COVID-19 Resource Assistance – Camp Harbor View

COVID-19 Resources

Updated: Thursday, July 9, 2020

At Camp Harbor View, we recognize the major impact the COVID-19 coronavirus is having on our community. Our team is compiling resources to support both youth and families during this time. We’re working collaboratively in an effort to offer the Camp Harbor View community access to the most reliable and accurate information available. This page will be continuously updated as additional resources are announced.

Local & State Updates

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough or fatigue), you can find a list of testing sites across the city here. All tests are free regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.
  • On May 18th, the Baker-Polito administration released a plan for reopening Massachusetts. It includes the Safer At Home Advisory and continues to require all residents wear masks or other face coverings anytime they must leave their home including in grocery stores and on public transportation. Find the latest news and updates from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts here.
  • Mayor Walsh continues to ask all Boston residents to stay inside between the hours of 9pm and 6am daily. Find the latest news and updates from the City of Boston here or text BOSCOVID to 99411 to sign up for daily text alerts. For information in Spanish and other languages, learn more here.
  • Government officials are asking all individuals to practice physical distancing. Visit the World Health Organization website for best practices that will keep you and your family healthy, while also helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention website.
  • If you receive a call from MA COVID team with an 857 or 833 area code, please answer the call. The COVID Community Team is calling because either you or someone you were in contact with tested positive with COVID-19. Contact tracing is critical to slowing the spread of coronavirus in Massachusetts.

FOOD ACCESS

Food Sources for Youth:

  • The City of Boston launched its Boston Summer Eats program on July 6th, providing breakfast and lunch to youth aged 18 and younger. No ID or registration required.  Sites are open from 10am-2pm and a full map of locations can be found here.
  • To see what food access is being provided by your child’s public, private, charter or Metco school, visit the Boston School Finder’s comprehensive list.
  • Families with school-age children may be eligible for Pandemic EBT food benefits to replace free school lunch while schools are closed.Read more about the program here.
  • Families with children that received free or reduced-price school meals will get $28.50 per week per child in Pandemic-EBT benefits. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) will send letters in May with more info. If you don’t get a letter but think you should have, contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333.  You can learn more about Pandemic-EBT here.

Food Delivery:

  • If you or a loved one have a chronic illness, you may be eligible for free meal preparation and delivery from Community Servings.
  • Ethos is offering a Meals on Wheels program for individuals 60 and older. For more information visit their website.
  • If you’re not low-income but looking for food delivery, Food For Free has compiled a list of grocery delivery options.

SNAP Food Assistance:

  • If you lost wages due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may now be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Click here to apply. To receive assistance applying for SNAP benefits, visit the Greater Boston Food Bank’s website.
  • All households receiving SNAP benefits will get the maximum benefit for March and April if they were not already. This extra benefit should have been added to your SNAP card for March on the 31st and another extra payment will be made in April.
  • SNAP benefits can be used to have seasonal produce delivered from local farms. They do not charge SNAP customers a delivery fee. Find more information and order at: www.massfooddelivery.com.
  • If you receive SNAP benefits, then you have Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) dollars to spend. About Fresh accepts HIP dollars at their re-launched safer FreshTruck produce markets in some Boston neighborhoods. You can find the schedule and location of the markets here.
  • A pilot program has launched to allow the use of SNAP funds to purchase groceries online in Massachusetts. Currently, Amazon and Walmart are the only retailers in MA accepting SNAP funds through their websites. SNAP funds do not cover the cost of delivery.

Additional Food Resources:

  • Abundance Boston offers an application you can download to your phone (or visit their desktop website) to find additional resources related to food access.
  • Community Cafe meal sites are offering “grab and go” food for elders. Find a list of locations here.
  • If your family does not have adequate food resources, call Project Bread’s FoodSource hotline: 1-800-645-8333.
  • Free groceries for all by the Solidarity Supply Distro at Makeshift Boston (549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118) every Monday at 5:30pm.

EMPLOYMENT & FUNDING

Employment:

  • MassHire has a comprehensive list of employers who are hiring now. They are also offering several scheduled webinars to provide more information.
  • If you are unemployed or under-employed, the Career Collaborative has moved their free 3-week career development course with one-on-one coaching online. Contact Trevor Talley for more information.
  • If you have lost your job or your work hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance. The process has been streamlined to make it easier during this State of Emergency.
  • The Federal CARES act has expanded unemployment benefits in 3 important ways:
  • An additional $600/week in benefits will be paid to those already receiving unemployment compensation; no further action is needed. If you have not yet applied for unemployment, you can do so here.
  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now open for MA residents to apply. You may be eligible if you are unable to work due to COVID-19 but are ineligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits but are ineligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. Benefits will be retroactive.
  • An extended unemployment benefit program will add 13 weeks of eligibility for folks that have exhausted previous unemployment benefits. MA is waiting for federal guidance on how to implement and administer this program, therefore it is not yet available.
  • The City of Boston is still accepting applications for the DYEE SuccessLink Youth Employment Program. Youth between 15-19 years old are encouraged to apply for up to 15 summer positions online, then follow-up with the employers directly. Applications continue to be accepted for open positions.
  • Refer to this COVID-19, paid leave and unemployment chart if you are unsure which unemployment benefits you are eligible to apply for.
  • The Lawyers for Civil Rights have launched a free Unemployment Assistance Initiative which connects affected workers with volunteers who can help them complete the unemployment application. Request assistance here.
  • Be aware of unemployment fraud – if you believe someone may have used your identity to falsely claim unemployment benefits, learn how to report the fraud and what to do to protect yourself by calling 877-626-6800 or click here.

Financial Resources:

  • Most Bostonians are eligible for the $1200 Economic Impact Payment from the Federal Government. If you did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you must apply to receive the stimulus. Call 781-399-5330 or visit the Boston Tax Help Coalition to find out if you are eligible.
  • Be aware that your Federal stimulus payment may come in the form of a debit card in the mail and may look like junk mail. To report a lost, stolen, or tossed card, and request a new one, call 800-240-8100.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment has compiled a list of information and resources during COVID-19 related to debt, loan collections, financial aid resources, remote financial coaching, and more. Their website also has information on federal stimulus eligibility.  If you do not usually file taxes, you can submit your payment information to the IRS here so they can deposit your stimulus.
  • The United Way has launched a COVID-19 fund. Dial 2-1-1 for information on how to access their flexible family fund.
  • If your MA-based small business has been impacted, you may qualify for a Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
  • A list of relief funds for artists, musicians, nonprofits and more can be found here.
  • If you are having trouble paying your utility bill, you may be eligible for assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or from the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Fund.
  • Information on Massachusetts workers emergency relief funds can be found here.
  • You may be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) cash benefits if your family has children under 18, including teen parents, and pregnant women that are due in less than 4 months.
  • For those over the age of 65 or disabled that have very low or no income, you can check your eligibility for Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC) here.
  • If you have federal student loans, the CARES Act has provided an interest-free relief period, meaning no payments are needed until September 30, 2020. Private loans are not covered, and you should contact your lender if unable to make payments.
  • Working Credit has developed tips on how to protect your credit score during the COVID-19 outbreak.

HOUSING

  • The City of Boston is launching a new One+ Boston Mortgage Program to assist first time home buyers with the lowest mortgage rates and assistance with down payment and closing costs. Visit the One+Boston website to see if you’re eligible.
  • Boston’s Office of Housing Stability is committed to assisting residents maintain stable housing. A fact sheet about their services and their contact information can be found here.
  • MetroHousing Boston is providing eligible households with up to $4,000 of housing relief through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. If you live outside the Boston area, visit www.masshousinginfo.org to find your local administering agency.
  • There is also a new Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program being administered by Metro Housing Boston which expands the eligibility requirements of the RAFT program (see above). Both can offer up to $4,000 in relief funding. Qualified applicants no longer need to be behind on rent/mortgage payments to apply, demonstrating that COVID-19 has affected their future ability to pay is sufficient. Apply here.
  • The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights has launched a pro bono initiative to help folks complete applications for rental relief funds. Apply for free application assistance here.
  • City Mission has launched a limited one-time grant for back rent for qualified Boston residents. The application can be found here.
  • City Life/Vida Urbana operates an emergency eviction and foreclosure hotlines in English at (617) 934-5006 and Spanish at (617) 397-3773.
  • City Life/Vida Urbana also has a template letter available in both English and Spanish to send to your landlord or bank if you rent, if you have a mortgage or if your ability to pay has been affected by the coronavirus.
  • Massachusetts passed a bill temporarily pausing eviction and foreclosure proceedings, preventing late fees and negative credit reporting and giving landlords of 1-4 unit properties access to last months’ rent to cover expenses. You cannot be evicted right now for failing to pay your rent. For information on tenants and landlord rights during the COVID-19 emergency, refer to this MassLegalHelp website.
  • The CARES Act, recently passed by Congress, offers some forms of mortgage relief for those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. You can learn more here.

EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT

Summer Opportunities:

  • Boston Public Library has free online resources such as audio books, courses, newspapers, music and movies with a library card. If you don’t already have a library card, Massachusetts residents can enroll for a free e-card here.
  • As of June 22, Boston Public Library patrons will be able to pick-up books, DVDs, CDs from select BPL locations.  “BPL to go” will allow library card holders to reserve materials and safely pick them up from select branches. Learn more on their website.
  • Boston Public Schools has compiled a list of virtual and in-person summer camp opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school aged students, as well as summer jobs info. Learn more here.
  • Many Boston Public Schools are offering remote learning this summer. BPS also provides a variety of summer programs through its 5th Quarter partners. Any family can apply via a common application found here (available in several languages).
  • AMP3 Summer Immersion Program is a free virtual 2-week STEM enrichment camp for middle schoolers based out of Howard University. A computer and internet connection is required. The deadline is flexible and recommendations can be waived. Start dates are June 22 and July 6. Apply here!
  • GoNoodle has fun free movement and mindfulness videos for kids, including camp songs! Other amazing educational resources can be found here.
  • Kanopy is a free film screening service that you can sign up for with your library card.
  • PBS has educational resources for all grade levels on their website.

School Work Supports:

  • The Library is also offering free, online drop-in homework help to students in grades K-8 on Monday-Thursday 3:30-5:30pm. Join online by clicking here or by phone dialing 646-558-8656 (Meeting ID 415 730 0216). For more information click here or contact BPL’s Lina Raciukaitis.
  • Local college students have launched a platform to match tutors with K-12 students in need of virtual assistance with schoolwork. Students can register for tutors here. It is recommended that parents monitor the tutoring sessions as background checks have not been completed on the volunteer tutors.
  • WGBH has curated a distance learning center on their website, with resources for parents and students of all ages.
  • Members of Camp Harbor View Leadership Academy should contact Darliya Bennett to be matched with a tutor.

Internet Access & Technology:

  • Comcast is offering 2 FREE months of internet access to eligible new customers (usually $9.95/month). You can apply for their Internet Essentials program here.
  • Boston Public Schools are offering free Chromebooks for any child without access to technology. The only requirement is that the child attend a Boston public school.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

  • The City of Boston is expanding its COVID-19 testing, which is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. Residents can find information here on testing sites including hours of operation, contact information and address. Please call ahead for pre-screening and to schedule an appointment unless otherwise noted.
  • If you are uninsured, MassHealth has extended its open enrollment until May 25, 2020. All walk-in centers are closed, apply through the MassHealth Connector.
  • Parents Helping Parents of MA has a 24-hour free, confidential parental stress line: dial 1-800-632-8188.
  • For support navigating services for children’s mental health and Special Education Services, contact the Parent Professional Advocacy League at info@ppal.net.
  • Online 12 Step Recovery Meetings: virtual AA meetings can be found here and virtual New England area NA meetings can be found here.
  • There is helpful information on managing stress and anxiety during this crisis from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. And here are daily meditations and other resources for managing anxiety.
  • The Phoenix is a sober active community that offers free virtual classes including yoga, meditation and CrossFit. The only requirement to participate is 48 hours of continuous sobriety. Learn more and join a class here.
  • For crisis response for youth and families affected by community violence, contact the Neighborhood Trauma Team Support Line: 617-431-0125. Calls are free and confidential.
  • For anyone struggling with loss, trauma, or grief, you are invited to the Cory Johnson Trauma Education Program “Can We Talk.” The meeting occurs on the last Thursday of each month and has moved onto Zoom. Contact Coleen Sharka, LMHC or call 617-445-2116.

IMMIGRANT SPECIFIC

  • An emergency fund for undocumented folks can be found here.
  • USCIS has confirmed that the Public Charge rule does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Learn more here.
  • A list of free clinics and health centers in MA can be found here.
  • Further information about services for Boston residents, regardless of immigration status, from the City of Boston is here.
  • The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) will continue to accept Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications as well as first-time DACA applications and advance parole applications. It is recommended that you reach out to Mass Legal Help for free guidance before proceeding with application filings.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • The Boston Youth Resource Form has a list of resources for young people and families ranging from food and medicine to education and parent support.
  • Casa Myrna provides shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence.
  • Mass Thrive has created a comprehensive database that can be searched for information on resources such as food, funding, employment, elder services, housing, relief funds, etc.
  • The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation has put together a legal aid resource sheet for those needing legal aid related to COVID-19.

Emergency Child Care:

Mutual Aid:

  • Boston.com has launched the Boston Helps platform for mutual aid. Register to offer help or to receive help related to groceries, meals, rides, or toiletries here.
  • Ask for help, offer help. The Human Network Initiative’s Neighborhood Aid Network can be found here.

Don’t see the information you’re looking for?

The Camp Harbor View team is available to teens and families via video conference, phone and email. Should you have questions or need assistance, we encourage you to reach out to us at info@campharborview.org or call 617-379-5500.

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