What you need to know, and how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
What you need to know about the Spread of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf
For a free COVID-19 test contact Austin Public Health for Hays, Williamson and Travis counties at 512-972-5560 between 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, and 9:00 to 1:00 on Saturday.
City/ County Resources
Pages with multiple resources, or Resource-Finders
Resources available nation-wide: https://joinhomebase.com/blog/financial-resources-for-workers-affected-by-covid-19/
Austintexas.gov resource page: http://austintexas.gov/department/covid-19-information/community-resources
Comprehensive List of community resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qPyiN1eNI-XxqVBLHxtYbdb585U5fhK630-OXnI4T1U/preview?fbclid=IwAR1lbHoa1XSm4P7bRgyhh9BiI4ExkPopAdlGjgEpuWcnCW-VzKAU6W1c9po
Need Help Paying Bills has a list of organizations on its website offering housing support or eviction prevention services throughout the state of Texas, including emergency housing and homeless shelters.
ADRN Prayer Hotline: 512-537-7100 M-F 10am-6pm
Mental/ Emotional Resources
Suicide Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Safe Place: 512-267-SAFE (7233)
Texas Health and Human Services COVID -19 Mental Health Support Line, 833-986-1919.
If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by the covid-19 pandemic, help is available. Speak with a mental health professional for help dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, grief or worry 24/7.
Veteran's Mental Health Hotline: 800-273-8255 - PRESS 1
Center for Relational Care is offering short-term, FREE COVID coping counseling sessions to support anyone during this time. Clients can register for up to 3 sessions. For further information before making a decision to schedule a session or give, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 512-492-6200. If you would like to ask any questions before registering, please email our Intake Team at email@example.com.
Dealing with stress and coping: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html
Coping with Coronavirus anxiety: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-how-to-cope/
Helping kids cope with COVID pandemic: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/helping-kids-cope-with-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Where can I get hot food now? (also references where you can get groceries and kids’ meals) https://www.centraltexasfoodbank.org/food-assistance/get-food-now?clicked-modal (512) 282-2111
You may also do a Google search for "food pantry near me" for other food pantries.
Loaves and Fishes Outreach Ministry, contact Caroline T. Smith - Tuesdays only 7-8 am, breakfast at 8 am, 512-476-3589.
Austin Reconciliation Church, Food Pantry - Wednesday only 2PM-5PM - 7000 Cameron Rd. Austin, Texas 78752 - Park at Reagan High School parking lot, get a number, then get in line to go to the church where volunteers will put boxes of food in your trunk. Boxes will not be provided to those who show up on foot.
HEB/ Cap Metro Help at Home Kits
- Available to MetroAccess customers who request a Help-at-Home kit.
- The Help-at-Home kits include shelf-stable items such as vegetables, beans, soup, fruit, tuna and peanut butter. MetroAccess vehicle operators will deliver the kits to the customer's door.
- To request a kit for delivery, customers must call 512-369-6050 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Limit 1 kit per MetroAccess customer per week. Available on a first requested, first served basis.
Stay Home, Stay Healthy Food Delivery (Good Apple and CapMetro)
- Beginning Monday, April 6
- Must be age 55 or older or be immunocompromised to be eligible
- Monday/Wednesday/Friday deliveries from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-5 p.m.
- Tuesday/Thursday deliveries from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- 240 deliveries per day with an initial allotment of 2,000 meals
- Each household to receive deliveries proportional to number of residents
- To apply for delivery, visit Good Apple's application page
- Call 737-228-3558 with questions
Senior Support Line: H-E-B and Favor Delivery launched a new service called Senior Support Line. Adults over 60 are able to choose from a specially curated list of essentials and can place their orders over the phone by calling 1-833-397-0080.
Drive A Senior West has a free emergency food pantry for any senior in its service area (downtown Austin, Central Austin, Old West Austin, Hyde Park, Rosedale, Tarrytown, Allandale, Northwest Hills and North Shoal Creek). Seniors can call the office at 512-472-6339 to register for temporary services.
The Texas Education Agency a list of local education agency facilities serving meals in their communities: https://txschools.gov/
Meals for children through AISD: https://www.austinisd.org/covid19/meals
SNAP funds reimbursed through Expensify: https://www.expensify.org/hunger#reimbursement (requires setting up Expensify bank account; up to $50 reimbursed)
Women, Infants, Children (WIC program) Call 800-942-3678 to apply today. (Pregnant women and people with children under 5.) https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic
More information regarding AISD food services:
Austin ISD Food Services will prepare and provide meals for children under the age of 19 at more than 70 locations while school is closed due to COVID-19 precautions. AISD is working in collaboration with the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Curbside meals will be offered at more than 15 sites. Austin ISD school buses will deliver meals throughout the community at more than 50 locations. Sites were chosen based on 50 percent or more students receiving meal benefits. Click here to see a map of all meal sites.
Any child under the age of 19 may receive one breakfast and one lunch meal daily, Monday-Friday. Due to capacity at this time, starting the week of April 6, meals will be available for children only and will no longer be offered to parents and caregivers.
Following a recent update from the Texas Department of Agriculture, schools are no longer able to claim reimbursement for meals served to children for Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning the week of March 30, weekend meal packs will no longer be offered at Austin ISD curbside and bus delivery meal sites.
Meals may be provided to parents or caregivers, even when the child is not present, provided they have one of the following forms of documentation at the point of meal service.
- Official letter/email from school that shows children as enrolled
- Individual student report cards
- Attendance record from Parent Portal of school website
- Birth certificate for children not in school
- Student ID cards
If the parent does not have documentation, the child must be present to receive a meal.
To maintain a safe physical distance, at curbside sites, parents will tape the documentation to their car window or dash so staff may review through the glass. At bus stops sites, parents will place the documentation on the table for staff to review.
Meals will feature foods that are cooked and prepared by staff in Austin ISD kitchens. These meals will be chilled and served cold to be taken home and reheated. The healthy meals served will include protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and milk. The option of vegetarian meals and compostable cutlery will be available. Food is available until it runs out.
Family Eldercare has a phone program called Lifetime Connections Without Walls to help people 55 and older deal with social isolation. It provides social and educational sessions and will also have programs on COVID-19. To register: (888) 500-6472 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation: free CapMetro fares through May https://capmetro.org/COVID19/
CapMetro has implemented temporary changes to our service designed to promote public health and accommodate the social distancing advised by governmental and medical authorities.
State car fees have been put on hold. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing extensions on registration, renewals, and vehicle titling. There's no end date on this temporary waiver; the DMV says it'll be in effect for at least 60 days.
Auto insurance companies are pausing payments or extending payment deadlines including Geico, which is offering flexible payment plans, and Allstate, which is allowing deferred payment plans that let you go two billing cycles of nonpayment with no penalty.
- Important Tip: When contacting your mortgage or auto loan company to ask about deferred payments, be sure you get in writing that the payment will be added onto the end of the loan, not onto the next month.
(Work Force Solutions): Call 512-597-7191, if working or in school, open Monday - Friday, 8a.m. - 5p.m. (closed 12-1) wfscapitalarea.com
State of Texas Frontline: https://www.care.com/texasfrontline
Those who have endured health insurance loss may be eligible for local health coverage programs such the Medical Access Program (MAP) or MAP-BASIC provided by Central Health. Central Health is available to Travis County residents at 512-978-8130. Federal programs like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) might also be options.
People with no insurance or established provider experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call CommUnityCare at 512-978-9015. They will triage people over the phone and send them to the appropriate location.
St. David’s HealthCare is offering a hotline to answer your questions about healthcare coverage. If you or someone you know may need assistance, please call their hotline at 833-867-8771, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who don't already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
AT&T is offering Internet Access to qualified households for $10 month 1-855-220-5211. (For assistance in Spanish, call 1-855-220-5225.) Based on income/ household.
Rent/ Mortgage/ Household
- Rent Assistance for Austin renters. Visit www.austintexas.gov/rent. After applications open August 19th at 8:00 a.m.CST, call the RENT Call Center at 512.488.1397 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.CST, or email the RENT at AustinRENT@cvrassociates.com.
- Evictions have been paused in the Austin area for the time being. Landlords can still file evictions during the pandemic, but Travis County judges are not hearing these cases. Judges suspended eviction hearings until at least May 9 as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- In an attempt to further slow the eviction process in Austin for renters who’ve lost wages because of COVID-19, Austin City Council members approved a measure March 26 to essentially stall eviction filings against tenants for two months.
- The Federal Housing Agency urges mortgage servicers to offer options to reduce or suspend payments for up to six months.
- If you think that you might not be able to make rent or mortgage payments, don’t delay in contacting your mortgage lender or landlord to ask if they will work with you. Securing housing is a top priority).
- People can look to the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department for both information and assistance referrals. These include resources for homeowners and resources for renters, including resources to avoid mortgage foreclosure and assistance for paying rent.
Sacred Heart St. Vincent de Paul: Survivors may call 512-926-1171 for an appointment Tuesday and Thursday 9:15-11:00 am for possible help with rent, household goods, clothing, electric and gas bills, prescriptions.
Catholic Charities of Central Texas Rent or mortgage, call, M-F 8-5. Call 512-651-6100.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church: 512-345-8314. (Rent/ utilities serving City of Austin) Tuesday 10am-12pm only.
County Family Support Services Division: 512-267-3245
Austin Area Urban League (RISE program): https://aaul.org. English: 512-838-3442. Spanish: 512-940-1598
Austin Apartment Resources: https://www.austinaptassoc.com/covid-19-renter-resources.html
Austin Texas Resources: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/resources-renters-help-eviction-or-displacement
Austin Energy has said it would suspend all shutoffs of utilities due to unpaid bills. For most customers, this includes electricity, water, trash collection and recycling. They are offering Deferred Payment Plans and Customer Assistance Programs (512) 494-9400.
Texas Gas Service: Customers in need of assistance can call (800) 700-2443.
Unemployment/ Jobs/ Specific Industry Resources
Resource for how to file for unemployment: https://www.kut.org/post/covid-19-costing-people-their-jobs-heres-how-apply-unemployment-texas
Unemployment benefits: Call 800-939-6631 (TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION) for possible unemployment benefits.
Jobs opened up:
- Grocery stores like H-E-B (careers.heb.com) and Whole Foods Market
- https://careers.wholefoodsmarket.com/global/en/covid have opened temporary positions like stockers and cleaners.
- Capital Metro also announced it is hiring more bus drivers and cleaners (https://capmetro.org/now-hiring/) .
- Amazon is seeking applicants for delivery drivers, shoppers and warehouse workers https://www.amazondelivers.jobs/?cmpid=PRPRLC0780H6 The company is adding an additional $2 per hour to these wages through the month of April.
Job-Seekers’ Network: https://job-seekers-network.org/ Job Seekers Network is dedicated to providing comprehensive job search programs and services and emotional and spiritual support to unemployed and underemployed adults in Greater Austin to support, equip, and enable them to find a better fitting job faster. email@example.com
Bartenders: The United States Bartender Guild is offering assistance to bartenders. The foundation recently received $500,000 from Jameson to help bartenders who are experiencing job loss. The money is distributed as a lump sum and distributed based on need. The application can be found here.
Service Industry: The nonprofit Southern Smoke is offering charitable assistance to those who’ve lost their jobs in the service industry. The application for English can be found here and for Spanish can be found here.
Austin Creative Alliance: https://www.austincreativealliance.org/covid19
Restaurant opportunities Center https://rocunited.org/stop-the-spread/coronavirus-support/
The Austin Creative Alliance has set up an emergency fund to support local artists during the coronavirus pandemic. The Artists Emergency Relief Fund allows artists to apply for up to $500 to replace lost income due to event or project cancellations. Applications will be reviewed every day on an ongoing basis.
The group says priority will be given to ACA members and people experiencing housing or food insecurity. Artists who receive funding will be asked to make a donation such as artistic work, creative services or volunteer time.
The Texas Music Office lists other grants for music industry professionals dealing with lost income amid COVID-19 cancellations, such as the American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund and Facebook’s COVID-19 Small Business Grants Program.
Mental health and substance abuse recovery for the Austin Music Community: The SIMS Foundation is a local group dedicated to providing mental health and substance use recovery services for the Austin music community. For immediate support, call 512-472-HELP (4357) — a 24/7 helpline for those in mental health crisis in Travis County.
Taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 are due to receive a check of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, and up to $500 for each qualifying child. The payments decrease if you make more than $75,000, or more than $150,000 as a household, so check the site to see how much you qualify for.
How to receive free diapers in Central Texas
Austin Diaper Bank partners with over 30 local agencies to provide diapers to our community. If you need diapers, contact one of the agencies below or go to Austin Diaper Bank and fill out their contact form.
You can also call United Way’s Helpline by dialing 2-1-1 or by going to www.211texas.org
Food Pantries and Serving Centers
Brighter Days Food Pantry: Leander, Texas, (512) 259-4673 – Pantry open every Wednesday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Office open to pick-up diapers, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30am to 12:30pm. www.leanderchurchofchrist.org/food-pantry
Covenant Food Pantry: North Austin, (512) 346-3124 – Pantry open every Wednesday, 4:00pm to 6:30pm. www.covenantaustin.org/food-pantry
St. Andrew’s Food Pantry: North Austin, (512) 251-0698 Pantry open 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, 10am to 12pm. www.staopen.org
Round Rock Area Serving Center: (512) 244-2431 (must live in the Round Rock Area or Hutto) Pantry open – Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm; Saturday 9am to 12pm. www.rrasc.org
Reveal Resource Center: Cedar Park, Texas, (512) 981-7721 - Pantry open every Monday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm and Tuesday, 9:00am to Noon. www.revealrsourcecenter.com
Hill Country Community Ministries: Leander, Pantry Open Monday thru Friday, 9am to 3pm, (512) 259-0360, www.hccm.org
Neighbor 2 Neighbor Food Pantry: East Austin (St James Episcopal Church), www.welcometableaustin.org/neighbor-2-neighbor
The State Bar of Texas has a hotline at 800-504-7030 to connect Texans with legal service providers, who can give assistance with bankruptcy and debt-collection matters, unemployment applications and other civil legal problems.
Federal student loan payments have been placed on hold until September 30. U.S. Department of Education Select loans will carry zero percent interest rate.
Business and Small Business
Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Small Business Issues and Solutions Guide
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts: For businesses that find themselves unable to remit state and local sales taxes due to Coronavirus, contact Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880. This agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.
In addition, they have a variety of online tools for business seeking assistance. See their Covid-19 emergency response webpage for access to online tools, tutorials and other resources for tax services, and to establish 24/7 online account access with Webfile.
The Economic Development Department is offering services for businesses who may find themselves struggling in the coming weeks. They include free business coaching, emergency planning resources, and a Family Business Loan Program. Businesses with questions about the new Orders are asked to call Austin 3-1-1.
As part of SBA's debt relief efforts,
- The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
- The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
Additional Debt Relief
For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.
What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?
- Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
- 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
- The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
- Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
- After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.
If you have questions about your current loan and whether or not your loan is automatically deferred, please contact your Loan Servicing Office directly using the following information:
- Birmingham Disaster Loan Servicing Center: Phone: 800-736-6048, Email: BirminghamDLSC@sba.gov
- El Paso Disaster Loan Servicing Center: Phone: 800-487-6019, Email: ElPasoDLSC@sba.gov
The Thryv Foundation is a Texas-based nonprofit that has created a COVID-19 grant program with up to $15,000 to small businesses who qualify. You can apply here.
Activities/ Resources for Kids:
School/ family related resources: https://familiesempowered.org/for-parents/covid-19-resources/
Resource list through Boys and Girls club: https://www.bgcaustin.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Resources_2020.pdf