Resources and Information: Dealing with Coronavirus

Updated September 15, 2020

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 have developed a weekly Activist Tool-kit to help you make the most of your time at home.  Remember, the virus doesn't stop Social Justice!
  • We are hosting CUFA Community Chat each Wednesday for our members; and
  • 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 cufa@cufacincy.org 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, (excluding holidays) Monday through Friday 8 AM - 5 PM. If you are having trouble navigating unemployment, here's a list of how-to videos from Job & Family Services.

Ohio recently extended unemployment benefits: read the latest news about the extension from WLWT. 

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.

Fifth Third Bank announced they are hiring 1,000 new positions, including in Cincinnati. Learn more about their announcement from Fox 19 here. Search their career page here for job postings.

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?

The Cincinnati Recreation Center is opening their child care services at a limited capacity. Find more information here on which centers are offering 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. 

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.

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. 

Hamilton County has funding to help people with rent and utilities - see contact infomation below for the three organizations dispersing CARES Act funding - Talbert House, Community Action Agency, and Freestore Foodbank.

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.'" 

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.

Hamilton County Commissioners named three local agencies to distribute $3.5 Million from the Coronavirus Aid and Relief Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act to help 1,200 renters avoid evictions. The agencies are Community Action Agency (use this link to apply), the FreeStore Foodbank and Talbert House. 

FreeStore Foodbank asks that families facing eviction or homelessness should first call the CAP line at 513-381-SAFE (7233) to complete an intake assessment.

In order to apply through Talbert House, residents who want to apply call their 24 hour hotline at 513-338-8596.

For more information on the Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief program, click here: https://www.hamiltoncountyohio.gov/about/news/rent_and_utility_relief_program_launches

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 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued this statement August 27, 2020: "Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced the third extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages covered under the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This extension provides an additional four months of housing security to homeowners, as they will not fear losing their homes as they work to recover financially from the adverse impacts of the pandemic."

The Federal Housing Finance Agency also extended their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed mortgages on single-family residences through December 31, 2020.

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati is accepting phone calls for assistance with foreclosures and evictions. Check out their "Get Help" page or give them a call at (513)241-9400. Also, check out Hamilton County Tenant Resources and Protections in Response to COVID-19.

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 request. You can call (513)421-0602, or learn more here.

Upcoming Mobile Food Pantries and Cincinnati Public Schools Dining Services

Beginning September 2 through September 23, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) will serve breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and under for FREE. Meals can be picked up on Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. at any of our schools. 

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

Community Action Agency, in partnership with other agencies, will be holding 3 mobile food pantries during the month of August. 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. September dates:

Tuesday  September 8  11:00 a - 1:00 p   The Welcome Project
  2936 Colerain Ave. 45225
Wednesday  September 16  2:00 p - 4:00 p   Community Action Agency
  1740 Langdon Farm Rd. 45237
Monday  September 28  9:00 a - 11:00 a   Tryed Stone New Beginning Church
  5550 Reading Rd. 45237


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 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Tikkun farm is located at 7941 Elizabeth Street, Mt. Healthy 45231. 

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. 

Healthy Harvest Mobile Market sells produce below market value at various locations all over Cincinnati weekly. You can check for dates and locations 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 "Get My Payment" tool, you can check the IRS's FAQ page here.

How can I get my taxes done now? 

The federal government and State of Ohio extended the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020. The United Way is offering 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?

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.

The City of Cincinnati passed these emergency measures Monday, March 16, 2020, but is now beginning to adapt to social distancing guidelines by using Zoom and limiting in-person capacity at the public comment sessions. 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.

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.

Will the City of Cincinnati still maintain services?

The Department of Public Services is suspending some operations, but still maintaining essential city services like trash collection. See the City's page for essential services updates here.

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 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