April 8, 2020

COVID 19 Community Resources - Health, Housing, Finances and Food

by UNHP

The UNHP Northwest Bronx Resource Center is committed to bringing needed resources to our Bronx community. That commitment is renewed as we face this ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We know people need information about health, food, financial and housing resources at this time. UNHP is answering our phones M-F 9 am until 5 pm at (718) 933-2539. UNHP is offering our free housing and financial services by phone, email, and video conference. Para leer este documento en español por favor haga clic aquí. Below are city and nonprofit resources available to the public that will be updated as new information comes to light:

FINANCES

Tax Preparation

  • The IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation (Federal and State) have extended this year’s filing and payment deadline to July 15th. As soon as UNHP learns which NYC free tax prep sites offer drop-off services and have reopened their doors, we will update the information here.
  • You can file your 2019 tax forms at home if you are computer savvy and feel comfortable in putting your forms into a software. UNHP can provide a link to file your taxes from home for FREE with the support of one of our staff over the phone. If you will like more info about this, please email Jumelia@unhp.org (Subject: Request to File My 2019 Taxes with FSA).

Financial Coaching

Unemployment

  • Information about applying for unemployment benefits can be found on the NY State Department of Labor website. $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits will be made available to all New Yorkers; and the period covered by unemployment benefits is being extended for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks.
  • This link to the NYC 311 website has good information about assistance available to unemployed individuals.

Economic Stimulus Checks

  • The Federal Government has begun to distribute stimulus checks to the public. It seems like everyone who has a Social Security number and earns under $90,000 will qualify. For most people there is nothing to do - If you have yet to file, the IRS is expected to issue the stimulus check to the same bank account or mail it to the home address used on your 2018 tax return. Those who receive Social Security, SSD, SSI or Railroad benefits and don’t normally file taxes, the stimulus will be delivered to you the same way you receive your benefits. If you are required to file taxes and you haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 return – try to utilize a free option to file. The stimulus will remain available through the end of 2020. Visit our website again in May or call 311 to see if free NYC VITA sites have reopened.
  • Those who don’t normally need to file a federal return because they earn less than $12,200, receive Veterans benefits, cash or public assistance need to submit an IRS webform to get payment. The form is here:https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
  • For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.
  • The IRS is committed to helping you get your Economic Impact Payment as soon as possible. The payments also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees. Special Note: Seniors and retirees with qualifying children under 17 can use an application on the IRS website to claim $500 per child. If you have moved or need to update your direct deposit information you can use the “Get My Payment” application (available Mid-April) found here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
  • More details are expected here: stimulus payment check

For most people, you do not have to do anything to get the economic stimulus. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, receive social securty, veterans benefits,or disability benefits you will recive the stimulus in the same method that you recived your refund of benefit.
For most people, you do not have to do anything to get the economic stimulus. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, receive social security,SSA or SSI or federal disability benefits (SSD) you will receive the stimulus in the same method that you received your refund of benefit. You need to submit a form if you receive cash, veterans benefits or public assistance. The link to the IRS form is here:https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here


Other Resource Guides

NYC has added a resource guide for businesses and the community by zip code in multiple languages https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-businesses-and-facilities.page

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FOOD PICK-UP AND DELIVERY

NYC 311, New York City’s Official Website( or call 311 to access by phone), has a lot of city resources currently listed. The following are specifically for meal delivery and pick-up:

Grab and Go Meals

Everyone can pick up three free meals Monday through Friday at locations across the City. You don’t need to register or show any ID or documents.

  • Children and families may pick up meals from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Children don’t need to be present; parents or guardians can pick up meals for their kids.
  • Adults may pick up meals from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
  • All three meals may be picked up at the same time. The meals are grab-and-go; no dining space is available.

You can find a list of locations online. You can also text “NYC FOOD” or “NYC COMIDA” along with your zip code to 877-877 to find a free meals location near you. Standard text messaging rates may apply.

Free Food Delivery for Seniors and Those with Health Problems

If you don’t have anyone who can get food for you, are a senior citizen or health compromised and can’t afford delivery from a restaurant or a grocery store, you may be eligible for meal delivery from GetFoodNYC. This is a link to the NYC Food Delivery Assistance program. It will outline the restrictions. If you need help filling out this web form call 311 or UNHP at (718) 933-2539.

Local Bronx Organizations offering Food and other Resources

  • Part of the Solution (POTS) has a food pantry and meals for pick up as well as other resources such as job help by phone. View those resources here.
  • Mosholu Montefiore Community Center also has a food pantry plus other services like childcare and workforce development. View the resources here

HEALTH

NYS is on PAUSE to combat the CoronaVirus. Information here

The CDC has information about what to do if you are sick on their website.

Bronx Testing Sites

The Office of the Bronx Borough President recently released information on COVID-19 testing in the Bronx:·

Drive-through sites are prioritizing sampling for symptomatic individuals that are part of the highest risk population, those who have been in close contact with a positive case, and, as necessary, health care workers, nursing home employees and first responders on the front lines.·

Testing is by appointment only. Bronx residents who believe they have been in close contact with a case and have symptoms, and would like to be tested can be assessed by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065.

Locations in the Bronx:

  • Bay Plaza Mall
  • Lehman College Parking Lot
  • Bronx Zoo Parking Lot·

If you have severe symptoms please call 844-NYC – 4NYC (692-4692) and you will be directed to one of the following walk-in locations which is by appointment ONLY:

  • Jacobi Hospital
  • Lincoln Hospital
  • BronxCare formerly Bronx Lebanon
  • North Central Bronx
  • Montefiore locations: Moses Campus & Jack D. Weiler Hospital, Wakefield and any other admitting facility.

Sites are subject to be changed or new locations may be coming in the near future. Text COVID to 692-692 to get regular updates or text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

Wellness Resources

During these uncertain times, it’s important to maintain your emotional and mental well being. Below are some resources to safeguard your mental health.

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HOUSING

Housing Court is closed and no evictions are permitted at this time. POTS has important details here. UNHP can connect you with a bilingual Tenant Support Specialist to assist with landlord harassment, overcharge issues and eviction prevention. Call UNHP at (718)933-2539 to arrange a phone session.

Housing Connect by Phone

Housing Connect is the NYC online affordable housing lottery. Lotteries are open at this time.

  • For UNHP program users with existing accounts: call UNHP at (718) 933-2539 to apply for new lotteries, update your information or ask a question. UNHP can also connect you to a Financial Counselor to address credit and budget issues that may affect your housing application.
  • · For users without accounts: UNHP is currently unable to hold face-to-face appointments to create Housing Connect accounts. Clients that feel comfortable with computers can create their own accounts at home. Call UNHP if you have questions about creating an account on your personal computer. This video explains how to create an account on your own. Remember you can also request an application by mail if necessary.



Virtual Housing Connect Seminars are offered to start 4/21/20 by The Actors Fund https://actorsfund.org/workshops/by-city/new-york/housing-seminars/2020-04



Seminars cover topics related to applying to Affordable Housing in NYC:

  • How do you find and apply for affordable housing?
  • What are the eligibility requirements? (Income, household size, credit, housing history, etc.)
  • How does a housing lottery work?
  • Can you get on a waiting list?
  • How do you document your income if it fluctuates year to year?
  • How can you best prepare yourself for an interview?
  • What are your options if you are denied?

These are three Housing Connect lotteries active as of April 2020. One is for senior citizens, another with a CB 7 preference and another with some affordable studios. Reach out to UNHP at (718) 933-2539 for infrmation about the NYC affordablehousing lottery.
These are three Housing Connect lotteries active as of April 2020. One is for senior citizens, another with a CB 7 preference and another with some affordable studios. Reach out to UNHP at (718) 933-2539 for information about the NYC affordable housing lottery.

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2020 CENSUS

If you haven’t yet - please remember to submit the census to ensure you and everyone in your household get counted. COVID19 is making a lot of things obvious. Like planning for the future. Clearly, we need to be prepared. The Bronx needs health, education and financial resources - now and in the future. A full Bronx Count is going to make a difference to you and your loved ones!

UNHP will continue to bring the most updated resource information during this pandemic. Call UNHP at (718)933-2539 if you need help. To get the most up-to-date information, check our website, this blog post which will be updated and follow one of our social media pages:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Special thanks to CITI for supporting our work to bring resources to our northwest Bronx community

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