Resources for furloughed federal workers

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With thousands of federal workers, contractors, vendors and service providers furloughed, Fairfax County has established a Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) operation that connects Fairfax County residents to county and community-based services and resources.

One phone call will get you connected to the information and assistance you need, the country promises. Call 703-222-0880, TTY 711. The multilingual staff can assist callers in Amharic, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Pashto, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Tigrinya and Urdu. CSP services are also available in other languages through the use of an interpreter.

Arlington County has also increased assistance for laid-off feds. Information here.

Assistance with Child Care

Child Care Assistance and Referral Program: Families participating in the CCAR program have signed on with a 12-month eligibility. During this period, if you find yourself without income you can request that your child care co-payment be lowered. CCAR staff are available to speak with families to discuss their ongoing child care needs. Call 703-449-8484 or email to seek information and help.

School Age Child Care: Families impacted by the federal government shutdown may continue to use services and apply for a reduced fee and/or develop a payment plan as needed. Alternatively, families may request to be placed in a temporary inactive status, which allows the family to discontinue services temporarily while maintaining their child’s enrollment space in SACC. Call 703-449-8989 or email to discuss ongoing needs for before and after school care with SACC staff.

Free Connector Bus Rides

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 17, Fairfax Connector will provide free rides system-wide for federal government employees affected by the government shutdown who are still required to report for work.

You must show your federal photo ID to the bus operator when boarding to ride free.

By showing your federal photo ID, trips taken on all Fairfax Connector bus routes are free, including express routes to and from the Pentagon and Downtown D.C.

View schedules and service information at

Call Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608; Monday-Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Se habla Español.

Help Neighbors in Need

Many of us know someone who is affected by the shutdown, whether neighbors or perhaps parents at your child’s school. Here are two ways you can provide donations.

1. The county’s Stuff the Bus events begin Saturday, Jan. 19. Bring your food and cash donations and help support our local nonprofit food pantries as they work to provide assistance for individuals and families in need.

Find Stuff the Bus Dates and Locations

2. We encourage you to contact our local nonprofits for information on providing donations. If you need assistance locating a nonprofit, we have a Human Services Guide with descriptions and contact information. A simple search will help you find a nonprofit near you.

Find A Local Nonprofit

Parks and Libraries

Need to get out of the house, but don’t want to spend money? Your county parks and libraries have a long list of low-cost/free activities, events and programs going on every day!

The Park Authority will work with furloughed federal employees and their families to provide a range of payment options to enable participation in Park Authority programs, classes and memberships. Park Authority programs are fee based and do not receive taxpayer funds to support these programs. For information about payment options and requirements, email

Pet Supplies

The Animal Shelter has pet food and limited other pet supplies available for furloughed federal employees. The supplies are available during shelter business hours and no appointment is needed. For more information, call 703-830-1100 or email

Consumer Affairs Resources

The Consumer Affairs office has compiled some tips and information if you need assistance with:

  • Tenant-landlord issues
  • Mortgages and credit cards
  • Credit bureaus
  • Donating to charities
  • Paying your phone and utility bills

View Tips and Resources



About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.