Cape May County officials encourage Coast Guard families to apply for government assistance

 U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn.

Cape May County officials want local U.S. Coast Guard employees to know that there’s assistance available to them as the partial federal government shutdown continues.

Training Center Cape May, the fifth largest Coast Guard base and a training site for recruits, employs about 1,000 Coast Guard members and personnel.

Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton says Coast Guard officials are allowing the county to disseminate information about applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Work First New Jersey (WFNJ), and Social Services for the Homeless (SSH), and utility/rent arrears prevention funding.

“Cape May County is a Coast Guard community. These men and women are serving our country without pay, and we want to assist in any way that we can,” Thornton said in a release.

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Unlike the other military branches that fall under the Department of Defense, the 42,000 active duty Coast Guard personnel are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

They received one paycheck after the shutdown began on Dec. 22 but will not receive pay on Jan. 15 unless emergency action is taken.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat representing most of South Jersey and the southern half of the state’s coastal areas, last week introduced a bill to fund the Coast Guard during the shutdown.

Anyone interested in applying for benefits can visit here or visit the Cape May County Division of Social Services at 4005 Route 9 in Rio Grande. For more information, call (609) 886-6200 or email

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