Job Supporters For The Disabled Cut During Shutdown

Oct 15, 2013

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Many organizations that help the disabled get jobs in North Carolina are not working during the government shutdown. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to 140 groups last week, telling them there's no federal money to pay their contracts.

Smaller providers like the Arc of North Carolina are using their own funds to push through the shutdown. Arc gives work assistance to about 60 people at a time.

"Some of those folks we're helping to look for work.  Some of those folks already have a job and we're helping them to learn their jobs.  Some of those folks are fairly independent to doing follow-up to help them maintain their employment," says interim president Lisa Poteat.

"So if we stop services, it would put most of those folks in immediate jeopardy."

Poteat says Arc could likely hold out for several months if necessary.

But the group Easter Seals/UCP of North Carolina says the shutdown is affecting nearly half of the 1,700 people it supports with employment services.  Leaders in Congress have said there's been more hope this week of reaching a budget deal.