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Arturo Hilario
El Observador

 To preface, after Congress failed to enact a fiscal resolution for the 2014 year, many services were suspended. Those employees or services that were seen as necessary remained active due to the Antideficiency Act.

Now that the US entered the third week of the government shutdown there are those government furloughed employees whose bills and financial responsibilities are not shutting down any time soon. While many Americans hear about the government shutdown and wonder what the cause, or really what it even means, around 3 billion dollars of unpaid money sits unclaimed because of the murky shutdown. According to the data aggregate company Enigma Labs, that is the amount of money that is unavailable to the approximately 883,392 out of work government employees, (as well as 1.3 million that are required to work without immediate pay).

The internet has allowed creation and destruction, but in the case of the furloughed government employees there is some light on one site. has become a place where furloughed employees can go to find “gigs” by posting their freelance abilities or applying for an ever growing catalog of available jobs.

It’s first incarnation, only weeks ago, was a simplistic google doc spreadsheet which read “Welcome to the Shutdown Startup Temp & Volunteer Work Board!” The crowd sourced website was started by the D.C. startup community 1776 and Blen Corp. After taking approximately 5 hours to create the document it went live, and after a few days it became heavily trafficked to the point where it was moved to a server which volunteers helped turn into its current, more user-friendly incarnation.

The swiftness of the Congress shutdown was only beaten by the speedy attempts to rebuild furloughed individual’s capacities to generate income. Depending on how the government shutdown moves forward, Americans continue to push forward with ingenuity and a sense of community in times when the government cannot find that same unity.

Any furloughed employees should definitely look into this site for potential freelance employment now or in the future.

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