The federal government shutdown has sparked nationwide concern. But two organizations providing services in Somervell County said there is no immediate threat to their operations.
Somervell County Committee on Aging (SCCA) provides a wealth of services - to senior citizens and the disabled - and gets funding from federal, state and local sources. The organization serves as the hub for Meals on Wheels and provides daily lunches at the Somervell County Citizens' Center. It also provides transportation, emergency medical alert equipment and referrals to other organizations that offer a myriad of services.
Pam Baker, SCCA director, shortly after the federal shutdown, she received an email from DADS (Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services) that offered reassurance.
"The email said services will continue as usual," Baker said.
"For the immediate future, our programs serving Texans who are older and those with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities will continue uninterrupted," an official statement issued Oct. 1 by DADS said. "Texas health and human services agencies are monitoring the federal fiscal environment and will continue to assess the effects any federal decisions may have on our programs or consumers and will keep you updated as the situation changes."
Baker also said SCCA does not receive government funding until November or December in a typical year, which means the federal government could be back on track before payments are disbursed.
Barbara Perry, general manager of The Transit System, Inc., a local nonprofit political subdivision that applies for federal and state grants annually shared a similar message. She said the rural transportation provider also received notification from Austin stating there would be no immediate impact to the organization or service it provides.
The Transit System delivers those in need to medical appointments, shopping at local establishments and also delivers them to school or their workplace. Its typical clientele includes the elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged.
For national, state and local entities, the new fiscal year started Oct. 1, and a showdown on Capital Hill spurred by the debate over the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - halted progress on the federal level. Among the federal workers barred from doing their duties are certain employees in the offices of the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Postal Service Inspector General, Federal Maritime and Equal Employment Opportunity commissions, national museums and parks and some offices that provide assistance to the disabled.