Ward 6 Updates and Resources Around Coronavirus Shutdowns
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Best resource for updated information: https://coronavirus.dc.gov
Information on DC Government Service Operations: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/whats-open
What should I do?
Stay away from groups of people and cancel events or meetings or move them to phone calls or other distance-based forms. Stay home. You can certainly go outside for a walk, run, or bike ride. But please observe spacing and be careful about touching surfaces. We know it's hard for a whole lot of reasons. But it is the best thing we can each do to help slow the spread of the virus, which will help avoid overwhelming our hospitals and medical professionals. Even if you are a healthy, young person unafraid of the effects, as a carrier, you can spread the disease to others who might be more vulnerable. Second, younger, healthier people are not immune to getting a serious dose of the novel coronavirus. Please take this very seriously.
Keep washing your hands, face, and wiping down surfaces regularly touched. Use soap whenever you can rather than hand sanitizer. Soap is more effective than anti-bacterial hand sanitizer at eliminating the virus from surfaces or hands. Here's information from the CDC on the virus and how to stay healthy.
Buy the groceries and supplies you need, but leave enough for your neighbors.
Resources for Students:
NEW LOCATIONS!!! Here's a list of every location in Ward 6 serving free meals for students. Click here for all locations citywide.
- DC Central Kitchen is opening sites serving grab-n-go breakfast and lunch daily, and distributing fresh produce while supplies last each day. In Ward 6, find them at Banning Courts Community Center (1713 Banning Road, NE Monday-Friday from 12-1 pm) and The Pentacle Community Center (1509 Banning Rd, NE Monday-Friday 2:15-3:15 pm)
- Jefferson Middle School (801 7th St., SW)
- Eastern High School (1700 East Capitol Street, NE)
- Walker-Jones Education Campus (1125 New Jersey Avenue, NW)
- Howard University Middle School of Math and Science PCS (outside of Shaw Metro) | 12-1 pm Monday-Friday
- Friendship Chamberlain PCS (1345 Potomac Avenue, SE) | 8:30-11:30 am
- Kingsman Academy PCS (1375 E Street, SE) | ***Beginning March 23, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. M-F
- Full list: https://dcps.dc.gov/coronavirus
**These meals are available for ALL students, regardless of what school they attend. There is no need to present a student ID.**
I know many Ward 6 families also have DC Public Charter School students. Each school makes its own decision, but almost every school has followed the same guidance.
Free Internet Service for Low-Income Families, Seniors, and Veterans: Passing on this offer from Comcast that is offering two months free for the Internet Essentials service for low-income families, seniors, and veterans. Learn more here.
Resources for Seniors:
For all questions around senior services and to sign-up for meal delivery, call 202-724-5626.
Dept of Aging and Community Living remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31.DACL will continue to provide critical services to District seniors, such as meals.
DACL’s Information & Referral/Assistance line (202) 724-5626 will continue to operate Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
DACL’s Adult Protective Services (APS) hotline (202) 541-3950 will continue to operate 24 hours a day, to accept reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
Adult Day Health Centers remain open. Please contact (202) 724-5626 for the most up-to-date information.
Senior Wellness Centers and community dining sites will be temporarily closed for activities effective Monday, March 16 - 31, 2020. However, meals will be available for pick-up at each site between Monday - Friday, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for current participants. Please call (202) 724-5626 for the most up-to-date information.
Resources for our Ward 6 Senior Residents Food
My staff have been checking in on seniors around Ward 6. I want to thank family members and neighbors who have been helping with errands or groceries.
The following grocery stores have set up seniors-only hours when the store is open to minimize the risk of exposure for our senior residents who still need to go to the store:
Giant Food: Customers 60 and older, as well as those with compromised immune systems, can shop 6 a.m. - 7 a.m. Regular store hours for everyone else.
Safeway: Special two hour shopping window on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 am for senior citizens, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Regular store hours: 5 am to 12 am.
Whole Foods: Check local stores for adjusted hours. Customers 60 and older can shop one hour before opening. The Ward 6 location on H Street has set aside 7-8 am daily for senior residents.
Harris Teeter: Harris Teeter has not yet announced any special hours. Stores will close daily at 9 p.m. so employees can restock and clean.
Trader Joe's: Trader Joe's hasn't announced special shopping hours. All stores are set to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Walmart: Walmart has adjusted hours for all stores, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Tuesdays from March 28 to April 28, the stores will host special shopping times for customers age 60 and older. They can come to the store one hour before it opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will be open at that time.
Target: The first hour of the store opening every Wednesday is set aside for seniors and others with compromised immune systems.
The Department on Aging and Community Living has set up a dedicated phone number for seniors with questions or looking to sign-up for meal delivery: 202-724-5626.
Here's some information on meals and food available or coming online shortly. If you have a senior neighbor who might not be online, feel free to print out this information and share:
1) Daily meal pick-up at the Hayes Center (500 K Street, NE) is available Monday-Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, as well as boxed lunches available daily at the normal senior meal sites. Previously scheduled home-delivered meals are continuing as usual.
2) Hot meal pickup from Southeast White House is at 12pm -- 2909 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. No ID required.
3) The Capital Area Food Bank has shelf-ready food for free pickup at 900 North Capitol (front of St. Aloysius Church) starting March 18, Monday-Thursday from 1:30-4:00 pm. Call (202) 842-1112 for more information.
4) There's an exercise program on Channel 16 from 9am-3pm for the general public and healthy seniors.
5) The Department on Aging and Community Living social workers, including Adult Protective Services, are on duty regular hours. Seabury Resources, Ward 6's Lead Agency for social workers and other services, are also on-call at (202) 397-1725.
Food, Grocery, & Diapers Assistance
A few of our nonprofit community partners are open and working hard to provide free groceries to residents who need help. DC Greens does a wonderful weekly newsletter on both food resources and volunteer opportunities: sign-up here.
H Street Food Drive for Ward 5-6 Neighbors: Contactless food/groceries available for neighbors who need some extra assistance. They also offer contactless food delivery for anyone in the area that needs it, especially elderly, single parents, those with special needs.
Pick up at Maketto: 1351 H Street, NE
Monday – Saturday: 7:30am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 7:30am -5pm
If in need of delivery assistance text 202-681-3532.
Want to help? Drop off or Send Non-Perishable Food Deliveries To:
Attention: H ST. NE FOOD DRIVE
1351 H ST. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Send all monetary donations To:
Capital Area Food Bank: To find a distribution site near you, use the Interactive Partner Map on this page: https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response/
CAFB Partner Sites in or near Ward 6:
- Father McKenna Center (900 North Capitol St., NW): 1:30-4 pm Monday-Thursday
- DC Central Kitchen (425 Second St NW, Washington, DC, 20001) 202-400-2804: 7 Days A week, 8:30 am to 4 pm
Martha's Table: Check here for Martha Table's ongoing community grocery distribution and ways to get connected.
Free Daily Meals for Residents Who Aren't Seniors or Students:
Daily, free prepackaged meal at Ebenezer's Coffee Shop from 1-1:30 pm. 2nd and F St., NE
DC Dream Center/ SouthEast White House at 2909 Pennsylvania Ave, SE. (This is Ward 7). Food available 7 days a week from noon until the food runs out.
Partners with Greater DC Diaper Bank Giving Away Diapers and Supplies: Check out info on each provider and how to get in touch for supplies. https://greaterdcdiaperbank.org/our-programs/diaperhubs/
Ward 6 Business and Employee Help
Small businesses and most nonprofit organizations in D.C. are now eligible for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Loans can be for up to $2 million and can be used for payroll and to pay existing debts and expenses. The SBA will only provide these loans if the SBA determines that the applicant can’t get credit anywhere else. SBA says that during the COVID-19 emergency the interest rate for small businesses will be 3.75% and 2.75% for nonprofits. The term of the loan will depend on the applicant’s situations but can be for up to 30 years to keep payments affordable. The SBA has more information specific to its COVID-19 response here, and small businesses and nonprofits can apply here. SBA’s website notes that they are receiving a high volume of applications, and the Mayor has noted that small businesses and nonprofits in the District should consider applying before other states become eligible.
Shared Work Programs
The Mayor announced that the Department of Employment Services has set up a Shared Work program that can provide benefits for employees at businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information and employers can apply to set up a Shared Work plan on the DOES website. Briefly, the program allows businesses that have lost revenue, and cannot continue to pay all of its employees, to reduce all employees’ hours instead of letting anyone go. Additionally, businesses will be able to re-hire anyone who worked for them in the last quarter and create a Shared Work plan that includes the re-hired employees. Those employees, in turn, can receive partial unemployment benefits—in addition to a reduced paycheck from their employer. To be eligible, businesses must be reducing employees’ hours by at least 10%, but not more than 60%.
For example, if a restaurant would otherwise have to fire half of its staff, because the revenue from delivery and takeout aren’t enough to keep paying everyone, the restaurant can instead reduce all employees’ hours by half and continue to keep them on the payroll. In this example, the employees participating in a Shared Work plan would receive (a) half of their usual paycheck + (b) half of the unemployment benefits that they would be eligible for if they were fired + (c) the $600 weekly benefit that Congress recently authorized.
Starting Friday, April 24, independent contractors and self-employed District residents should be eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance. As part of the Federal CARES Act, the District was able to expand eligibility for unemployment insurance. Check out the graphic to the right (or click here) to learn what you need to do to receive benefits.
In March, the Council passed legislation to dramatically expand eligibility for unemployment insurance. As you can imagine, a lot of people are applying and having some challenges getting through. Our office is working to assist and the Department of Employment Services has put together some helpful resources:
- Here's what you need to apply: https://does.dc.gov/service/unemployment-compensation-process
- Checklist if you are eligible: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/DOES-covid-19-scenarios-and-benefits_v13_0.pdf
- Direct link to application (recommended from a laptop or desktop using Internet Explorer): https://www.dcnetworks.org/vosnet/Default.aspx
- DOES Instructional Webinars: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/does-covid-19-webinar-tickets-101243052696
- FAQ for Employees: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/Coronavirus%20FAQ%20for%20Employees_v4.pdf
- FAQ for Employers: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/Coronavirus%20FAQ%20for%20Employers_v4.pdf
Right now, independent contractors and self-employed residents are not eligible for unemployment insurance (“UI”). That could change if the federal government makes Disaster Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”) available. DUA will be available if the president declares a national disaster, which he has not done yet, or Congress could potentially make DUA available through legislation, which also has not happened yet. We will keep an eye on changes at the federal level, but the District is in position to take advantage of DUA as soon as it is available. The Council’s emergency legislation gives the Mayor the power to take advantage of DUA for self-employed residents and independent contractors, and the District’s Department of Employment Services already has notified the federal Department of Labor that the District would apply for DUA for our residents if it becomes available. More information about DUA is available here.
Electricity, Gas, Internet, and Water Utility Resources
The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia has a great resource page for residents: https://dcpsc.org/Coronavirus.aspx
Support Local Restaurants with Takeout or Delivery
Nearly every local BID or Main Street program is running a list of businesses in that neighborhood offering takeout or delivery. Our restaurant industry was one of the first to take a huge hit from social distancing. As much as you can, try to support when you can!
Mt. Vernon Triangle Restaurant Listings
Barracks Row Restaurants
Eastern Market - Capitol Hill
Volunteer and Help Your Neighbors
Neighbors are stepping up in a big way right now to help with everything from errand running to help with emergency supplies.
Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network: The Hill Rag has a great profile about the Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network and includes how to contact and support at the bottom of the story.
Table Church DC: Table Church DC has a central organizing effort for healthy adults who can assist with running errands and meeting other needs. Start here.
District of Columbia Medical Reserve Corps: Supports the DC Department of Health with medical and non-medical volunteers assisting with planned events and emergencies. More than 3,000 District residents have already applied. Learn more here if this sounds like a way you can assist.
Marriage Licenses In the Time of Coronavirus
Love doesn't take a break and you can still get a marriage license in an emergency. Here's how.