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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County said it will not tap into its reserve fund to aid programs affected by the Government Shutdown.

To make-up for funding cuts, some have had to make personal sacrifices to keep day-to-day activities running smoothly.

“You look to your right, you look to your left, and you help the person on either side,” said Katie Payne Healthcare Coordinator at Adult Day Services in Wilmington.

To one side there were families in need of care for their loved ones.

“I really need this care for my husband. There is no other choice I have,” sobbed Mazelle Williams.

To the other, federal cuts to child and adult care programs.

Adult Day Services was supposed to lose seven people in its program because New Hanover County is losing $300,000 in federal money per week, but the owner and staff would not let that happen.

“We gave up five hours each of our salaries to help this place stay afloat,” Payne said.

While trying to keep the people and place she loves afloat, Payne, who barely gets 40 hours per week, will continue to work to keep all their heads above water.

“Is it going to be pleasant? No!”

Although it will not be easy for anyone, the owner of Adult Day Services says her deceased mother, who was her business partner, taught her how important it is to give.

“When she was alive I literally watched her take her shirt off her back and give it to somebody,” Jennifer Riker said. “Now I am going to take the shirt off my back and we’re going to make it work.”

Riker and her husband will take the loss for the remaining cost of care. She says the total cost of care the county funds is on average about $4,300 per month to cover seven clients.

(Editor’s note: Originally Riker told WWAY the cuts would mean about $4,800 for eight clients, and then later revised that number upon reviewing her records. We mistakenly reported the original amount as $48,000 instead of $4,800 in this online print version of the story only. We apologize for the error.)

She says she does not know how long the business will be able to function like this, but through love, teamwork, and dedication the seven people and families who would have had to make other arrangements will not have to, at least for now.


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