Resources for Those Impacted by the Government Shutdown

Food assistance, human services and other resources for Alexandria residents.

Page updated on Jul 8, 2021 at 10:33 AM

This page will be updated as information becomes available.

The City and its partners have worked collaboratively to provide  information and resources that may  offer some level of  support, security and stability for families during and after this difficult time. We invite those in need to contact the Department of Community and Human Services Customer Relations Team at 703.746.5700 for assistance. Our staff will help connect you to appropriate resources.


  • Alexandria City Council Passes Resolution Addressing Government Shutdown
  • The City and community foundation ACT for Alexandria are each investing $25,000 in the ACT Now Fund. The Fund will provide emergency funding to nonprofits that are seeing an increase in the need for services from vulnerable Alexandrians as a result of the shutdown. Donations from the public are also accepted, and eligible nonprofit organizations may receive grants of up to $5,000 each.  

  • The City is also offering assistance to taxpayers and other customers directly affected by the federal shutdown, including federal contractors doing business with a closed federal agency or a service provider to a closed federal agency; business owners or principals with family members who were furloughed federal employees; or individuals or businesses with another demonstrable financial impact resulting from the federal shutdown.  

Emergency Safety Net Services

The Department of Community and Human Services provides Emergency Safety Net Services to residents who face an immediate crisis and need help to resolve the situation. Safety Net Services may include, but are not limited to eviction assistance, emergency shelter,  prescription assistance, utility turn-off notices and burial assistance. For more information, please see the  Office of Community Services or call the Department of Community and Human Services Customer Call Center at 703.746.5700.

Utility Assistance
Links to private utility providers are listed at Check with providers to learn about any assistance they may be providing to federal employees on furlough. You may also apply for  utility assistance through community programs and the state's CommonHelp.

Prescription Drug and Burial Assistance 
Learn more about assistance with prescriptions, burials and more through the   Office of Community Services.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The TANF program provides cash assistance to families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs, while preparing program participants for independence through work.  Applicants must interview face-to-face and all financial and technical eligibility factors must be met prior to issuance of benefits.  To learn more about applying for TANF, call 703.746.5700 or visit

Renter and Homeowner Assistance
Renters and homeowners experiencing financial difficulties related to the federal government shutdown should contact their landlords or mortgage companies as soon as possible to set up alternative payment plans for rent or mortgages, if necessary. Virginia Housing Development Authority and many other mortgage companies are offering assistance, including loan forbearance and payment deferrals until workers who were furloughed are paid. If you need assistance or additional information, including to prevent an eviction or a foreclosure, call the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990, and you will be connected to a staff person who can assist you with resources.

Assistance to Taxpayers

The City is also offering assistance to taxpayers and other customers directly affected by the federal shutdown, including federal contractors doing business with a closed federal agency or a service provider to a closed federal agency; business owners or principals with family members who were furloughed federal employees; or individuals or businesses with another demonstrable financial impact resulting from the federal shutdown.

Upon request, the City will suspend collection of delinquent taxes and parking citations from those persons directly affected by the federal shutdown as described above. To discuss a request to suspend collection, email or call 703.746.3909. By law, delinquent taxes are still subject to interest, are due and payable, and cannot be waived. However, the City will consider requests to pause enforced collection actions until the threat of a potential near future shutdown is resolved.

A business subject to the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax due on March 1 may request a 30-day extension to file and pay if it was directly affected by the shutdown as described above. To apply for an extension, email or call 703.746.3903. In cases of severe financial hardship, payment plans can also be arranged as necessary.

Food Assistance

Hunger Free Alexandria - City of Alexandria Free Food Assistance Program Directory  |  Spanish

Hunger Free Alexandria - City of Alexandria Food Assistance Resources Schedule  |  Spanish

FREE Seasonal Food Distribution   
Bring your tote bags, the second Friday of each month. February 8, 2019, 11a.m. to 1p.m., First Agape Baptist Community of Faith Church, 2423 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301. Questions? Call 703.519.9100. Next Distribution on March 8, 2019.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits
Unpaid workers (mandatory time off or work without pay) may be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp benefits. Eligibility is dependent on several factors, including liquid resources and their limits, such as cash on hand and other accounts or funds; income; and when the last paycheck was received. To learn more about applying for SNAP benefits, call 703.746.5700 or visit

SNAP Double Dollars for Current SNAP Beneficiaries
Double Dollar Program allows SNAP customers who visit the Old Town Farmers’ Market, and other participating markets, to receive up to $20 in double dollars to purchase eligible food products at the Market. The Double Dollar Program is an incentive for families to shop at farmers’ markets where they can access healthier, locally grown foods.

Free and Reduced-Price Lunches for ACPS Students
Parents of students in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) may apply for free and reduced-priced meals for their children. Apply online, or download an application from the ACPS Meal Applications page. Applications will be processed in a manner that reflects the applicant’s unique circumstance. For example, students with parents or guardians who are not receiving income must indicate their income as zero ‘0’ or leave the field blank. If your household has applied this school year and was denied benefits, you must submit documentation (such as proof indicating you are affected by the government shutdown, recent pay stubs, etc.). For more information, contact ACPS School Nutrition Services at 703.619.8407.

Coping Strategies

The uncertainty of the government shutdown may cause increased stress and produce symptoms of anxiety and depression, even among those who are not federal workers. Effective ways to cope include exercise, yoga and deep breathing; staying connected with others, getting out, keeping busy and practicing hobbies; staying healthy by eating and sleeping well and refraining from alcohol and drug use. People react to stress in different ways; ask for help if it gets to be too much. Learn more about effective ways to cope with stress and where to access support when needed.

Emergency Hotlines

If you are in a crisis and need to talk to someone, call the CrisisLink Hotline at 703.527.4077 or text "connect" to 85511 (for TTY, dial 711), or the Department of Community & Human Services Emergency Services at 703.746.3401.

Childcare Assistance and Referral Program 

Families participating in the State Subsidy program have signed on with a 12-month eligibility. During this period, if you find yourself without income you can request that your child care co-payment be lowered. Child care subsidy staff are available to speak with families to discuss their ongoing child care needs. Call 703.746.5437 or email to seek information and help.  

Tuberculosis Screenings

Alexandria Health Department is waiving fees for anyone affected by the partial government shutdown who needs a Tuberculosis (TB) screening for temporary or full-time employment. Screenings are available at our TB clinic on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 703.746.4960 to make an appointment. 

Facilities, Venues and Activities

Alexandria’s museums and historic sites; libraries; and parks, recreation and art centers remain unaffected by the shutdown and are open according to their regular schedules. To learn more about activities, special offers for federal workers and more, go to