As a service to our volunteers, CAC is creating a resource list for you to help the children and families we advocate for. As we are gathering these from a variety of sources, including volunteer suggestions, please verify the information yourself before sharing it with children/families. Please contact us with any updates/inaccuracies and we will make the necessary changes.

Fall 2020 Back-to-School Information & Guidance

 

  • UNICEF has also produced an article regarding what school may look like during a pandemic: What Will a Return to School Look Like

Education

Free Internet Access

  • Update 5/12/21: Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Is Now Available

    • The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

    • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
      Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
      A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
      Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

    • The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021. The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

  • Update 10/29/20: Free internet during the coronavirus pandemic - Because of the increase of online schooling, Spectrum is offering households with students (K–12 and college) and educators free broadband internet for 60 days with any plan up to 100 Mbps. For this free service, call 1-844-488-8395 to sign up.

    • Low-income internet for seniors, students, and families: Your income bracket doesn’t have to limit your internet access. If your home needs a boost to cross the digital divide, take advantage of low-income internet options in your area.

    • Affordable internet services are available through two primary options:

    • First, there are a variety of internet provider initiatives with discounted monthly rates that low-income families can usually access if their kids qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Find out how to apply through an Internet Service Provider.

    • The second option is a government assistance program called Lifeline, which offers $9.25 per month off either internet or phone services to low-income households. Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to enroll in Lifeline through it.

    • Find comparisons of the programs and providers here

  • Click here for information to regarding free Broadband to homes with K-12 and college students

  • T-Mobile COVID-19 Education Solutions - T-Mobile created some new short-term Education programs to help students stay connected during these difficult times

  • From the Governor's office: Increased Access to Internet Coverage for Connecticut Residents.
    Here is a compilation of the packages and offers internet providers across the state are making to
    Connecticut residents to get online and stay connected at home through the COVID 19 crisis, as of May 18th 2020

Food Security Resources

If you have clients who are dealing with food insecure and have yet to enroll in SNAP, they can call the EHC! SNAP Call Center, information below:

EHC! SNAP Call Center Hours (English & Spanish – 866.974.7627):
SUN 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
MON 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
TUES – THURS 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
FRI 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
SAT 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Expensify.org will match SNAP groceries up to $50 for Families on SNAP

For families that are already enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Expensify.org is going to temporarily redirect all of its charitable funds to Expensify.org/hunger. With its ability to reimburse volunteers directly in real-time, Expensify.org is uniquely positioned to help families in need immediately. Until today, this fund was focused on paying off kids' "lunch debts" , but with schools closed around the nation, that isn't the top priority. Instead, Expensify.org has set up a new matching program for SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family.

Details for signing up for the Expensify program for families:

  1. Purchase food as normal with your SNAP card

  2. Download Expensify on iOS or Android, for free

  3. Join the Expensify.org/hunger policy

  4. SmartScan the receipt, which will tell us how much you paid and show that it was paid for with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card

  5. Submit it to volunteer@expensify.org

  6. Set up your bank account to receive the funds

So long as they have funds available, Expensify will reimburse up to $50 per family (one time), the very next day.

Shelter, permanent supportive housing, and rapid re-housing providers having issues accessing food for your clients can email Robin Lamott Sparks, Executive Director at End Hunger CT at rlamottsparks@endhungerct.org for assistance advocating for necessary resources.

Additional Resources from DHMAS and SAMHSA

Healthcare

  • From UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation, Grant Funded Resource to Assist with Medical Payments for Children
    UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation medical grants help parents focus on what really matters most — their child’s health. This is a grant funded resource to assist commercially covered families with unpaid medical expenses for children under age 16. Assistance is for both covered and uncovered expenses: ex: Therapies, Durable Medical Equipment, Hospital Stays, Medication, Mental Health Services and more.

  • Telemedicine Services Expanded Under COVID-19. The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) is implementing changes in Medicaid/HUSKY Health that will support Connecticut’s COVID-19 preparedness and response through increased access to health services. For approximately 850,000 enrolled residents, DSS will now cover identified telemedicine services.

  • Connecticut announced that Access Health CT is opening a Special Enrollment Period starting March 19, through April 2. Coverage is available for uninsured Connecticut residents who don’t otherwise receive insurance through their job or become unemployed. The only way to sign up for this Special Enrollment Period is by calling 855-365-2428.

Court Information

​The Judicial Branch implemented a mitigation plan that has greatly reduced the daily business at every court location statewide.

DCF Information

  • Click here for updates from the Department of Children and Families regarding COVID-19 (including archive of daily DCF emails)

  • Have a question concerning the Coronavirus and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families?  E-mail:  DCF.COVID-19@ct.gov

  • CT Mirror article on 3/23/20: Connecticut’s most vulnerable children even more at risk during coronavirus crisis

  • To further their efforts in supporting and empowering families, DCF has collaborated with the United Way and
    community providers to establish a "When it Builds Up, Talk it Out" campaign. Any parents who wish to access supports are invited to call 833-258-5011 and engage with trained professionals who will listen and speak with them about their concerns. If additional help is needed, they will be referred to community based services.
    The support line can also be accessed via cell phone by visiting www.talkitoutct.com and clicking on the link to be
    connected to the same caring professionals.
    The "Talk It Out Line" is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm and on weekends from 1 pm to 8 pm and has both English and Spanish capacity. 

  • DCF announced on 4/22/20 that services to all youth in care will continue, including youth who would normally be
    aging out of the Services Post Majority programs, until at least 9/1/2020. Click here for more info.

Unemployment

  • If you become unemployed due to coronavirus, you should file for unemployment benefits through Connecticut's Department of Labor. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about coronavirus for workers and employers click here.

Utilities

Mental Health Resources

Housing

  • The CT Department of Housing opened a new rental assistance program on 3/16/21, called UniteCT. Please find flyers here that you can share widely with your networks, as well as slides explaining more about the program.
    For more information, you can check out these slides, or this DOH link:

  • October 28, 2020: Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program to respond to the housing issues associated with the advent of COVID-19.

    • ​The Department of Housing advises the residents of Connecticut to CALL 211 INFO LINE and press #3 and #1 if you are homeless or in a housing emergency. The state and federal government have taken a number of steps to help protect homeowners and renters impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    • Acting through the Department of Housing (DOH) and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), the State of Connecticut has created the Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program to respond to the housing issues associated with the advent of COVID-19. Effective Monday, October 26th at 8:00 am, new requests for assistance maybe submitted. To determine if you qualify for TRHAP assistance, Threshold Eligibility Information may be submitted in ONE of TWO ways;

      • Click the link below, complete the questionnaire in full online, and hit Submit; or

      • Call 1-860-785-3111 and speak to a Call Center Representative, Monday thru Friday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. The representative will log on, walk you through the questionnaire, and submit it live while you are on the phone.

  • Procedures for evicting tenants in Connecticut’s housing court have been suspended until at least April 1. This
    means that people facing evictions may get some relief. If a person has an eviction pending, they can call the housing authority where their home is located or Statewide Legal Services for more information at 800-453-3320

  • CT.gov COVID-19-related info for Homeowners and Renters

Comprehensive list of resources from the CT Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children and The Village for Families & Children

  • Click here for link to thevillage.org

  • Categories of resources include:

    • For Families, Parents and, Caregivers

    • For Children

    • For Providers/Professionals

    • For Communities

    • Fitness Resources

    • Journals Articles, Chapters & Media

    • Misinformation About the Virus

    • Additional Resources

Keeping Babies Safe and Supporting Parents during COVID-19

  • Every month there are many newborns entering the world during the COVID shut down! They and their parents need reassurance, guidance and support. The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) and Office of Early Childhood (OEC) are pleased to share with you this resource guide for new parents in English and Spanish. Many stakeholder groups supported the effort to put this informational resource packet together so that families could readily know the many supports and services available to them. 

 

Information is this document focuses on:

  • Tips for new parents

  • Keeping their baby safe

  • Taking needed time

  • Basic needs resources

  • How to connect with others for support

  • Obtaining emotional support

  • National resources

  • COVID specific resources

Resources for Direct Donations

  •  Information pulled from The Wall Street Journal’s 11/2/20 article: A New Way to Donate to the Needy in the U.S.: Venmo Cash Directly

  • Five Resources For Direct Donors

    • GiveDirectly: https://www.givedirectly.org/
      Gives cash assistance directly to people living in poverty and to Americans affected by the pandemic. This program is open to a limited number of Fresh EBT users (all of whom receive SNAP benefits), chosen at random.

    • #GiveTogetherNow: https://givetogethernow.org/eligibility/
      Through #GiveTogetherNow, good people from all walks of life have stepped up to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can join the #GiveTogetherNow waitlist to request direct support at https://fund.uptogether.org/. However, please know that funds are being prioritized to families who have been identified and vetted by our trusted local nonprofit partners. As more funds become available, we will look for ways to make them available to more families in need.

    • Family Independence Initiative: https://www.fii.org/
      At Family Independence Initiative, we believe that every family is worth investing in, and that one’s income level should not dictate one’s ability to choose what is best or right for their own family. UpTogether ® is our signature technology platform where families come together online to work together toward greater social and economic mobility. We listen and learn about the actions and activities families take to improve their lives and provide direct cash investments that match these initiatives.

    • The 1k Project: https://www.1kproject.org/
      The 1k Project uses a network of trusted connections to directly match a family impacted by the pandemic with a family committed to giving them $1k for 3 months.

    • PowerOf: https://www.powerof.org/
      A source of vetted funds that provide direct support to communities and individuals hurt by the pandemic.

 

Other:
Fresh EBT app: https://www.freshebt.com/
Manage your benefits, save money, and earn income all in one place. Fresh EBT makes it easy and secure to check your food stamp balance on your phone. Free and available in English and Spanish. The app enables low-income families to manage finances and balances in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. After a screening survey, participants elect to sign up for the cash assistance.

 

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