Federal workers have begun asking for help on GoFundMe as a government shutdown nears the three-week mark.
Government employees have set up roughly 1,000 fundraising pages as they seek help in meeting their expenses, said a GoFundMe spokeswoman in an email statement. Campaigns on the crowdfunding platform seek anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars for everyday expenses, such as utilities and groceries.
"We deploy proprietary technical tools and have multiple processes in place to verify the identity of campaign organizers and the beneficiary of the campaign," said the spokeswoman. "Before money is transferred, an individual's information, including their banking information, must be verified by our payment processor."
A search on the site for the term "government shutdown" returned more than 1,650 results. The campaigns have raised approximately $150,000 in total, according to the platform's spokeswoman.
"It's affecting over hundreds of thousands of federal employees across the US in different federal agencies," Brandon Taijeron, a Department of Justice employee whose story was included in The Guardian article, wrote on his GoFundMe page. "I'm on my last leg as far as finances being taken care of, putting food on the table, making sure my wife and son have everything they need, getting to and from work even though we're not getting paid right now."
The government shutdown started in December because the House and Senate couldn't come to agreement on funding President Donald Trump's $5 billion border wall, according to CBS News. Over 420,000 government staff are reportedly working without pay.
First published on Jan. 10, 5:50 p.m. PT.
Updates on Jan. 11, 7:20 a.m. PT: Adds GoFundMe spokeswoman statement.