TITUSVILLE, Fla. – With the proximity to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, pastors at The Grove Church in Titusville knew some of their members would be going through a hardship and have some unwanted time on their hands during the partial government shutdown.
More than half of Space Center employees are furloughed, meaning it's been 19 days since they've been paid.
"It's not been the most fun," Shaun Daly, a furloughed federal employee. "It's not been something you look forward to by any means."
With those furloughed employees in mind Daly partnered with The Grove Executive Pastor Dustin Sams, hoping to get them working on something positive.
The Grove recently started renovating an old grocery store into its new headquarters at 1450 Harrison St. The building doesn't look like much now, but eventually it will be the heart of the church.
Daly and Sams posted a video on Facebook Monday, calling furloughed federal workers to come together and volunteer their time working with hand tools and construction equipment, making the former food store into a new home for the community church.
"Government shutdown have you bored?" the post read. "Come on out for an impromptu work day with Shaun Daly and others. Lots of tasks for any skill level. Come join in the fun!"
About 10 people showed up on the first volunteer day. The knocked down some walls and talked about how the shutdown was affecting their families, said Daly.
"We know some folks in our community are hurting with the government shutdown, and whatever ways they serve or work in the community, the federal government, they're our people, our family, our friends, our neighbors," Sams said. "Obviously, we're hurting with them."
Sams and Daly said it might be good to take out some frustration with a little demolition and maybe find comfort working alongside others experiencing the same hardships.
"It's wonderful to be able to talk to somebody else that's in it and going through it," Daly said.
The church is also helping federal workers find local resources as they go without pay. Sams said the church will try to provide some relief for as long as it's needed.
The Grove will host its next renovation volunteer day on Friday (Jan. 11) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone who wants to help can check The Grove's Facebook page for more details and future volunteer events.