The Centers for Disease Control website has national information on COVID-19 at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has created a resource guide for homeowners and renters who need help paying their mortgage or rent: Please visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-getting-help-with-housing-costs for additional information.
The Department of Housing and Community Development expanded its Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program and created an Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program for residents who would otherwise not qualify for RAFT. Click here for more information on each program. Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development (LHAND) is the regional agency that serves residents of Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem and Topsfield. Click here to apply for rental assistance through LHAND.
The Pandemic-Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) Program, has been extended through the summer of 2021. P-EBT is available if you have an infant or child 0-5 years old and your family gets SNAP benefits. It is designed to help families with young children buy more food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information visit: https://www.map-ebt.org/
SNAP’s online purchasing program remains active. Beneficiaries can now shop for EBT eligible products from Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Price Chopper, Amazon, Walmart and ALDI via Instacart. You can check your SNAP eligibility online or by calling (877) 382-2363.
SNAP recipients looking to purchase more fruit and vegetables for their household are eligible to participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) which allows them to use SNAP benefits at participating HIP retailers. More information on HIP, retailers and eligible HIP foods is available online
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) is a cash benefits program administered through the Department of Transitional Assistance that offers economic assistance to pregnant individuals, families and caregivers. For more information and how to apply click here.
Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) is another cash benefits program administered through the Department of Transitional Assistance. To check your eligibility and apply, visit their website: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/check-eaedc-eligibility-and-how-to-apply
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website is updated with statewide information on COVID-19: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
MassSupport is a crisis counseling assistance program in Massachusetts. Call (888) 215-4920 or email email@example.com if you or someone you know needs support.
Call Nursing Home Family Resource Line (617) 660-5399 from 9 to 5 daily for information and resources about loved ones in nursing homes.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey launched www.FrontlineMA.org, which has resources for healthcare workers and first responders battling COVID-19.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the expansion of SafeLink, the Commonwealth’s 24/7 confidential domestic violence hotline, including services for survivors of sexual assault. Call (877) 785-2020 for resources and support.
Massachusetts Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by The Children’s Trust and the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, launched Safe Kids Thrive, an incredible online resource for child and youth programs to help prevent child sexual abuse before it happens.
Attorney General Maura Healey launched an online complaint form for employees to report unsafe working conditions related to COVID-19. Residents can call (617) 727-3465 or file a complaint at: https://www.mass.gov/forms/report-unsafe-working-conditions-during-covid-19
Massachusetts launched an interactive page to locate COVID-19 testing sites across the Commonwealth. To find a testing site closest to you visit: Find a COVID-19 Test | Mass.gov
If you are having trouble affording the food you need, call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at (800) 645-8333 or visit www.projectbread.org/gethelp to find out more about SNAP, Pandemic EBT, meal sites and other resources available to Massachusetts residents.
The SNAP online pilot program in Massachusetts now allows EBT users to purchase groceries online from Amazon and Walmart. For more information please visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot.
We are fortunate to have the following food resources across the Second Essex District for individuals and families:
Haven From Hunger
The Salem Pantry
Danvers People to People Food Pantry
Top Cupboard Food Pantry
My office and I are also talking with organizations working on food insecurity issues. I will continue to work to get these entities the resources they need to distribute food to those in need.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to an individual who has exhausted all rights to any other regular unemployment compensation and meets other eligibility requirements of the CARES Act. These benefits are now available through the UI Online system. For more information on PEUC please visit: www.mass.gov/peuc
Criminal enterprises are using stolen personal information from earlier data breaches to file fraudulent unemployment claims through the Department of Unemployment system. If you or someone you know believes that a claim has been filed fraudulently file a report here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/report-unemployment-benefits-fraud
The Children’s Trust launched one tough job, a website with resources to engage children and to help parents during these challenging times.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services joined the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate and Department of Mental Health to launch handholdma.org, which provides resources and tools for parents and guardians concerned with the mental health of their school-aged children during COVID-19.
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health launched a statewide campaign “More to the Story”, highlighting how phrases such as “I’m fine” and “doing ok” can hide underlying feelings. Ask, listen, encourage, and check in with family members and friends, especially young people, because there could be more to the story.
The Massachusetts Health Connector Open Enrollment is happening now through January 23, 2021 for folks who need to enroll or renew their health insurance.
Call or text Samaritains, Inc. free and confidential 24/7 Helpline at (877) 870-4673 if you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, lonely, or just need to talk.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Service Center in Danvers designated Wednesdays in December to seniors 75 or older who need to renew their license in person with an appointment. Visit https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles-rmv-further-extends-designated-appointment-hours-forfor more information.