Updated May 5, 2020
As of Tuesday, March 24, Communities United For Action's building is closed. Mary & Alison will be working remotely until April 30. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by emailing us directly. We will check the CUFA line at least 3 times each day. 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. The School For Creative and Performing Arts has also published an extensive list of Community Resources for Cincinnati.
What if I lost my job due to Coronavirus prevention measures?
The State of Ohio has put emergency measures in place to protect workers displaced by prevention measures, such as the closure of bars & restaurants. If you've been displaced, 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.
If you lost your full-time job in the restaurant industry, you may also be eligible for a grant from the Restaurant Strong Fund.
Who is hiring?
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 a first responder or medical personnel and can't find child care?
The Cincinnati Recreation Center is licensed as a temporary pandemic center and is providing emergency childcare for $35/day for children 3-12.
What if I miss utility payments?
Duke Energy suspended disconnections due to non-payment, effective March 13, 2020. Check out their FAQ page for updates here.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works has also 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.
What if I can't pay my rent or mortgage?
Currently, several local courts are suspending court proceedings, including hearing cases for evictions. See the WCPO article here, explaining what the courts are doing in response to the virus. If you are in the middle of eviction proceedings, look for mail to update you on your hearing in the future. If your landlord wants to file for eviction today, the earliest the case would be heard is May.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through April. According to The Hill, "The moratorium will apply only to homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a HUD agency that backs affordable home loans issued through private firms." The Federal Housing Finance Agency also issued a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on housing insured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati is accepting phone calls for assistance. Check out their "Get Help" page or give them a call at (513)241-9400.
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. 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 my kids are required to do online learning and 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. Right now, they are offering 60 days free and waiving the installation charge for low-income households with K-12 children or college students. This WCPO article has more information on Spectrum's announcement. Spectrum's phone number is 1-844-488-8395.
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has launched CPS TV on Spectrum Channel 15 and Cincinnati Bell Channel 804, with programing throughout the day for preK-12. Learn more about CPS's remote learning plan and request a teacher callback here.
Are City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners meetings still happening?
The City of Cincinnati passed these emergency measures Monday, March 16, 2020. Several administrative board meetings are suspended for 30 days, but City Council will still conduct business. Council meetings are currently not open to the public, except by watching CitiCable. Public comments can be emailed to the Clerk of Council before each meeting, to be read aloud to the Council before the meetings.
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 update here.
What if I am having mental health or addiction issues and don't have access to care?
Where do I find the latest health information and advisories on COVID-19/Coronavirus?
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
Local and regional hospitals have testing sites, but make sure to call your doctor. Testing sites are requiring a doctor's note currently, and an appointment. See The Enquirer's update on local Coronavirus testing here.
A local site has begun doing antibody testing, which may be able to determine whether you've had coronavirus. Read more in the Enquirer's article on antibody testing here.