KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As another day without a solution to the government shutdown comes to a close, Erin Patrick is open to new ideas.
The furloughed government worker could use some extra cash to help with bills, so she started looking for odd jobs.
On Wednesday, that meant cleaning out a storage unit to make some extra cash.
"I have been doing anything and everything," she said.
When the shutdown first started, she said it was nice to have a couple of days off, but watching Netflix on her couch quickly got boring.
"I'm used to working really hard," she said. "I love my job. I'm very passionate about it. And so, for me, sitting around just not working just was not a good fit for me."
So she started a Facebook group called "Furlough Friends" where she and her fellow furloughed colleagues could pick up odd jobs.
"I have helped clean houses, I'm walking dogs," she said. "I mean anything that people could use an extra set of hands for, I am available."
She's gotten a lot of calls since her first post.
"It started out with friends just offering what they could do to help and it's kind of expanded beyond that," she said.
On Wednesday, Regina Santore, a real estate agent, hired them to clean out a storage unit she owns to keep all the furniture she uses to stage homes.
She had been putting off cleaning it out until she heard about Patrick's post.
"We have a lot of neighbors who are facing fairly serious financial issues if this goes on much longer," Santore said.
So she decided to help give work to people like Patrick who are waiting to go back their regular jobs.
"We're your friends and your neighbors and we do appreciate you bridging the gap for us during this time," Patrick said.