Balboa Park museums offering free admission to furloughed workers

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Air and Space Museum joined a growing number of local businesses Thursday offering free and discounted services to government employees affected by the ongoing government shutdown.

The museum announced that it will offer free admission to furloughed workers through the duration of the shutdown, provided those employees show a valid government ID. Residents who take advantage of the offer can bring up to three immediate family members with them to the museum for free as well.

The Air and Space Museum is one of several Balboa Park art and culture attractions to offer free admission or reduced pricing during the shutdown, including the Fleet Science Center, the Natural History Museum and the San Diego History Center.

“This is our small way of saying `thank you’ to all of the federal employees who are being impacted during the government shut down,” Air and Space Museum President and CEO Jim Kidrick said. “We appreciate everything they do for us and look forward to opening our museum to them and their families.”

The Salvation Army announced Wednesday that it will offer emergency assistance with payments for utilities, rent, food and other necessities at each of its seven community centers around San Diego County.

Temporary staffing company Manpower West also announced it will assist furloughed employees by offering short-term jobs to help fund daily and weekly living expenses.

“It’s a fact of everyday life that bills must be paid, groceries must be purchased, mouths must be fed,” Manpower West Executive Officer Phil Blair said. “Within San Diego’s military community, hundreds, perhaps thousands of locally-based families have been burdened by this ongoing crisis.”

California Coast Credit Union, the San Diego County Apartment Association and the Combined Federal Campaign, the federal government’s workplace fundraising program, have all previously announced their intent to help San Diego County’s government workers during the shutdown as well.

More than 800,000 federal workers across the country are now on their 34th day of working without pay or not working at all due to the shutdown. According to the CFC, employees of the Treasury, Homeland Security and Agriculture departments are bearing the brunt of the shutdown in the program’s Southern California zone, which includes San Diego County.

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