Agencies stand ready to help those affected
Hays County officials are among those offering funding ideas for those affected by the federal government shutdown.
“Whether you are a furloughed federal employee, or you are already receiving federal assistance of some type that is delayed in reaching you, we want you to know we are here to lend an ear and be a voice of unity, we care, and we know we are in this together,” County Judge Ruben Becerra said. He urged those who need help to seek it.
In Hays County, the Hays County Food Bank is available to anyone who is having a food emergency. The food bank has locations where food is distributed throughout the county – food pickup locations, time and dates are in English and Spanish in brochures at the bottom of the food bank’s website page. Please bring the required identification.
There are many local charities, such as those run by churches, that have assistance programs.
Help may be available through federal assistance programs that are still operating. The State Health and Human Services Department in San Marcos is at 1901 Dutton Drive, 512-753-2201.
Some cities may offer aid similar to that of Kyle, which has announced that federal employees who live in Kyle and receive city utility service — water, wastewater, trash and storm water — should contact Kyle’s UB department to request payment deferment. Each situation will be reviewed. Employees in federal departments should be ready to provide information validating their current employment status. The city can only defer payments for city services, however; those who live in subdivisions with private water suppliers need to contc that supplier directly. Allied Services of Kyle (A.S.K.) may also be able to help. Visit A.S.K. at Allied Services Kyle's website.
Those having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage should contact their provider to see if a payment plan or delayed payment can be arranged. Banks and credit unions are also publicizing programs that can help their customers with payments.
School districts may offer free lunch programs to children in their schools – Hays CISD has already reported enrolling children whose families are affected by the furlough. Check with your school district to find out how to apply.
WIC is a health and nutrition program with a successful record of supporting healthy pregnancies and providing nutritious foods for children up to age five. Although the current government shutdown has affected many agencies, the City of San Marcos has been advised that WIC has received adequate funding through the USDA to operate through the end of March. To learn more about the many benefits of WIC, as well as clinic locations and e-mail addresses, please visit the city's WIC page or Texas WIC page.
Financial stress can cause many issues, including self-medication. The Hays Caldwell Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, also at 1901 Dutton Street in San Marcos, can help with substance abuse counseling, treatment and intervention. Call 512-396-7695/toll-free 1-800-733-1214.