Resources for families during COVID19
Resources for Families during COVID-19
Internet Access and Utilities:
● Spectrum: For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Spectrum continues to offer "Spectrum Internet Assist," a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. To enroll in the free broadband service or Internet Assist, call 1-844-488-8395. (It's their standard customer service line, so use the "new service" or "add service" option). They are also opening Wi-Fi hotspots across service area for public use
. ● Optimum (Bronx/Brooklyn): For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, we are offering our Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint. Providing free service call 866-200-9522 to enroll in Optimum region.
● Other: ○ Con Edison: will not shut off electric, natural gas or steam service due to payment difficulties resulting from the health crisis. They are also waiving new late-payment charges for all customers who are having payment difficulties related to COVID-19 coronavirus. ○ Telephone and internet service providers will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because they can’t pay their bills due to the pandemic. Late fees will be waived.
● NYC provides Emergency Food Assistance.
● Food Bank For New York City is committed to ensuring New Yorkers in need continue to have access to meals during times of crisis. They are following guidance from the CDC and local health officials to ensure best practices for the safety of their staff and volunteers, while continuing to serve the needs of New Yorkers in need.
● Food Pantries are in special need at this time. See a list here and a map here and consider donating if you can.
● Grab and Go: Starting Monday, March 23, a more limited number of schools will offer hot meals for pickup to any youth under 18 at the following locations in and near my district every weekday 7:30am–1:30pm. Families can also learn the location of the nearest meal hub by texting FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 or checking Meal Location Search
● #ChefsForAmerica is a Relief team working with the World Central Kitchen as well as partnering with local restaurants and bars to provide food assistance to those in need across the country. If you’re interested in a particular community, click on the link and search the map. For further information contact Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake (718) 538-3829 Resources for the Bronx and Harlem are as follows:
● Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp is providing services to all families who need career services, legal, immigration, housing ,access to benefits, health supports, tax assistance and intensive case management services. Can call 212-822-8300 or email email@example.com
● NYC Access - food pantries, child support, rent freeze program, IDNYC, etc: https://a069-access.nyc.gov/accesshra/
Activities for Children:
● Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
Self Care List from Girls Inc:
● Enrichment List for families activities and resources
● PBS: is offering many learning resources to help children continue to learn away from school: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/
● Coronavirus and Parenting: NPR’s Life Kit podcast put together this episode and webpage full of information parents need to know.
● Teach and Learn with the New York Times: This resourcefromtheNewYorkTimes puts together lesson plans and ways to talk about current events in the classroom New York Public Libraries You can find a comprehensive list of NYPL’s digital resources on their website. This includes access to e-books, research e-journals, online newspapers, and resources for young learners. If you have any questions, please refer to their reference service, Ask NYPL.
Regional Enrichment Centers REC will be available for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, transit workers, and our most vulnerable student populations. Staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners, the centers will provide children with three daily hot meals, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art, music, and physical education, and social and emotional support. Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s role in providing essential services
● Open Monday through Friday, 7:30am–6:00pm
● Each room will have a maximum of 12 children, supported by at least one adult; this size will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs
● If you think you might be eligible to send your child to a center near you, please complete this survey.
● Housing Security: Evictions and eviction proceedings have been suspended statewide: https://www.lawhelpny.org/resource/coronavirus
● For updated information about Housing Court, visit: Housing Court Info
ALL Housing Court actions have been postponed; participants will receive a postcard from the court with new appointment times when things get back to normal. NYCHA’s hearing office has adjourned all cases for at least two weeks. Its rent hardship program will be extended to affected households. Rent hardship applies if your income before taxes is down 5 percent, your rent is more than 30 percent of your take-home pay, and your income is down for more than two months in a row. For both market-rate and rent-stabilized tenants, hardship relief will depend on the flexibility of your landlord or building management company.
Tenants Rights and Legal Support
The Metropolitan Council on Housing’s Tenants’ Rights Hotline offers service in Spanish and English at 212-979-0611: Monday & Wednesday, 1:30–8:00pm Tuesday: 5:30–8:00pm Friday: 1:30–5:30pm Goddard Law Project at (212) 799-9638, x0 PA’LANTE Harlem, Inc. at (212) 491-2541—English & Spanish spoken Legal Services NYC at (917) 661-4509—serves residents city-wide in several languages Rozen Law Group is offering free 15-minute Zoom consults, referral to free legal services if a tenant qualifies, and discounted rates if they don’t. Section 8 Housing The HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office at 100 Gold Street is closed until at least March 30th, but the HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. Residents should email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance HPD will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire. Voucher holders do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations that are in process are suspended until further notice. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay subsidy until a final determination is made. Any HPD Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to decreases in income should contact HPD.
HPD will temporarily suspend HQS inspections.
If you have a life-threatening condition, please call 311. NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal. NYCHA NYCHA administrative hearings office will be closed through March 27, 2020. All hearings and conferences scheduled during this two-week period are adjourned. You will receive a letter with a new hearing or conference date. For more information, please call (718) 218-1182/1184. NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal.
Healthcare during COVID-19 outbreak
Health Insurance The New York State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced a special enrollment period for eligible individuals to enroll in health insurance coverage through the official NYS health plan marketplace from March 16, 2020 until April 15, 2020; coverage will begin April 1. Enrollment in other programs (Medicaid, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus) continues to be available year-round. Enroll online or by phone at 855.355.5777.
Reminder: NY insurers are required to waive any cost-sharing related to COVID-19 testing, including ER, urgent care and office visits. Medicaid recipients are not subject to any copays for COVID-19 testing. NYC Well offers free confidential mental health AND substance use support 24/7 in over 200 languages.
Mental Health Support: The New York State Office of Mental Health has provided guidance for telemental health services in New York State: https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/guidance/supplemental-guidance-use-of-telement... -disaster-emergnecy.pdf
Finances & Work The coronavirus is upending the labor market and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have lost their jobs as a result. Those who still have jobs are understandably fearful of what may happen if they are forced to self-quarantine. I will continue to push for justice policies like universal cash payments to all New Yorkers and a bill to codify utility debt forgiveness for those who will not be able to pay those bills for lost income. In the meantime, here are the resources and information we’re aware of:
Workforce The Governor has issued a “Stay At Home” Executive Order mandating that all non-essential businesses implement work-from-home policies. Exempted essential services include food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, bicycle repair.
Debt Collection and Mortgages NYS will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection for at least a 30-day period in response to the spread of COVID-19. No application necessary. Individuals or businesses that owe non-medical and non-student debts to the State of New York that have been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection and litigation may complete and submit an application to be considered for certain forms of relief, including relief from collection activity, interest accrual, and the assessment of collection fees. Banks in New York will waive mortgage payments for 90 days and suspend foreclosures for those with financial hardship as well as fees related to deposits and withdrawals. The 90 days constitute a grace period - those who participate in the program will still owe their payments but be allowed to pay them at a later date. Credit scores will not be impacted by nonpayment of mortgages.
● Unemployment relief: New York State has waived the seven day waiting period for workers to claim unemployment insurance Ñhttps://www.governor.ny.gov/news/after-weeks-demanding-approval-governor... nnounces-fda-gives-new-york-state-authority
Banks & Loans
The New York State Department of Financial Services has instructed State-chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credit cards to help reduce the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers. Check with your individual financial service providers for additional information. The Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program provides interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Social Security offices are now closed to the public. Their secure online services remain available. If you cannot complete your Social Security business online, please call them at 1.800.772.1213 (TTY 1.800.325.0778).
Income Tax The Federal tax filing and payment deadlines have moved to July 15 (from April 15). California and New York State have confirmed to follow these Federal deadlines and other states will most likely follow. Individuals can defer up to $1 million in payments for 90 days from the April 15 deadline. Corporations can defer up to $10 million in payments for 90 days. During this 90-day period, the IRS will not charge interest or penalties. New York State has not yet announced plans for state filings.
NYC Paid Sick Leave Policy New York State has passed a new paid leave law for coronavirus: Businesses with 10 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020, and a net income under $1 million last fiscal year, will have the full cost of employee’s leave provided by New York State insurance programs, capped at benefits coverage equal to annual salaries of $150,000. Businesses who have 11-99 employees as of January 1, 2020, and businesses who have 10 or fewer employees but a net income greater than $1 million last fiscal year, will be required to provide 5 days of paid leave to their employees, and the rest of the required quarantine or isolation days provided by New York State insurance programs, capped at benefits coverage equal to annual salaries of $150,000. Businesses who have 100 or more employees, and all government institutions, will be required to cover at least 14 days of paid leave.
Resources by Profession
Freelance Artist Resources & COVID-19 Bartender Emergency Assistance Program NYC Office of Nightlife Mayor Ariel Palitz wants to assess how this shutdown is affecting income and figure out a way to help out with this Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, and Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 (From Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Office) Musicians and performers are especially at risk with the cancellation/postponement of public performances. The National Endowment for the Arts has posted this page for both artists and organizations. Corona Relief Fund from Equal Sound Musicians Foundation Emergency Relief Aid Grant Program
MusicCares Coronavirus Relief Fund Restaurant/Hospitality Workers: Restaurant Workers
- One Fair Wage Emergency Fund: Here
- ROC United Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund: Here
- Domestic Workers: Coronavirus Care Fund: Here
Small Businesses NYC will provide relief for small businesses across the city that are experiencing a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your business has fewer than 100 employees, and has seen a decrease in sales of 25% or more, you will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City will also offer a grant for those businesses with less than 5 employees to cover 40% of payroll costs. Assistance & guidance for businesses impacted by novel coronavirus, including information about possible financial assistance for your business. General NYC guidance for businesses and non-healthcare settings Guidance for small business owners from New York City’s Small Business Services:
The Pace University Small Business Development Center has no-cost virtual meetings/calls with a Pace SBDC Business Advisor. Email email@example.com for an appointment and check their website for updates on available small business resources.
All updates and protocols can be found here
● New York State Youth Leadership Council Resources
Victims’ Services *Effective March 19, all civil and criminal temporary orders of protection shall be automatically extended.*
Safe Horizon Domestic violence shelters remain open. Anyone in need can call 1.800.621.HOPE.
Streetwork Project locations for homeless youth remain open.
Rape and sexual assault hotline can be reached at 212.227.3000 or via the online chat Monday through Friday 1–6pm. National Domestic Violence Hotline Resources are available 24/7 for individuals who are co-quarantined with an abuser: 1.800.799.7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault Walk-in hours are suspended, but staff is available to provide services by email, phone, or video conference during their regular business hours, 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday. Email correspondence will be prioritized at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff working remotely will be checking the phone line: 212.514.SAFE.