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What are Community Resources during COVID-19?



Food Access

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 created the temporary food benefit program called Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) that will be issued through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is partnering with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to ensure that families with children in kindergarten through twelfth grade receive the benefit. All school-age children that are eligible for free and reduced-price meals will receive P-EBT benefits. Each child is eligible for $5.70 for each day a school is closed due to COVID-19. For more information about the P-EBT benefits, see this flyer.  For questions about benefits, contact the ODJFS customer service line at 1.866.244.0071.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank continues to provide food assistance to families in need throughout northeast Ohio.  Call the Help Center at 216.738.2067 if you need food assistance, Monday – Friday, 7 am – 6 pm.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will continue meal service to all students during the shutdown of Ohio schools. Meals are free for all children in the city of Cleveland 18 and younger. Click here for a flyer with school meal pickup sites and shuttle information.

Aramark will provide emergency meals for Lorain City School District (LCSD) Monday through Friday at various sites.  For more information and to see a list of the meal sites, visit the Lorain City School District website.

Many other school districts continue distributing free meals to families.  Visit your district’s website for information about times and locations to pick up meals.

Phone & Internet Access

Free and low-cost internet access is available from Charter Communications and Comcast.  Households with school-aged children are eligible for free services.  To enroll in free internet during the COVID 19 pandemic, call 1-844-488-8395.  Other households may qualify for low-cost service.  For more information, visit Spectrum Internet Assist.

Innovate Ohio has compiled a list of public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access. For a list of Ohio wi-fi hotspot locations, click here.

Mental Health Services

The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County has provided resources to support mental health during this stressful time. If you are experiencing stress or anxiety, you can call the Cuyahoga County Warmline at 440.886.5950 to talk with a peer. The warmline operates daily from 9am-1am. You can also text “4hope” to 741741, the Crisis Test Line. If you are in crisis, please call the 24-hour Suicide Prevention, Mental Health/Addiction Crisis, Information and Referral Hotline at 216.623.6888.

Signature Health is providing telemedicine services for mental and behavioral health to patients on Medicare, Medicaid and those without any health insurance. New patients of Signature Health can call 440.578.8200 to schedule a telemedicine appointment.  For more information regarding telehealth services at Signature Health, click here.

Shelter and Utilities

Ashtabula County Community Action Agency announces changes to the application process for their Energy Assistance programs during the state of emergency. Ashtabula County Residents who are enrolling in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) for the first time, applying for the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program, or with incomes at or below 30% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, are no longer required to visit the Ashtabula County Community Action Agency in order to complete an application. In person appointments have been suspended but clients must still call to make their appointments at 440.997.5957 or 866.223.1471. Clients may submit their documentation online here or by dropping documents off at 6920 Austinburg Road, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004. For more information, visit ACCAA’s website.

The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority will be accepting applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list. Applicants must complete the pre-application and send it to LMHAHCVP-WL PO Box 1009 Lorain, Ohio 44055. The envelope must be postmarked by May 29, 2020 to be eligible. For more information about next steps and how to apply, click here.

Emergency Financial Assistance

Some counties are expanding Prevention, Retention, Contingency (PRC) benefits to cover certain needs related to COVID 19. Contact the Department of Job and Family Service in your county for more information. In Cuyahoga County, visit: https://cjfs.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/PRC.aspx. To apply for PRC, call United Way at (216) 436-2000 or Ohio Benefits at 844-640-6446.

UCAN has emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities and other emergency basic needs. Individuals do not need an agency referral and do not need to be working to apply.  Visit  www.ucanapply.org for more information and to apply.

Reentry Resources

The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry in partnership with the North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center is providing walk up and drive-thru supply distribution for those directly impacted by incarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Visitors can receive vouchers for birth certificates, 2 bus tickets with new modified bus routes, Dave's gift card, non-perishable food items, soap, hand sanitizer, and a list of open resources. These distributions will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at North Star Reentry Resource Center at 1834 E. 55th Street, Cleveland, OH 44103. For more information, contact the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry at crystal.bryant@jfs.ohio.gov or call Marcus Bell of NRRC at 216.881.5440.

Other Community Resources

There will be a COVID-19 PPE kit distribution  at the May Dugan Center (4115 Bridge Ave Cleveland, Ohio 44113) on Saturday, June 27th from 12-4 pm (while supplies last). There is a limit of one kit per household and a max of two kits per vehicle. Participants must stay in their vehicles. In observance of social distancing measures, supplies will be place directly into vehicle trunks. For more information, contact Andy Trares at 216.631.5800 ext. 300 or atrares@maydugancenter.org.

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