The effects of the government shutdown are already being felt across the country. In York County organizations have already made changes, the signs are apparent.
“Where`s Carter and Reagan? That is what’s going through my mind,” said Joseph Novello of York.
Novello pulled up and immediately asked if the Social Security Office is open. He found out it is, sort of, But he came out more frustrated. “Sorry can’t help you! That’s what they’re doing. Nothing!” said Novello. He needed a letter to verify his benefits. “For my LIHEAP to get heat for the winter you have to put in your award letter since I’m disabled. It shows how much money you make. They said no, Sorry. They give you instructions but they won’t do anything. It’s only the push of a button, but they wouldn’t do anything. They won’t answer to much of your questions either,” said Novello.
Pierre Paul Rodriguez had more luck. He needed to change bank account information. “My heart was beating. I wasn’t sure if they could do it, but I need that money. I changed accounts, I have direct deposit so I had to switch and I had to report it. And they were able to help me,” said Rodriguez.
The Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Assistance Center located next door on Industrial Highway is closed for the time-being.
Downtown York, the WIC office is open and continuing to provide services. A spokesperson released this statement:
“Pennsylvania’s WIC offices across the state are open and vital services are continuing. The department anticipates that the PA WIC program can continue normal operations for a few weeks. We are monitoring the situation closely and are engaged in planning for a longer-term shut down in coordination with the governor’s office and the USDA, should that happen, so that we’re prepared if necessary. If a long-term shut down takes place, the department and the Corbett administration will do all we can to minimize impacts to recipients who depend on these vital services, to the extent possible.
This week, we informed field offices to remain open and conduct business as usual. We have also asked them to watch their funds closely to ensure fiscal responsibility during this time. As we are working with the USDA on a contingency plan for the long-term, we have also requested that local WIC agencies submit an outline to the department that details steps to minimize administrative spending and ways to ensure minimal reductions to participant food benefits should the federal government remain shut down for an extended period of time.”
Nearby, the Community Progress Council is also still open. “The Community Progress Council is currently open for services. Staff and administration are exploring all of our options for keeping the program operational during the shutdown,” said CEO Robin Rohrbaugh.