COVID-19: Resources for Youth & Families

COVID-19: Resources for Youth & Families

Check back often, as additional resources will be added frequently:

 

2-1-1

Pennsylvania 211 East is a free, confidential, non-emergency, 24-hour information and referral service that connects Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Lancaster, Berks, Lebanon, & Schuylkill County residents with health and human services.

Northampton County

  • 24 hour/7 day hotline available for anyone in crisis: 610-252-9060

 

FOOD ACCESS

  • Find a food pantry HERE.
  • Food Access Information – PA Dept. of Agriculture
  • Greater Valley YMCA will serve Grab & Go meals to youth from 4-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (extra meal distribution on Fridays for the weekend).
    • Allentown: 425 S. 15th Street, Allentown, PA 18102
    • Bethlehem: 430 E. Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
  • As long as it is safe and possible, Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley will provide homebound senior citizens and adults with disabilities with home-delivered meals, grocery shopping and other services.
  • United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA Community Services 410 Olive St. Scranton, PA 18509: Angel’s Attic food pantry is currently open Monday-Friday 9am- 5pm. Households of any size can come and receive a bag, as needed (1 per day maximum).
  • Keystone Mission and the Weinberg Food Bank (CEO) are offering an Emergency Food Assistance program.
  • Catholic Social Services Food Pantry, 638 Hemlock Street Scranton, PA 18505, Extended Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00PM-4:00PM
  • Many schools are providing meals:
    • Click here for Lehigh Valley locations
    • Scranton Area School District: Effective Monday March 23rd, 2020 and until further notice free breakfast and free lunch will be provided to all children in the community 18 years old and under.  Children will be offered both breakfast and lunch for multiple days between the hours 10 am and noon.
    • Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, & Susquehanna County School District food distribution information HERE.
    • Harrisburg Area School District Grab & Go Meals information HERE.
  • Harrisburg Downtown Daily Bread: Soup Kitchen door on Willis St. alley.  Breakfast 7 a.m. – 7:50 a.m. Lunch 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m

BENEFITS

  • Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) Helpline (Statewide): 877-570-3642
  • Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) Helpline: (Southeast PA):215-563-5848
  • BenePhilly (Philadelphia): 844-848-4376
  • CAOs are closed for in person services. People should apply online or update info on the COMPASS website  www.compass.state.pa.us. To connect with the Consumer Assistance Center via phone the number is 1-866-550-4355.
  • SNAP:
    • The federal rule that says able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS) would be subject to a three month time limit on receiving SNAP has been halted until further notice.
    • Non-ABAWD SNAP cases are prohibited from termination for the next three months, and work requirements will be modified for flexibility.
  • TANF:
    • The PA Department of Human Services is suspending face-to-face interviews and will not terminate or sanction recipients based on RESET requirements until further notice.

HOUSING

  • Foreclosures and evictions for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration will be suspended until the end of April.
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court prohibited evictions, ejectments or other displacements from a residence based on failure to make a payment through April 3rd.
  • The Allentown Warming Station has transitioned to a Code Blue Shelter (opening only any night the weather is forecasted under 32 degrees)

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Crisis Health Line: TEXT “Help” to 741741
  • Northampton County Peer Line: 855-727-3377 (24 hours)
  • Lehigh County WARM line: 610-820-8451 (6am – 2am)
  • Lehigh County CRISIS Intervention: 610-782-3127 (24 hours)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24 hours)
  • NAMI Keystone PA Helpline – 888-264-7972 (M-F, 9am – 5pm)
  • Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources https://mhanational.org/covid19
  • The PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has temporarily suspended certain requirements for providing behavioral health services via telehealth.
    • Staff may deliver telehealth services via telephonic and video communication applications such as FaceTime or Skype available on smartphones, and through telephonic only devices when video technology is not available.
  • All KidsPeace outpatient locations in Lehigh and Monroe County will continue to offer free walk-in mental health assessments by clinically trained professionals – no appointment needed. The assessments allow for fast evaluation of mental health condition and if needed crisis intervention – relieving the pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms as they prepare for a surge in COVID-19 cases. KidsPeace is committed to providing walk-in assessments at these offices as long as they are open during the emergency.  The service is available during business hours at these locations:
    • Allentown (two locations)
      • 801 E Green Street (across from Dieruff High School); 610-799-8910
      • 451 W Chew Street, Suite #105 (St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital Campus) 610-776-5465
    • Bethlehem
      • KidsPeace Broadway Campus Family Center (1620 Broadway, Bethlehem) 610-799-8600
    • Monroe County
      • 1151 Pocono Boulevard, Suite #2, Mt Pocono, PA 570-243-8787
  • Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
  • Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Question & Answers
  • Managing Anxiety & Stress
  • Guide to Living with Anxiety & Worry Amidst Global Uncertainty
  • Therapy Resources for Professionals – Worry & Anxiety

CHILDCARE

  • Starting Monday, March 23, the Greater Valley YMCA will be running the “Here for You” Program at their Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton/Phillipsburg and Nazareth branches. The program will provide childcare options for Emergency Responders and Medical Personnel. It is the Y’s hope to help meet this crucial community need during this difficult time. Please help us spread the word and learn more about the program/download enrollment forms HERE.

HEALTHCARE

  • All major medical, Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plans, including those available through www.healthcare.gov, should  cover medically appropriate COVID-19 diagnostic testing and associated treatment. Many insurers have announced that they will cover medically appropriate COVID-19 testing without any copays, deductibles, or cost-sharing for consumers.
  • Need help with insurance and/or COBRA? Capital BlueCross will continue to be available to assist people with options. Those who lose their insurance can contact Capital BlueCross at 855-505-2683 or rosann.humphrey@capbluecross.com.
  • Pennsylvania Health Access Network – Please call PHAN’s helpline 877-570-3642 if you need help.
  • Loss of job-based coverage qualifies individuals for a special enrollment period. If individuals enrolled in Marketplace plans lose income, they may qualify for increased subsidy, or may now be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Please go to www.healthcare.gov to update your income and learn more about your options.
  • Medicaid (Medical Assistance) and CHIP covers medically appropriate laboratory testing for COVID-19 without copays.  Associated treatment for COVID-19 is also covered, although there may be a nominal copay. If you cannot afford the copay at the time you receive the service, you will not be denied treatment, although your provider may send you a bill for the copayment amount.
  • Testing is also free for consumers who are uninsured. If individuals believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, and do not have a primary care provider, they should visit a local ER, clinic, or urgent care center.
  • Medicaid applications are still being processed, and individuals should apply as normal. Individuals should note on the  application if they have a health emergency related to COVID-19. DHS will continue to prioritize Medicaid applications where there is an immediate health concern, and self-attestations will be accepted.
  • If consumers have questions about their insurance policy, contact your insurance or the Department of Health’s consumer hotline at (877) 881-6388.
  • FamilyWize provides discounts to lower the cost of prescription medications. Whether you’re insured or uninsured, use FamilyWize to save on prescriptions and share it with friends, family and neighbors.

UNEMPLOYMENT & WORKERS COMPENSATION

  • Lehigh Valley companies currently hiring
  •  Unemployment:
    • If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves.
  • Unemployment Compensation (UC):
    • Individuals can file for unemployment using this website: https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file. Individuals can also call 1-888-313-7284. However because of increased demand we encourage folks to apply online as much as possible.
      • The one-week wait time necessary to apply for unemployment benefits has been waived until further notice.
      • You may be eligible if:
        • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
        • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
        • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
        • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under
          government-recommended mitigation efforts
  • Workers’ Compensation (WC):
    • If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace, you may be
      eligible for WC by either:

      • Notifying your employer to file a typical “disease-as-injury” WC claim, which
        requires you to provide medical evidence that you were exposed to COVID-19 in
        the workplace
      • Notifying your employer to file an “occupational disease” WC claim, which
        requires you to show that COVID-19 is occurring more in your
        occupation/industry than in the general population

        • If your COVID-19 claim is denied, you may file a petition with the Office of Adjudication
  • Visit https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx for more information.

UTILITIES

  • Electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utilities are prohibited from terminations due to an  emergency order signed by Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille on Friday, March 13th. This will remain in place for as long as the Proclamation of Disaster, related to the Coronavirus, is in effect.
  • Comcast’s Internet Essentials program will be offered free for 60 days to new customers. Customers are eligible to receive Internet Essentials if they are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch program, Medicaid or SNAP and live in a Comcast service area. Furthermore, Comcast has pledged not to disconnect a customer’s service or impose late fees if they can’t pay their bills during the pandemic.

EDUCATION

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

  • FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

 

TALKING TO YOUTH ABOUT COVID-19

TIPS