San Diego

Community Supports Families Affected By Government Shutdown

There has been an outpouring of support for families affected by the shutdown in San Diego, including many support and donation programs throughout the county.

One such program was the free admission this weekend for furloughed workers’ families at the Ruben Space Fleet Center.

Diana Hildebrand family was among dozens who came out to the Fleet Center on Sunday. She said was able to remember what it was like to be a kid again and temporarily forget the worries of a paycheck.

“My mom called to check on me, ‘Are you OK? You're not coming out of your house?” Hildebrand said. “I'm like, ‘I don't want to use the gas in my car. I don't know when I'm going to get paid.’"

Hildebrand, a TSA worker, hasn't been able to return to work since December. She, like many others in her shoes, just wants to know when the shutdown will be over.

“I've never seen it last this long before,” she said. “I’ve been through two of these before. It's a little scary."

Elsewhere in the community, Support the Enlisted Project was also lending a helping hand.

"The community is really coming together to make sure their needs are met during this financially challenging time for them,” said Tony Teravainen, CEO of S.T.E.P.

His agency was providing food, toiletries, and other goods for the nearly 700 Coast Guard families going without pay.

"We want to ensure that our Coast Guard men, who are still being asked to do the most essential mission of their business — that's saving lives, and rescuing people," he said. "They’re still performing those duties without a paycheck.”

Back at the Fleet Center, Hildebrand says the efforts have helped to bring some relief.

"This is kind of nice that there are things available for us that people are offering out there the kindness of their heart,” she told NBC 7.

The Fleet Center said some 300 families participated in free admission program between Saturday and Sunday.

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