Federal workers are turning to loans and food banks — and looking for new jobs

It's unclear how many TSA workers have quit, but this could create a "massive security risk"...
It's unclear how many TSA workers have quit, but this could create a "massive security risk" for all travelers in the U.S.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2019 at 5:19 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For some federal workers, growing uncertainty about the government shutdown has them contemplating a career change.

“I have friends across the island telling me this place is hiring. You should check out this place," said one TSA officer, who didn’t want her name used.

“And we’re getting that list together, speaking with managers, finding out what hours they have, what there pay rate is and as soon as they have an opening when can I get in the door.”

She continues to show up for her shifts and loves her work.

But lately, she says it’s been a struggle to get through the day.

“Right now I’m hurting,” she said. “I’m going to be OK for January. But when it comes to February, that’s tricky.”

[LIST: Here’s where federal employees can get assistance as shutdown continues]

She’s started shopping for a loan.

But she says finding something that’s low interest and meets her needs hasn’t been easy.

“I’m actually with Navy Federal Credit Union. Right now they’re offering what is known as the government shutdown loan at a zero percent interest rate,” she said. “Based off what they see in my direct deposit I fall into a bracket. That bracket has given me $1,000. That’s not enough for me to get my rent paid and for my car.”

Letty Whetsel, whose husband is in the Coast Guard, said the shutdown has everyone worried. The family has four children.

“We’re all in the same basket right now,” she said.

In an effort to help families, she and wives from other branches of the military have organized a food bank.

Get more details on the food bank by clicking here.

“We’ll have food. We’ll have baby items. Anything that they really need,” said Whetsel.

The TSA agent, meanwhile, said she’s about a week out from needing to head to the food bank herself.

“I want people to know this is impacting the little guy,” she said. “I feel like I am being used as a pawn and my paycheck is being held hostage.”

She said the one bright spot in all of this has been the airline passengers. She said many have expressed their appreciation and that’s what’s motivated her to stay on the job.

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