Alexandria, VA (Jan. 16, 2019) More corporations are joining the United for U.S. Coalition, which is helping furloughed federal workers and others impacted by the ongoing government shutdown. The Coalition, announced last week by United Way Worldwide, is a joint effort by corporate partners, organized labor, the United Way network and nonprofits.
Since the shutdown started, United Way and its community partners have been fielding calls from furloughed workers seeking assistance with a variety of needs, including rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and groceries. Those calls have mostly come to 2-1-1, a free nationwide service that connects people with locally available community resources, public benefits and corporate assistance programs.
“United Way commends our corporate partners for stepping up to help struggling furloughed workers,” said Mary Sellers, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “We work every day in communities around the country to strengthen financial stability. The shutdown puts furloughed workers and their families in a precarious financial situation, so all of us need to do what we can to help.”
United for U.S. brings together companies, employers, organized labor and others who want to minimize the shutdown’s harmful effects on furloughed workers and their families. To date, eight companies have joined the United for U.S. Coalition, and more are in the works.
Two of United Ways closest corporate partners, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, were previously announced as part of the coalition and are providing the following assistance:
- Wells Fargo has pledged $250,000 in grant support to help federal employees meet their most basic needs: food, bill assistance, shelter etc., in addition to waiving fees for customers who have direct deposit from the federal government, and offering short and long-term assistance for those who need extra time to make payments. Customers should call 800-219-9739 for help, or visit any branch.
- Bank of America is reaching out to affected clients to let them know of the bank’s Client Assistance Program. Customers can call 844-219-0690, or schedule an appointment at a local branch. Bank of America has also pledged $10,000 to the United Way National Capital Area Emergency Assistance Fund. The funds will be directed to organizations in the Washington, D.C. area that will help affected people with food, rent and utility assistance programs
Additionally, the following companies have joined the effort:
- Nationwide will institute a grace period and delayed payments for standard personal lines; expedite requests for withdrawals and loans to disburse money quickly; waive certain fees; and extend due dates for insurance premium and loan payments. Customers should refer to the contact information on their policy or contact their agent for more information.
- U.S. Bank is offering a new low-rate quick loan designed to help customers families impacted by the shutdown. Qualified federal government employees can apply for a $100-$6,000 low-rate, quick loan, or find out about mortgage relief options. Customers should call U.S. Bank’s designated federal government shutdown line at 877-760-6046.
- Lyft is working in the Washington, D.C. area — home to 300,000 federal workers — to provide financial support, including donating food to local food banks.
- Airbnb will pay hosts who are furloughed employees for an extra night (up to $110) for every three nights they rent out their house, apartment or room to travelers.
- Sprint is encouraging customers struggling to pay bills because of the shutdown to call 888-211-4727 or go online at Sprint.com to talk with a customer care representative about short-term payment solutions to keep service uninterrupted.
- Comcast urges federal workers to call 800-934-6489 to find a payment solution that works for them.
As part of its long partnership with the labor movement, United Way is also working with a number of labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), to distribute information on resources available to assist with needs and living expenses.
And local and state United Ways continue to offer support and services. For example, United Way Puerto Rico is launching a joint effort with Consumer Credit Counseling, 2-1-1, and the Bank and Cooperative Associations. United Way will distribute 6,000 bags of food, and is working with community partners on mortgage and credit card payment extensions, and low-interest emergency loans.
The city of Denver is working with Mile High United Way to create a new Temporary Mortgage Assistance program, which will offer financial assistance to homeowners who are facing hardship due to unexpected changes in their employment status – including furlough, temporary layoff or significant reduction of hours worked. The program, being offered through a partnership with Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center, will provide households up to two months or $5,000 maximum of help to cover mortgage payments.
United Way urges those seeking information or assistance to call 2-1-1 or go to www.211.org.
About United Way Worldwide
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.
2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that connects individuals to resources and services in their local communities by phone, text and on the web. Individuals in need or who are looking for information for someone else can call 2-1-1 from a cell phone or landline. United Way supports and provides 2-1-1 services in most communities across the U.S. For more information about 2-1-1, visit 211.org.