Local air traffic controller gets side job driving for Uber to help feed his family of 9
It's day 32 of the government shutdown.
That means thousands of federal employees have been working without pay for more than a month now.
As many scramble to find ways to keep food on their family's table, some employees are looking at other ways to make ends meet.
One Chattanooga air traffic controller says because of the government shutdown, this Friday will make it his second paycheck that he's missed, and that makes a big difference when you are supporting a family of nine.
Planes take off and land from the Chattanooga airport regardless of what's going on in Washington D.C.
Air traffic controller John Manley's paychecks are at a standstill.
"I have seven kids, my wife stays at home with them. She does have some income that helps alleviate that, but the vast majority of our financial income is from the FAA," says Manley.
Manley says he and his family are trying to keep it together for as long as they possibly can.
"We're fortunate - we've missed one paycheck. We're in serious danger of missing another paycheck if the shutdown doesn't end this week," says Manley.
And since Manley can't control when his next federal paycheck comes, he did the only thing he could think of to make ends meet - pick up a side job with Uber.
"I did drive a few nights for Uber for this last week, mainly to try it out to see is this an option in case we need to do things to make money," says Manley.
While John is finding a way to make money, some community members are finding a way to help give it out.
"We're generating enough money where we want to help as many people affected by the government shutdown," says member the Mizpah Congregation Dr. Frank Miller.
Dr. Miller says the Mizpah Congregation wanted to help by donating gift cards for other federal employees.
"We're promoting this in hopes that people will help donate to other groups," says Dr. Miller. He's asking that anyone that wants to help with donations can donate gift cards to the Mizpah Congregation that are not VISA or Mastercard, but are for specific stores. A few examples are WalMart and Target.
John Manley still has to show up to his air traffic control job, even when he's not being paid.
"It doesn't come anywhere close to offsetting the salary that we're missing," says Manley.
In the meantime, he says he'll also do what it takes to feed his family.
"I'll probably continue to do it as time permits, you know again with seven children there's not a whole lot of time on the edges," says Manley.