ST. LOUIS —
We are now nearly a dozen days into the partial government shutdown, meaning hundreds of St. Louis federal workers are furloughed without any guarantees of being paid.
On New Year's Day, Shelia Harrison was one of about a dozen who demonstrated in front of the partially shuttered U.S. Department of Agriculture complex off of Goodfellow Boulevard.
"We wanna work," she chanted.
After 18 years at the USDA, she's been furloughed because of a shutdown, yet again.
"So I guess this is my fourth one," Harrison said.
More than 800 St. Louis government employees have been furloughed just at the USDA facility.
"We don’t know for sure if we’re going to get paid or not. So we don’t know if we should apply for unemployment or if we should apply for loans," she said.
The checks may stop, but for Shelia, the bills don't miss a beat.
"I need my medications and I need to be able to pay my bills," she said.
Will Grant also works in the USDA's processing office.
"If you’re an individual living in a rural community and you work at the Piggly Wiggly or the Walmart, this is the one place where you can come for a home mortgage loan," Grant said.
Every day their parking lot is empty is another day someone's loan or payment doesn't get reviewed.
"It’s a terrible time right now," he said.
He said it's a terrible time because tax season is also right around the corner.
"It’ll take months - weeks to get this caught back up," Grant said.
So this group is taking their message to the street.
"Little people are being hurt in a lot of these arguments that are happening in Washington D.C.," he said.
To put it simply, on this New Year's Day, Father Time is not on their side.
"I am really fed up, I am really tired of the shutdowns," Harrison said.