Government Shutdown: Find Help Now

Thousands of federal employees in the Greater Richmond & Petersburg region have been impacted by the ongoing federal government shutdown.

As a major regional funding organization, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg works closely with local governments and other organizations to help those in need – but we cannot substitute critical government programs and services. We are concerned about the damage that could occur to the region’s vulnerable communities should these programs be reduced or halted. Specifically, we are thinking about federal programs like SNAP, WIC, Free and Reduced Lunch and Section 8.

First, if you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills because of missed pay due to the shutdown, we encourage you to speak directly to your landlords, utility companies, phone service providers etc. There may be special arrangements that can be made. Many businesses will be sympathetic.

This page will serve as a resource for people in need during the government shutdown. We will provide updates and add new information and resources as they become available.

Find Help Now: 2-1-1 Virginia

  • 2-1-1 Virginia is a free, confidential referral and information service that connects people from all communities to a specialist who can help find local health and human services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and 2-1-1 Virginia are committed to helping local residents impacted by the federal government shutdown. Furloughed federal employees and government contractors in need of social services and individuals with questions about availability of public benefits can call 2-1-1 to get help.
  • 2-1-1 Virginia specialists can help those in need connect to food pantries, health care services and utility and eviction prevention assistance. Callers also can receive information on mental health counseling, transportation, job training, substance use recovery services, child care and volunteer opportunities.
  • Additional information about unemployment benefits for furloughed employees is available from OPM. Click here for more information.
  • 2-1-1 has launched a page with information on SNAP, Section 8, veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits and tax refunds as well as a list of financial institutions and other companies that are providing relief and support to those affected. This information is not specific to Virginia.