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Utah Nonprofits Stretch To Meet Needs Of Furloughed Workers

Photo of organizaiton's booths.
Courtesy Utah Nonprofits Association
Nonprofits gather at the capitol each year during the legislative session.

As the partial government shutdown stretches into its fourth week, Utah nonprofits are feeling the pressure, according to a survey by the Utah Nonprofits Association (UNA) which found that 10 percent of its members have seen in increase in the demand for services from furloughed workers.

Kate Rubalcava, CEO for UNA, said that food pantries and other nonprofits that provide critical services to Utahns are feeling the effects of the shutdown most profoundly.

“We are also now feeding federal furloughed employees who have missed a paycheck at this point and are wondering how they’re going to pay their rent, how they’re going to feed their families,” said Rubalcava.

55 percent of those surveyed receive funding from the federal government, Rubalcava said, and 62 percent reported making organizational changes because of the shutdown. Rubalcava said some nonprofits are even considering reducing services or closing their doors altogether.

“We had a case of four respondents indicating that they would need to reduce staffing and one nonprofit organization indicating that they may need to close their doors,” said Rubalcava.

If the shutdown drags on, Rubalcava said she expects after-school programs could have to begin providing services for parents looking for work and homeless shelters might see an increase as workers run out of money to pay rent.

The Utah Nonprofits Association represents 700 of the more than 8,000 nonprofits across the state.

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