COVID-19 Resources – Camp Harbor View

COVID-19 Resources

Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2021

At Camp Harbor View, we recognize the major impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our community. Our team is working collaboratively in an effort to offer youth and families access to the most reliable and accurate information available. This page will be updated as additional resources are announced.

Vaccine Information

  • As of Monday April 19th, all Massachusetts residents aged 16+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA has also authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids age 12-15. The COVID-19 vaccine is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. To locate open appointments, visit the state’s VaxFinder website.
  • Boston’s Age Strong Commission can assist eligible seniors that need help with the online vaccine registration system. Call 3-1-1 and ask to be connected to the Age Strong Commission for vaccine registration assistance. The Age Strong Commission can also be reached at 617-635-4366.
  • The Dimock Center is compiling a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Hub with resources that will help individuals make informed decisions about the vaccine.
  • Mass General Brigham is developing a comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ on their website in multiple languages. For a Spanish, click here.

Local & State Updates

  • Find the latest news and updates from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts here and from the City of Boston here.
  • 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.
  • 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’s Boston Eats program is providing breakfast and lunch to youth aged 18 and younger. No ID or registration required. A map with locations and hours of operation can be found here.
  • Boston Public Schools will provide free meal packs with 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches to all remote learners from their Super Sites, which are open Monday and Thursday 10am-6pm. For a list of Super Site locations around the city, click 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.
  • The Pandemic-EBT food access benefit has been extended until the end of the school year. Remote and hybrid students that would receive free lunch at school are eligible. Funds are loaded, on the 25th of each month, onto your P-EBT card or your SNAP card. For more information, or to replace a lost card, visit the P-EBT website.

Food Delivery:

  • At the end of each week, unsold fruits and vegetables are collected from local food distributors and offered for sale on the Friday Food Market website for delivery on Saturday morning. Receive a no-contact delivery (within a 12 mile radius of Boston) of quality produce for a $2 fee.
  • 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:

  • Massachusetts adults with no or low income have the right to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The 3-month SNAP time limit and work rules stopped in April 2020. This applies to childless adults aged 18-50 who are not disabled. If part of a larger SNAP household, the household can inform DTA to add them to the family’s case. Learn more about SNAP rule changes here, or click here to apply. To receive assistance applying for SNAP benefits, visit the Greater Boston Food Bank’s website.
  • 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.
  • College students struggling to afford food may be eligible for SNAP assistance. Most low income college students who meet any of the following conditions are eligible: attend community college, or were awarded work-study or a MassGrant, or have an Expected Family Contribution of $0. Students can apply for SNAP online through DTAConnect.

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.
  • WIC is a federal nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services to pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 5 years old. Parents, grandparents and foster parents may apply for children under the age of five years who are in their care. WIC is available to all families regardless of immigration or citizenship status. All WIC programs are providing all services by phone. Learn more about the WIC program and apply here or call 617-721-6601 or 1-800-942-1007.
  • Free outdoor community fridges and pantries have been created to provide mutual aid for residents in need of food in Allston, Fenway, Dorchester, Roslindale, and Mattapan with additional locations coming soon. Community fridges are managed by volunteers and contain produce, dry and canned goods, and other essential household items. More information and a map of existing community fridges can be found here.
  • If your family does not have adequate food resources, call Project Bread’s FoodSource hotline: 1-800-645-8333.
  • The Dimock Center distributes free meals each Friday 12pm-2pm to patients, families, and the community from their side parking lot at the Sewall Building at 41 Dimock Street in Boston.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • Federal Unemployment Extended Benefits (EB) are now available for all PUA claimants for an additional 7 weeks and up to 13 weeks for certain eligible regular unemployment claimants. Learn more about this benefit program here.
  • 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:

  • The American Rescue Plan will provide a 3rd round of economic impact payments to eligible citizens and expands benefits for unemployment, insurance coverage, tax credits, and more. Find details about the plan and how it may impact you here. You can track the status of your 2021 payment on the IRS website here. If you were eligible for one of the previous stimulus checks but did not receive it, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file 2020 taxes.
  • The Boston Tax Help Coalition provides fast, easy, free tax preparation for residents earning less than $57,000 in 2020. Take advantage of Earned Income tax credits, child tax credits, and health care tax credits by calling 617-635-4500 or visiting www.bostontaxhelp.org.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting applications for reimbursement for COVID related funeral costs up to $9000 incurred since January 20, 2020. There is no deadline to apply. All applications are completed over the phone, call this multilingual hotline to apply: 844-684-6333.
  • 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 and more. They’ve also launched a financial navigator program to offer residents free financial services that address critical financial issues brought on by the pandemic. Learn more about the program and sign up here to speak with a navigator here or call 617-356-8229.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment 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. Families/elders struggling to pay for fuel can get help applying from Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). Applications can also be taken over the phone by calling 617-348-6599.
  • 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 Department of Education has extended an interest-free relief period, meaning no payments are needed until October 2021. 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 Biden Administration has extended the federal moratorium on evictions through March 31, 2021. If a tenant cannot pay rent due to COVID-19, has tried to pay at least partial rent, has applied for housing assistance, and would become homeless if evicted, they should complete this declaration form and give it to their landlord. For information on tenants and landlord rights during the COVID-19 emergency, refer to this MassLegalHelp website.
  • 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.
  • Members of our team may be able to help you prepare for court if you’re being evicted, or at risk of eviction. Reach to our team using this form. You can also find self-guided resources and tools to respond to a Summary and Complaint (if filed by your landlord) and to prepare yourself for court from the Massachusetts Defense for Eviction (MADE) online portal from Greater Boston Legal Services.
  • The moratorium on electric, gas, and water utility shut off for residential customers has been extended though July 1, 2021. If you are struggling to pay or are behind on your utilities, contact your utility company to discuss a payment plan. You will be protected from utility shut-off if you have a payment plan in place and make your payments. More info about customers rights regarding essential utilities here.
  • City Life/Vida Urbana operates an emergency eviction and foreclosure hotlines in English at (617) 934-5006 and Spanish at (617) 397-3773. They 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.
  • The CARES Act, passed by Congress, offers some forms of mortgage relief for those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. You can learn more here.

Rent & Mortgage Relief:

  • MetroHousing Boston is providing eligible households housing relief through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program and Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) which expands the eligibility requirements of the RAFT program. 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. If you live outside the Boston area, visit www.masshousinginfo.org to find your local administering agency.
  • The Boston Rent Relief Fund has increased the amount of funding available to households to cover past, current, and future rent. Funds can also be used to cover utilities, home energy, and internet expenses.Residents of BHA public housing are eligible to access funds for rent arrears. Even if you’ve received rent relief before, you can still receive it again.
  • The City of Boston and the Boston Housing Authority have set up a dedicated fund for BHA public housing residents with rental arrears. Households with arrears in BHA properties between March 13, 2020 and now must contact their property manager to complete an application. You can also email rental.relief@bostonhousing.org.
  • The City of Boston is launching a 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT

Enrichment Opportunities:

  • Find summer camp and summer enrichment opportunities from Boston Public Schools here. For other summer camps, including day or overnight opportunities, here is a comprehensive list of camps in or near Boston.
  • The Vital Village Mental Health Committee and the Boston Public Library are offering Children’s Mental Health Virtual Storytimes on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:00pm. They will bring families together for book readings and activities focused on Social-Emotional Learning inspired by their Children’s Mental Health Storytime Toolkit. Designed for children 3-8 years old, and the whole family is welcome. Find more info here & RSVP here.
  • 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, 2020, 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.
  • 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:

  • If you have a child attending a Boston Public School, please find more information about BPS reopening plans here.
  • Starting Monday September 21, 2020, the Boston Public Library is offering free, online homework help and mentorship on Zoom provided by trained high-achieving high school students. For more information click here.
  • 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.
  • State public health officials announced that the flu vaccine is now a required immunization for all Massachusetts school students aged 6 months or older. If you do not have health insurance, or if co-pays are a barrier, you are encouraged to call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050 or toll-free at (800) 847-0710. The Boston Public Health Commission, through the Mayor’s Health Line, will be offering vouchers for free flu vaccines to uninsured or underinsured adults, which may be redeemed at any Walgreens pharmacy.
  • ForsythKids is offering FREE dental screenings, cleanings, and sealants for kids this fall at various locations across the city. They have increased infection control procedures to provide the safest dental environment for patients in community settings and there is no cost to you or your family. Find more information on pop-up locations and sign up for a session on their website.
  • If you are uninsured, MassHealth has extended its open enrollment. 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

  • The Trump Administration’s public charge rule has been blocked nationwide. This rule only affected visa or green card applicants, and expanded which benefits the government could consider to deny an application by determining that the applicant would become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.
  • With this change, no food, housing, or health care benefits can be considered under public charge – you should access these benefits if needed!
  • The only benefits that can still be considered are cash assistance (EAEDC, TAFDC, and SSI) and any benefit for long term institutional care.
  • There are NO immigration consequences for seeking COVID-19 testing, treatment, or vaccination. Learn more from USCIS here.
  • For more information on this change to the public charge rule, see the Protect Immigrant Families website.
  • Through the City of Boston’s office of Immigrant Advancement, volunteer attorneys are available for free consultation about immigration law the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 12pm-2pm. To make an appointment, email the office of Immigrant Advancement or call 617-635-2980.
  • The Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) offer adult education classes in English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) and citizenship classes at centers across the city as well as Hi-SET (GED) classes. For more information, click here or call 617-635-4920.
  • 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

  • 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.

Civic Information:

  • The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles has extended the time frame for which eligible customers can renew their MA driver’s license online in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID credential when the MA State of Emergency Ends. Most RMV transactions can be done online.

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, please contact Darliya Bennett. Darliya can be reached by email at dbennett@campharborview.org or by phone at 617-410-8369.

If you do not hear back within 24 hours from Darliya, please contact the Camp Harbor View main line at 617-379-5500.

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