Resources for Coping with the Impact of COVID-19

 

We are living in challenging times. We understand that the ongoing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 are having a direct, negative effect on each of us.

At NHSSF, we want to let you know that you are not alone, whether you are an individual, a family, or a small business.

We came up with a list of online resources to help Miami-Dade and Broward residents to cope with this crisis.

I have lost my income

If you lost your income, you must apply for cash assistance from the reemployment program immediately. The Reemployment Assistance Program (formerly known as "unemployment assistance") provides help to workers who have either had their hours reduced, been furloughed or laid off.

Prepare the following documentation before you apply:

  • Driver's license or state ID
  • Social Security number
  • Employment details for the last 18 months (name of the company, the reason for not working now, earnings, and dates of work)
  • Work authorization (if not a US citizen)
  • DD-214 Member 2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 (if a military employee)
  • SF 8 or SF 50 (if a federal employee)

If you have questions, you can reach the program office at 1-800-681-8102.

Creole and Spanish speakers can call the Contact Center at 1-800-204-2418.

 

Capital Good Fund is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that helps people fix their finances. CDFI is currently offering three small loan programs for individuals as well as personalized financial and health coaching to families in Florida and other states across the U.S.

You can find more information about the Crisis Relief, Immigration, and Vehicle Purchase or Refinance loan programs here.

 

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) launched a new, mobile-friendly online application platform for those seeking reemployment assistance. Follow this link to the new, available application.

 

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I can’t pay the rent

“Right now, there are several protections in place to prevent evictions (of renters and mortgage foreclosures) in Florida and across the country.

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic fallout, Miami-Dade County has created 2 rental assistance programs using CARES Act Funds:

  • One aimed towards helping residential landlords
  • One for assistance to veterans and active duty military service members

You can find more information about both programs following visiting https://www.miamidadecovidrelief.org/

 

As of April 2, there is a forty-five statewide moratorium in effect across Florida. On a national scale, a federal moratorium on certain evictions began on March 27 and will remain in place through July 24.

On July 29th, a new statewide moratorium was put in place that protects residential tenants and single-family homeowners who:

  • Suffered a loss of employment, diminished wages or business income, or other monetary loss realized during the Florida State of Emergency directly impacting their ability to make rent/mortgage payments
  • Are facing eviction or foreclosure due to their inability to pay

The “final action at the conclusion” of the foreclosure or eviction cases in these cases should be suspended until September 1, 2020.

You can find more information concerning state and federal eviction moratoriums here.

 

In the meantime, even when some counties in the state of Florida are changing their eviction policies to protect renters, the Community Justice Project is keeping track of these policy changes and sharing them here.”

Homeowners and renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic now have access to the latest information on housing assistance on the new pagehttps://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/ 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development created the page to help affected homeowners and renters through the relief process by consolidating CARES Act mortgage relief information, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams into one central location. This new website also has tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed -and renters can find out if their rental units are financed- by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

 

If you are a Broward resident and are experiencing difficulties paying your rent or mortgage due to Covid-19, Broward County has two assistance programs available until funds run out. Please click on the links for more information:

CDBG Funds

https://www.broward.org/FamilySuccess/Pages/CDBG.aspx#:~:text=The%20Family%20Success%20Administration%20Division,to%20help%20with%20rent%20assistance

SHIP Funds

https://www.broward.org/FamilySuccess/Pages/shipfunds.aspx

 

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I can't pay the mortgage

Homeowners and renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic now have access to the latest information on housing assistance on the new pagehttps://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/

 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development created the page to help affected homeowners and renters through the relief process by consolidating CARES Act mortgage relief information, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams into one central location. This new website also has tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed -and renters can find out if their rental units are financed- by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

 

If Fannie Mae owns your loan, they’ve created a loan lookup tool with which you can check if you qualify for programs providing payment relief due to COVID-19, like a forbearance plan or loan modification program.

 

Citibank's individual and Small Business customers impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for the following assistance, effective Monday, March 9, 2020, for an initial 30 days:

  • Retail Bank: Fee waivers on monthly service fees; waived penalties for early CD withdrawal.
  • For eligible Credit Card Customers: Credit line increases and collection forbearance programs
  • For eligible Mortgage Customers: A range of hardship programs through our service provider, Cenlar FSB.

Citi Bank is offering, upon request, COVID-19 related assistance. Click here for more info.

 

If you are a Broward resident and are experiencing difficulties paying your rent or mortgage due to Covid-19, Broward County has two assistance programs available until funds run out. Please click on the links for more information:

CDBG Funds

https://www.broward.org/FamilySuccess/Pages/CDBG.aspx#:~:text=The%20Family%20Success%20Administration%20Division,to%20help%20with%20rent%20assistance

SHIP Funds

https://www.broward.org/FamilySuccess/Pages/shipfunds.aspx

 

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I can't pay my utility bills

Once the “Safer at home” ordinance was put in place, energy and public service companies announced the temporary suspension of any services disconnection for non-payment (water, sewer, or power light).

 

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department
https://www.miamidade.gov/releases/2020-03-12-wasd-mayors-statement.asp

 

Florida Power and Light
https://www.fpl.com/coronavirus.html

 

Internet Essentials is providing discounted Internet service to low-income families within the Comcast service area. Follow this link for more information or dial 855-848-8376.

 

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I have children and need assistance for my family

Low-income families with children can get financial help from the state's cash assistance program, formerly known as welfare. The Temporary Cash Assistance program provides short-term financial aid to families with children under the age of 18, including single moms and dads as well as pregnant women. The program mandates self-sufficiency, i. e., job training, work requirements, and other objectives must be met.

The ACCESS Florida program is available online and also by phone at 1-850-300-4323, ext. 4323.

The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade WIC program provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and family resources to women, infants, children, and families in Miami-Dade County. Pregnant or recently postpartum women or caretakers of children under age 5 are eligible to apply, by appointment only.
Call 786-336-1300 for more info.

New Horizons provides medication maintenance to income-eligible Miami-area residents. Call 305-635-7444 or visit www.newhorizonscmhc.org. 

Camillus Health Concern is providing medication at no cost for Miami-area residents who have no other resources or are homeless. Call 305-577-4840 or visit http://camillushealth.org/.

 

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I need food (for my family and myself)

If you need to secure food for you or your family, you should apply for the Food Assistance Program (SNAP) immediately. The food assistance provided can be used for buying bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy, among other products. New customers are welcome to apply (people with or whose dependents have now reduced pay/hours). If you apply for SNAP online, you can access multiple benefits in one application. Customer call center is available at 850-300-4323.

Besides, the larger food banks in South Florida are directly distributing fresh food to those who need it most. Below you will find links to Feeding South Florida and Farm Share distribution calendars for April.

 

The Salvation Army of Miami offers bags of food to Miami-area residents in need every week during the COVID-19 outbreak. Food assistance is available by appointment only. To find a Community Center near you, visit https://salvationarmyflorida.org/miami-ac/#about-us.

Finally, Miami-Dade County is providing free meals for the elderly through its program Meals on Wheels. Eligible Meals on Wheels participants receive seven free frozen meals each week at their residence, along with fresh fruit, milk, and other food items. The meals are delivered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. For more info, please call 786-469-4707 or visit Meals for the Elderly

 

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I am seeking assistance for students

For the latest updates regarding the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year visit:

Miami-Dade: http://reopening.dadeschools.net/

Broward: http://reopening.dadeschools.net/

 

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I need support for my business

CareerSource South Florida is offering some support to small business and/or community based organizations within Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties through its COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. More info: http://www.careersourcesfl.com/layoffaversion/

 

Axis South Florida is an online platform, created by Microsoft in collaboration with Citi that provides simple, easy-to-understand information and support to help South Florida small businesses and nonprofits secure the economic support they need to withstand the COVID-19 crisis and emerge stable.

 

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How to make a mask / Additional support

Americans are increasingly adopting the use of cloth face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the latest science may convince even more to do so.  To follow both health officials’ recommendations and have a mask on hand whenever you need to go out: Make a mask for yourself.

There is still a way to follow both health officials’ recommendations and have a mask on hand whenever you need to go out: Do a mask for yourself.

The Washington Post proposes the following design/fabrics:

Click Here to Watch a Video Tutorial

But if you find the tutorial “How to sew a face mask” too complicated, CDC has a few patterns for you to follow, and there’s even a video from General Jerome Adams showing him making a mask out of cloth and rubber bands only.

 

Help from pastors and emotional care workers is now available through a support hotline launched by the Salvation Army USA.

The hotline number is 1-844-458-HOPE (4673). Workers will be on duty from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Counselors are available for callers who speak English and Spanish. People can leave a message after hours. You can visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray and request a pastor to call.

 

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