Operation New Hope continues to serve established clients remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, and we are developing a plan to deliver future in-person services to serve new clients. In the meantime, we recognize that many are in need of other public health, social and financial resources. Please consult this continually updated listing for other needs during the crisis.
Local Information Regarding COVID-19
Contact the COVID Call Center at the Florida Department of Health at (866) 779-6121 or COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org if you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Stay home until further instruction.
The City of Jacksonville has set up drive-thru testing sites for COVID-19. Patients must complete a Telescope Health screening and receive a doctor’s order to be tested. Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can go to TelescopeHealth.com or download the Telescope Health app to complete the screening and receive an appointment.
- Feeding Northeast Florida is providing agencies with “Family Meal Kits” that contain shelf-stable food items, produce, and meat when available. Click here to see the full list of participating agencies.
- FoodFinder is a national website that shows low-income families when and where to get free food from their closest pantry. There is also a mobile app, search for “Food Finder- Fighting Hunger.”
- Text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find the closest participating Summer BreakSpot location with free meals available. Residents can also call 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator for additional information.
- Duval County Public Schools is handing out free, “Grab and Go” sack lunches and snacks at all DCPS schools from 11 am until 1 pm, Monday through Friday. You must have a child present in order to be given a lunch, but you do not have to go to your child’s specific school.
- If you or someone you know is in search of emergency childcare services, call the Early Learning Coalition of Duval County at (904) 208-2040 to find a provider who is still open and has available space. Or you can visit their website here.
- The YMCA is providing limited options for first responders’ childcare. They also are offering a SCHOOL’S OUT CAMP, with very limited seating, for healthy children, at the following YMCA locations: Dye Clay Family YMCA, Barco Newton YMCA, Ponte Vedra YMCA, duPont YMCA Youth Development Campus, YMCA Yulee Kids Campus, Flagler Center YMCA, YMCA at Flagler Health+ Village. For more details or to enroll online visit FCYMCA.org
- For students who may need internet access, Comcast is offering short-term free internet access for families that qualify. Find more details here.
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- Florida Blue and New Directions Behavioral Health have teamed up to offer a hotline to help Floridians deal with their anxiety over the COVID-19 crisis. Specially trained behavioral health counselors will answer the phone 24-hours a day and offer assistance in both English and Spanish. To receive assistance, please call 833-848-1762.
- Full Service Schools will continue to provide mental health therapists to DCPS students. The therapists are available via telehealth. If your child needs mental health services, contact their school to be put in touch with their therapist.
- Get support regarding your anxiety or stress by speaking to a trained counselor at SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or by texting TalkWithUS 66746.
- The Centers for Disease Control provides helpful information regarding mental health and coping during a disaster, including tips to reduce stress. Click here to read.
- JEA is suspending service disconnections for customers unable to pay their bills during the COVID-19 disaster. You should not have your power or water cut off for failure to pay. Click here for payment arrangements and payment extensions.
- Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to seniors. Click here to find services in your area.
- The Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) is available to assist seniors who are over 60 years old, and make less than 150 percent of the poverty level, catch up on their energy bills and prevent service disconnection. Seniors can receive benefits of up to $600 twice per year, which are paid directly to their energy provider. To apply for benefits, seniors, or persons who know seniors needing assistance, should call (904) 630-CITY and request EHEAP assistance.
- Aging True is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides a spectrum of services to seniors, including in home mental health care, therapy, and mobile health assessments. Call 904-807-7219 for information about their services, or click here visit their website.
Struggling Small Business Owners
- The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) provides a number of state and federal resources to communities, businesses and Floridians. In coordination with state and federal partners, resources are available to assist employers and individuals impacted by the state’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- Through the US Small Business Disaster Loan Assistance program, small business owners in Florida and Georgia, as well as many other states, are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here to apply.
- Click here to file an unemployment claim online.
- Or call 1-800-204-2418 to file a claim on the phone.
During any crisis, it’s important to guard against scams. Scams related to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are rapidly increasing as the public health emergency develops. Scammers are targeting older adults and those with serious long-term health conditions who appear to have a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
Fraudsters are attempting to bill Medicare for sham tests or treatments related to the coronavirus and are targeting individuals to illegally obtain money or Medicare numbers. Find out how you can stop COVID-19 Fraud, what Medicare covers in relation to COVID-19, and what other resources are available for seniors here: Covid-19 Consumer Tip Sheet.
Surviving Debt: Expert Advice For Getting Out of Financial Trouble is a comprehensive guide to navigating debt for consumers. We are here to answer questions and help. You can complete an online intake or call one of our offices.
Companies Overcharging/Price Gouging
Price Gouging Laws by State lists consumer protections in each state, including Florida, and is a good reference if you are experiencing overcharging during or because of the crisis. If you feel a vendor or merchant is engaging in price gouging you can file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s Office here.
If you are being subjected to illegal practices by a debt collector, student loan collector or your mortgage company, you can file a complaint with the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its complaint process is very simple and can be located at Consumer Complaint Database.
The National Consumer Law Center offers a wealth of consumer information for those experiencing pandemic-related problems at Covid-19 & Consumer Protections. The National Association of Consumer Advocates is an excellent resource of education and information and offers resources for consumers.
Thank you as always for allowing us to serve as your attorney, and please stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.
- 2-1-1 is a FREE service provided by United Way that connects area residents to critical health and social service resources when they need help. From help with a household bill, food assistance, or counseling for suicide prevention, United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. Just dial 211.
Many thanks to the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Kids Hope Alliance for compiling many of these resources.