NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Salvation Army says it is looking to help local federal workers with their utility bills amid the partial government shutdown.
In a news release, the organization said it is working to “alleviate the stresses” of electric and gas bills for Coast Guard and government employees in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake (except for those in the zip codes 23321 and 23323).
The Salvation Army normally needs shut-off notices from Virginia Natural Gas bills to provide this kind of assistance. However, that requirement has been waived due to the shutdown.
To qualify for help, furloughed workers must provide their 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.
“Being able to alleviate the burden of a $250 power bill, you know when you’ve got your heat running, an expensive electric or gas bill, and then also being able to simultaneously provide food, that’s several hundreds of dollars worth of financial stress that’s just lifted off of these people’s shoulders,” said Melissa Medel, Salvation Army Hampton Roads Marketing and Communications Manager.
Medel says they’ve seen an increase in people using the Salvation Army’s services. She added, “It takes a lot of swallowing of your own pride to be able to come in and come through our food pantry, but there’s no shame in doing that and providing for your family what they need.”
Community members wanting to help those in need during this time can do so by donating to the 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.