‘One Day at a Time'; Dallas Church Helps Members Impacted by Shutdown

The government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history

A Dallas church has come together to help members of its congregation who are government workers impacted by the shutdown.

Concord Church, located at 6808 Pastor Baily Drive in Dallas, provided assistance to furloughed employees who missed their paychecks for the first time this week because of the government shutdown.

Senior pastor Rev. Bryan Carter said the church is providing financial resources such as gift cards and food baskets, and announced the church would accept additional applications from members who will need further assistance.

"We just want to be a help to people that were here today," Carter said. "All of the funding today, came from members. They gave, they wanted to make a contribution, they wanted to help people in need. You know, none of us can know what tomorrow brings. We all could be in that same boat, so we just want to be a help."

Carter pointed out that the government shutdown happened coincided with the holiday season, so most people were already on a tight budget. He said he believed that the church's actions could help those who need the support.

"We just want them to know that we're here for you in this season," he said. "Take it one day at a time and trust God."

Several members of the congregation voiced concerns and also showed thanks for the support they received from the church.

Kevin Knowles, a correctional officer from Seagoville, said he's started to see the financial impacts of the government shutdown.

"Tomorrow will be the first paycheck I miss. My daughter is going back to school to Prairie View A&M University today and without having the funds in the house, I can't send her back to school with any money," Knowles said. "Everything has been a little lean. My family has been supportive of it and I think we'll make it through."

"I won't receive a paycheck until they come to some type of resolution. Hopefully they'll come to a resolution soon and it will all be over," Knowles said.

"The church has been wonderful. They give us outlets on what we can do and have given us financial backing, moral support and most of all spiritual guidance through this thing that, you know, it may look bleak right now but we can make it through it with prayer and help from God."

Another church member, Vellenise Gatlin, works for the FAA in quality assurance and said the government shutdown has been stressful, but "they're holding on."

"We're just trusting that God is going to make a way," Gatlin said. "Today, the church offered to give each person who was affected by the government shutdown gift cards to help them out. They've also offered assistance with rent and mortgage for anyone who needed it, and with food."

"I have two sons and I'm trying to make sure they aren't affected right now," she said. "I don't talk too much to them about it and we just go on, day by day, as we usually have. So far we've been able to do that. It's a blessing."

"If people just lean on each other and talk to your neighbor, if they're going through it. See what you can do to help out. I think that's the way to, for us to come together as a community, to make things better," Gatlin said.

The government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history.

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