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Corona Resources

During the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic, the PHA compiled a list of useful resources to share with its residents, participants, and the community at-large.  Please check back often, as these resources change often, as new resources become available or operations shift.

To read about these resources in Español, click here.

Resource Guide By Topic

Which pharmacies are offering delivery services for my prescriptions?

Pharmacies Offering Delivery Service in Providence
Name of Pharmacy Cost of Delivery Phone
CVS Free during the COVID-19 crisis Varies by location
Walgreens Many locations offer free delivery Varies by location
WHITE CROSS PHARMACY Free Delivery (401) 726-6200
ANTHONYS PHARMACY LLC Free Delivery (401) 351-9495
ASTHENIS Free Delivery (401) 473-3958
GREEN LINE APOTHECARY PROVIDENCE Free Delivery (401) 633-8100
V-CARE PHARMACY OF RI Free Delivery (401) 340-1800

What do I do if I feel sick?

  1. Assess for risk factors of Coronavirus such as exposure to some who is infected, a trip out of the country or state within the last 14 days, fever and shortness of breath.
  2. Call your primary care doctor’s office.  If you have any of the above risk factors, let your provider know when you describe your symptoms.  They will instruct you on next steps.
  3. If you do not have a primary care physician, please contact 2-1-1 and they will assist you in connecting to a doctor accepting new patients.

I haven’t been feeling well lately. I want to be tested for the Coronavirus, but I have no insurance. What should I do?

If you have no insurance, there are places you can go for free COVID-19 testing but all sites require an appointment for testing. For those who are insured, the testing for COVID-19 should be a covered expense and you can also follow the guidance below to access test sites.

  • All Rhode Islanders, regardless of if they are sick, can be tested. You can schedule your test in several ways:

Statewide testing sites now include:

  • Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) at 400 East Avenue in Warwick.
  • Rhode Island College (RIC) at 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue in Providence.
  • Stop and Shop locations:
    • Cranston: 275 Warwick Ave.
    • Pawtucket: 368-398 Cottage St.
    • Providence: 850 Manton Ave.
    • Providence: 333 W. River St.
  • CVS Rapid Drive-Thru Testing: You do not need a referral from a doctor, but you must register online.
  • Providence Community Health Center (PCHC) has a walk-up and drive-through testing site at the Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School, 65 Gordon Ave, Providence, RI 02905 (across from PCHC’s Prairie Avenue clinic). Simply let them know you do not have a primary doctor, have no insurance and would like to be a PCHC patient (they are accepting new patients with COVID-19 symptoms).  Call 401-444-0404.
  • Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC) offers free walk up and drive through COVID-19 testing to uninsured adult
  • individuals who do not have a current primary doctor. Testing are held by appointment only at 647 Broad Street (the parking lot next to RIFC) and conducted on Mondays -Thursday, from 1pm to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. For more information, please call (401) 922-6843.
  • Clinica Esperanza accepts uninsured and undocumented patients. Drive-up testing held at 60 Valley Street from 4:00pm till 9:00pm. Please call first at 401-408-0238 or visit online. Latest update: Clinica Esperanza is now available to test anyone who wants to be tested!
  • Open Door Health in Providence offers testing for the LGBTQ community. Drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing is available in the parking lot of the Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island. Testing hours Monday-Thursday from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Referral from a primary care physician needed, but insurance not required. Call 401-648-4700 or go to https://odhpvd.org/.

Note: When calling to make an appointment for testing – no matter which method you chose – always make sure that you confirm that testing and all its related costs are free for people without health insurance.

I am following the stay-at-home order but it gets lonely. How can I feel more connected to the outside world?

The Department of Healthy Aging has created a unique program specifically for seniors who are experiencing isolation during this difficult time called Project Hello. This volunteer-based program connects older adults in need of socialization to friendly volunteers via telephone to provide wellness checks and a sense of community. If you wish to connect with a tele-friend or would like to volunteer, please call the Point at 401-462-4440.

Is testing of the Coronavirus now available to people who show no symptom?

As of June 11,2020, Rhode Islanders who show no symptom for COVID-19, but whose work is considered high risk for the virus can now be tested at no cost at testing sites CCRI (Community College of Rhode Island) and RIC (Rhode Island College). Workers who qualify for the testing are:

  • Hair professionals
  • Nail artists
  • Gym employees
  • Tattoo artists
  • Massage therapists
  • Body piercers
  • Estheticians
  • Cosmeticians
  • Tanning facility employees
  • Childcare workers
  • Any Rhode Islander who has attended recent protests or demonstrations

Please call RIDOH (Rhode Island Dept. of Health) at 401-222-8022, dial 2-1-1, or go to portal.ri.gov  to schedule a test.

I lost a loved one to the Coronavirus. It was unexpected and we were unable to have a proper funeral. There is no sense of closure. How can I process the pain and grief?

Please understand you are not alone. Loss of a loved one to the Coronavirus has brought a particular kind of bereavement that is difficult to process. There are organizations that can help you. They offer virtual or telephone grief counseling for those dealing with this kind of loss:

Call (888) 528-9077 to schedule a time for someone to reach out to you from the Center of Hope and Healing or check out their grief support page for articles and other support resources, including weekly virtual grief support groups.

BH Link (Behavioral Health Link) also provides around the clock support for adults at 401-414-5465 and children under 18 at 855-kid-link (855-543-5465).

If the family member who died was a Rhode Island resident, low-income, and had few resources, the surviving family, or in some circumstance friends, may seek financial assistance with the burial arrangements from the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) GPA-Burial program. DHS has obtained an emergency ruling because of COVID-19 that allows for application to the GPS Burial program, whether the deceased person was participating in GPA or not at the time of death. Family/friends could apply for support on the deceased’s behalf if they met the eligibility criteria before passing. Go to http://www.dhs.ri.gov/Programs/GPAHowtoApply.php and click on UPDATED BURIAL APPLICATION for more information.

I am struggling with addiction/anxiety/depression or post traumatic disorder (PTSD) made worse with the crisis. What can I do?

You are not alone! There is help.  If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, LifeSpan Adult Psychiatry and Behavioral Health is providing support and clinical care to its patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Virtual Psychiatry and Behavioral Telehealth offer a variety of outpatient programs via telephone and video appointments. Now you can receive the professional care you need and deserve in the comfort and safety of your home. For more information on their outpatient programs, please call their Access Center at (401) 606-0606.

I don’t have a primary care doctor. Who should I go to if I feel ill?

If you do not have a primary care physician, please contact 2-1-1 and they will assist you in connecting to a doctor accepting new patients.

You can also call the Providence Community Health Center (PCHC), who continues to offer medical and behavioral health services, and emergency dental, optometry and podiatry services to its existing and to new patients. Existing patients should call their health center for an appointment and new patients can call 401-444-0404 for assistance. The staff at PHCH will triage each call and provide options for appointments. The Centers offer a variety of appointment types including in-person, telephone, and soon video through tele-health systems!

The PCHC is also outreaching to its members with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease to support them during this time.

For the most current information and list of all changes, visit the dedicated PCHC COVID-19 website.

How do we cope with a traumatic event like this?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a great guide to coping through a disaster/trauma like the COVID-19 epidemic. It includes self-care and how to assist your children.

Coping with Disaster Resource in English   Coping with Disaster Resource  in Spanish

I am in recovery and fear that the isolation from this crisis is going to cause me to relapse – what support is available to me?

There are many resources available to you virtually during this isolated and difficult time.  See the addiction tab below.

What if I don’t have health insurance?

A special enrollment period for Rhode Islanders without health insurance is now available through April 15th, 2020 to qualified individuals who are uninsured. Visit HealthSourceRI.com to enroll, or call customer support or use our web chat function between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday at 1-855-840-4774. For anyone who is concerned that they need to be tested for coronavirus — or anyone who is seeking care because of coronavirus exposure — coverage will start retroactively.

The added stress of this outbreak has caused my partner to lash out. What do I do?

Know that you are not alone.  Your PHA VOCA Team is here for you.  You can call 401-709-2820 to learn more about resources available to you and next steps to take.  You can also call Sojourner House to speak to an advocate at 401-765-3232.  They do not use Caller ID and always block outgoing calls for your safety.

If you are a neighbor or friend who witnesses violence or threatening behavior, please call Security or the Providence Police.  You may be helping save a life.

I feel alone and have thoughts of harming myself.

You are not alone.  If you feel like you may harm yourself, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  You can call toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in English or in Spanish Español) at 1-888-628-9454.

You can also view their website in English and Spanish (Español).

With everyone staying home, I’m afraid there will be an increase in violence and trespassing on PHA property from outsiders.  What can I do?

The PHA works hard to maintain the safety and security of its residents.  During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have hired an outside security firm to help us provide security services at the PHA high rises and roving the family developments.  The Providence Police Housing Unit is also on patrol.  While we are trying to limit face-to-face interactions, we are still out there working for you.  Please call Security or the Providence Police to report suspicious activity and help us maintain your security during this difficult time.

If you have witnessed or been a victim of crime, you can call the Victims of Crime program at 401-709-2820 to learn more about resources available to you.

I am member of the LGBQT community. I’ve been constrained to stay in shelter/quarantine with my family/household that that doesn’t understand people like myself during COVID 19 pandemic. What resources are out there for people like me?

It is difficult to stay in shelter or in quarantine in a household that doesn’t understand nor respect your lifestyle and related-needs as a lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer or transgendered person. Open Door Health is committed to the health and well-being of the LGBQT community providing gender-affirming primary care (gender-affirming hormones, medications, surgical referrals, and other social support). While they are unable to screen for COVID-19 at this time, they are able to help coordinate your screening and care with the RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) and local hospitals. This may change as more supplies become available. For more information and support, please call 401-648-4700 or go to: https://odhpvd.org/ If you feel your family/household is increasingly becoming hostile towards you that you feel unsafe, please reach out to our VOCA Community Safety Coordinator, Melissa DaRosa at (401) 709-2820 or email MDarosa@prov.housing.org.

Important Update: Open Door is now offering drive-through COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of the Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island in Providence. You must have a referral from your primary provider, but insurance is not required. Testing Monday through Thursday from noon till 4pm.

How do I connect to the free WiFi being offered?

Households that have a smart phone with a WiFi hot spot feature and have cell phone service from the four most common providers in our state – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint – will be able to activate the hot spot feature for free. There is no activation fee, no usage fee, and no overage fee. The policy will last until at least May 13.

What is CRUSH COVID RI?

Governor Raimondo introduced CRUSH COVID RI, the state’s pandemic response mobile app with a privacy-first focus. It will allow Rhode Islanders access to all the available and needed resources during the pandemic. In addition, it will have a diary that assist users to

track and identify the places and people they come into contact with. For example, if you test positive for COVID-19, you have the option to share (or not) this with the Department of Health. If you do, DOH can easily identify places you went and people you came into contact, thus reduce the spread of the virus. To download app, please go to the Department of Health’s CRUSH COVID website.

I am having trouble with distance learning for my GED / ESOL class. What do I do?

The Highlander Institute is coordinating with volunteers to assist with a distance learning hotline.  You can call (904) 414-4927 or request help online.

My elderly neighbor lives alone and has no family nearby. They don’t have a phone and can’t afford one. I worry something can happen to them and they will have no way to call for help. What can be done to assist her?

It is a worrying thought having a friend, loved one or neighbor who is unable to call for help or simply to let others know how he or she is doing. Phones and access to the internet have become a vital part of our lives during the shutdown. Lifeline provides free home phone services or cellphone services to qualifying seniors including a free cell phone and free minutes every month. You can assist your neighbor by going online to https://www.lifelinesupport.org/ or calling (800) 234-9473 for more information and to help them apply.

My neighbor who doesn’t speak English or Spanish is having technical problems with her computer. I would normally fix the problem by looking at the computer itself, but now with the pandemic it is difficult for her to get IT support with the language barrier. What can she do?

Dorcas International is offering a new Tech Hotline where households having technical problems with their digital devices can call and request an interpreter (other than Spanish) who will then contact the IT support people. Please call 1-833-523-0351.

Microsoft

For businesses, municipalities, K-12 and other entities, Microsoft is providing six months of Office 365 tools for free to enable remote collaboration, file sharing and video conferencing. For Individuals to connect to 6 months of free Microsoft access for any of the above mentioned organizations follow the directions below.

  1. If you have an email address through work or school, sign in using this link.
  2. If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can sign up for a version of Teams by following this link.

Cox

Cox is offering the following over the next 60 days, through July 15:  A $19.99 offer for new Starter internet customers with a temporary boost up to 50 Mbps download speeds, no annual contract or qualifications to help low income and those impacted from Coronavirus challenges, like seniors and college students. They are also offering the first two months free to new customers of Connect2Compete, Cox’s low-cost internet product for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs ensuring digital equity for students without internet at home. Schools are being asked to contact connectnow@cox.com with a list of eligible low-income students that currently do not have an internet connection. they are also fast-tracking the qualification process for Connect2Compete and partnering with PCs for People where families can purchase discounted refurbished computers. More information can be found here:  https://cox.pcsrefurbished.com/.

Verizon

Verizon will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected if negatively impacted by the global crisis. They are increasing speeds and data allowances as well.  Their “More at Home…On Us” including:

  • Verizon Wireless and Fios subscribers will have free learning and additional TV channels
  • Fios TV extends access to dozens of top channels in news, entertainment and international content

I have to go to work but my childcare is closed / I have to care for an elderly family member. What do I do?

RI is working with Care.com to provide 3 months of free premium service.  Service includes connecting to a screened care provider and unlimited messaging throughout the day with that provider. You can use the site to search for help with care for children, seniors, or pets.  Costs for the service vary but many are volunteering their care services for free or reduced costs.  To search for a provider, go to www.care.com/rineed.

In addition, several childcare facilities – the Boys & Girls Club, Greater Providence YMCA, Children’s Workshop, Children’s Friend and Learning Brook – will offer on-site childcare specifically for the children of essential hospital workers in the coming weeks. Eligible hospital staff will be notified by their employer.

I haven’t filed a tax return in years. How can I receive my Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check)?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a new web tool for people who normally don’t file a tax return to receive their Economic Impact Payments. The tool will enable you to give the IRS basic information necessary to receive the payment. Simply visit  https://www.irs.gov and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here”, fill out your Social Security number, name, address and dependents. The IRS will confirm eligibility, calculate and deposit the Economic Impact Payment to your designated bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, payment will be mailed to you.

With the extension extended on filing taxes until July 15th, I am looking for a place that I can file for free. Did the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program resume or are there other options for filing?

The United Way has partnered with H&R Block to create MyFreeTaxes. Any household with a simple return can now file their federal and state taxes for free! For more information and to sign up, go to https://www.myfreetaxes.com/.

Federal Hill House also resumed free preparation services with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) through a no-contact drop-off process. Clients complete an intake form, and we make copies of the necessary documentation including photo ID, social security card, tax documents, and voided check. Preparers complete the return remotely and review it over the phone. No appointments necessary, drop in during drop-off hours Monday and Wednesday 9am-12pm and Tuesday 5pm-7pm at 9 Courtland Street.

What do I do if I am out of work because of the virus?

The PHA is aware that residents’ sources of income may be impacted by this developing situation.

  1. If you are unable to pay your rent, please contact a PHA staff member as soon as possible.
  2. If you were working and got sick or your workplace is closed due to the pandemic, the State has opened up Temporary Disability Insurance and Unemployment for those who qualify.  Visit the Department of Labor and Training website (http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/).
  3. You can also contact our Resident Services staff (Melanie Rosso at 401-709-2206/MRosso@ProvHousing.org or Leslie Sepulveda at 401-709-2820/LSepulveda@provhousing.org) for help with filling out any of the unemployment/short-term disability paperwork.

Note: Filing online is the fastest way to submit for these benefits.  The Department of Labor and Training has waived the 1 week waiting period for claims made because of the Coronavirus, but due to the high volume in claims they have received, processing times vary and have been taken longer than anticipated.  Please try to be patient.

I received a letter from the Department of Labor and Training (DLT) stating that I had filed a claim for unemployment benefits but I never filed a claim. What should I do?

You may be a victim of identity theft. It is important to immediately report the claim to the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety online or by calling (401) 764-5179. It is also recommended that you go to https://identitytheft.gov/ to file a claim there and create a recovery plan for your personal information.  Identity thieves may gain access to other online accounts so it is also wise to update your passwords and review your credit report.

I noticed an extra amount of money deposited on my EBT card. What is this for?

The Department of Human Services (DHS) received approval of 1.6 million dollars to issue emergency payments to families who are currently enrolled for RI Works benefits. This one-time payment is to help offset expenses that may have occurred during this pandemic. Participants were eligible in April and May and are currently receiving benefits in June. The funds will be put on parents’ EBT cards by June 19th. Please go to http://www.dhs.ri.gov/whatsnew/index.php for more info.

What can I do now to prepare myself for a post-corona economy?

It’s great to be thinking ahead!  If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that technology and basic computer skills will be essential. If you are interested in Digital Literacy Classes, contact Melanie Rosso at MRosso@provhousing.org or call 401-709-2206.

Another great resource to learn new skills online is Kahn Academy.  Pick from all sorts of classes in technology, hospitality, starting a business, and lots more!

With all the shortages at stores, I’ve had to spend more than normal on household supplies and food. How can I get my budget back on track?

If you’d like to talk to a PHA Financial Coach, contact Monah Rhodes at MRhodes@provhousing.org or call 401-709-6413.

You can also check out the Kahn Academy, which has free classes online on saving and budgeting for all age levels.

I live in a scattered site or Section 8 apartment and am having trouble with my utility payments – will I get shut off?

The Public Utilities Commission has directed all electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities regulated by the state agency, including National Grid, and Providence Water to discontinue service terminations and other collection activities until April 15, 2020, for residential customers and to March 31, 2020, for other classes.  It is recommended that you contact the provider and set up a payment plan prior to April 15th so that you will have an agreement in place before utilities can begin shut offs.

I participate in the Section 8 to home ownership program or own a home, where can I turn for mortgage assistance?

If you can pay your mortgage, pay your mortgage. Due to the high call volume and need, please do not call your mortgage service center unless you are unable to pay or can only make a partial payment.  There are options for forbearance and an order to suspend foreclosure proceedings for now.  Learn more about your options at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I haven’t filed a tax return in years. How can I receive my Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check)?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a new web tool for people who normally don’t file a tax return to receive their Economic Impact Payments. The tool will enable you to give the IRS basic information necessary to receive the payment. Simply visit  https://www.irs.gov and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here”, fill out your Social Security number, name, address and dependents. The IRS will confirm eligibility, calculate and deposit the Economic Impact Payment to your designated bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, payment will be mailed to you.

I was told the IRS is mailing out debit cards with stimulus payments. Is that true?

Rhode Island residents without bank accounts on file will receive their stimulus payments in a pre-paid debit card know as an EIP (Economic Impact Payment) card. Please note many residents are mistaking the card as junk mail and throwing it away. In response to this confusion, the IRS will waive the $7.50 fee for first-time replacements. To be assured of its authenticity, check that it is sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, managed by Money Network Financial, LLC and issued by MetaBank, N.A. Please see, https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38513.

If you are still waiting for your stimulus payment, you can check your payment status at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

The school term ended, how can keep my kids busy while indoors during the summer months?

We have compiled a list of fun activities that may interest your children:

Where can children go for meals while out of school?

Youth 18 & under can receive a meal package with breakfast and lunch from the City of Providence’s summer meal sites starting on July 1st.  Check here for real time updates on sitessummer meal sites

What stores have special “senior hours” to serve high risk individuals?

Several stores in Rhode Island have adopted special shopping hours for seniors to limit risks of the virus.

Where can my child go for meals while out of school?

The following sites will be open for Providence children (18 and under) on Tuesdays and Fridays to access several days of packaged meals.  On these days, lunch/breakfast packages can be picked up between 11 am-2 pm at the various schools and dinner packages can be picked up at the various Rec Centers between 4-6 pm.  Tuesday kits will include 3 days of meals while Friday kits will have 4 days of meals.

Youth 18 & under can receive a meal package.

 

CHANGE IN DATE & DELIVERY – All sites will provide multiple days’ worth of meals in their “boxes” on Tuesdays (3 breakfasts/3 lunches) and Fridays (4 breakfasts/4lunches) pick up between 11am and 2pm.  Dinner sites will have similar boxes with pick up Tuesdays (3 dinners) and Fridays (4 dinners) between 4-6pm.

  • Codding Court
    • Career and Technical Academy 41 Fricker St. 11am-2pm
    • Davey Lopes Rec Center 50 Obadiah Brown Rd. 4-6pm
  • Hartford Park
    • Del Sesto 152 Springfield St. 11am-2pm
    • Webster 191 Websiter Ave. 11am-2pm
    • Neutaconkanut Rec Center 675 Plainfield St. 4-6pm
  • Roger Williams
    • Juanita Sanchez High 182 Thurbers Ave 11am-2pm
    • John Rollins Rec Center 674 Prairie Ave. 4-6pm
  • Manton
    • William D’Abate 60 Kossuth St. 11am-2pm
    • Joslin Rec Center 17 Hyatt St. 4-6pm
  • Chad
    • Nathaniel Greene Middle School 712 Chalkstone Ave. 11am-2pm
    • Madeline Rogers Rec Center 60 Camden Ave. 4-6pm

Check here for real time updates on sites

Once school is out for the summer, where will the children go for meals?

Healthy meals over the summer months make children ready to learn once school starts in the Fall. Under the Eat, Play, Learn PVD Program, all children and teens under 18 are eligible to receive free meals. Summer meals will be served beginning July 1, 2020. For locations and times, please go to https://eatplaylearnpvd.com/.

Check here for real time updates on sites

Where can I purchase fresh foods for delivery?

Farm Fresh Rhode Island also has a Market Mobile wholesale service to get fresh food from local farms delivered to your home. Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile Service accepts PayPal in addition to SNAP and EBT.

I am quarantined, so how do I get supplies and groceries?

The State has created a new website called RIDelivers that provides a long list of sites offering delivery services for those in quarantine and/or isolating.  These include sites to deliver groceries, pharmacies, restaurants, and much more.

Many of Rhode Island’s local and big-box grocery stores are offering delivery:

  • Roch’s Fresh Foods is offering delivery across the state. Their convenient shopping guide can make ordering from Roch’s easy. Fill out the form here. Roch’s will call after you submit the order to provide the delivery window and take payment.
  • www.amazon.com services Amazon Pantry and Whole Foods customers
  • delivery.bjs.com services BJ’s Wholesale customers
  • www.instacart.com services the following stores: Aldi, Price Right, Shaw’s, and Target customers
  • www.imperfectfoods.com grocery subscription that offers imperfect (yet delicious) produce, affordable pantry items, and quality meat and dairy
  • www.peapod.com services Stop & Shop customers
  • www.walmart.com services Walmart customers
  • www.farmfreshri.org Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile Program services everyone for fresh fruits and veggies, locally raised meats & fish, and some pantry staples. Twice/week delivery service
  • sourcewhatsgood.com a RI-based app that is organizing delivery and pick-up of locally grown vegetables & meats and locally made kitchen staples

Is Meals on Wheels cancelled?

Meals on Wheels RI continues to operate its delivery to home-bound residents and does not see any disruptions to service in the near future.  Those in need can sign up for the meal delivery service, but note that due to high demand, there is a waiting list.  Some Cafe meal sites have been closed. Check with Meals on Wheels RI for the most up-to-date information on operations and closures.

I am struggling to pay my rent/mortgage. Where can I go for help?

Housing Help RI launched to provide additional support to those struggling with housing due to Corona.  Households may receive a grant of up to $5,000 to use for any combination of the following eligible housing expenditures: Past due rent payments; Late fees on a rental account; or Moving costs associated with relocation. Payment will be made directly to third-party entities such as a landlord, property manager, or moving company. Details on the program, qualification criteria & application (multi-lingual) is below can be found at https://www.housinghelpri.com/.

I’m on WIC and there are no qualifying items left in stores.  What do I do?

WIC is allowing households to purchase equivalent items during this shortage.  For example, if you qualify for 1 gallon of milk but the store is out of stock, you can purchase 2 half gallons OR 4 quarts of milk instead.  This may be applied to all items. WIC representatives have also shared that they are limiting in-person appointments as much as possible. Those who still receive paper checks will have them mailed and a WIC representative will call you to confirm your mailing address before sending them out.  They also stress that there is NOT a formula shortage. Rather, stores are facing difficulty stocking their shelves.  Contact your WIC representative if you are having trouble finding formula.

My children are enrolled at their school’s free or reduced-cost meals program but we normally do not qualify for SNAP. They just received an EBT card in the mail. What is that for?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The program provides financial assistance to families with children enrolled in their public school’s free or reduced meals program. Children enrolled in the school meal program but whose families do not receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) may qualify for this assistance. Please visit www.dhs.ri.gov or call 2-1-1 for more information.

Are there other places offering free meals to children during the Coronavirus crisis?

Wings Over Providence at 725 Hope Street is offering free meals to school-age children. The child must be present to receive a free meal of chicken tenders with waffle fries. Please call (401) 274-9464 or visit their website for more information and hours of operation. Wings Over Providence, 725 Hope Street, Providence. We will keep you posted if other restaurants or venues start offering free meals to children.

Why do I have extra money on my SNAP EBT card?  What other changes will there be with SNAP to help households access benefits?

For March and April, SNAP recipients may see an increase in their monthly benefits – those who did not already receive the maximum benefit amount prior to the COVID-19 epidemic will see a benefit increase to the maximum allowable for the household size in April. Funds will be added to EBT cards on April 1 with an additional allotment added on April 8th for those qualifying for the ‘bump up’, as a retroactive payment for March.  It is unknown whether this policy will continue into May.

For able bodied adults normally subject to the 3 month time limit, SNAP will provide exemptions allowing you to continue receiving benefits through the pandemic.

Finally, if you are self-quarantined or high risk and cannot shop for yourself, you can provide a trusted caregiver with your EBT card and pin to shop for you.  It is recommended that you add a signed note granting the person permission to utilize your card.

There is no bottled water left in the stores.  Does that mean my tap water isn’t safe?

Your tap water is safe. Providence Water provides drinking water from the Scituate Reservoir. According the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA), current treatment methods used by Providence Water at the Scituate Purification Plant are sufficient to disinfect water for contaminants, including COVID-19.  There is no current need for stock piling bottled water or reason to be fearful of catching the Corona Virus through your tap water.

I am trying to find cleaning supplies to disinfect my unit but can’t get them any where. Where can I access those products?

Family Service of RI is offering “Be Safe Kits” containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. You can submit one request per household. The kits are filled as products are available, but they are not able to guarantee items or specific brands. To sign up for a kit, visit the BESAFE website, email BeSafe@familyserviceri.org, or call 401-519-2283.

I heard from a friend there is going to be a free milk giveaway. If so, when and where?

Dairy Farmers of America will be donating 4,300 gallons of whole milk on Wednesday, May 27 at McCoy Stadium. Each car will receive two gallons of milk (you can get in line as many times as you wish). Walk thru is allowed but will be in a separate area from the drive thru.

I am in recovery and fear that the isolation from this crisis is going to cause me to relapse – what support is available to me?

We recognize that the stress of the coronavirus pandemic and the sense of isolation that can result from necessary social distancing and quarantining can be challenging for those in recovery and those struggling with addiction. During this pandemic, the Wellness Resource Center has created a list of virtual resources for additional support. We hope that the following resources about online/virtual meetings will provide some needed support during this difficult time. Although PHA staff are working remotely, the Wellness Coordinator is also available to assist you and connect you to resources.  Connect to Nelson by email at nmorales@provhousing.org or by phone at 401-592-4617.

Are COVID- 19 Certified Peer Recovery Call Lines Available?

Yes, peer assistance is available right now from 8 AM to 8 PM.  You can contact the East Bay Recovery Community Center at 401-302-6231 (English) or 401-602-6735 (Spanish).  You can also contact Providence Anchor Community, who serve the Providence and Pawtucket area, by calling 401-889-5770.

Where can I get Naloxone and/or Fentanyl Test Kits?

RICARES in Providence is providing Naloxone, and they have Fentanyl test kits available.  Text or call requests into to 401-408-6804 or 401-487-3866. They have on-site pickup location at 134 Mathewson St. in Providence.

As part of my recovery, I typically participate in meetings.  With limitations on gathering, what do I do now?

You have a few options for participating in meetings:

  1. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offers online meetings at a variety of times and languages. Virtual meetings based in RI
  2. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) offers online meetings at a variety of times and languages
  3. Support for families/friends and those in recovery can be found on the Sober Recovery’s online web forum.

Is it true that all beaches, state parks, businesses and churches will be opening on Memorial Day weekend?

Yes and no. The governor has launched a plan to reopen the economy in phases (or using a phased approach). Some businesses, parks and other establishments have already opened under stringent/restrictive guidelines on the first phase of the plan, Reopening Rhode Island which occurred on May 9. The second phase will start on May 25th with the following re-openings:

  • State beaches (East Matunuck State Beach and Scarborough State Beach) some state parks will reopen on Memorial Day. Under strict guidelines, the bathrooms and concession stands will remain closed. However, during phase 2 the remaining beaches and parks will reopen along with its bathrooms and concession stands.
  • Churches are going to be allowed to have in-person services on May 30th.
  • Guidelines are being established for hairdresser salons and barber shops to open during this phase as well

For more information and guidelines, please go the ReOpeningRI website.

I received a notice from the Census in the mail with an online code but don’t have a computer.  How do I complete my Census form?

The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1, 2020. The federal government must conduct this count every 10 years and it is essential to Rhode Island residents that they be counted.  Federal funding (including money for PHA housing and programs), Congressional representation and so much more relies on the number of responses received.

The Census sent its first mailing to RI residents in early March, asking for everyone to complete the 2020 Census form online but that’s not the only way to participate in this essential survey of the country’s residents.  You can also call in by phone to complete the survey.  Call 844-330-2020, or call the number associated with your preferred language (see below for a sample of languages offered), any time between 7 AM and 2 AM every day of the week.

  • Spanish: 844-468-2020
  • Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020
  • Portuguese: 844-474-2020
  • TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020

If the PHA Offices are closed, how do I pay my rent?

While there are drop boxes or mail slots located at every building, the PHA is asking for rent checks to be mailed, with their statement slip, to:

Providence Housing Authority
PO Box 40850
Providence, RI 02940-0850

No matter which way you decide to pay (drop off at your office or through the mail), you MUST include your statement slip with your payment so it will be credited to the right household.

There is a moratorium on evictions so I can stop paying my rent, right?

Wrong!  While courts may not be in session, nonpayment of rent is still an act of noncompliance whether you live in public housing or have a Section 8 voucher.  If you are out of work or suffered a loss of income recently, please contact your Office or Program Representative. They will work with you to adjust your portion of the rental payment based on your new income.

HUD Flyer in English        HUD Flyer in Spanish (Español)   HUD Flyer in Other Languages

homeownership seminar may 2020With interest rates dropping, I would like to buy a home. How can I participate in the Section 8 to Homeownership program?

The PHA will host a free Homeownership Seminar this May for those interested in joining the program – or even just dreaming of owning a home someday!  RSVP to the 3-workshop series on Zoom by calling (401)709-6413 or emailing Monah Rhodes at MRhodes@provhousing.org.

I heard the Mayor mention CODERED in an address. What is that?

It is important to keep updated on orders and decisions made by city officials during the Covid-19 pandemic. CODERED is a mass notification system that allows city officials to send notifications by phone, email, and text to keep citizens informed of emergencies and other general notifications. For Providence-specific alerts, you can sign up for Code Red at http://www.providenceri.gov/pema/codered/.

What can I do if I have a family member sick with the Coronavirus or I work in a high-risk environment and would like to separate myself or my loved ones from possible exposure?

RI Havens connects with local establishments to offer discounted rates for extended stays for the state’s essential workers and others who may need a place during the COVID-19 pandemic. To view an interactive map of participating hotels, , click here. For more information and assistance call 2-1-1.

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