City partnering with nonprofit groups to help furloughed federal employees

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The City of Houston is partnering with Houston Relief Hub and several local nonprofit groups to help furloughed employees find assistance during the partial government shutdown, the mayor announced.

Starting January 22, federal employees who need immediate assistance can apply for a $100 voucher and recieve information about organizations providing assistance.

A list of resources for furloughed employees can be found on the Houston Relief Hub website:

Houston Relief Hub founder Bill Baldwin says it started with an anonymous donation and a phone call from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Saturday morning.

Within hours of the announcement, Baldwin says dozens of people had reached out, asking how they could receive help.

"They can apply now and all they really need is verification of their federal employment," adds Baldwin. "It's not a long cumbersome project. We're not the federal government. We're just volunteers over here. If they can produce an ID from the fed government, they'll be eligible for this $100 voucher."

Information will also be released about a central location where members of the community can donate items like diapers, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, gift cards and cash.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says no city resources will be used.

"There appears to be no end in sight to the longest government shutdown in US history, and  we want to do our part to help fellow Houstonians in their time of need," Mayor Turner said. "We will be connecting individuals with resources and information on how to apply for immediate assistance. We hope to ease the burden of federal employees who, through no fault of their own, are being forced to make a huge personal sacrifice." 

The Houston Relief Hub will help coordinate volunteers to accept and process donations.

"Just as in the days following Harvey, we understand the shutdown has an exponential effect on individuals and families," said Baldwin. "Our goal is to connect those who desire to help their fellow Houstonians with those who need our help, and vice versa, while sharing resources to ensure basic needs are met. All are encouraged to contact us in this uncertain time to see how we can support one another."