Workers at nonprofits start to lose jobs due to gov't shutdown

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NEW CITY -

Workers at nonprofits in the Hudson Valley are starting to lose their jobs due to the government shutdown.

Laurel Salmon is one of 60 employees at the Center for Safety and Change in New City. Salmon was furloughed on Monday.

The center is among the first nonprofits in the Hudson Valley to bear the brunt of the government shutdown.

"Financially, I have to worry about whether or not I can pay rent for February. I have to worry about things about student loans, all the expenses I have," says Salmon.

Salmon is better off than four other employees there who were laid off altogether earlier this week.  The center was forced to act quickly now that the federal government will no longer reimburse the nonprofit, which helps protect victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

"Once you had heard that one person got laid off, people didn't know if they would be the next person. It was a really scary day," says Salmon.

Staff says a worse day could soon come if the center is forced to completely close.

Furloughed executive director Elizabeth Santiago says if the shutdown continues for one more month, the center won't be able to remain open.

"We're trying to do everything possible to keep our doors open, but what we need at this point are angels," she says.

Even with the furlough, the center's 24-hour hotline, shelter and sexual assault forensics program are all still operating. That could all change though if the shutdown continues.

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