Federal employees in Orlando impacted by shutdown likely to go without paychecks Friday

The government shutdown is leaving a lot up in the air for many here in Central Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Doug Lowe has been hard a work for the last two weeks, but he doesn't expect to be paid for it.

Lowe is an aviation specialist at Orlando International Airport, making him one of an estimated 800,000 federal workers who are expected not to receive paychecks Friday due to the government shutdown.

Unless there's a sudden meeting of the minds between President Donald Trump and Democrats over the funding of a southern border wall, Lowe and thousands of others will not get their scheduled paychecks.

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Lowe said he checked his work account last night. It's bare.

"It's tough. There's a lot of anxiety. There's a lot of anger. There's disappointment. It's like, do people care about us?" he said.

Lowe is required to put in fulltime hours regardless of the shutdown, but as president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists' Florida chapter, he represents many furloughed OIA employees who aren't.

They've spent the week picketing inside the airport, educating travelers about their predicament and hoping for the best.

“There's a lot of fear and uncertainty for when will it end,” he said.

Lowe was also a victim of the 2013 furlough. He says it took about a month after the shutdown ended for him to get his back pay.

Furloughed workers, workers who aren't required to work during the shutdown, are not guaranteed to get paid.

A special bill has to pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president for that to happen.

Some companies are looking for ways to relieve some of the financial stress for furloughed employees.

The Homeless Services Network on McLeod Road fears it may not be able to operate to provide shelter for some of the formerly homeless as long as the shutdown continues. According to the organization, they've been able to provide a place to sleep for over 800 people.

HSN depends largely on federal funding to operate, but dollars stop coming in during a shutdown.

Executive Director Martha Are isn't panicking yet, but said concerns may begin to rise if the shutdown continues.

"If the shutdown continues to go on, certainly agencies providing services, many of our community partners, if the shutdown continues there's a chance agencies will not be able to pay staff," Are said.

Some cellphone companies say they will waive late fees, offer extensions or work out payment plans with federal workers. Numerous banks, credit card companies and loan servicers are also offering assistance. And a number of restaurants and businesses are offering some freebies or specials.

A social media campaign using #ShutdownSpecials is tracking offers available to those impacted by the shutdown.