We know that the same spirit that drives you to be part of Impact100 DC also propels you to care deeply about the state of our community and nation during this crisis. This blog post will focus on providing information about resources available to aid those in need throughout our region during the crisis. This list is by no means exhaustive; if you have information to share about available resources in your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Mental Health Resources – General
It’s common to feel stressed out or anxious during this time. It may be especially hard for people who already manage feelings of anxiety or emotional distress. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers an excellent, comprehensive online guide on accessing mental health services during the covid-19 pandemic. Read it by clicking here: Mental Health Resources. The Guide provides answers to common questions such as:
- I feel isolated and lonely. How can I find connection while quarantined or at home?
- I don’t have health insurance or a regular doctor. How can I get care?
- I’m having financial trouble because of the effects of covid-19. What assistance programs can help me?
- I am an immigrant and don’t know how to access care.
Children experience and respond to fear differently than adults. We’ve compiled a couple of resources that apply specifically to children. You can find them by clicking here:
Telehealth options for children and adolescents are also available: Child Mind Institute’s Telehealth
Children’s National is providing drive-up/walk up COVID-19 test collection only for pediatric patients who have a physician’s referral. The hospital advises that even though there are stay at home orders, it is completely acceptable to leave the house for testing. Testing at Children’s National
At this point, we have all seen the unbelievably poignant photos of cars stacked up in mile-long waits to access emergency food. Following is a list of websites where people can 1) find access to emergency food supplies near them, or 2) find emergency food assistance sites that need help (donations, volunteers) to keep their operations running.
DC Greens is distributing a wonderfully comprehensive and regularly updated list of food pantries and meal distribution sites for DC residents on its website: https://dcfoodproject.org/emergency-food-access.
For years the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) has led our region’s efforts to provide good, healthy food to people struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Each year, they source and distribute food for over 30 million meals. The CAFB service area includes: Washington, DC; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; Fairfax County, VA; Prince William County, VA; Arlington County, VA; and the City of Alexandria, VA. For information on how the CAFB is responding to the pandemic, click here. https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response/
Ordinarily, CAFB operates its massive food distribution network through alliances with over 450 regional partner agencies. However, due to the crisis, some of these agencies are not operating. For more information, please check with the CAFB by email email@example.com or call 202-644-9807.
While celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen (WCK) serves the global community in crisis, Andres calls Montgomery County home, and is providing low-cost meals for families (no cost for those who cannot pay) from some of his DC area restaurants. For more information on how you can support his work click here: World Central Kitchen Covid 19 Response.
~~ For individuals and families living in Northern Virginia, there are additional emergency food resources:
~~ For individuals and families living in PG County, there are food pantries close to them as well: PG County food pantry locations
~~ In Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Food Council is providing an extensive list of 100+ local churches and charities where residents can access food and benefits application assistance during the crisis: spreadsheet identifying community needs. They also have a large list of volunteer opportunities.
Supporting Health Care Workers
We all recognize that the health care industry has taken on a gargantuan task in responding to the coronavirus. One of the realities of the pressure they are under is that many don’t even have time to eat. A new organization has sprung up specifically to meet this need. Feed the Fight DC raises funds to support local restaurants and their staff by ordering food for delivery to the local healthcare workers at hospitals and medical centers in the DMV region during the COVID pandemic. You can learn more about their work here. Feed the Fight
Supporting Furloughed Workers and the Unemployed
The latest news is that there are over 27 million newly unemployed individuals in the United States as a result of closures due to the virus. One of the areas hardest hit is the restaurant and hospitality industry. Nationally, the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has created a Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund: RWCF Covid 19 fund. You can assist restaurant workers locally by clicking here: Restaurant workers – DC.
In addition, Hook Hall, a local tavern and event space located on Georgia Avenue, in Northwest DC, has created the entity Hook Hall Cares to respond to the coronavirus. They are distributing care kits and family meals at designated times throughout the week to hospitality workers in DC. Learn more about them here: Support for local restaurant workers.
Assistance for domestic workers is available through the National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus Care Fund. Domestic Workers Care Fund.
The DC government is encouraging all employees who have lost work to apply for UI benefits. Because the volume of phone calls is so high, they are encouraging applicants to apply online. Unemployment compensation in DC
PG County is offering a special enrollment period for residents to apply for health insurance during the pandemic; assistance is available by phone: Health insurance for PG County residents.
Effective April 6, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services in Montgomery County has closed its offices to the public except in the case of children and families seeking emergency shelter. All other intake services, including the Rental Assistance Program, are available through telephone or email. For more information click here:
Local Government Informational Websites
To learn more about how your specific region is responding to the crisis, visit your city or county’s specially designated websites.
Protect our Seniors
Two local organizations that exist to provide assistance to older neighbors are Neighbor to Neighbor and the Neighborhood Village Programs. These organizations work to
allow seniors to stay in their local communities and remain active contributors by getting support from neighbors, friends and community organizations. Following is a list of programs in the DC/Maryland/VA area: https://wavevillages.org/index.php/about-us/our-villages
One of the main concerns of seniors is how to access food and supplies without exposing themselves to the virus. For Montgomery County seniors, there is a comprehensive list of grocery stores that are making home deliveries as well as stores that provide curbside pick-up: Senior Connection Montgomery County.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington provides timely guidance on what to do with your pets in the event you are hospitalized with the virus.
The DC Public Library has made more than 15 million curated online movies, eBooks, music and other offerings available for free; see its resources at GoDigital.
For information on blood donations, including plasma donations by individuals who have had coronavirus, please visit: Blood and plasma donations – The Blood Connection or Red Cross donations – American Red Cross.
Park Mobile is operating a Covid-19 relief fund supporting select charities through April 30 through its mobile app. Parkmobile Cares.