Help & Emergency Services: COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, Heading Home is increasing all efforts that contribute to containing the spread of virus and keeping our clients safe. This means our close-proximity shelters and housing programs are thoroughly sanitized regularly. It means preparing contingency plans that look out to the second and third stages of this pandemic, anticipating the needs of clients who may become ill.  Staff will shift from in-person meetings to operate out of our offices, limiting home visits to when absolutely necessary.

 

RESOURCES:

COVID-19:

The following general guidelines prevent the spread of disease and form the basis of all other plans and recommendations:

  • Clean your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands (It is recommended to avoid shaking hands with others).
  • Put distance between yourself and other people (this is also referred to as “social distancing” and three to six feet is the recommended range when possible)
  • Do not go to work if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently

COVID-19 CDC Guidelines and Resources:

Intake Resources:

  • Coordinated Entry for individuals and families seeking permanent housing, visit here.

Food Information and Resources:

  • Food Resources Hotline:  1-800-645-8333
  • For more information on meal sites in Boston, visit here.
  • Mayor’s Office of Food Access can be reached by calling (617) 635-3717 (Boston)
  • To access Greater Boston Food Bank’s food assistance locator, visit here.
  • Boston Public Schools (BPS) is providing breakfast and lunch pickup everyday. For location information, visit here.
  • Free lunch buffet for BPS students is offered Tuesday-Friday from 11:30-2:30pm at 2805 Washington Street, Roxbury MA 02119
  • Project Bread’s toll-free hunger help-line for MA residents: 1-800-645-8333. For school closure meal sites, visit here.
  • Cambridge Community Food Line: (617) 349-9155. You will be prompted to leave a voicemail with your name, number, and address. A staff member will call you back within 24 hours to confirm that you meet the criteria for food item delivery. If you meet the criteria, you will be added to the weekly distribution list. For more information, visit here.
  • About Fresh offers deliveries within Boston, visit here for more information.
  • Rosie’s Place has food pantry and dining room options, visit here for more information.
  • Cambridge Food Resources can be found here.

Immigrant Families & Children with Specialized Needs:

  • For more information about Emergency Relief Funds, visit here.

Multilingual Services:

  • To access the alert system with 10+ translations, visit here.

Financial Relief Information and Resources:

  • Unemployment Benefits: Massachusetts workers who are affected by COVID-19 and are not able to work can file for unemployment. For more information, visit here.
  • MassHealth Coverage: For more information, visit here.
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will extend the renewal timeline of certain credentials to reduce the need for customers to visit an RMV service center. All Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have a 60-day extension applied to the current expiration date. Vehicle registrations will not be extended at this time.
  • The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) tax deadline is still April 15 if a person is expecting any type of refund. If a person is expecting to pay back taxes the new deadline is July 15, 2020. People who miss the deadline on April 15 can sign an extension that will give those six months to file but how much they will receive is unknown because of the extension.
  • Some credit card companies will allow people to skip payments, or interest free. Companies include American Express (cards) and Capital One (auto loans and cards). Check with the credit card companies to see if they can help, and do not assume.
  • Some financial loan companies will provide options to reduce or postpone payments, and here are some options for reference:
    • Change your repayment plan to reduce your monthly payments
    • Apply for a deferment
    • Apply for a forbearance
  • National Grid is suspending service disconnections and other “collections-related activities” through April 30.
  • EverSource is suspending disconnections for nonpayment and eliminating late payment charges. They are also offering a flexible payment plan with no down payment for any past due amount when opening a new account.

Emergency Funds:

  • Arts and Culture Leaders of Color emergency fund is for those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit here.
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) Relief Fund is for service industry workers.  To complete an application, please visit here.
  • National Day Laborer Network Immigrant Worker Safety Net Fund is for immigrant, refugee low wage workers and day laborers. For more information, please visit their website.
  • United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund is intended for people and communities in need. For more information call United Way’s 211 program or 877-211-6277 or visit their website.
  • The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is for restaurant workers who have experienced loss in wages on or after March 10, 2020. To complete an application, please visit here.
  • One Fair Wage Fund is for tipped workers, service workers, restaurant workers, or gig workers (delivery drivers, Uber/Lyft drivers). Visit their website for more information in English or Spanish.