EDMONDS, Wash. — When Anthony Vicari checks his bank account these days, he gets an empty feeling.
"We just don't know how long it's going to be," said Vicari, standing next to an ATM. "What's in there now is gonna be gone."
Vicari works for an agency within the Department of the Interior. The Everett office is dark, and Vicari has been without pay for over 20 days.
"It's like having a stool kicked out from under you," said Vicari. "It's brutal."
As politicians burn through another day of the shutdown, Vicari is burning through money as his bills are piling up.
"I've got rent, car payments, car insurance. I've got a storage shed, I've got credit card bills,” said Vicari. “It goes on and on and on."
Vicari says he's snared in a catch-22. Because he isn't working, he doesn't meet the federal requirements to receive food stamps.
For the first time in his life, Vicari is accepting charity. He visited the campus food bank at Edmonds Community College this week, where he is taking classes.
"Sometimes I feel ashamed accepting charity," said Vicari. “But I'm appreciative that the community offers something like that."
Vicari has applied for unemployment benefits, but they won't kick in for at least another week.
In the meantime, he's taking out a special furlough loan offered by his credit union. It's equal to one week's pay, and he'll pay 5 percent interest.
"It's a lifeline," said Vicari. "I don't really have any other choice."
The only thing Vicari has plenty of right now is time. He's spending it meeting with his elected officials.
On Friday, Vicari visited Congressman Rick Larsen's office.
"We don't have a crisis at the border, we have a crisis at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Vicari told a representative. "I hope Congressman Larsen won't cave to this petulant president."
Vicari's words are his currency right now, as his other options are running out.
"Pretty soon I'm going to have to lean on friends and family because I have nowhere else to turn,” he said.
On Sunday, Rep. Larsen will hold a town hall to discuss the shutdown impacts on Washington’s Second District. Details about the town hall can be found below:
Sunday, January 13 Town Hall
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Whatcom Community College
288 W Kellogg Road
Bellingham, WA, 98226