STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — More than 1,000 Staten Islanders are among hundreds of thousands of federal workers not receiving a paycheck during the longest government shutdown in history, now going on 23 days.
U.S. Coast Guard employees stationed at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island are still patrolling the water during the shutdown. Because those patrols fall under national security, the work continues despite the shutdown.
Unlike other branches of the military, the Coast Guard is not part of the Department of Defense, which operates under a previously passed budget. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and therefore, affected by the partial shutdown.
Families like Rebeca Hinger, a mother of three children whose husband is an active U.S. Coast Guard member, say they’re having trouble paying their bills, putting food on the table, and making ends meet.
“This is taking an emotional toll on us and all the families here at Fort Wadsworth,” said Hinger.
Hinger said many of the families living at Fort Wadsworth live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) said he’s seen how generous his constituents have been in the past when other Staten Islanders were in need, and is asking them to show it once more.
“There are lots of young Coast Guard families stationed on Staten Island who aren’t paid very much and who never ask for anything,” Borelli said.
“South Shore residents have been so generous in the past with our food, clothes, and toy drives that I know if we put out the call that we’ll get plenty of assistance for the women and men of the U.S. Coast Guard,” he said.
All donations — like food, diapers, formula and baby items — can be dropped off at Borelli’s office, located at 2955 Veterans Rd. West, Suite 2E, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Deliveries will be made to U.S. Coast Guard members at the end of every week, his office said.