TOLEDO (WTOL) - It’s day 21 of the partial government shutdown. The shutdown has hit families across the country hard. Some of them, right here in our own neighborhoods.
A Perrysburg family is now pinching their pennies knowing there is no check coming for what seems like a while.
The Hastings are a one income family. Shalena is currently working on her degree, so her husband’s job with the Coast Guard pays their bills. While he is still working a full week, there’s no money coming in. That has forced them to live differently and even work extra hours.
“I’m terrified to be honest,” said Shalena Hastings, wife of an E5 with the US Coast Guard stationed in Toledo. “Yes, because we don’t know when it’s ending. We don’t know when our next paycheck is going to be. We just don’t know and that uncertainty is just sometimes it weighs a lot on us."
Brice Hastings has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 years. Just like in the past, he gets up and goes to work at the Toledo Station every day only now he’s doing it without pay because of the government shutdown.
“It’s beyond what we could have ever imagined for having the comforts for ten years that we’ve had to it just being stopped out of nowhere,” said Shalena.
Shalena said their bills are due next week and they are cutting corners to make ends meet for their family of three. They quit cable, are eating smaller portions, and have even picked up second jobs to help pay the bills.
“We don’t know,” said Shalena Hastings. “How are we going to pay rent next or our car payments? How do you even go about. Nothing compares to what he’s currently making or was making.”
While they are doing their best to maintain normal for the 9-year-old daughter, Shalena said it’s been a challenge. They wanted to go to Winterfest in Perrysburg Friday, but also know they shouldn’t to save any extra money.
Shalena wants Washington to know what it’s doing to families like hers.
“It’s not just about the wall or no wall or whatever agenda that they have at the table,” explained Shalena Hastings. “That it’s more because they don’t see the people that are struggling to be able to find the money, even just to feed their kids or go to essential doctor’s appointments or whatever. They need to understand that it’s not just about a wall, it’s about the American people.”
The Hastings said their community has been helpful in this tough time. Shalena is hopeful the shutdown will end soon and those who served America through it will be compensated for the time lost.