COVID-19

COVID-19 RESPONSE

We have activated the Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) Coalition.  We have been in constant contact with the Suffolk and Nassau County DoH and OEM as well as our active VOAD members.

The LIVOAD is a coalition of government, nonprofit, and private sector partners who come together to collaboratively address disasters on Long Island. The situation is developing on a nearly hourly basis, and we recognize the critical and emergent need for a robust, and coordinated response across the nonprofit and government sectors for the health and safety of our region.

Please click here for a flyer with information on critical services available. Flyers are in both English and Spanish:

We are working tirelessly to ensure that the Long Island VOAD responds to your concerns as well as the needs of the community.

Click here to sign up to receive LIVOAD e-mail communications.

CALL DETAILS & MATERIALS

FULL VOAD STANDING CALL

Every Tuesday and Friday at 12:00pm for updates, resources, and reports from our government and nonprofit partners.  

  • Please join from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 
  • https://www.gotomeet.me/HWCLI/covid-19  
  • You can also dial in using your phone. 
  • United States: +1 (408) 650-3123 
  • Access Code: 929-959-189 

SUBCOMMITTEE CALL SCHEDULE

Mondays, 11:30AM – Behavioral Health calls

Mondays, 1:00PM – Philanthropic calls

Wednesdays, 3:00PM – Legal Concerns calls

Thursdays, 11:00AM – Emergency Food calls

Thursdays, 4:00PM – Family Violence calls

Please email voad@hwcli.com with any questions about subcommittee participation.


COVID-19 RESPONSE CALL RECORDINGS


TESTING & PUBLIC SAFETY

UNDERSTANDING COVID-19


CONTACT TRACING

Click here to visit the NYS Contract Tracing webpage.

New York State has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Vital Strategies to create the NYS Contact Tracing Program, a nation-leading initiative to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and make it safer to begin to return to normal again. Contact Tracers work with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to identify people they have had contact with and let them know they may have been exposed to the disease. If you get a call from “NYS Contact Tracing,” PLEASE answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe


COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT INFORMATION


REOPENING GUIDANCE

New York Forward

New York State’s reopening plan and other guidance can be found on the New York Forward website:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again

Cleaning Guidance for Reopening

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes (Centers for Disease Control – CDC)


DISCRIMINATION & HATE CRIMES

Anyone who is being threatened with physical harm should contact 911 immediately.

Nassau County’s COVID-19 Information & Contact Sheet includes information on reporting discrimination and reporting discrimination in school settings.

To report possible cases of discrimination contact:

  • New York State Bias and Discrimination Hotline, (888) 392 3644
  • Nassau County Human Rights Commission, (516) 571 3662

To report alleged incidents of discrimination in school settings (note that this should be brought to the attention of the local school district before the following resources) :

Additional information can be requested from:


TRANSLATED RESOURCES

COVID-19 Health Literacy Project
Accessible COVID-19 information has been translated into 35+ different languages to help all patients, especially immigrants and non-English speaking communities, stay informed and healthy. These materials include fact sheets on COVID-19 prevention, management, pregnancy, and information for children. These materials are carefully reviewed and vetted by physicians and faculty members at Harvard Medical School. Created by the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing.


TO REQUEST PPE & EMERGENCY SUPPLIES:


TO REPORT LOCATIONS NOT OBSERVING SOCIAL DISTANCING/SHUTDOWN ORDERS


LOCAL MUNICIPALITY COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGES

HEALTHCARE RESOURCES

Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers Extended through May 15

NY State of Health, together with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), made a Special Enrollment Period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace, and directly through insurers. Individuals looking to enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through May 15, 2020.  Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round. Consumers can apply for coverage with the help of a Health and Welfare Council of Long Island  or Central Nassau Guidance health care navigator! Appointments are completed over the phone. Please call to schedule an appointment today:

  • Suffolk County: Call HWCLI at 516-505-4426
  • Nassau County: Call Central Nassau Guidance at 516-707-0297

COVID-19 Testing Cost-Sharing

A new directive by the State Department of Financial Services requires New York health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for novel coronavirus including emergency room, urgent care and office visits. New Yorkers receiving Medicaid coverage will not be expected to pay a copay for any testing related to COVID-19. Please click here for more information.


Medicare Resources

Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. Medicare consumers pay no out-of-pocket costs. Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations; this includes COVID-19 diagnosis. At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). If consumers have a Medicare Advantage Plan, they have access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests. Many plans offer additional telehealth benefits beyond the ones described below. Please advise clients to check with their plan about coverage and costs. Please visit Medicare.gov for more information.


Additional Updates as of 04/03/2020

Consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying health insurance premiums through June 1, 2020.

If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage; because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.

Please see the links below for more information:


COVID-19 related services under emergency Medicaid

COVID­-19 lab testing, evaluation and treatment are emergency services and will be reimbursed by NYS Medicaid for individuals with emergency Medicaid coverage.  Providers have been notified, through a recent Medicaid Update article, that they must code these services with the emergency indicator in order to be reimbursed. Please see this document for more information.


Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP)

The HIICAP hotline and volunteer counselors are available to provide information on all aspects of health insurance including Medicare Parts A, B, C & D and EPIC.

  • Pauline Andrews Phone: (516)485-3425 ext. 2322, Email: PAndrews@fcali.org
  • Barry Klitsberg, Assistant Coordinator Phone: 516-485-3425 x 2324
  • HIICAP@fcali.org (516)485-3754. All calls will be returned within 24 hours

EMERGENCY FOOD RESOURCES

Long Island’s providers are working hard to make sure that people have enough food to eat- please use these maps from Long Island Cares and Island Harvest to find food in your community. Please note that resources are changing every day and it’s important to call ahead before visiting any pantry. 

Long Island CaresClick here to find pantries, soup kitchens, and other meal services by zip code.
(631) 582-3663

Island HarvestClick here to find pantries, soup kitchens, and other meal services by zip code.
(631) 873-4775


SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

The Department of Social Services will continue to process SNAP applications and assist clients.

HWCLI continues to assist clients with SNAP Applications remotely- for more information on our service please call: (516) 505-4437, or you can apply directly here: Apply for SNAP.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18, includes a temporary nationwide suspension of the Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) 3-month time limit rule that will go into effect on April 1. For that reason, local districts in NYS will grant good cause to any ABAWD unable to meet the time-limit work requirement during the month of March.

SNAP/EBT can be used for online grocery purchases in NY and other participating states– Current participating retailers include Amazon, Walmart, and ShopRite. Amazon is available statewide; Walmart and ShopRite participate in specific zip codes. SNAP/EBT cards can be used as a payment method on Amazon.com. You will receive access to Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh once a SNAP/EBT card is added to your account. To receive access to Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh selection or to pay using SNAP EBT, simply add a valid SNAP EBT card issued by a participating state to your account as a payment method. Please click here for more information.


WIC (Women, Infants & Children)

The WIC Program can now issue benefits remotely. Please call your local WIC office to learn more.


Schools Meals

The summer nutrition programs (the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through the National School Lunch Program) are available to provide meals during school closures. For more information, please click here.


Hunger Solutions New York

Hunger Solutions New York is working to provide updates that can help schools, community organizations, and families mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the food security of low-income people. Please click here for the latest updates.


Suffolk County Police Department Resources

MENTAL & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCES

CRISIS HELPLINES & SUPPORT RESOURCES

The Mental Health Association of Nassau County

  • The peer support “warmline” is open 24/7 and can be reached by calling (516) 489 0100 ext. 1.
  • Please click here for information on ongoing peer support groups offered by MHANC.

Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW) Mental Health Helpline

  • Click here for a variety of resources available through the MHAW website, including information about their Peer Support Services (see below):
  • The Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW) will be offering extended hours for their Peer Support Line and Healing Connections Peer Support Groups to Suffolk County residents. These services are staffed by trained and experienced Certified Peer Specialists. New operating hours for the Peer Support Line:
    • Monday to Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm
    • Saturday, 5:00pm-10:00pm
    • Sunday, 2:00pm-7:00pm
    • The Peer Support Line can be accessed by calling (631) 471 7242 ext. 1217. 
  • If your situation is urgent, please call the 24/7 Response Hotline at (631) 751 7500.
  • Online Peer Support Groups can be accessed by clicking here.

Family Service League

  • DASH Crisis Center and Hotline: Facing mental health or addiction issues can be overwhelming, especially combined with the stress associated with the COVID-19 virus. Please call their hotline at (631) 952 3333 for assistance.
  • C-CAT (Community Crisis Action Team): This team responds to traumatic incidents, assessing the needs of individuals and groups who have experienced a critical event in the workplace, school or community. C-CAT is often deployed within hours of first contact and uses debriefings, defusing and one-on-one intervention to help mitigate the impact of traumatic situations. Please call (888) 375 2228.

Mount Sinai South Nassau

Hispanic Counseling Center: The Hispanic Counseling Center’s team of social workers can be reached at 516-538-2613 Monday through Thursday from 9am – 8pm and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4p. They offer various services via telehealth, including:

  • Mental health treatment
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Treatment
  • Teen Education Group

Long Beach Therapy Network

Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Hygiene Services: This department is the local governmental unit responsible for the coordination and oversight of all community services to persons with alcohol and substance abuse problems, mental illness, mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities. Community Mental Hygiene Services is authorized under the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. It functions in concert with New York State’s Office of Mental Health; Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Various resources are available on this website, including the below:

NYS Office of Mental Health 

  • New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at (844) 863 9314 for mental health counseling.
  • The NYS Office of Mental Health COVID-19 webpage offers a variety of resources for the public and providers, as well as information on how to volunteer. For more information, click here.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline

  • Contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985- 5990 that provides 24/7, 365-day-a- year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Use your preferred relay service to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990
  • TTY 1-800-846-8517Spanish Speakers
  • Call 1-800-985-5990 and press “2”
  • From the 50 States, text Hablanos to 66746
  • From Puerto Rico, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663
  • En Español

STRESS & COPING RESOURCES

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Please visit this link to access resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Headspace for free for New Yorkers: New York has been hit hard by the current global crisis. In partnership with Governor Cuomo, Headspace wants to be here for you — to help you find some time and space as you weather this storm. This special NY collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises are here to support you through stressful and challenging times. Helping you — and your fellow New Yorkers — stay strong and be kind to yourselves, with a New York state of mind.
Disponible en Español

PsychHub COVID-19 Mental Health Resources: Beacon offers access to a COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub which provides a range of resources designed to help people, their families and care providers cope with pandemic related stress.


12 STEP MEETINGS & CHAT GROUPS

Several 12 step meetings have set up online or remote options to continue services for those looking for community support.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES

Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 911.

During COVID-19 Quarantine, interviews, petitions, orders of protection can be done remotely via video and telephone. Please call one of the following agency hotlines for assistance:

  • LI Against Domestic Violence- (631) 666-8833
  • The Retreat- (631) 329-2200
  • Crime Victims Center (631) 689-1800
  • Brighter Tomorrows (631) 395-1800
  • VIBS (631) 360-3606

AYUDA LATINA HOTLINE launched for Latina Immigrant Victims of Crime
(833) SMAYUDA (833-762-9832)

SEPA Mujer, Incl offers a 24-hour/ 7 day-per-week Spanish-language hotline for Latina immigrant victims of crime. The hotline launched on April 8, 2020.

In a time where so much is unknown and social contact must remain at a minimum, SEPA Mujer is launching what is expected to be an invaluable tool to Latina immigrants who are victims of crime. The AYUDA LATINA Spanish- language hotline aims to empower women by providing emotional support, information and referrals to victims of gender-based violence, hate crimes, wage theft, and gang violence. Ayuda Latina, which is a part of SEPA Mujer’s Victim’s Assistance Program funded by the New York State Office of Victim’s Services, will be facilitated by SEPA Mujer members who hail from a myriad of diverse Latin American backgrounds. These incredible volunteers are donating their time to handle calls 24/7. Additional program services include case management, legal immigration case relief services, and a sexual assault survivor support group.

LINEA DE AYUDA LATINA EN ESPAÑOL PARA INMIGRANTES VÍCTIMAS DE CRIMEN
(833) SMAYUDA (833-762-9832)

SEPA Mujer ofrece una Línea de Ayuda en ESPAÑOL 24 horas/7 días a la semana para inmigrantes víctimas de crimen. La línea de ayuda empezó a funcionar el 8 de abril del 2020.

En una época donde hay tanto que no conocemos y que el contacto social debe permanecer al mínimo, SEPA Mujer está lanzando lo que se espera sea una herramienta invaluable para las latinas inmigrantes que sean víctimas de crímenes. La línea de ayuda en español pretende empoderar a las mujeres dando apoyo emocional, información y referidos a las víctimas de violencia de género, crímenes de odio, robo de salarios and violencia de pandillas. Esta línea es posible gracias a la participación de increíbles voluntarias que están donando su tiempo para contestar las llamadas 24/7. Adicionalmente este programa incluye servicios de manejo de casos, servicios de ayuda con casos de inmigración y grupos de apoyo de sobrevivientes de asalto sexual. La Línea de Ayuda Latina empodera a la comunidad latina y ayudar a crear una Long Island más segura, removiendo la barrera del lenguaje para víctimas y testigos de crímenes.

 

CHILDCARE & CHILDREN-FOCUSED RESOURCES

CHILD CARE ORGANIZATIONS:

Child Care Council of Nassau

(516) 358-9250

For emergency responders who need Child Care: (516) 727-0331

 

Child Care Council of Suffolk

(631) 462-0303

Essential workers looking for child care can call (646) 926-3784


CHILD CARE LINKS AND NEWS:

New York State Division of Child Care Services

 

NYS Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers

New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs child care, they can contact their local child care referral agency to find openings:

 

Child Care Employment

Due to the added stress of the COVID-19 outbreak on essential workers, including those in the Child Care community, The Child Care Council of Nassau is extending the use of their Job Bank (https://bit.ly/JOBBANKCCCN) to ALL Nassau County Child Care programs in need of additional staffing at this time.

  • PROGRAMS: If you would like to make a posting please fill out the form listed on the page and e-mail it to jrussell@childcarenassau.org
  • PROVIDERS: Please use this tool if you are currently in search of work

 

Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Resources

Information For Families with A Child with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability During the Covid-19 Pandemic: From The STRYDD Center (Supporting Trauma Recovery for Youth with Developmental Disabilities) Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Northwell Health, the resources below are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic to help parents support their child with special needs.

These resource guides were developed in April, 2020. Some resources address all children’s needs; some were developed specifically for children with I/DD and/or Autism.

 

The National Association for School Psychologists developed a site for its members and the public with information, guidelines, and resources to help support the learning and well-being of students, their families and others in the school community during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Trainings/Webinars

Child Care Council of Nassau Social Distancing Series

Social Distancing in Early Childhood Programs:

English http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/429.pdf
Spanish http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/430.pdf

Remaining Proactive in Early Childhood Classrooms During COVID-19 Part 1

English http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/435.pdf
Spanish http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/436.pdf

Remaining Proactive in Early Childhood Classrooms During COVID-19 Part 2

English http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/441.pdf
Spanish http://www.childcarenassau.org/documents/440.pdf

 

Other Resources and Information:

Docs for Tots is committed to continue promoting optimal well-being of young children. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have compiled a list of the most updated resources and agency notifications here.

Zero to Three Coronavirus Resources: Coronavirus Resources for Early Childhood Professionals

VOICE: CSEA/VOICE: a union made up of and working for family child care providers from across New York State, organizing for power to take on challenges facing us and the children and families we serve. Here is a link to COVID-19 resources on their website.

Child Care Aware of America: Provides three COVID-19 resources hubs for various audiences:

 

New York Association for the Education of Young Children: Offers COVID-19 resources, including resources for talking with children about the ongoing pandemic.

 

Vroom: Offers several simple and fun ways to boost brain building at home together with your child. Resources available in English and Spanish.

 

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Offers ways to support children and talk to them about COVID-19. This fact sheet describes how to start a conversation with children about COVID-19, correct inaccurate information, encourage children to ask questions and how to answer them, help children self-regulate, and outlines common reactions, how to stay connected, practice self-care, and what to do if you need extra help.

 

National Association for the Education of Young Children: Visit their website for more information to support our nation’s child care and early learning programs, including educators, families, and children.

 

Children’s Defense

  • Resources For Families Seeking Assistance

 

  • Resources For Children & Families in the Child Welfare System
    • FosterClub’s resource guide that provides links to links to resources, information, and opportunities to find support for young people in and from foster care.
    • Check out Think of Us’ resource hub that provides information specifically for foster youth and those serving foster youth

 

  • Resources For Immigrant Families
    • Check out Protecting Immigrant Families’s guide for some of the federal public programs available that support individuals and families with health care, cash assistance, food assistance and unemployment assistance.
    • Call Freedom for Immigrant’s COVID-19 hotline to report abuse, share a story  or get connected to a loved one  in detention. Calls made through their National Detention Hotline are free, confidential and unmonitored. Call: 9233 (from inside detention) Call: 209-757-3733 (from outside)

 

  • Self Care and Wellness Resources For Families

LEGAL ISSUES & RESOURCES

FOR THOSE SEEKING LEGAL ADVICE/REPRESENTATION:

Touro Law School has established a free helpline to answer legal questions arising from the pandemic.  Volunteer attorneys are available to answer calls and can provide referrals to clients with a variety of needs. The helpline will provide referrals to our Touro’s clinical program and appropriate legal partners on a wide range of legal issues, including landlord-tenant, civil liberties, bankruptcy, employee rights, unemployment, stimulus payment, insurance and more.

 

Carecen: CARECEN has provided high quality legal assistance to immigrant communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties for over thirty years. We currently offer a variety of legal services in both affirmative and defensive cases, including initial and renewal requests for temporary protected status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), green card renewals, naturalization, adjustment of status, family petitions, unlawful presence waivers,  special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), among others. We screen for a broad range of legal relief when we meet with our clients and inform them of the immigration benefits they are eligible to apply for and the implications of applying for them. Link to website: https://www.carecenny.org/.

  • Contact Information: 516-489-8330

 

Community Legal Advocates of New York: Community Legal Advocates of New York is a private, non-profit organization that is dedicated to closing the social justice gap by advancing the rights of low and moderate income clients. Consistent with the vision of its founders, CLA provides free or low cost holistic civil legal and advocacy services to residents of Long Island and New York City. Link to website: https://www.cla-ny.org/

 

Empire Justice Center: The Empire Justice Center is a statewide non-profit law firm that focuses on poverty law and social policy. Our Long Island office provides advocacy and legal assistance at no cost to low income Long Islanders in Nassau and Suffolk, regardless of immigration status. We assist with matters related to public benefits, immigration, consumer fraud, housing (for tenants facing eviction), disability rights, language access, child support, and other non-criminal matters. We are available to provide technical assistance to other advocates and to accept calls from the community, as well as referrals. We will provide assistance in your language. Link to website: https://empirejustice.org.

 

Hofstra Law (“Hofstra Pro Se Legal Assistance Program”): The Pro Se Legal Assistance Program (the “ Hofstra Program”) is a free service offered by Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, and is staffed by members of the law school, including an attorney, a law professor, and law students. The Hofstra Program provides free information, advice, and limited scope legal assistance to non-incarcerated pro se litigants who have filed, or intend to file, a civil case in the Central Islip Eastern District of New York federal court. The Hofstra Program seeks to enhance access to justice and improve the litigation process for litigants and the Court by helping pro se litigants navigate the court system. The Hofstra Program assists litigants with federal civil cases, including cases involving civil rights, employment discrimination, labor law, and social security benefits. The Hofstra Program cannot assist individuals while they are incarcerated, but can provide assistance to litigants once they are released from custody. Link to website: https://proseprogram.law.hofstra.edu/.

 

Latino Justice: For more than 40 years LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond. Latino Justice’s mission is to ensure that all Latinx people in the United States are treated with dignity, justice, and fairness. Link to website: https://www.latinojustice.org/en/coronavirus-resources

 

Legal Aid Society of Nassau County: The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping indigent persons in criminal legal matters and in certain family court matters including those involving child custody and support issues. Link to website: https://nclas.org/index.html.

  • Contact Information: 516-560-6400

 

Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County: Established in 1964, The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County provides zealous, holistic criminal defense, certain family court representation, and social work assistance to eligible Suffolk County residents. As defenders, our focus centers on the well-being of our clients, legal and otherwise. Through a combination of high quality courtroom advocacy and a client-centered community approach, The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County strives to safeguard the rights of the indigent and assure equal access to justice. Eligibility form: http://sclas.msnetsol.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/convert-jpg-to-pdf.net_2016-08-24_20-25-44.pdf Link to website: http://sclas.org/.

  • Contact Information: 631-630-3300

 

Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT): is a nonprofit based in New York that provides free family law information and advice. LIFT is dedicated to enhancing access to justice for families involved in the New York Family Court system. Parents and caregivers seeking information about New York child support, custody, visitation, paternity, or Family Court procedure can call LIFT’s Helpline at 212-343-1122, Toll-free 800-696-8629 (Helpline hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm).  In addition to providing information over the Helpline, LIFT can arrange one-on-one consultations for legal advice on issues of paternity, child support, custody, and visitation. For legal advice outside of New York City, call LIFT’s Helpline for information about Family Legal Connection, a program that connects unrepresented litigants with pro bono attorneys by video-chat.  LIFT’s programs are free and open to all. LIFT does not provide full legal representation. Link to website: www.LIFTonline.org.

  • Contact information: 212-343-1122

 

Nassau Suffolk Law Services: Clients are facing unprecedented challenges, and many who thought they had secure income may need our assistance in coping with the aftermath of the current public health emergency. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is committed to supporting our clients through the public health emergency and the days that follow. We are working remotely, but our phone lines are open to serve our existing clients as well as those newly in need of our assistance. Existing clients who know their attorney’s extension may dial it. The Legal Support Center for Advocates also remains open and available to assist advocates at 3309 or 3324.Please call our general phone line to be routed to the appropriate unit:

  • Nassau County (516) 292-8100
  • Seniors in Nassau County (516) 292-8088
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project in Nassau County (516) 292-8299
  • Western Suffolk (631) 232-2400
  • Eastern Suffolk (631) 369-1112

 

New York Courts – Nassau

Link to Website: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/COURTS/10JD/nassau/index.shtml

 

New York Courts – Suffolk

Link to Website: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/courts/10jd/suffolk/dist/index.shtml

 

NYLAG: New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) provides free legal services, financial counseling, and engage in policy advocacy to help people experiencing poverty. The organization is operating via telephonic and virtual meetings and continuing their advocacy efforts. Hotline for COVID-19 Legal Resources to help answer legal questions – 929-356-9582 7am-1pm Mon-Fri. Link to website: https://www.nylag.org/covid19/

 

Office of Nassau County Attorney: Office of Nassau County Attorney Jared Kasschau. The Office of the Nassau County Attorney provides professional, efficient and thorough legal representation to the County, its elected officials, officers, boards, department and agencies, including all legal matters related to its operations and compliance with federal, state and local laws. Office located One West Street Mineola, NY 11501 which is opened Monday – Friday 9am – 4:45pm. Link to website: https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/451/County-Attorney

  • Contact information: 516-571-3056

 

Pro Bono Partnership: is available to assist nonprofit organizations with legal questions related to COVID-19.

 

Safe Passage Project, Long Island: Nonprofit immigration legal services organization where free lawyers assist refugee and immigrant children. There is also a social work team to provide healthcare, educational, and other referral services necessary for the child’s well-being, and to support the legal case and a mentoring program. Long Island office located at 65 4th Street, Garden City, NY 11530. Link to website:  https://www.safepassageproject.org/

  • Contact information: 212-324-6558.

 

SEPA Mujer: Latina Immigrants Rights Organization works to provide legal assistance and advocacy, provides leadership and training and rights for Latina immigrant women’s issues. COVID-19 resources can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQK0hd9X25m-Usu-iEiFT07xjPatmWVoy1E85Mi698RILVS4rXV4AjFudu-alh7EAMYQDTwcvw-6EiM/pub Offices located at 45 Oak Street Patchogue, NY 11772.  Resources available in both English and Spanish. Business hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Fridays 9am-4pm. Link to website: https://www.sepamujer.org

 

Suffolk County Bar Association: Organization representing lawyers of Suffolk county who’s our organization and the legal profession it represents has assisted the community through charitable services, pro bono representation, scholarship programs and legal education. Office is 560 Wheeler Road Hauppauge, NY 11788. Link to website: https://www.scba.org/new/

 

Touro Law Empire Justice Center: The Empire Justice Center is the only statewide, multi-issue, multi-strategy non-profit law firm focused on changing the “systems” within which poor and low-income families live. With a focus on poverty law, Empire Justice undertakes research and training, acts as an informational clearinghouse and provides litigation backup to local legal services programs and community-based organizations.

  • Contact information: (631) 650-2305.

 

Touro Senior Citizens Law Program at Touro Law Center, legal services provided by licensed attorneys, without charge, to Suffolk County residents only, ages 60+. Assistance with government benefit programs, consumer debt issues, landlord-tenant matters, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills, home repair fraud, financial exploitation, institutional abuse, warranties, and contracts, and related matters. Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New York State Office for the Aging through the Suffolk County Office for the Aging. Link to website: https://www.tourolaw.edu/AboutTouroLaw/571

  • Contact information: 631.761.7470

CONSUMER PROTECTIONS


COURTS


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Please also see the “Domestic Violence” page


FEDERAL & STATE LAWS


HOUSING

Please also see the “Housing & Utility Resources” page


IMMIGRATION


LABOR, EMPLOYMENT & BENEFITS

Please also see the “Unemployment and Labor Resources” page


OTHER LEGAL RESOURCE GUIDES

Several organizations and firms have developed resource guides with information specifically for legal service providers or those seeking legal guidance on matters related to COVID-19.


PRO BONO WORK

  • Volunteer with the LIVOAD: If you are an attorney and are looking to volunteer, please email voad@hwcli.com.
  • New York State Bar Association: The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

 

HOUSING & UTILITY RESOURCES

Housing, Rent, Landlord/Tenant Issues, Evictions


Utilities

  • Extension of HEAP Program: Effective April 24, 2020, a third Emergency benefit will be available to eligible households experiencing a crisis or life-threatening heat or heat-related energy emergency.The dates of operation for the Regular and Emergency benefit components will be extended from April 24, 2020 through June 30, 2020 or until the funds allocated to these components are exhausted, whichever occurs first.
  • PSEG Long Island – PSEG Long Island is temporarily suspending shut-offs of electric service to residential customers for non-payment. PSEG Long Island is also waiving new late payment fees until further notice.
    • PSEG Long Island customers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of issues related to the coronavirus should contact PSEG Long Island via My Account (https://www.psegliny.com/myaccount) or by calling 800-490-0025 to enter into a deferred payment arrangement. This policy will be in place through the end of April, and will be reevaluated at that time.
  • National Grid– National Grid has a variety of programs that can help Long Islanders both in the short term and in extended circumstances. Whether it’s a homeowner, renter, or landlord, they can take control of their monthly gas bills through these programs and services. Please click here for more information.
    • Notable National Grid Updates: On March 13th, National Grid temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardships for customers. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April when they will evaluate their continued need. 
    • National Grid’s regular billing processes will continue, but they are offering more flexible billing and payment arrangements. National Grid is not charging late payment charges.
    • Click here for more information.
  • Project Warmth– Anyone in need of emergency heating assistance can call United Way’s 2-1-1 Long Island information and referral call center by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-888-774-7633) 7 days a week, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. In light of the current circumstances, Project Warmth applications can be taken over the phone.
  • Altice Home Internet Access- Altice USA is committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Altice will offer an Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within their footprint. Eligible households can call 1-866-200-9522 to enroll in the optimum region. Please click here for more information.
  • COMCAST: Internet at Home Comcast is taking immediate steps to make it easier to connect low-income families to home Internet. New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service if you apply by May 13, 2020. After promotion, regular rates apply. For all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service has increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. Please click here, for more information on how to apply.
  • AT&T- Affordable Home Internet Customers will receive the maximum speed available at their address. This includes free installation, free in-home Wi-Fi and a data allowance of 150GB or 1TB depending on speed available in your area. $10 charge for each additional 50GB.
  • In addition, Access from AT&T is temporarily:
    • Offering two months of free service to new customers who order Access by April 30, 2020. $5/mo or $10/mo thereafter, depending on your speed.
    • Expanding eligibility based on income2 and to households participating in the National School Lunch Program/Head Start
    • Waiving all home internet data overage fees.
    • Please visit this link for more information.

SENIOR CITIZENS RESOURCES

  • Offices of the Aging: Nassau and Suffolk Offices for the Aging are Open, you can call them to find out about services near you:
Nassau County
Office for the Aging

Suffolk County
Office for the Aging

516-227-8900

631-853-8200

 

  • Grocery Stores– Stop & Shop will be opening earlier at 6 am exclusively for seniors to shop in a less crowded environment. Use this link to obtain further information.
  • Municipal Meal Deliveries and Pick-ups: Many towns on Long Island are continuing to serve Seniors through deliveries and pick-up options. Check this list to see if your town has options for senior meals. 
  • Medicare Telehealth Services– Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to the current Public Health Emergency. These services expand the current telehealth covered services, to help consumers have access from more places (including their home), with a wider range of communication tools (including smartphones), to interact with a range of providers (such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers). Please visit Medicare.gov for more information.
  • Economic Impact Payments: Under the CARES Act, all recipients of Social Security are eligible to receive a one time Economic Impact Payment. Click here to learn more: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm967

 

The FCA (Family and Children’s Association) Senior Division will continue to provide services in a modified way that protects the safety of seniors. 

  • Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Program
    All support, counseling, education, and services will continue via telephone or teleconference. Please call 516.292.1300 ext. 2264 or contact Regina Anderson, program coordinator via email at randerson@fcali.org
  • EISEP Case Management and In-Home Assistance Program (including Home Delivered Meals programs)
    Please call the regular EISEP phone number 516-292-1300 and either dial their case manager’s extension or for new clients, they can leave a message by dialing “0”. Calls will be returned as soon as possible between 9 AM-5 PM.
  • Friendly Visiting
    Friendly Visiting volunteers will continue to offer telephone assistance to clients. Please contact Jessica DiCarlo at (516)743-2389 or jdicarlo@fcali.org.
  • Senior Financial Services
    Any questions regarding senior financial services (Taxes, budgeting, reverse mortgage, and other financial concerns) should be emailed to mmata@fcali.org. Messages left on our voicemail will be returned within 24 hours.
  • SOS Elder Abuse Prevention and Support Programs
    For victims of  scams or financial exploitation, crime please contact:

Please click here for more information about these services.

EQUITY & INCLUSION

The State of Black Long Island Equity Council

SOBLI is hosting webinars as part of their “Trusted Voices of the Community Series. Informaton about these webinars will be share through our LIVOAD email. If you do not receive our LIVOAD COVID-19 emails and would like to, please click here.

For more information, please email trustedvoices20@gmail.com

Past Webinars Slides:

 

COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Response & Recovery Report

 NYC Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams released this report in April 2020, and though it is city-focused, it includes state-wide data. Lessons and considerations from this document can be adapted for broader regional considerations.

Mental Health

FOR NONPROFITS & SMALL BUSINESSES

  • Suffolk County Business Assistance: The Suffolk County Business Recovery Unit — a key component of the County’s overall plan — is now operational within our Labor Department. This unit will address questions and needs and able to track the data and information provided by our local businesses.To be connected to the unit, Suffolk local businesses can Dial 311 and once prompted press 2 to be transferred to the unit. Or, email Business.Recovery@suffolkcountyny.gov or they can visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov/bru

 

  • FEMA Public Assistance Reimbursement Program – The President’s Major Disaster Declaration authorizes FEMA’s Public Assistance program to fund Emergency Protective Measures. By applying to the Public Assistance (PA) Program, eligible nonprofit agencies may be reimbursed for eligible costs related to COVID-19.

NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) helps to administer the Public Assistance program.

Potential eligible applicants include:

  1. Local governments and special districts
  2. Certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations:
    1. Critical PNPs – PNPs that own or operate a facility that provides a critical service, e.g., hospitals and emergency care facilities, fire & rescue emergency services, educational facilities (including colleges both public or private), nursing homes, laboratories, and rehab centers that provide medical care.
    2. Non-critical but essential PNPs – PNPs that own or operate a facility that provides a non-critical, but essential social service AND provides those services to the general public, e.g., senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, community centers, child care facilities, food assistance programs, performing arts facilities, and houses of worship.

The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) has links to the applicant briefing webinar slides, as well as relevant forms and eligibility guidelines. If you are planning to apply for Public Assistance, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you submit your Request for Public Assistance (RPA) as soon as possible.

 

FEDERAL LAW GUIDANCE

 

HOW CAN I HELP?

NASSAU COUNTY PPE DONATIONS
Donation Drop Off Location: Nassau County Public Safety Parking Lot, Field 3, Park Blvd, Eisenhower Park. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday through April 3.

Supplies requested include:

  • N95 Surgical Masks in unopened container/boxes
  • Eye protection such as goggles and face shields
  • Nitrile Gloves in unopened boxes that have not expired
  • Disposable medical gowns (paper which are fluid resistant or plastic)
  • Shoe cover/booties
  • No-Touch thermometers
  • Thermometer probe covers
  • HEPA filters for Ventilators / Anesthesia Machines
  • Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes – typically alcohol or bleach based
  • Disinfecting wipes (Clorox/Lysol)
  • Hand sanitizer

 

SUFFOLK COUNTY PPE DONATIONS
To help protect our medical professionals and first responders, a Suffolk County Supply Drive is being held to collect personal protective equipment. Residents can drop off supplies at the Suffolk County Fire Academy located at 102 East Avenue in Yaphank from Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

 

Suffolk County is partnering with the construction industry, building trades, and others in organized labor to solicit donations of N95 masks, earloop face masks, gowns, and gloves. The County is also looking to solicit donations of earloop masks and gloves from the personal service industry. For a large donation of supplies or a potential vendor of opportunity, residents can contact FRESfinance@suffolkcountyny.gov.

 

VOLUNTEER:

If you are a nonprofit organization actively seeking volunteers to serve in essential or virtual capacities, please email voad@hwcli.com with a description of the volunteer services needed, links to more information, and a contact phone/email.

SBA LOAN INFORMATION

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA LOANS)

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan- Upon a request received from a state’s Governor, the SBA has announced it will issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for that state. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will make low-interest loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. Once the SBA has approved New York State’s request, information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available at SBA.gov/disaster. For more information, please see the SBA fact sheet.

Stony Brook University Small Business Development Center

  • SBA Application Assistance: The Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University has partnered with the SBA to respond to COVID-19. A Business Advisor will help you through the abundance of resources available for your particular business/industry and to avoid the most common mistake of incomplete or inaccurate Economic Injury Disaster Assistance Loan. Click here to schedule an appointment.

Suffolk Forward – Programs for Small Business:

  • Small Business Tech Enhancement Program: Need to Get Online? Small Business Tech Help Suffolk County has formed a partnership with the College of Business, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Small Business Development Center to help small businesses reach their customers online in this uniquely challenging business environment. A survey by the Suffolk County Business Recovery Unit found that small business respondents need a stronger Internet presence and capability in order to continue serving their customers. The Suffolk County-Stony Brook Technology Enhancement Program for Small Business will assess small businesses’ current technology profile, pinpoint needs and inform the business owners about solutions. This advice will be provided by mixed teams of engineering and business students, working under supervision by faculty and SBDC counselors. The business sectors hardest hit by the pandemic will have first priority to receive aid. The survey may be accessed here
  • Virtual Expert Network Office Hours: To support the LI business community in this pandemic, the industry partners and faculty members of College of Business have joined forces to offer virtual office hours and complimentary consultation. These sessions aim to provide business leaders the tools that could help them tackle ongoing business challenges. Based on recent national surveys, we identified the major business challenges for our experts to self-organize around these issues. We hope our interdisciplinary task force would help you to effectively respond to these unprecedented circumstances. For more information, click here.

 

Additional guidance from NYS’ Empire State Development page, including an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) FAQ can be found here. Scroll to the bottom of the page for documents with additional information.

A list of approved participating SBA Lenders in New York can be found on the www.suffolkchambers.org COVID-19 page.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES

FEDERAL STIMULUS PAYMENTS 

TAXES

  • Tax Season-The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. HWCLI will reopen their VITA tax services when it’s permitted to return to our offices. If you are a current client and have a question about your in-progress return please call Lynn or Dedriah at 516 738 0447.

MORTGAGES, LOANS & PAYMENTS
(Please also see the Housing and Utility Resources page)

  • Student Loans– Interest on federal student loans has been waived at this time. Anyone affected by COVID-19 directly or indirectly and need of support has options to reduce or postpone payments by applying for a deferment, forbearance and/or by changing their repayment plans. Please click here for more information from StudentAid.gov.
  • How do I stop automatic payments from my bank accounts?: For those who need their scarce funds for food and have unaffordable payments coming out of their account, here is information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with sample letters.  Of course, the consumer will still owe the money and should be prepared to expect debt collection efforts.
  • The Get My Payment tool allows taxpayers to check on the status of their stimulus payments  and confirm whether the money is arriving via direct deposit or paper check. You can also enter new bank information if your direct deposit account isn’t on file.

UNEMPLOYMENT & LABOR RESOURCES

  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits– NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Please click here for more information.

 

  • The CARES Act was enacted on Friday, March 27, 2020. Please see the CARES Act web page for information about how the Act may affect UI benefits.

 

 

Filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim? 

The day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name.

Last names starting with A – F, file on Monday.

Last names starting with G – N, file on Tuesday.

Last names starting with O – Z, file on Wednesday.

If you missed your filing day, file on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim; all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

 

A Claimant FAQ page can be found here.

 

IN SPANISH: A document with useful information in Spanish can be found here.

 

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to submit an unemployment claim online.

 

Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus – What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act: The Department of Labor released helpful flowcharts on applying for Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

 

New York Paid Family Leave COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

OTHER RESOURCE GUIDES & SITES

Several partners, state agencies, and other entities have compiled COVID-19 related resources as well. Here are several that may contain useful information for you.

GENERAL RESOURCES

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS/ADVOCATES:

 

  • SGR COVID-19 Resource Center: Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP provides this list of resources to provide guidance in navigating the growing legal considerations that may be encountered during the COVID-19 Outbreak.

 

 

RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS/BUSINESSES –
Funding & Operations Concerns:

DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES

Regional Disaster Relief Coalition

LIVOAD MISSION

The LIVOAD (Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a collaborative effort inclusive of nonprofit, government, and private sector partners, constantly working toward comprehensive preparation and planning. The LIVOAD identifies community-specific concerns, and is addressing these through expert-led coalitions lead by HWCLI. Within an accessible and inclusive environment, we work to address emergent needs and gaps and services in order to build a more resilient Long Island for generations to come. Of paramount importance is being prepared to respond to anticipated and spontaneous large- and small-scale disasters effectively, and working with partner agencies to mitigate the effects of myriad disasters.

Formed by HWCLI in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, the LIVOAD has worked for almost two decades as an umbrella structure for group working on disaster planning and recovery. This broad coalition is a local version the National VOAD which is comprised of disaster health and human service, religious, and government agencies working through Collaboration, Cooperation, Coordination, and Communication (4 C’s) to respond regionally. From guiding Long Islanders to HEAP services in the winter, to facilitating cross-sector, multi-agency response to large-scale disasters, the LIVOAD stands ready to assist Long Islanders with disasters of varying magnitude and scope. Recognizing that disasters come in many forms and sizes, we welcome you to become a member and bring your expertise to help us address the many disasters Long Islanders face. For more information, please contact either Marissa Hiruma (mhiruma@hwcli.com) or Tommi-Grace Melito (tgmelito@hwcli.com).

LIVOAD HISTORY

  • HWCLI formed the Long Island VOAD after the September 11 attacks, and to create a localized plan to help the region recover from the economic and emotional disaster including trauma and grief counseling, job training, and financial support.
  • LIVOAD activated in support of Long Islanders impacted by the 2007-2008 financial disaster.
  • From 2012 to 2018, HWCLI led the Superstorm Sandy Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG). Through the LIVOAD, Long Island’s health and human service sector worked together both in the immediate aftermath of Sandy and in the second wave of response, providing shelter, food, clothing, mental health services, medical care, and financial assistance for utility bills to families in need.
  • In coordination with the Sandy LTRG, HWCLI convened the Unmet Needs Roundtable, which brought together private donors with case workers seeking assistance on behalf of clients who have no other possible sources of help. UNR staff worked collaboratively with utility company customer advocates to ensure continued high-quality service delivery through the adverse aftermath of the storm. The Unmet Needs Roundtable distributed more than $8 million to more than 800 Sandy-impacted households.

Recent News

May 24, 2020

Whole new set of people reaching out for food stamps to put food on the table

By Craig Schneider Click here to view on Newsday.com  They are the faces on the food lines, the callers on hold for hours to get benefits, the mothers and fathers breaking down and asking for help. The coronavirus pandemic cut their lifeline to a salary and benefits, sending many plummeting into Long Island's safety net of food pantries, food stamps and unemployment benefits. They are the first wave of Long Islanders hit the hardest by the COVID-19 shutdown. Some were already on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. But there are those who were doing well who lost their jobs and, after a few months, no longer have the savings to sustain them, said Rebecca Sanin, president of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. “We’re seeing issues of hunger explode,” Sanin said. “There’s a whole new set of people reaching out for food stamps to put food on the table.” Applications for food stamps have doubled on Long Island — to 17,717 in February through April — compared with this time last year. One food bank, Island Harvest Food Bank, has distributed more than 1 million pounds of food during the crisis. Over the past two months, more than 287,000 Long Islanders — roughly a fifth of all working residents — filed for unemployment. Worse, those running the food banks and other charities said they see tougher times ahead. Adrian Fassett, chief executive officer for the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, said people have received protections from the government, but "wait for three or four months when people have to pay rent and mortgages. It's going to get worse." Here are their stories. Michelle Acompora, 36, Brentwood March was a cruel month for Acompora and her kids. Because of the shutdown, the freelance hair stylist saw her income blow away. In addition, her father had a heart attack March 25 and remained in a coma for 18 days before he died. Even as she grieved the loss, Acompora, a single mom, was having trouble putting food on the table for her two children, Karter, 5, and Krisette, 9. “So much has changed in so little time,” she said. “It’s so hard to think about the future.” Acompora applied for unemployment insurance but was denied because she was self-employed, she said. She said she's trying to reverse that, but it's so hard getting through on the phone. She received a stimulus check for $2,200, but much of that went to her father’s cremation. He had no life insurance, she said. She couldn’t afford a funeral service. The bills, however, keep coming. Her savings of about $5,000 shrank quickly. She’s already late on a month’s worth of bills for the utilities, car insurance and mortgage. “You get a three-month grace period,” she said of the mortgage protections put in place by the state. “But you still have to pay it back.” In April, she applied for food stamps and is now receiving $500 a month. Friends have helped out with cash here and there. The kids are getting free breakfasts and lunches through the schools. “I’m not at rock bottom,” she said. “Actually, I probably am at rock bottom.” Acompora said she tries to hide the stress from the children, but it comes through, sometimes in odd ways. “I’ll start crying — anytime,” she said. The stress of the coronavirus has taken a toll on her son, Karter. He’s used to giving everyone a hug and going outside. For her daughter, Krisette, the stress has expressed itself differently. “She’s taught herself how to pray,” Acompora said. “She asks to be strong, for her grandpa to watch over us.”

Patrick McAlevey, 59, Lindenhurst Since McAlevey was furloughed from his job as a truck driver two months ago, he largely has been sitting in his rented room watching TV. He’s bored and hates it, he said. Like many people, he’s applied for unemployment benefits but hasn’t seen a dime. When he finally got someone on the phone, they said the money would be coming in the mail. That was on Easter. To make matters worse, the engine in his 2005 Jeep Cherokee died in March, further stranding him in the rented room. “I have nowhere to go. I’m broke, I’m bored,” he said, adding that he hasn’t paid the weekly rent of $280 in eight weeks. Most of his food comes from the 7-Eleven store and diner down the street. His mother and daughter cook for him as well. He's also considering applying for food stamps. "At first I said no" to applying for food stamps, he said. "But now I'm thinking about it. I was kind of too proud." A trucker for 30 years, he knows there are jobs out there, but they seem unreachable. “I don’t have a computer, and I don’t know how to use one,” he said. A Navy veteran, McAlevey said the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk is looking to find him a place in veterans housing. "I think they may have found me a place in Huntington," he said. "I can get out of this place." His savings are down to a couple of hundred dollars in a checking account, he said. “I’m not proud of all this,” he said. “I’m not some irresponsible 19-year-old.” John Finn, 57, Riverhead Finn is waiting. Waiting for his first unemployment check. Waiting for construction to start up again. Waiting for his boss to call him back to his job as an electrician. Living in a rented room, his rent paid by a local nonprofit, he has little to do — and little money to do it with, he said. “I’m as down as I’ve ever been,” he said. “I’m a skilled laborer, but it doesn’t really matter.” His life was coming together in the months before the COVID-19 shutdown. After bouncing around from place to place, the Navy combat veteran, who had tracked submarines during the conflicts in Nicaragua and Panama, had settled into a new job. He was working full time for an electrical company in the Hamptons. “God willing, it’s going to come back very soon,” he said. As for affording food, he said the occasional job has provided that pocket money. For now, he spends a lot of his time writing. He’s working on a pulp fiction novel, and he’s writing poems. Here’s part of one, called “Virus.” "A new awareness of fragility for us all And an anger for the anguish of this awful squall The world now practices social distancing God only knows what this spring will bring." Aretha Alonzo, 50, Medford The good people come forward. Alonzo has seen that first hand. Before the COVID-19 shutdown, she was successfully juggling three jobs — a food service worker, a home aide, and a teacher's assistant at a preschool — all paying about minimum wage. She estimates she was making between $35,000 and $40,000 a year. It wasn't a fortune, but for a single woman living with two grown children going to college, she was getting by. When the shutdown hit in mid-March, she was placed on furlough from the teacher's assistant job, and she now estimates she's making about $22,000 a year. Two months on, and she's behind on her rent, car insurance and utilities. She received her stimulus check of $1,200, but that went to the landlord. She still owes him $2,000 in rent. "I had no money to buy food," she said. Her pastor heard about her plight, and he showed up last week at her door with box of groceries. The people at the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk gave her gift cards to Stop & Shop, but those are gone. Friends and family helped, $30 or $40 at a time, so she had gas money to go to work. Meanwhile, the summer tuition is due soon for college. Alonzo had taken pride in paying for her kids' college tuition, so they could attend full time, but this year is going to be tough. Her daughter, Tashea, 30, had been working in the same preschool and also lost her job. Alonzo can't obtain unemployment benefits since she's still working the two jobs. She said she's going to look into obtaining food stamps. "I've had to learn to shop with coupons pretty fast," Alonzo said. "It's no longer Welch's grape juice; it's the $1.99 off brand." The people at the preschool have told her that she'll be rehired once the economy opens back up. "Furloughed?" she said. "I've never known these terms." The stress of the financial struggle comes on top of the fears of the coronavirus, she said. "It's like living in a caution zone," she said. She added, "I have good days and bad. When you think about all you're going through, and all you can't do, it affects you. It's like that old saying, 'You smile to keep from crying.'" Correction: The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk is working to find Patrick McAlevey a place in veterans housing. An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the council.

Read More

May 8, 2020

Gov. Cuomo extends eviction moratorium until Aug. 20, bans fees for late payments

http://longisland.news12.com/story/42102599/gov-cuomo-extends-eviction-moratorium-until-aug-20-bans-fees-for-late-payments?fbclid=IwAR2nSTMqwSP0eZ_jUlRkPOpVMUfcQ8HC2dCytLkEydz7n-fDqNl0rC069oc (AP) - New York’s moratorium on outbreak-related evictions was extended Thursday for two more months by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor in March had issued a moratorium that lasted through June but said he wanted to reduce the anxiety of families struggling through the economic shutdown. It is now extended until Aug. 20. “I hope it gives families a deep breath,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. The executive order will also ban late payment fees for missed payments and allow renters to apply their security deposit to a payment, though they’d have to pay it back over time. New York tallied 231 virus-related deaths on Wednesday. Though hospitalizations continue to decrease slowly, the daily death toll has hovered around 230 for four days. Briefing Notes:

  • There are 8,600 COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York.
  • The net change in hospitalizations, intubations and the 3-day rolling average of hospitalizations are all down.
  • 231 New Yorkers died on Wednesday due to the virus.
  • The results of a hospital antibody survey shows that the infection rate among health care workers is lower than it is for the general population.
  • Gov. Cuomo says the results show that masks, gloves and sanitizer work.
  • Gov. Cuomo outlines the $25 million Nourish New York Initiative "to provide relief by purchasing food and products from upstate farms and directing them to food banks across the state."
  • The state in March banned tenants from being evicted. In added relief, it is banning late payments or fees for missed payments during the eviction moratorium.
  • The rent relief moratorium period has been extended an additional 60 days until Aug. 20.

Read More

April 30, 2020

PSEG Long Island and PSEG Foundation Support Health and Welfare Council of Long Island’s Disaster Relief Coalition

FOR RELEASE                                                                   Contact: Media Relations Pager April. 30, 2020                                                                          516.229.7248 mediarelationsLI@pseg.com   PSEG Long Island and PSEG Foundation Support Health and Welfare Council of Long Island’s Disaster Relief Coalition PSEG Foundation provides $25,000 grant to address critical needs of children and families (UNIONDALE, N.Y. – April 30, 2020) — PSEG Long Island and the PSEG Foundation are supporting the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island with a $25,000 grant to the organization’s Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) Coalition. This coalition is made up of government, nonprofit, and private sector partners who come together to address disasters on Long Island, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition was first activated in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. Visit https://hwcli.com/work-we-do/coalition-grassroots-organizing/livoad/ for more information. “PSEG Long Island has been proud to partner with and support the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island for many years,” said Daniel Eichhorn, president and COO of PSEG Long Island. “During this difficult time, we are grateful that the PSEG Foundation is able to provide this grant to continue our support for their important efforts.” “In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the nonprofit sector, private sector, government and community work collaboratively to address emergent needs and gaps in services in order to help families recover and to build a more resilient Long Island,” said Health and Welfare Council of Long Island President and CEO Rebecca Sanin, J.D., M.A. “We are thankful to the PSEG Foundation for this funding to help make this possible.” PSEG Long Island customers who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the outbreak and need additional time to pay bills are encouraged to visit www.psegliny.com/myaccount. To stay connected with PSEG Long Island and manage their accounts, customers can also use web chat or email, register for MyAlerts for text and email updates, download the free PSEG Long Island mobile app, and follow PSEG Long Island on Facebook and Twitter. The PSEG Foundation is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that aims to build sustainable and thriving communities by fostering equity, safety, and diversity and inclusion, as well as supporting the environment, education and workforce development in the communities we serve. The PSEG Foundation provides grants to groups in communities served by PSEG and its subsidiaries; Foundation giving is separate and distinct from PSEG Long Island’s operational budget. The mission of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island is to help vulnerable people on Long Island by convening, representing, and supporting the organizations that serve them; and through illuminating the issues that critically impact them. Since 1947, HWCLI has served as the umbrella for health and human service agencies serving Long Island’s families. As a regional human service provider, convener and leader with a 200 organization network, HWCLI responds to needs through direct services and advocacy. # # # PSEG Long Island PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract.  PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company. Visit PSEG Long Island at: www.psegliny.com PSEG Long Island on Facebook PSEG Long Island on Twitter PSEG Long Island on YouTube PSEG Long Island on Flickr Health & Welfare Council of Long Island The Health & Welfare Council of Long Island is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization. HWCLI serves the interests of poor and vulnerable people on Long Island by convening, representing, and supporting the organizations that serve them and by promoting the development of public policies and programs.

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The LIVOAD is led by HWCLI and is comprised of over 100 agencies with expertise in such areas as government affairs, mental health, animal safety, legal advice, policy analysis, feeding, housing, spiritual care, immigrant affairs, environment, and accessibility and special needs.
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Established in 1947, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI) is a regional, nonprofit umbrella organization for health and human service providers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of Long Island’s most vulnerable residents by responding to their needs through the promotion and development of public policies and direct services.

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