Resources and Information: Dealing with Coronavirus

Updated February 18, 2021

Communities United For Action's building is currently closed to outside visitors. Here's what we are doing to make sure we all stay connected: 

  • Our planned meetings will take place over the phone or online. We will send you emails for call-in numbers, agendas, and other details;
  • We will use this time to dig in on the issues with you one-on-one and in small groups. We will use video conferencing as well as the old-fashioned telephone.
  • We publish a bi-weekly Activist Tool-kit to help you take action in a safe way.  Remember, the virus doesn't stop Social Justice!
  • We've made a CUFA Facebook group, where CUFA members and the public can post information about our issues and share resources. 

Mary & Alison will be available Monday - Friday by contacting CUFA at (513) 853-3947 or [email protected] or by emailing us directly. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  

Below are some updates and resources we've gathered to help keep you informed and safe. Locally, the Center for Closing the Health Gap published a comprehensive COVID-19 resources page with news and information you may find helpful. 

What if I lost my job?

The State of Ohio has an unemployment help website to guide you through the process of filing for unemployment. If you've been displaced from your job by Coronavirus shutdowns, gather your recent pay stubs and apply online for unemployment here. You can also apply by calling toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408. EXTENDED CALL CENTER HOURS: Agents are available to assist with PIN resets and take initial applications Monday through Friday 7 AM - 7 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM, and Sunday 9 AM - 1 PM (excluding holidays). If you are having trouble navigating unemployment, here's a list of how-to videos from Job & Family Services.

Who is hiring?

Ohio's Job and Family Services has put together a job search website for workers displaced by COVID-19 to search for jobs available in their area.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is offering Job Help, including half hour Zoom meetings with a librarian for basic resume, job search and job application help. 

What if I'm going back to work, but can't find child care?

Job & Family Services has a search tool to find local certified child care providers: find it here.

What if I miss utility payments?

Duke Energy is restarting residential shutoffs for non-payment beginning Sept. 16, 2020. Check out their FAQ page for updates here. Request an extension or payment plan online here, or call the number listed on your bill. We are currently under the Public Utility Commission of Ohio's (PUCO) Winter Reconnect Order that is issued for October 5, 2020 to April 15, 2021. The order can be used once per Winter season to get gas and electric reconnected. Read more about the order here.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works has suspended water shutoffs due to non-payment. They are asking people to pay bills online or call them, since they have closed their lobby. Check out GCWW's update here. GCWW is now offering a “Forgiveness Program,” which will help customers avoid water shutoffs at their home. Customers must demonstrate they are experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 or be at or below specified income levels. GCWW will forgive past-due amounts related to water and City of Cincinnati stormwater services accrued during the pandemic, from March 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Applications and more information is available online at www.Forgive.myGCWW.org.

We encourage you to communicate with your utility companies to work out a payment plan if you get behind.

Community Action Agency has closed their offices, but are continuing to service clients. Check their website for instructions on how to apply for energy assistance and other programs. 

The United Way has a help line and website to help you find currently available assistance: dial 211 or visit 211.org.

*Hamilton County Commissioners are working to set up a "one-stop" portal for remaining assistance available. Stay tuned for more information.*

What if I can't pay my rent or mortgage?

On September 1, 2020, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a nationwide moratorium on evictions. "The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order 'presents a historic threat to public health.'" The CDC extended the eviction moratorium order to March 31, 2021.

National Public Radio reports that, "Under the rules of the order, renters have to sign a declaration saying they don't make more than $99,000 a year — or twice that if filing a joint tax return — and that they have no other option if evicted other than homelessness or living with more people in close proximity."

You can use this sample declaration language from the National Housing Research Center to create your own or simply print, sign and give to your landlord if your circumstances match this declaration. 

View a slideshow from the National Housing Law Project explaining the eviction moratorium.

The courts are currently open for eviction proceedings, but the new order from the CDC may offer some renters temporary relief. The order does not cancel rent, and any money due to the landlord under lease agreements will still be owed. Landlords can still evict renters for reasons unrelated to nonpayment.

The Clerk of Courts is located in the Hamilton County Courthouse on the first floor, room 113, and can assist tenants facing evictions with navigating the legal system and speeding up the process of getting financial assistance form the local agencies above that are administering the programs. You can also call the Clerk's eviction office at (513) 946-5731. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued this statement January 19, 2021: "Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until February 28, 2021.  The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only." 

The Federal Housing Administration issued this statement on January 21, 2021: "Yesterday, the Biden Administration requested the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other Federal Agencies to extend its foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Office of Native American Programs’ Section 184 and 184A loan guarantee programs through March 31, 2021."

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati is accepting phone calls for assistance with foreclosures, evictions and other issues. Check out their "Get Help" page or give them a call at (513)241-9400. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is offering tips on how to stay on top of your finances during the Coronavirus pandemic, including steps to take if you get behind. 

St. Vincent de Paul, a charitable organization, is taking Rent and Utility Assistance requests. You can call (513) 421-0602, or learn more here.

Talbert House still has available rental assistance as well: call 513-338-8596 to apply to Talbert House.

Download this PDF from Legal Aid to navigate currently available Pandemic Housing & Utility Assistance Funds.

Upcoming Mobile Food Pantries and Cincinnati Public Schools Dining Services

Cincinnati Public Schools continues to provide free meals to students during school and if they are enrolled in virtual learning. See CPS' updates about provided school meals here.

For continuing meal service for in-person school, CPS encourages families to complete the 2020–21 school year meal eligibility form online or on the app SchoolCafe.com

Community Action Agency (CAA), in partnership with other agencies, hosts mobile food pantries each month. They take place outdoors and social distancing and CDC hygiene protocol will be implemented to ensure safety. Fruits, vegetables, and baked goods will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are the dates and locations:

February 2021
Tuesday February 9 11:00a - 1pm The Welcome Project
2936 Colerain Ave. 45225
Wednesday February 17 2:00p - 4:00p Community Action Agency
1740 Langdon Farm Rd. 45237
Monday February 22 12:00p - 2:00p Tryed Stone New Beginning Church
5550 Reading Rd. 45237
Thursday February 25 3:00p - 5:00p Corinthian Baptist Church
1920 Tennessee Ave 45237
March 2021
Tuesday March 9 11:00 a - 1:00 p The Welcome Project
2936 Colerain Ave. 45225
Wednesday March 17 2:00 p - 4:00 p Community Action Agency
1740 Langdon Farm Rd.45237
Monday March 22 12:00p - 2:00p Tryed Stone New Beginning Church
5550 Reading Rd. 45237
Thursday March 25 3:00p - 5:00p Corinthian Baptist Church
1920 Tennessee Ave 45237


Tikkun Farm also has a family feeding program. They prepare and distribute ingredients for nutritious meals, once a week. These meals feed families that are experiencing higher rates of food insecurity because of school and employment closures. You can find more information here and a link to request to receive a weekly family meal. 
Tikkun Farm has free produce pickup, every week for anyone who could use extra food support. Produce pickup days are Fridays from 1:00 pm-6:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Tikkun farm is located at 7941 Elizabeth Street, Mt. Healthy 45231. 

Healthy Harvest Mobile Market sells produce below market value at various locations all over Cincinnati weekly. You can check for dates and locations here

Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is offering free meal boxes households with children on Mondays at select libraries from 3-5PM. For more information on availability and eligibility check here.

Where is my stimulus Economic Impact Payment?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set up an information page where you can check the status of your payment. Most people don't need to take action to receive payment, but if you have questions about your eligibility or are having trouble with their online tool, you can check the IRS's FAQ page here.

How can I get my taxes done now? 

The United Way has offered free remote assistance to prepare taxes for qualifying individuals, as well as other resources for those who prefer to file on their own. Check out their tax assistance website here.

What if I don't have internet access and/or an internet ready device for remote schooling or work?

If you are low-income and do not have internet access at home, Spectrum has an "Internet Assist" program for discounted WIFI. Spectrum's phone number is 1-844-488-8395.

Are City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners meetings still happening? 

Yes, virtually.

You can stay up to date by visiting the City Council website here. Council meetings are always broadcast on CitiCable. Public comments can be emailed to the Clerk of Council before each meeting or delivered virtually one half hour before the start of each meeting. See more information about public speaker registration here.

Hamilton County Commissioners meetings are televised as well and archived on the Hamilton County, Ohio Youtube channel. Spectrum channel 4 and Cincinnati Bell channel 834 also televise live meetings. Hamilton County Commissioners are urging residents to watch the live televised hearings. Public comments can be submitted here or delivered virtually during Commissioners meetings.

What if I am having mental health or addiction issues and don't have access to care?

The state has set up a Careline 7 days/week 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM: 1-800-720-9616

Locally, the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board can connect you with an appropriate care provider. 

Where do I sign up for vaccinations? 

From the Hamilton County Public Health Department: 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINE

Click the link above to register for vaccine distribution through Hamilton County Public Health. Use this registration to be notified when the vaccine is available from Hamilton County Public Health ONLYRegistration does not provide appointments. This is just to provide your contact information. If you already completed previous versions of the registration survey you do not need to do it again. We will be using registrations to prioritize distribution based on the Ohio Vaccination Program guidelines set by the Ohio Department of Health.

Visit the Hamilton County Health Department for a map of other COVID vaccination sites and an eligibility timeline. 

Where do I find the latest health information and advisories on COVID-19/Coronavirus?

International: World Health Organization
National: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
State: Ohio Department of Health
Local: Hamilton County Public Health & Health Department - City of Cincinnati

What do I do if I am sick?

The Ohio Department of Health has established a call call center to answer your questions about COVID-19, open 9 AM to 8 PM every day: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

The Centers For Disease Control & Prevention makes these recommendations for people exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus/COVD-19.

Local and regional hospitals have testing sites, but you may have to call your doctor. Some testing sites are requiring a doctor's note or symptoms, and an appointment. The Health Department is hosting free pop-up sites, providing testing to all, regardless of symptoms. Check out the state's coronavirus website for the latest on available testing sites and requirements.

Hamilton County Public Health has a map of testing sites here as well. When you click on the test sites, you can get more information about the requirements. 

 

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  • Alison Auciello
    published this page in Issues 2020-03-17 11:16:01 -0400