Needy family affected by government shutdown speaks out


Needy family affected by government shutdown speaks out

Posted: Updated:
Jeremiah, son of Stephanie Bary. Jeremiah, son of Stephanie Bary.

Story by: Meteorologist and Reporter Tim Lavigne

YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – Lawmakers are urging Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to reverse her decision to cut off funding to the poor because of the government shutdown.

Democratic leaders say that withholding the assistance could devastate those families.

13 On Your Side went out and got reaction from a local family who depends on those welfare checks.

Stephanie Bary, a mother of five, receives about $200 a month through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF). She tells 13 On Your Side those checks are what helps keep the bill collectors at bay.

"I have to keep that going because you know they gone' want their money and it is not much but every little bit helps," Bary said.

Her family is not the only one in this situation.

5,200 families across the state are now going to have to find new ways to temporarily make ends meet.

Bary says she has no intention of letting her children go without.

"It's going to affect ‘em, but me, being the strong black woman that I am, it's not going to stop anything that I'm doing. My kids are still gonna get what they need, regardless of that government," Bary said.

The suspension of the TANF program comes at a time in which Arizona has $450 million in a so-called "rainy day" fund.

Payments made to the 5,200 families affected add up to only about $1 million per week.

As for Bary, she said she has one thing to say to Governor Brewer.

"I wonder if we can send our kids to her house when its dinner time or lunch time, and when it comes time to pay these bills. We say, well you know the government decided to do this, you go get the money from her," she said.

Democratic lawmakers are urging Brewer to call a special legislative session in order to reverse the decision.

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