What We are Doing & Available Resources in the Nation’s Capital
Since the COVID-19 public health outbreak in the U.S., we have adjusted our programming to meet the needs of our client population and ensure that no one falls through the cracks. We have recently reopened our pantry in order to provide grocery bags to our clients on Thursdays from 10 am to 12.30 pm, while abiding to CDC public health guidelines and social distancing measures. On Thursdays clients can also come in to pick up their mail, which includes important information about their benefits and stimulus checks. We also provide remote mental and emotional support, case management, substance use counseling, victims’ assistance and reentry services to our client population.
Advocating for the Sick & Those Most Impacted by Covid-19:
Unfortunately, some of our clients have been infected with Covid-19, thus we are making sure they have access to the necessary services during their illness and have a place to quarantine and recover. We are advocating alongside other local organizations to address policies that has a direct impact on our clients. These include policies regarding people inside correctional facilities and halfway homes, housing and quarantine policies for the homeless, and access to health care for those who are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic (people of color, immigrants who continue to work because they have to, and people with underlying health conditions.) For those who have become incapacitated as a result of the virus, we are working to maintain what they have a right to: food stamps, unemployment benefits, housing, etc. We also continue to compile a list resources for those most in need of support during these trying times. Please share the information below with anyone you know who may need help and let us know of initiatives that we should be listing. Protect yourself and others by following the CDC guidelines.
We are in the middle of a public health emergency but the U.S. Census 2020 is going forward and this matters to us. Why? Because we want all of our clients to be counted. Every 10 years, the U.S. government counts every person living in our country in the constitutionally-mandated Census. Once the Census collection is over, the U.S. Census Bureau analyzes and releases critical census data. The Census is a way to ensure funding for 📓 Education 🚑 Healthcare 🏠 Housing and 🚌 Public Transportation. Let’s make sure that we ALL #GetCountedDC: 2020census.gov
Federal Resources & COVID-19 Pandemic
Congresswoman Norton’s District Office wants to flag the following resources for information on commonly asked questions during the coronavirus pandemic. These FAQs includes questions regarding who is eligible for the stimulus payments, how individuals on social security and/or SSI are affected by the stimulus rebate program, what assistance for small businesses and nonprofits was included in the bill, how workers are protected by sick leave, how will student loans be impacted, how to apply for food assistance and how individuals apply for “state” unemployment benefits through local authorities. There are several downloadable one-pagers that all D.C. residents should be directed to:
- For information on CARES Act (the Stimulus Bill) including resources on filing for unemployment, please visit the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee website
- For detailed information on the economic impact payment (stimulus checks), please visit the IRS website
- Assistance for small businesses loans, please visit the SBA website
- Nonprofits and small businesses, please visit the House Committee on Small Business
- Emergency Paid Leave, please visit the Department of Labor website
- Temporary Relief on Student Loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website
- SNAP Benefits and Food Assistance, please visit the House Committee on Agriculture website
Food & Hot Meals in Washington D.C.
- DC Dream Center– Serving free hot meals in Southeast DC every day from noon until they run out, no ID required.
- Catholic Charities-Spanish Catholic Center Food Pantry is open every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm. Clients must wait outside the front of 1618 Monroe St NW and be ready to practice social distancing.
- Jose Andres – Think Food Group Restaurants – Operating community kitchens in select locations, beginning March 17th daily from 12-5pm for take out service only at their side doors. View link for all restaurants in the DC Metro Area.
- Little Sesame – In partnership with Dreaming Out Loud DC, they will provide meals to vulnerable communities. Buy a gift card give a meal. Distribution begins March 16th at Kelly Miller Middle School 301 49th St NE, Weekdays 4-6pm
- Bread for the City – Operating reduced hours at NW Center, but offering groceries to medical patients with urgent care needs. SE Center is closed through March 31st.
- St. George’s Episcopal Church – Providing a hot breakfast to anyone in need every other Saturday. The next “Breakfast Bags to Go” will be Saturday April, 4 at 9am.
- $50 SNAP Matching by Expensify.org – Expensify.org is going to temporarily redirect all of its charitable funds to a new program: matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family. Go to their website here to learn how.
- Martha’s Table – In partnership with DC Health and Capital Area Food Bank, they will support DCPS and DCPCS to offer pre-bagged groceries for neighbors at their SE and NW DC locations and will continue to serve pre-packaged meals through McKenna’s Wagon – a mobile food service that delivers hot meals to two downtown locations to support community members experiencing hunger and/or homelessness
Meals for Seniors and Vulnerable Populations
- DC Department of Aging and Community Living – From March 16-31, all DACL-funded Senior wellness centers & community dining sites closed for activities. Boxed lunches will be available 10am-2pm or until last lunch is picked up at all 46 meal sites. Must be age 60 and over. Call 202-724-5626 for info.
- Medium Rare – Delivering FREE meals to the senior community in DC. Email [email protected] or directly message on Instagram (@MediumRareDC)
- Food For All DC – Serving those who are homebound, including elderly citizens, handicapped, or single mothers with young children. Deliveries every Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm. (240) 505-4607.
- Food and Friends DC – Free meal and grocery delivery available to people living with life-challenging illnesses. Clients must be referred by a healthcare provider.
- Some grocery stores in the area have incorporated special hours to allow seniors and other vulnerable populations to shop before anyone else has entered the store. Contact your local store to confirm hours!
Our Reentry Coordinator is working hard to continue to support people coming out of the justice system in getting stable housing and employment. We have been alerted that companies such as Safeway, Amazon, and other retailers are looking to hire immediately. If you are interested in working at Safeway, you can apply through the their parent affiliate Albertsons Companies here.
Domestic Violence and Family Legal Clinic: Are you a survivor of domestic violence or know anyone who is? If so, please be aware that the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) is a local a nonprofit that provides free legal services to domestic violence victims, caregivers of at-risk children, and immigrants. In light of COVID-19, they have established a free Call-In Clinic, which is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Any domestic violence survivor, caregiver of an at-risk child, or immigrant can call them at 202-425-7573 to obtain legal advice about protection orders, custody, divorce, or immigration relief. They also offer resources for safety planning, emotional support, housing and other non-legal needs.
Essential Products for Infants and Small Children:
If you are a family in need with infants or small children in this time of crisis, you do not have to choose between feeding or diapering your child. The Greater DC Diaper Bank is there to help you. They are partnering with other basic need providers to set up “Diaper Need Hubs” across the region where families can get food and diapers at one location. Their partners include Martha’s Table, United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP), and Northern Virginia Family Services, and hopefully more as the current situation evolves. They also providing diapers to the DC Department of Human Services for families in Transitional Shelters and families in the Motel Shelter overflow. If you need baby diapers, please visit their Diaper Hub page to determine eligibility requirements. Image courtesy of DC Diapers Bank.
In an official letter to the Department of Human Services, Thrive DC joins other local organizations in offering specific recommendations for ensuring the health of shelter residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals living in homeless shelters are at a high risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 due to age, preexisting health conditions, and residence in high density settings. Cognizant that housing saves lives and ends homelessness, and that DC must do more to fund proven solutions that end homelessness, the organizations recommend that DC takes additional steps to ensure the health and safety of shelter residents. These recommendations include: 1) Transform Adam’s Place Day Center, where operations have ceased, into a quarantine site for people experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19 but who do not require hospital care and for the duration of their period of contagion; 2) Ensure shelter residents over 60 years of age, and those who are medically vulnerable in high-density shelters, can move into locations where they can self-quarantine. You can read an interesting article in the Washington City Paper about some of the current measures being taken by city officials.
A recent report from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, and Boston University projects that people experiencing homelessness will be twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers also estimate that costs for appropriate shelter and quarantine space for people experiencing homelessness would total around $11.5 billion in this year alone.
As reported by our friends at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Senate has passed the CARES Act, the third and largest supplemental spending bill responding to the COVID-19 epidemic and resulting economic dislocation. Every indication is that the House of Representatives will pass the bill and the President will sign it. The bill includes $4 billion for homeless assistance, to be distributed through the Emergency Solutions Grants program (ESG). This grant to states and local governments funds a broad range of activities for people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. Take action here.
Community Mediation of Maryland is offering a virtual Conflict Management Training Series. These trainings, facilitated by Erricka Bridgeford, are intended to help people harness conflict energy for understanding and creative solutions during this trying time. The topics and timing of the trainings are below. If you want to sign up for upcoming trainings, contact: [email protected]