GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The federal government has been shut down for nearly three weeks, leaving thousands of federal employees furloughed or without pay. With no clear end in sight, some of those employees are being forced to find other means for providing for their families.
Gulfport resident Jesse Yarbrough works as a mechanical technician at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. But for the past few weeks, he has taken on a new job as a laborer, getting up each morning and going to Labor Finders to work whatever jobs they can give him.
“So far, I’ve just been working here with Labor Finders because it’s hard to get a job with a reputable company like a construction company knowing that you’re part of the shutdown, and the government could reopen back at any time,” he said.
However, he’s more fortunate than many. Up until now, he’s been able to use paid time off he had stored to help ease the financial burden caused by the shutdown.
“Fortunately, because my company did offer PTO and Christmas, it hasn’t hit,” said Yarbrough. “It’s going to hit next week for us really. But we just kinda have to push bills back and hope.”
In the meantime, he will continue to get up each day and do whatever jobs Labor Finders can provide him, even though it means only earning around $9/hour.
“Every day you’ve gotta wake and look at the news, see what’s going on and just hope that maybe something changes," he said.
Tuesday night, President Trump called Congress to action.
“The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only,” said President Trump in his address to the nation. “Because Democrats will not fund border security.”
He continued: “The only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government.”
That’s a sentiment Yarbrough agrees with.
“Shutdowns don’t affect people that are still getting paid,” Yarbrough said. “And yes, that’s directed toward the people in Congress.”