COVID-19 Resources and Information
With the emergence of COVID-19, we know that this is a scary time, filled with anxiety, fear, racism, xenophobia, and a lot of misinformation. Now is the time to reject the drumbeat of anti-Chinese rhetoric and fear spread by White House officials and come together to support each other from a place of knowledge and power.
Below you will find a lot of information split into three sections with health and benefit eligibility resources for those who have been affected, actions you can take to help build power for our communities, and Ella Baker Center updates.
Overcrowded prisons, jails and the growing population of people impacted by homelessness have left too many people vulnerable to the worst effects of this disease. If state and local officials take swift action, they can prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside prisons, jails, and among unhoused citizens, and have an enormous impact on the wellness of communities across the country.
Please do share this page and its resources with your neighbors and friends because we know that #WeKeepUsSafe. You can find the content from this email to save, view, and share on our website here.
Thank you and remember to take care of both your physical and mental health.
The Ella Baker Center
The information below was compiled by Ella Baker Center staff using the resources and information sent to us from a variety of different organizations and coalitions. This page was last updated on March 30, 2020.
Take Care of Yourself
CA Governor Gavin Newsom put out this press release that discusses his executive order which delays the deadline for tax filing, waives waiting periods for unemployment and disability benefits, explains state efforts to assist CA workers, and has community guidance for home, offices, schools, and more.
Gov. Newsom's Executive Order on School Closures. The order provides that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, school districts must:
Safely provide school meals through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture
To the extent practicable, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hour
Continue to pay employees.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 updates
California Department of Public Health latest news
For Nonprofits in the Bay Area: APPLY FOR A GRANT FROM THE SFF COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND
Workers Rights in California
If your employment has been impacted, visit the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency website to review what benefits are available to you:
If you lost your job or had reduced hours for reasons related to COVID-19 you may qualify for unemployment insurance. File A Claim Here
If you are unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) you may qualify for Disability Insurance. File a claim here
If you or a family member are sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine you may qualify for paid sick leave. File a Claim Here
If you are unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) you may qualify for Paid Family Leave. File A Claim Here
COVID-19 EMERGENCY INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR JOBS, FOOD, HOUSING, PUBLIC BENEFITS, ETC.
(Information shared by the Public Defenders Office)
- Income: Know your rights if you cannot work
- State disability insurance and unemployment insurance can help right now for those eligible who can’t work or hours have been reduced. Refer to this Covid-19 specific info from the EDD, this helpful chart to show who qualifies for what, and a great FAQ from Legal Aid at Work. They also have virtual clinics and phone helplines listed here.
- Food: Where to get food for your children and you
- All Oakland Unified students and families and any Oakland residents under 18 can pick up free food at OUSD’s 12 pick up sites. Hayward Unified provides the same support here, Berkeley schools here, San Leandro Unified here, Fremont here. Anyone, especially those who are unhoused or elderly, can call the Alameda County Food Bank’s emergency food helpline. Seniors can also call a Meals on Wheels provider to sign up for food delivered daily -- county providers here.
- Public benefits: How to get and continue aid
- Eligible people can still apply for food stamps, GA, CalWorks, and other benefits right now. Our county’s social services agency is encouraging phone and online applications -- see here. The governor also issued an executive order allowing safety net programs to continue without interruption and without need for re-certifications for 90 days.
- Evictions, foreclosures and utilities
- The Alameda County Sheriff and Alameda County Superior Court have agreed to halt evictions in our county. Find an ongoing updated page about eviction policies across the Bay during Covid-19 from Bay Legal here. HUD also announced a 60-day moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages -- see here. And, PG&E implemented a moratorium on service disconnections due to non-payment -- see here.
- Alameda County provides healthcare to low-income people who are not eligible for Medi-Cal (such as undocumented people) through HealthPAC. Also, testing and treatment related to Covid-19 will not be considered in the USCIS public charge test -- see here. Resources in Spanish can be found here. Street Level Health Project: Hotline (510)306-4835, open M -F 8:30-5pm and has Mam and Spanish speakers to assist with applying for benefits (including HealthPAC) over the phone and online. They are also able to refer clients to a staff clinician for an over the phone assessment of symptoms and can make referrals to Highland Hospital.
- Mental Health, addiction and homelessness
- Mutual Aid (community volunteer support) and crow-sourced resources Disability Justice Culture Club East Bay help form, Oakland high risk matching project--here’s a flyer, Bay Area Covid-19 Mass Resource List
- Homeless Resources: Alameda County Healthcare for the Homeless Covid-19 guidance includes a phone number to call if someone is unhoused with symptoms. The state has already leased 2 Oakland hotels for high-risk and confirmed coronavirus cases of homeless folks--we’re staying updated on this. The Berkeley Free Clinic's Street Medicine Team, East Oakland Collective, and other community orgs are working hard to deliver sanitation stations and food to encampments.
- Oakland towing and parking: The city has suspended enforcement of most parking restrictions, metered parking, and time-limited parking. Most towing has been suspended also -- refer here.
- Can’t find what you’re looking for? The state government just created this https://covid19.ca.gov/
new website to be a one stop shop for all California specific updates and resources about the pandemic.
Information for immigrants: Press Release from USCIS.
USCIS says testing for the coronavirus "will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination" Read the full release here.
Coronavirus Resource Kit: Broken down by state, though not all states covered. From Equality Labs.
Learning to Live with Coronavirus: The Daily Podcast episode that covers public transportation, supermarkets, and more. (Link is with Spotify)
Get The Facts Straight: short video on Coronavirus. Information about the coronavirus outbreak is spreading fast, but what do we actually know about the illness? CBC News medical contributor and family physician Dr. Peter Lin breaks down the facts about what it is, where it came from, how it spreads and what you can do to protect yourself.
Take Action That Empowers
Contribute to support re-entry services
- (Medical) Transitions Clinic - Provides a patient-centered primary care medical home for chronically-ill people returning from prison. Donate here.
- (Material Needs) Bonafide - Bonafide meets people upon release at the prison gate and provide them with material necessities – like clothing toiletries, and a cellphone- as well as emotional and logistical support. Donate here.
- (Legal) Root & Rebound - is a nonprofit reentry legal resource & advocacy center that provides reentry legal expertise to individuals with past justice involvement, families with currently and formerly incarcerated loved ones, and community-based organizations and agencies. Donate here.
- (Housing) Home Coming Project at Impact Justice - The Homecoming Project is an innovative pilot program that provides daily subsidies to homeowners in exchange for providing living space to a person returning home from prison. The Project leverages extra living spaces within Alameda County to promote an additional transitional housing reentry option for people who have served lengthy prison terms, and who will benefit from an individually-tailored program attached to six months of housing. Donate here.
#StopCOVID19InJails - Our letter of demands in regards to Santa Rita Jail.
Evictions, homelessness, and renters rights
While the Oakland City Council is deploying hand sanitizer, tissues, trash baskets, disposable facemasks and mobile hand-washing stations to curbside communities, they have not put a moratorium on sweeps and encampment closures that could heighten the risk of exposure to people already vulnerable.
Call Mayor Libby Schaaf and urge her to immediately halt the sweeps, and upgrade all encampments with clean drinking water and sanitation services:
Contact (510) 238-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Call and email your City Council Member and urge them to support Council Member Nikki Fortunato Bas’ proposal to immediately halt the sweeps and upgrade all encampments with clean drinking water and sanitation services:
Prisons, Jails, and Detention
Taking Action for Health, Justice, and Belonging in the Age of COVID-19. From Human Impact Partners, a national public health non-profit
The Justice Collaborative Resources - COVID19: A national website with information, resources, and actions that you can take across the country.
Visits, including legal visits, suspended for 30 days.
Demands from Grassroots Organizers Concerning COVID-19 - Kelly Hayes and many more
As coronavirus spreads, the bill for our public health failures is due - Richard E. Besser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (The Washington Post)
Coronavirus: Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens - Healing Justice Podcast
Coronavirus, Climate Change, and Community Care - Susan Raffo
In order to take proactive steps to protect staff and community members, the Ella Baker Center office will be closed and we are cancelling all events and space reservations in the Restore Oakland building for the next month or so, or until April 15th, 2020.
We will be organizing digital meetings and gatherings via Zoom during this time. Please check the Ella Baker Center events page.