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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — It has now been 21 days since the partial government shutdown started. As a result, government employees in the Denver area are now filing for unemployment. 

Local federal workers are among the hundreds of thousands around the country recently who missed their first paychecks since the shutdown began.

On Friday, FOX31 and Channel 2 spoke with three local workers on furlough:

“I did file for unemployment,” Albert Romero said.

“I filed on Wednesday,” Diann Cullen said.

“The fact that this happened right after Christmas… personally, I use my credit card to buy Christmas presents and to travel,” Laura Kistner said. “Worst timing.”

Kistner is a single mom deciding between rent and food. Romero is a husband and father.

“It’s kind of frustrating, disappointing,” Romero said. “Its been not really a vacation, so it’s kind of more of a stress-like atmosphere”

“It’s a travesty. It’s sad that we have people who should be working, want to work, and are not allowed to work,” Cullen said.

These three workers are not alone; more than 1,600 federal workers have filed for unemployment in Colorado.

The American Federation of Government Employees says it’s looking to raise money for federal workers who need help making ends meet during the shutdown.