GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The news on the government shutdown Tuesday, Jan. 15 was that there wasn't any news.
Lawmakers and the President remain deadlocked over funding for the border wall.
It is now day 25 of the government shutdown. An estimated 800,000 federal employees are going without pay, but many are still on the job. Those workers are considered essential for public safety.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard are included in that group.
The Coast Guard has around 41,000 active-duty members who didn't get paid Tuesday. Around 90 are assigned to Grand Haven.
It's the first time they've not received a paycheck since the shutdown started.
Members of the Coast Guard in Grand Haven have continued reporting to work.
They weren't allowed to comment about not getting paid.
Others in the community like Michael J. Smith, Executive Director of the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival are speaking out.
"They are our neighbors," said Smith. "That's what this is about."
He's concerned especially for junior members of the Coast Guard who can't afford to miss a paycheck.
"When one doesn't show up that means something is going to happen or something is not going to happen," he said.
The festival is offering gift cards to be distributed by local Coast Guard commanders because they know the enlisted men and women best.
"They know the needs, and they know who needs what," he said.
The Tri-Cities Family YMCA is supporting local members of the Coast Guard too.
"We got word that the shutdown was having an impact on our Coast Guard families," said Greg Coil, Chief Executive Officer Tri-Cities Family YMCA.
"We responded back to the Coast Guard leadership that we would be happy to waive any fees or costs associated with our programs or membership for those families during this period."
Some Grand Haven area establishments are offering free meals to Coast Guard members and their families.
Dave Karpin with the Grand Haven Chapter of the Chief Petty Officers Association is working on an effort to get groceries and gift cards to members of the Coast Guard.
"They did not get paid today," said Karpin. "We are here to help them."
The C.P.O.A. is a non-profit not affiliated with the Coast Guard.
Financial donations to support the chapter's efforts locally can be dropped off at the Grand Haven Tribune.
"How many people do you know who would continue to come to work and risk their lives to save other people and not get compensated for it," he said.
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