Coast Guard Tells Families Harmed By Gov’t Shutdown To Hold Garage Sales

President Donald J. Trump looks on as First Lady Melania Trump shakes hands with a member of the Coast Guard during a Thanksgiving day visit to the Coast Guard station in Riviera Beach, Fla., Nov. 23, 2017. White House photo

A tip sheet sent to Coast Guard members going without pay suggested garage sales and babysitting to help pay the bills.

U.S. Coast Guard employees suffering financially under the partial government shutdown were given a list of tips for surviving without paychecks, including suggestions to hold garage sales, babysit, or become a “mystery shopper”, according to The Washington Post.

The suggestions were part of a five-page tip sheet published by the Coast Guard Support Program, an employee-assistance arm of the service often known as CG SUPRT. It is designated to offer Coast Guard members help with mental-health issues or other concerns about their lives, including financial wellness.

“Bankruptcy is a last option,” the document said.

Unlike other military services that receive Defense Department funding and are not subject to the partial shutdown, the Coast Guard gets its funds from the Department of Homeland Security, meaning it has been cut off from money along with other DHS agencies.

Of the Coast Guard’s 8,500 civilian employees, the Post said about 6,400 people are indefinitely furloughed and another 2,100 are working without pay.

“While it may be uncomfortable to deal with the hard facts, it’s best to avoid the 'hide your head in the sand’ reaction,” the tip sheet said. “Stay in charge of the situation by getting a clear understanding of what’s happening.”

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