Freebies, help for furloughed government workers in Hampton Roads

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — It’s the longest partial government shutdown in history and government employees who have been furloughed are starting to feel the financial burden. 

Local communities across the region have stepped up to help out their fellow citizens in various ways. 

Below are where you can find local drives and food banks, temporary jobs and other free or helpful assets to help you or others get through this difficult time. 

**NOTE: Even though President Donald Trump has signed a bill to end the government shutdown until Feb. 15, some of these offers may still apply. Reach out to the individual businesses and organizations for more information.**

CITY/COUNTY SERVICES AND BILLS

CHESAPEAKE — In the City of Chesapeake, there are several services to help eligible families in need including SNAP, TANF, Child Care and more. Chesapeake Public Utilities can provide a 30-day extension for bill payments and other options for those who request it and show validiation. You can read more about the resources available to you in Chesapeake here. 

NORFOLK — There are several ways the City of Norfolk is helping furloughed federal employees including payment plans for bills, parking and property taxes. Click here for more info. 

PORTSMOUTH — The City of Portsmouth recommends applying for some of their assistance programs to help during this time of need. 

SALVATION ARMY — Furloughed government employees and members of the Coast Guard can get help with electric and gas bills in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake (except for those in the zip codes 23321 and 23323). To qualify for help, you must provide your ID, a copy of their $0 pay stub, account information and copies of their most recent bills. This information should be sent to either mary.mann@uss.salvationarmy.org or seth.atkinson@uss.salvationarmy.org.

SUFFOLK — The City of Suffolk recommends applying for some of their assistance programs with their different departments. 

FOODBANKS

ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIVERSITY — ECSU is opening a food pantry in their Military and Veterans Affairs Center for members of the Coast Guard. It will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

FOOD BANK OF THE ALBEMARLE — Located in Elizabeth City. They’ve added an extra day to their pantry hours to help goverment employees and others affected by the government shutdown. 

FOODBANK OF SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND THE EASTERN SHORE — Primary distribution center located in Norfolk. They’ve expanded their hours to provide assistance in Norfolk on Monday and Friday (9 a.m. to 11 a.m.) and Thursday (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.).  The expanded on-site food distribution hours will begin January 24 and remain in effect until February 28.  Families in need will have access to fresh produce, lean protein, and non-perishable items, such as rice and pasta.

VIRGINIA PENINSULA FOODBANK— Located in Hampton. They’re handing out food on Fridays to those affected by the government shutdown until it ends and hosting a pop-up food pantry on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the gym at the Yorktown Coast Guard base (TRACEN). 

FREEBIES AND DISCOUNTS

CATCH 31 FISH HOUSE AND BAR — Located inside the Hilton Oceanfront. Furloughed government employees can show their government ID for a 50 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks. This applies to Salacia Prime Seafood and Steaks as well. 

CHANTEL RAY — If you are a furloughed government employee, you can fill out their online form to receive a $50 gift card to put towards groceries, gas, etc. 

DESTRUCTION ROOM — Located at 4425 Shore Drive in Suite 104 in Virginia Beach. Citizens affected by the government shutdown can come down and smash 10 items to alleviate stress. Click here for more info. 

ELEMENT HAIR — Located at 3312 Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach. Furloughed government employees can get a free haircut until the shutdown is over. Call Adrienne at (757) 839-0249 or Misty (757) 407-1568 to schedule an appointment and don’t forget your government ID. 

FLOUR GIRLS CAFE AND BAKERY— Located in Elizabeth City, is offering a 25 percent discount and a free dessert to families affected by the government shutdown every Friday.

FUR’ST LOVE PET SPA — Located at 1501 Cedar Road in Chesapeake. They’re offering a free, DIY dogwash to furloughed government employees. Call (757) 549-3313 for more info. 

GREEN LEAF AND PEBBLE TEA SPA — Located at both 700 Norfolk Avenue and 520 North Great Neck Road in Virginia Beach. They’re offering a free 60 minute customized massage or signature facial to members of the Coast Guard and furloughed government employees through Jan. 31. Make an appointment ahead of time, mention their post and bring your military/government ID when you arrive. 

HOT YOGA MASSAGE — Located at 33 Hidenwood Shopping Ctr. in Newport News. They are offering free hot yoga sessions until the shutdown is over. Bring your proof of furlough. 

KAHIAU’S BAKERY AND CAFE — Located at 3712 S Plaza Trail in Virginia Beach. They’re offering free meals to furloughed government employees until the shutdown is over. Follow their Facebook for more info or call (757) 340-0071. 

LIDL — The grocery store chain is offering $10 off an eligible $40 purchase with a valid government ID. 

MONA LISA RESTAURANT AND BAR — Located at 3574 N Military Highway in Norfolk. Coast Guardsmen and their families can get a free slice of pizza. 

O’CONNOR BREWING CO. — Located in Norfolk. They say they will be serving up a glass of beer to furloughed employees until the shut down is over. Just bring your government ID and actual ID. 

PENINSULA YMCA — Membership dues for YMCA members that have been furloughed due to the partial government shutdown have been waived. 

VIRGINIA BEACH SHERIFF’S OFFICE— Their “Dinner with a Deputy” event will provide a free meal to furloughed workers and their families on Jan. 28, Jan. 30 and Feb. 1. at the Law Enforcement Training Academy at 411 Integrity Way from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

VIRGINIA STAGE COMPANY — Get two complimentary tickets to the Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home, at The Wells Theatre in Norfolk. Click here to reserve your tickets and bring your government I.D. to Will Call on the performance date you’ve selected to redeem. 

WINSTON WISHES — Located in Norfolk. They are offering assistance with pet food for furloughed families in need, just contact them through their Facebook or website.    

WOLVES IN WOOL— A barber in York County, Melissa Aaron, is offering free haircuts to those affected by the government shutdown. She’s at the shop Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (757) 243-2074.

TEMPORARY JOBS 

CHESAPEAKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS — Furloughed government employees can apply for open positions, including substitute teacher, bus driver, school nutrition worker and custodian. You can apply online or call (757) 547-0001 for more information. 

NEWPORT NEWS PUBLIC SCHOOLS — They have substitute teacher openings. There was a special job fair held on Jan. 23, but you can still apply online. NNPS says no prior teaching experience is required. 

CITY OF NORFOLK — The city announced they are have some part-time jobs available for furloughed government employees. Click here to apply. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

DINNER WITH A DEPUTY  — You can help out with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office’s free dinner event by calling (757) 385-8446. 

PORTSMOUTH POLICE DEPT. — On Thursday, January 24, the department will be collecting essential items such as diapers and wipes, non-perishable food items and toiletries. You can drop off your donations at the Portsmouth Police Training Unit at 309 Columbia Street between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The department will drop off the collected items to the U.S. Coast Guard the next day.

SALVATION ARMY — Community members wanting to help those in need during this time can do so by donating to their various assistance programs. You can call (757) 965-9007 to donate by phone, visit salvationarmyhrva.org to donate online or write a check to The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command and mail it to 5525 Raby Road, Norfolk, VA 23502. 

WINSTON WISHES — This nonprofit is offering assistance with pet food for those in need. If you would like to donate pet food to help them hand out to those in need, you can do so at the following AT&T store locations: Landstown Commons and Redmill in Virginia Beach, 1119 N Military Highway in Norfolk, 4200 Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake and 12080 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. 

See something we missed? Email webdesk@wavy.com  



Unfortunately, there are scammers out there trying to take advantage of government workers during the shutdown. Attorney General Mark Herring is warning workers to be wary. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam are encouraged to contact Herring’s Consumer Protection Section by either calling 1-800-552-9963, emailing consumer@oag.state.va.us or visiting this link.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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