All it takes is one missed payment, voucher or rental subsidy to put them at extreme risk. It is imperative that those who are the most frail and vulnerable are not held hostage to a system that is meant to be a safety net for them. This is a most cruel and unusual way to force policy change.”

Other Council members or human service providers experiencing impacts are encouraged to share those with Bill Yelenak at the Providers’ Council.

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