JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville's mayor and City Council president want families in Duval County affected by the partial government shutdown to know relief is available.
Mayor Lenny Curry announced Friday morning that there are a number of relief options for federal workers in Jacksonville.
"Employees and retirees from multiple agencies as well as the U.S. Coast Guard have either been off the job or on the job without pay," Curry said. "Since Washington can't come together in a sensible way, then we will."
About $500,000 is available through the city's Social Services Division to help families with rent, mortgage, utilities and food, the city announced. The funds are available to residents who can document their furlough or pay stoppage from the federal government and their need based on exhausted or insufficient resources.
Recipients cannot already receive food stamps.
"These families deserve whatever we can do to help," City Council President Aaron Bowman said. "Many in the private and nonprofit sectors are already helping; Mayor Curry and I want to make sure the city is doing its part."
Four families in Duval County have already applied for assistance through the program.
To apply, call the city’s Social Services Division at 904-630-0545.
JEA Customer Service Options
JEA also has a program to help those struggling to pay their bills.
The Jacksonville-owned utility offers bill management programs like Payment Plans and Payment Arrangements.
Payment Plans might work for customers who need just a few extra days to pay their bill.
For those who need more time paying their past due balance, Payment Arrangement allows customers to pay their past due amount over a series of months.
To find out which payment program is best for your situation, call 904-665-6000 to review your options.
City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department
One-time, interest-free loans up to $500 are available to active duty Coast Guard members affected by the shutdown.
Repayment will be over a 6-month period once normal pay has resumed.
Service members who work or live in Duval County will need to present a military ID to apply.
For more information on the services available for military, veterans and their families, call 904-630-3680.
The city said it has a longstanding partnership with United Way, and the organization can help with referrals to other agencies providing rent and mortgage payment assistance or food.
To reach the United Way, call 211.
For a list of available services for those affected by the shutdown, click here.
The USO is distributing donations to the Coast Guard commands as needed.
For more information, go to www.jaxuso.org.