April 1, 2020
Local and national resources related to COVID-19
The United Way will update this information as we learn more. Please share any information from your agency with us as well. We hope everyone is staying safe.
Remember, to view accurate information concerning COVID-19 visit nc211.org - The United Way's community service resource help line and website.
HELP WITH CHILD CARE - Effective April 1
Parents/caregivers who are essential workers and need financial assistance for child care can complete a COVID-19 Parent Application for Financial Assistance for Emergency Child Care form. Families should submit the application to their child care center. Click on the link to print out the application.
Qualifications: If you are an essential worker responding to the COVID-19 crisis, you have an emergency child care need and no other child care options AND you have a household income below the allowed limit (Below $78,600 for a family of 4).
If essential workers need help finding child care, please call the Urgent Child Care line at 1-888-600-1685.
1. The U.S. Small Business Administration has granted a disaster declaration covering all North Carolina counties, allowing affected small businesses and non-profits as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for low interest SBA disaster loans. The interest rates are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organization with terms up to 30 years. Visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or
2. The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. Visit: https://ncrapidrecovery.org/
3. The North Carolina Employment Security Division is publishing instructions and guidance on the following link to help you understand new changes to the state’s unemployment system, due to the current impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus in North Carolina.
4. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a foreclosure and eviction moratorium Wednesday for single-family homeowners for the next 60 days if they have Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages.
5. The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will lead recurring national calls on Coronavirus and Homelessness/Housing every Monday at 2:30 p.m. ET until Congress includes housing and homelessness resources in the COVID-19 stimulus package.
RECENT STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES:
Tuesday, March 31
Governor Roy Cooper today announced another step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. Today’s Order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days.
The Order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.
Telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are strongly urged to follow these same rules. To readh the rest of the press release visit: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/governor-cooper-signs-executive-order-prohibit-utility-disconnections-wake-covid
Monday, March 24
-Governor Roy Cooper ordered tighter limits on gatherings and extended school closures statewide to May 15, 2020.
The governor directed $50 million in school funding flexibility to help public schools and support the greatest needs to serve students during the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Cooper has ordered North Carolina public schools to remain closed to in-class instruction through May 15.
The State Board of Education (SBE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will establish a new $50 million flexible allotment for public school units to address COVID-19-related expenses.This allotment is comprised of unused funds from the current and previous school years as well as the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund.
The executive order also closed some businesses that require close social interaction and limited visitors to long-term care centers including: Bingo Parlors, including Bingo sites operated by charitable organizations,Bowling Alleys, Indoor Exercise Facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline and rock-climbing facilities), Health Clubs, Indoor Pools, Live Performance Venues, Movie Theaters, Skating Rinks, Spas, Sweepstakes Lounges, Video game arcades, Barber Shops, Beauty Salons (including waxing and hair removal centers), Hair Salons, Nail Salons/Manicure/Pedicure Providers, Massage Parlors, Tattoo Parlors.
Grocery stores and restaurants providing takeout and delivery will remain open.
-Medicaid is temporarily modifying its Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry Clinical Coverage Policies to better enable the delivery of remote care to Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to telephone conversations and secure electronic messaging, the modifications will include the use of two-way real-time interactive audio and video to provide and support physical and behavioral health care when participants are in different physical locations.
For more information visit: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/nc-medicaid-increasing-eligible-technology-and-provider-types-telemedicine
-Governor Roy Cooper has waived restrictions to increase access to caregivers to provide flexible child care and elder care during the coronavirus emergency. The Order provides flexibility to local health departments working to adapt to the increased need for their resources. Additionally, it provides for ways for Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices to enact social distancing protections, and waives some registration requirements to ensure resources can be delivered by truck throughout the state.
For more information visit: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/governor-cooper-orders-increased-access-childcare-dmv-clarifications
NCWORKS CAREER CENTER: Based on an abundance of caution for the health and wellbeing of their customers and staff, the NCWorks Career Center will be closed to the public beginning March 18. The agency will continue to provide services to its valued customers virtually by phone and email. You may continue to access NCWorks on-line at www.ncworks.gov, or contact the Career Center at 828-466-5535 to receive staff assisted services with your employment search.
SHERRILLS FORD COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY AND CLOTHES CLOSET: Offers a food pantry and clothes closet. Call before stopping by to check on available services. Phone: 828-478-9652
NEIGHBORS NETWORK - YOUR NEIGHBORS PANTRY: Offers a food pantry and other services for seniors. Call before stopping by to check on available services. Phone 828-464-1111
Website: www.neighborsnetwork.org - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES MINISTRY: Description: Offers dinner with message and free groceries or personal and household items. Offers a clothes closet and indoor yard sale. Delivers groceries, personal and household items to people without transportation. Helps with utilities, rent and other bills. Delivers free furniture and appliances. Call before stopping by to check on available services.
Phone: 828-781-8095 - Website: www.facebook.com/highwaysandhedgesnc/
HICKORY SOUP KITCHEN: The hours of service will change to 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in an effort to allow sufficient time for meals to be distributed in the most efficient manner, the dining room will be closed and instead take-out meals will be served. The pantry remains stocked and ready to serve those in need of groceries. Showers will remain available to guests from 8 - 9 a.m. Visit hickorysoupkitchen.org for more information.
THE CORNER TABLE SOUP KITCHEN – NEWTON: The following actions were placed in effect for March 16 – March 31. Lunch will be served to guests via a to-go-meal from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday- Friday on our back porch. Guests will not be allowed in the facility for any reason. This includes restrooms. Friday to-go-bags will be provided as usual. Scheduled Saturday bag lunches will remain on the calendar. The Food Service Manager will be preparing additional frozen meals due to an increase in demand, limited to Two (2) Meals per day, per person. Churches who distribute frozen meals will still be allowed to pick up mass quantities as normal.
BACKPACK PROGRAM: Catawba County Schools: Sixteen feeding sites will be available for students starting Wednesday, March 18. Backpacks will be delivered to each school before Thursday, March 19 Backpacks will be distributed to students who come into pickup Work Packs. Any students who cannot pick up work packs/backpacks on Thursday will have them delivered to their homes on Friday, March 20.
Hickory Public Schools: Feeding sites will also be available at Longview and Viewmont starting Tuesday, March 17. Volunteers are picking up bags on Thursday, March 19 for all Hickory schools (2-3 per participating family). Bags will be delivered to schools before feeding time from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Newton-Conover City Schools: Backpack bags will be delivered to students’ door to door via buses. Any families that cannot make it to a feeding site are asked to notify their counselor who in return will notify the Backpack Program Coordinator. For information visit: http://www.thecornertable.org/backpack-program-food-for-students
EASTERN CATAWBA COOPERATIVE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY: The agency plans to maintain all operations during this virus outbreak. Those visiting ECCCM will be directed to follow established protocols of social distancing, only one member per household admitted and no children will be allowed in the building. As dedicated workers in our community either lose working hours or are laid off from their jobs, affected persons can apply for emergency financial assistance.
The ECCCM Charlie Bunn Food Pantry is well-situated for additional demands for hunger relief, with adequate supplies of commodities.
As schools close, and children lose access to school breakfasts and lunches, the ECCCM Student Hunger Prevention Program provides adequate supplies of food for the entire household for one year. Families with children in either Newton-Conover City Schools or Catawba County Schools can apply here.
Already, good people within our community have demonstrated concern for our neighbors by donating food and financial resources. We invite those who are able to support ECCCM’s work in our community to drop off donations Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. or Fridays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For information visit: https://www.ecccm.org/
THE SALVATION ARMY: We are changing our intake policy for our shelter - we are halting all intake as of today and not allowing anyone new to enter our shelter. We are allowing those already in the shelter to stay but we are monitoring their health conditions on a daily basis by taking temperatures at intake and being proactive with health and sanitary procedures as outlines by the Health Department and other government agencies. Anyone that we feel may be infected will be immediately isolated and the proper personnel will be notified so that the Health Department can take over and do what needs to be done with the client and those that may be infected as well - keep in mind that this procedure may change depending on the progression or severity of the situation
At this time we are feeding un-sheltered people who come to the shelter for meals "to go" meals through the back door in clam-shell dishes and they will eat elsewhere.
MEALS ON WHEELS/SENIORS MORNING OUT: Starting Monday, March 16, Catawba County Meals on Wheels clients will receive five frozen meals every Monday and check-in phone calls every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. New referrals to the program are being placed on a waiting list until regular operations resume. This schedule will remain in operation until further notice. As previously announced, Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is temporarily closing all Catawba County Seniors Morning Out (SMO) sites effective Monday, March 16. During this time, all SMO participants will still have the ability to receive meals and will receive daily phone calls from Senior Nutrition Services staff.
OTHER FOOD LINKS FOR CHILDREN: Resources for free meals for all students and some even ages 1-18 in each county and school system in our area.
Hickory Public Schools:
Catawba County Schools: (includes information on some restaurants in Catawba County)
Newton Conover City Schools:
Burke County Schools:
Caldwell County Schools:
FAMILY CARE CENTER: To try and do what we can to limit the impact of this virus, Family Care Center will close our doors to the public at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19 until further notice. Applicants to our program may access the application outside our front door but there will be no client interaction or face to face meetings. We will be in touch with our current guests via phone and email. For information visit: familycare-center.org.
ADULT LIFE PROGRAMS: After careful (and sometimes agonizing) consideration, consultation with NC Department of Health and Human Services, Catawba County Health Department and other officials I have made the decision to close Adult Life Programs from March 19-30, 2020 due to the COVID 19 outbreak. We plan to open March 30 conditions permitting. For information visit: https://www.adultlifeprograms.com/central-office
LIFE HOUSE: The Life House has amended hours 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday - Friday. No more than 10 people (elderly and disabled) allowed inside with very limited seating. Outside property and seating is available and all services and request are being delivered through walk up window. The agency has a mobile van unit prepared that will be available and is stocked with needs for the community.
SAFE HARBOR: The agency has suspended all classes, support groups and events through the end of March, then we will reassess the situation. We have also asked all volunteers to stay home. Right now, the Day Center remains open, but we are taking it day by day. Things are subject to change. For information visit: safeharbornc.org.
AMERICAN RED CROSS: At this moment the agency’s most pressing concern is the blood supply. The Red Cross accounts for 40 percent of the nation's blood supply and we collect more than 80 percent of that blood is collected at offsite drives including at schools, churches and businesses.
Over the last few days, the Red Cross has seen blood drive cancellations grow at an alarming rate. Through March 13, about 1,500 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in some 46,000 fewer blood donations. We expect that number to rise. In our region alone, we have lost over 60 drives which equals approximately 1,800 units.
Donating blood is safe. Receiving blood is safe. If this trend continues, we may experience another national health emergency on top of the virus. For more information visit: cdc.gov/covid19.
EXODUS HOMES: The is operating as usual but may suspend new admissions in the days to come. Residents have been advised to keep six feet of space between them whenever possible. Exodus Church held services last week, but they are not sure about this Sunday. For information visit: http://www.exodushomes.com/
PARTNERS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH MANGAMENT: Partners only has pertinent staff at its offices. The agency is continuing to work but through remote locations. All functions of Partners are still operational. The ACCESS to care number for individuals to access services and crisis services is still available 24/7. You can reach any Partners staff through phone and/or email. The agency has looking for cleaning supplies for clients. If anyone has any ideas to help, contact Teena Willis at Partners. For information visit: https://www.partnersbhm.org/
FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTER: The agency is rescheduling its clients until April 1st. The staff is currently at the office (for now) available for crisis clients via phone conference or tele-conference. For information visit: https://www.fgcservices.com/
COUNCIL ON AGING: The Catawba County Council on Aging/West Hickory Senior is closed effective March 17 until further notice. For information visit: https://www.catawbacoa.org/
WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER:
-We have paused our front desk Resource & Referral Volunteer program, in order to protect our elderly and immune compromised volunteers and reduce the number of persons in the building at any time. Staff will still be available to help with any questions, concerns or needs.
- If you are in need of Resources please call us prior to coming in. If you are in a high-risk category for COVID-19, we will work with you over the phone and offer curbside pick-up printed information and Pantry with a Purpose products.
- We ask that non-essential groups consider pausing their meetings or utilize virtual meeting tools such as Skype, Google Hangout, or Join.me or in order to maintain social distancing. Currently, this does NOT include groups vital to the mental or emotional well-being of our community, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or All Recovery.
- We will be cleaning our meeting room after each meeting during the week. We ask that any groups that meet in the evenings or weekends take advantage of the cleaning products provided to wipe down ‘high-touch’ areas, such as plastic chairs and door handles. We will not be providing self-serve snacks during this time. Additionally, we have reduced seating in our meeting room to provide more personal space between guests. For information visit: https://www.wrchickory.org/
ALFA (Aids Leadership Foothills Area Alliance): As part of ALFA's efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID 19 virus to staff and clients, the agency is limiting services from March 17 - March 29.
Staff will still be available via phone or email, but offices will be closed to foot traffic.
- Services will be provided via phone or mail delivery whenever possible.
- In office services will be by appointment only.
- Deliveries of pantry products or medication may be possible depending on resources.
- Services will be provided via phone or mail delivery whenever possible.
- In office services will be by appointment only.
PEP: Call Jess at 828-322-1447 x 226
- Supplies will be available at Steve's Place on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Big Red van will be at Wilkes location for supply distribution Tuesday, March 17 from
8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Two months supplies will continue to be distributed.
- Distribution will be canceled beginning Wednesday, March 18.
- Call or text 828-999-0055
Testing/Outreach: services will be suspended for 2 weeks.
For information visit: http://www.alfainfo.org/
OLIVE BRANCH MINISTRY is prepared to continue its harm reduction services to those in need under our normal operating guidelines, maintaining regular office hours in each of its locations. The agency will continue to provide mobile exchange as requested to clients who have transportation barriers. For HepC rapid and confirmation testing and treatment, the agency will continue to provide these services by appointment at the Hickory location or in individual homes, if needed. If anyone is in need of syringe access, Naloxone or HepC testing, please let them know. For information visit: www.olivebranchministry.org
NORTH CAROLINA BAPTIST AGING MINISTRY (NCBAM) is available for those who may need someone to talk to during this period of isolation. The phone number is 866-758-4673. Please share as appropriate.
PATRICK BEAVER LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER: Because the agency’s volunteers tutor in schools, it has had to cancel all tutoring until schools resume. Additionally, program such as the parent engagement/family literacy nights (LIFT) and the follow up meeting to the Orton-Gillingham Teacher Training have had to be cancelled due to numbers over 50 and school closings. The agency hopes to post resources all families can use to help students with reading on its Facebook page and/or website.
PARTNERSHIP FOR CHILDREN: The agency has closed its office to visitors through the next two weeks. All events, trainings, meetings have been canceled. All school-housed NCPK classrooms are closed, but the three in private settings (Tyndall, A New Beginning and Sherrills Ford Learning Academy 1) remain open for the time being. There is a place for families to turn in NCPK applications in the vestibule of the agency’s main building. For information visit: catawbakids.com.
COUNCIL ON ADOLESCENTS - The Lunch Buddy program: Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order over the weekend to close all NC public schools until at least March 30. The Lunch Buddy program has suspended all activities/meetings until at least April 6. For information: https://coacatawba.org/
OPERATION HOPE: Operation HOPE Inside office at First Horizon will be operating via email, tele-conference, or phone for the next two weeks. The agency helps clients with budgeting and credit management thru this crisis. For information visit: www.operationhope.org
Government Resources Updates
CATAWBA COUNTY GOVERNMENT – as of March 17:
-Library System: Effective at close of business Tuesday, March 17, all Catawba County locations will be closed until further notice. Due dates and book holds will be automatically extended and no late fees will be accrued. Citizens are encouraged to take advantage of the many digital services available through the website at www.catawbacountync.gov/library.
-Parks (Bakers Mountain, Riverbend and St. Stephens): All Catawba County Parks remain open following usual operating hours. Effective Tuesday, March 17, all rentals and group use of Catawba County Parks education facilities and picnic shelters have been suspended until further notice.
-Sheriff’s Office: Effective Tuesday, March 17, the Sheriff’s Office Gun Permits Division will only be processing purchase permits and carry conceal renewals for the next two weeks. For more information, call (828) 464-5241.
-Veterans Services: Effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, the Veterans Services office will be suspending in-person appointments and will be conducting all appointments by phone. Veterans requesting appointments may call the Veterans Services Office at (828) 465-8255 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for assistance.
Other event and program postponements
Catawba County Mobile Free Pharmacy - Due to numerous factors with the timing of this event, we have decided to postpone the Catawba County Mobile Free Pharmacy event scheduled for April 24. We will work with our sponsor to reschedule this event. We hope to have a new date soon and I will keep you all posted on those details. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you all for your commitment and time invested thus far. Reach out with any questions at 704-350-3597.
Veterans Stand Down - The decision was made to postpone the Stand Down due to trying to reduce the spread of the COVID- 19 virus and on suggestion of the Governor of NC not to have gatherings of more than 100 people. Our Stand Down well exceeds that. The health and wellbeing of our veterans, volunteers and agency representatives is very important to us and we appreciate your understanding. For those agencies registered to participate in the event, emails will be sent when a new date has been decided and to gage your interest and availability.