Giving Compass' Take:

• As federal employees and contractors return to work from the government shutdown, the financial and emotional effects are being felt. 

• The shutdown shed light on wealth inequality in the country. How can donors work toward creating more balance?

• Although this article was written during the shutdown, you can still find useful tips on how to help in the long term.

Ever since the government shutdown ended last Friday, Yvette Hicks said her cable company, her electric company, the bank that processes her auto-loan payments, and her life-insurance company have been calling her “back to back to back.” They want to know when they’ll be paid.

Hicks, a 40-year-old security guard working as a contractor for the federal government, had been wondering the same thing about her own income, having gone without work or pay during the 35-day shutdown.

During that time, she had to dip into her savings so that the electric company didn’t cut off power to her home in Washington, D.C., and she was forced to ration her children’s asthma medication—they needed it every four hours, but Hicks couldn’t afford to keep up that frequency. With bills piling up over the past month, she estimates that even now that she’s back to work, it’ll take until “the end of March, maybe” for her to get her finances back to where they were before the shutdown.

Read the full article on the effects of the government shutdown on families by Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic