United Way To Aid Local Residents Amid Government Shutdown


As the longest government shutdown in history stretches on, United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM) has formulated a plan to help local residents impacted.

UWSM has launched the Emergency Relief Fund to assist federal employees in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties who may be impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.  The fund is addressing vital needs, such as food, utility assistance, rent, mortgage payments and other basic needs.  The Fund will make it possible for generous individuals and others who want to help. 

100% of all funds received will directly benefit those impacted.

In addition to the Fund, First Church of God in St. Joseph, Cass District Library in Cassopolis, and the Van Buren County United Way in Paw Paw, are collecting gift cards for federal workers.  Meijer, Walmart and/or gasoline gift cards are preferred.

Gift Card Drop-off locations:

First Church of God is located at: 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, MI 49085 (Mon. – Thurs. 8:30am – 4:30pm)

Cass District Library is located at: 319 M-62, Cassopolis, MI 49031 (Mon. – Thurs. 9:00am – 8:00pm; Fri. 9:00am – 6:00pm; Sat. 9:00am – 3:00pm)

Van Buren County United Way is located at: 181 W. Michigan Ave., #4, Paw Paw, MI 49079 (Mon. – Fri. 8:45am – 4:00pm)

If you are a federal worker in need of service, please click HERE.


United Way is also encouraging federal employees in need of social services to contact 2-1-1 for help.  2-1-1 (or 844-875-9211) is a free and confidential service that helps people find the local resources they need.  For a list of resources in southwest Michigan, please visit www.mi211.org or text your zip code to 898-211 to hear from a specialist.