Furloughed worker pawns possessions to pay bills during shutdown

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jan 21, 2019

Furloughed federal workers will miss their second paycheck of the month if the government doesn't reopen by tomorrow to process checks. Many furloughed workers are trying to make ends meet, as bills start piling up.

Faye Smith is one of those workers. She keeps bundled up inside her Maryland home, because despite dangerous winter weather warnings, she's reluctant to turn on her heat.

“It's very cold outside. I basically put clothes on, sleep with socks on, because there's no money coming in, so therefore I can't run my electric like I used to,” Smith explains.

Because of the shutdown, Smith hasn't been to work for a month now. She keeps an anxious eye on the latest developments, and she remains hopeful it will finally come to an end.

“I don't want to break down…but it's been an emotional roller coaster,” Smith says. “If I could afford it, I’d probably need to be in therapy right now, because all I do is cry, and I don't want to cry.”

This month, Smith donated plasma and got $40 to put towards her upcoming rent payment. She’s also pawned off a TV and three watches to get more money for bills. She’s hoping to avoid what next on the list: two rings given to her by her late mother and late husband.

“No, I don't want to get rid of my mom's ring, my wedding band, but it's the last resort,” she says.

At the age of 60, Smith says she has applied for jobs at McDonald’s, Home Depot, and a list of other companies.

“I don't want to get back out here to start over again and look for jobs and things,” Smith says. “You know, it’s not fair.”

But with no paycheck, Smith says she’s what she can, including keeping her fingers crossed for a job interview she has on Thursday.