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Furloughed U.S. Forest Service Forester Barely Scraping By

Furloughed workers in Southern Oregon got some financial relief when a local couple set up a GoFundMe account for them, but many workers are still struggling to get by.

Posted: Jan. 24, 2019 6:29 PM

CHILOQUIN, Ore. -- Furloughed workers in Southern Oregon got some financial relief when a local couple set up a GoFundMe account for them, but many workers are still struggling to get by. 

One of those workers, Curtis Yocum, is a forester with the U.S. Forest Service. 

"At first we thought it would be like the last few that have happened where it would be a quick turnaround and we would get back to work and we wouldn’t miss any paychecks, and then it prolonged and prolonged and prolonged," Yocum said. 

Yocum applied for unemployment benefits several weeks ago, but they still haven't kicked in.

It's been a struggle to make ends meet.

"We've used all of our savings to cover January, so January's covered, but now February is coming reallly close and unemployment still hasn't kicked in," Yocum said. 

He did catch a break when he received a $500 check from the GoFundMe page.

"For all the people who have donated, thank you so much. We can go get some groceries now and it's not maxing out a credit card, we can put some gas in the car so that way my wife can get to work, our boys can get to school," Yocum said. 

His wife works at Crater Lake National Park, but her hours have been drastically cut short recently because of a lack of visitors. 

On top of everything, Yocum recently received a notice from his landlord that there would be no rent extensions and there would be an increased fee if he pays late followed by an eviction notice if rent is not paid by Feb. 15. 

With no end to the shutdown in sight, he can't help but start to feel helpless. 

"We don't care about the politics behind it, we just want to go back to work, we want our lives back," Yocum said. 

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