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COVID-19 Community Resources

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting communities across the world, and is having disproportionate economic and health impacts for low income families, children and seniors in our community.

Our neighbors, family members and friends are facing growing financial hardships, food insecurity, housing instability, social isolation, and a critical need for healthcare access. Avenue is compiling a list of resources to support the immediate needs of our community members and neighbors. We have also included practical information and resources from trusted institutions so we can build sustainable practices to keep us safe, healthy and connected for the long haul.

This page is a living document; resources will be updated regularly with the most accurate information. We invite you to add to it by sending information here, and to share with your networks.

Last Updated 7/17/2020

Governor Abbott issued a mandate that all people must wear a face covering in public in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases. This includes Harris County.

On Thursday, June 11th, Harris County announced a new color-coded system to inform residents regarding the current level of risk from COVID-19 and actions they strongly urge residents take to stay healthy.

Current Level: Level 1: Stay Home

What this means:

Level one signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.

How-To: Make a no-sew mask

Important Websites

As we seek to understand how COVID-19 is impacting our community, we invite you to fill out this community needs assessment.

The information you provide will be used to help the non-profit, educational, and philanthropic communities understand the economic needs of households affected by Coronavirus‌ ‌|‌ ‌COVID-19‌ through loss of wages, loss of employment, or lack of resources due to household isolation. It will also be used to inform future response efforts. The survey should take 15 minutes to complete and has some optional demographic questions at the end. We appreciate your effort to help those in our community affected by COVID-19. Thank you!

Please note:

  • This is not an application for medical help. If you or someone you know is sick, please call your doctor or primary health care provider. If it is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
  • This is not an application for financial assistance or other resources. If resources become available to assist those affected economically by ‌COVID-19‌, we will reach out to share information about those resources.

 

TAKE THE SURVEY

  • Precinct 2 Meals for Seniors – Any Precinct 2 resident who is age 60 or older with limited resources and is unable to leave their home due to illness, disability, or lack of mobility could qualify. Seniors and caregivers of seniors who may qualify are encouraged to apply online.
    If you do not have internet access you can apply over the phone via the Precinct 2 Hotline (713-274-2222) which is active Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4:30.

 

 

 

  • Houston Parks and Recreation Curbside Meal ProgramMonday through Friday from 1 pm - 3 pm. For children ages 1 to 18 years old. Each child will receive one lunch and one snack. Only children who come to the site for pick-up can receive the lunch and snack. A parent can’t take food for a child that is not present at the time of pick-up.

 

 

 

  • HEB and Favor Senior Support Line – Seniors aged 60 and older will be able to select items from a curated list of generic products (such as milk, eggs, and bread), as well as add custom items to their order. There is currently a 25-item limit per order. The Senior Support Line will be staffed with volunteers to accept and process orders over the phone from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week. To access the Senior Support Line, call 1-833-397-0080.

General COVID-19 Information

 

COVID-19 Testing

  • Legacy Community Health
    • COVID-19 Testing Now Available at ALL Legacy Community Health Clinics
    • Patient screeners have been placed at the entrance of all Legacy clinics. Please call (832) 548-5226 first with any questions before arriving.

 

  • Harris County Public Health
    • Use the online self-assessment tool to see if you need further assessment or need to be tested for COVID19
    • The testing site will only accept people with a unique identification code obtained through the screening process
    • 832-927-7575 *This number is 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., everyday

 

  • City of Houston Health Department
    • 832-393-4220 *This number is staffed 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m - 3 p.m. on Sat.
    • You may call the Houston Health Department COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 to be screened for the community based testing sites.

 

Note: If you do not have a health care provider, health insurance, or cannot get to a doctor, contact the Harris Health System (713) 634-1110 if you are sick. If you do have a doctor or have access to a healthcare provider, please do not use this number.

 

Mental Health Resources

  • SAHMSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
    -Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Helpline services are also available in Spanish and for the deaf and hard of hearing.

 

 

 

Rent and Utility Assistance

The City of Houston will not disconnect water service for nonpayment during the COVID-19 emergency.

CenterPoint Energy has temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections due to nonpayment. AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and T-Mobile are postponing service termination for customers who cannot pay their bills.

Public Utility Commission of Texas
Electricity Relief Program or call (866) 454-8387
Water and Sewer Utilities

BakerRipley
Utility Assistance Hotline 713-590-2327 (utility assistance only)

City of Houston W.A.T.E.R. Fund
713-371-1400 (water bills only)

Gulf Coast Community Services
713-393-4700 (rent or electric)

 

Evictions

Federal Eviction Moratoriums

The CARES Act provides a temporary moratorium on evictions for most residents of federally subsidized apartments, as well a moratorium on filings for evictions for renters in homes covered by federally-backed (FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac) mortgages for 120 days, or July 20th at the earliest.

Rent Payment Plan – If you are behind on rent, you may consider creating a payment plan with your landlord.

 

Mortgage Payments

-For homeowners with federally backed mortgages, the CARES Act provides two protections:

  1. A foreclosure moratorium
  2. A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency

-If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state. Click here to find out who owns or services your mortgage.

-Foreclosure Prevention Video

Unemployment Assistance

Apply for Unemployment through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) website as soon as possible if you have lost your job or had your hours cut back. Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times listed below. Click here for the chart.

Help for Small Businesses

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
-Provides non-profit and for-profit borrowers with up to $2 million over a 30-year term at 2.75% to 3.75% interest.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance
-Provides borrowers with a loan advance of up to $10,000 for those applying for an EIDL program loan.

 

Stimulus Checks

In the coming weeks, people will begin to receive payments from the federal government as a result of the CARES Act.

-Individuals who earn less than $75,000 a year will receive $1,200.
-Couples who file their taxes as "married filing jointly" and earn less than a combined $150,000 will receive $2,400.
-Families will receive an additional $500 for each child under the age of 17.
-There will be no payments to adults claimed as dependents.
-Tax filings will be used as the source of income eligibility. There is no requirement to have filed your 2019 taxes to receive this payment, especially since the deadline has been pushed from April 15 to July 15. In lieu of a 2019 tax filing, 2018 tax filings will be used to determine income and delivery method (direct deposit or mail).
-Americans who receive Social Security benefits, but don't file annual tax returns, will receive benefits via the same delivery method they receive their monthly Social Security payments -- by direct deposit or mail.
-The timing of these payments is uncertain, but it has been reported that they could take several weeks before the money arrives in accounts and mailboxes.

 

Other Resources

Greater Northside Management District COVID-19 Resource Guide - links to over 27 websites that provide business, employer and employee resources.

Artist Relief Fund - Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Applications are now open for Cycle 1: April 8th - April 23rd (closing 11:59pm ET).

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund - Each approved grant is $500, one per person only.

Bartenders and family: Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (national)

Food and Beverage Workers: Southern Smoke Foundation (local)

AARP Social Security Resource Center - AARP Answers: Social Security and Coronavirus – the latest on monthly benefits and stimulus checks – 4/2/2020

Social Security Administration - The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration issued a warning about a new Social Security benefit suspension scam related to COVID-19 office closures - 3/20/20

National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) - Benefits Check Up allows you to enter in your zip code to identify benefit programs available.

Financial Resources

 

Legal Resources

Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

Immigrant Rights Hotline: 1-833-hou-immi (468-4664) – Callers can get assistance Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
-General questions about current immigration laws, rules, and regulations
-Rights immigrants have regarding their legal status and immigration enforcement
-Finding immigration legal services from a non-profit organization or attorney
-Reporting ICE enforcement activities
-Locating and getting legal assistance for people who have been detained
-Reports of hate incidents or discrimination

Deportation Defense Houston – Provides free representation to detained adults in Houston area ICE facilities

 

Public Charge

-On March 13, USCIS announced that testing, prevention, or treatment for COVID-19, also called Coronavirus, would NOT be used against immigrants in a public charge test. This means that immigrant families should seek the care they need during this difficult time.

-Public Charge Resources: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/

INTERNET

Comcast Internet Essentials: free for 60 days for new customers

Free Xfinity WiFi For EveryoneXfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country are available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers.

TECHNOLOGY

CompUDopt Computer Lottery
-Requirements for Registration
-Have a student in k-12th grade enrolled in a school in harris county.
-Not have access to a working device at home (tablet, desktop or laptop)

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

HISD at Home
Houston Public Library
Zero to Three At Home Activity Guide
Khan Academy
Math Playground
Scholastic: Learn At Home
Crash Course
ABCMouse
ReadyRosie
We are Teachers.Com
NASA Kids Club
Smithsonian Kids
Walt Disney World Virtual Tour:
-360 Degree Panoramic Virtual Tours of Several Disney Attractions like Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, The Animal Kingdom, and Many More!
LegoLand Florida Virtual Tour
SeaWorld Orlando Virtual Tour

HEALTH and FITNESS

YMCA Online :  Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Cycle, Weight lifting, activities for older adults, activities for kids, and more!
Headspace:  Meditation
Fitness Blender:  Kids Workout
Go Noodle:  Fitness videos, dance videos, and more!
Girls Empowerment Networks:
-Virtual Check-ins for girls: Every Monday @ 4:00 PM
-Parent Guardian Workshops: Every other Wednesday @5:30 PM
-Virtual Girl Connect: We are transitioning our face to face groups to virtual groups
-Virtual Activities: We have some of our most popular activities ready to be downloaded!