Furloughed worker holds 'shutdown social'

Carsen Mata, an EPA employee, shares how the shutdown has affected her and other federal employees currently without work.
5:46 | 01/24/19

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Transcript for Furloughed worker holds 'shutdown social'
I wanna bring and one of those federal workers now from New Jersey but joining us from New York Carson mocked. Is an EPA official who works is involved with the Superfund cleanup sites around the country are cursing great to have you thanks for common answer give us a sense of how. Hard financial leave the guys shut down this thirty day shutdown now has been arguing your Fam. Well thank you for having me first small and it's it's a pleasure to be here on meant to share my story and to give the shut down kind of a voice. There there has been our real hardship on need not just me but a lot of my colleagues to. Com I've said it before I feel very fortunate to have the friends and family that I do. They've made me feel very comfortable and feel like I'm in a place where I'm going to be okay. I'm but I just I know that's not the case for a lot of other Americans out there yeah struggling through this. So many families we've heard from here and they know you've been in touch with many of your colleagues. Strolling just to put food on the table really many federal workers were paycheck to paycheck the average weekly pay for. When union tells us is about 500 dollars a week for some of the lower and jobs at least here Washington around the country you. Started a social media fundraising effort to help some of your peers is you are telling tellers she raised about 5000 dollars for that Tulsa should give us the money. I dead so. I was really inspired by shut down social that was put on in Montgomery County Maryland and it was hosted by a local councilman. I'm in Maryland and he basically partnered with the school and said we're gonna have this shut down social for. Federal employees contractors and their families and everyone is welcome if you're not a federal employee just bring a dish. And you can come and socialize and really in that inspired me to kind of do my whole and shut down social in New Jersey and we just had an amazing event on Tuesday night where we fed. Between 75 and a hundred federal employees and their families and federal contractors came out as well. That money went toward you know the food for at the event and where old Abel led by a shop great gift cards in Amazon gift cards in each family got at least one or two of those as they were walking out. The door you know a lot of folks brought their young children. And had expressed you know that this is a really difficult time for them. Although it was a really nice effort it was just one you know one night for them and there are still bills to pay. And children a take care of so there's a lot more to be done. I really nice to see and inspiring for sure to cede neighbors helping neighbors and are quite an effort that you put together there. I wanna get your reaction to to a comment earlier today that's creating a lot of waves around the country are from commerce secretary Wilbur Ross who addressed some of the needs from these families to seek food to put food on their table take a listen to what he had. We've had shut downs moved four albeit for not so too long period as we've been thus far. Could it than prospective. You're talking about 800000. Workers and well I feel sorry for the individuals that have hardship cases. It 100000 workers. If they never got their which is not the case we will eventually get them that if they never gotten his talking about a third of a percent. And are GDP. So it's. Blankets to begin their. Number overrule. Mr. secretary but it did their bit mr. ticketed their reports that there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelters. To get food. Well and nobody and I don't really put them Houston life. See your your response to that person. It's it's absolutely. Out of touch that perspective and it's it's actually really it's hurtful to hear that from someone that's supposed to be a leader. For our nation and it's there's a real human costs and I was able to sit face to face with those people on Tuesday night in my event and you know read stories. Where that you know there are counting firsthand what the struggles are. It's it's a position of privilege to sit somewhere and say that you don't understand the hardships of others not everyone is so fortunate to be able to. You know borrow money from family or friends some people are out here winging it on their own. And it's just hi it's disheartening to hear that leadership doesn't. Quite understand how other people could be and a different position of privilege of their you've still. Yet I wanted to and bit before we let you go I wanted to cheer you your take on that deck core point that he was making and we've heard from many people in the White House. That the president did sign that bill that will secure back pay. For you and all the workers who are off work and Wilbur Ross and several other officials today made this point that look. There is pain right now there is sacrifice right now no doubt but at the end of the day you're actually guaranteed all that money coming back what do you say to that does that. Is it soften the blow at all. It softens the blow in the sense that yes we will be able to you know catch up with that money that we'll get back but there's there's a little mastered their federal contractors are not. I'm going to receive that back pay and they are crucial to our success as agencies as well. On and we don't function without their work and the important it the importance of their work. And the fact that you know they're not gonna receive that back pain you know there's something about that's not really being highlighted. In the news clips and in the headlines and that's something that is going to hurt. Thousands of family is as well. Yeah hat's off to you in your rear work for them Carson really appreciate you making the trip and we won't forget. Others janitorial custodial staff among other security guards they will not get back pay from their jobs. So again thank you very much and good luck to you and and your family thank you for having and I really appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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