How to Help and Get Help as Cities, States Continue to Fight COVID-19

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NBC New York

As COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. for a second time, there's a lot of confusion and anxiety surrounding the outbreak with millions still unemployed.

If you need help, or if you would like to help those in need, NBC New York has gathered all the official resources below.

In addition to the CDC Foundation launching a crowdfunding campaign to expand the agency's public health response to the coronavirus, there are many other local organizations and government agencies working to help individuals and businesses:

(Note: This list will continue to update as more resources become available.)



  • Text COVID to 692-692 to be enrolled in Notify NYC and get the latest updates on the coronavirus in New York City. You can also text COVIDESP to the same number and get the updates in Spanish.
  • The New York State Department of Health has also set up a hotline to answer all your questions about the coronavirus at 1-888-364-3065.
  • Additionally, the State of New York set up a hotline if you need to speak with a mental health professional at 1-844-863-9314.


A new web application aims to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them during their time of need, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Nov. 16.

The application, developed through a public-private partnership with, is a user-friendly social services discovery application that aims to help individuals who are either new to or unfamiliar with the state's social programs network, the state says.

The "Find Services" web application has an easy-to-navigate user interface. The web application asks each user series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services that are best designed to assist them in their needs. After answering the questions, the user is given a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help them choose the service that is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.

To find the services needed, visit New York's new web application by clicking here.

Feeding America recently revealed that more than 50 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020 due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Kate Leone joined LX News from the organization to explain how one missed paycheck can put a family at risk of food scarcity and why children are being hit especially hard by the crisis.


  • New York City's COVID-19 food distribution resources
  • Free Food NYC map
  • Citymeals is working with the New York City Department for the Aging to deliver meals to senior residents. Click here to see if you or your loved ones are eligible. You can also help by volunteering or donating.
  • God's Love We Deliver is providing medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. You can also help by volunteering or donating.
  • New York City unveiled a $170 million plan to help feed New Yorkers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-faceted plan includes: Hiring 11,000 TLC drivers to deliver meals; earmarking $50 million for an emergency food supply; and pledging to provide PPE to grocery store workers.
  • For any city residents in need of food or require help getting food delivered, visit


  • New York state has waived the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. Click here to learn more about how to file a UI claim.
  • For businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 8 that the City will provide relief for small businesses. Click here to see if you're eligible and complete an interest form.
  • The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation has started a Coronavirus emergency relief fund to provide zero-interest loans to businesses as well as helping out workers facing economic hardships or health crises.
  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams say business owners can join the Small Business Hotline channel on the Brooklyn App to get help on business relief. For individual concerns, you can fill out this form to the Brooklyn Borough Hall and request help.
  • Brooklyn Borough has also set up the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund to help out vulnerable residents.
  • New York launched a new online training platform aimed at helping unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers during the ongoing pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers all for free. The new training tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs focusing on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care. New Yorkers interested in participating in a course can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • If you were laid off, re-hired and are now worried about possible impending shutdowns impacting your job and being out of work again, you might be able to resume your unemployment benefits and essentially pick up where you left off. Here's a quick guide to learning about unemployment benefits.


  • Amid a rise in reported harassment and verbal/physical assaults (especially of Asian Americans) as coronavirus spread, New York Attorney General Letitia James launched a hotline to report hate crimes and bias-based incidents. You can email, or call 1-800-771-7755.
With the growing number of COVID-19 cases, there is also growing food insecurity among people hit hard financially by the pandemic, and donations to local food banks are down during a time when they are usually going up. NBC New York's Sarah Wallace reports.





  • The state website assists people in determining if they are eligible for food or cash aid due to their financial circumstances.
  • According to a recent report, due to the crisis the state has suspended work requirements usually in place to be eligible for these programs.
  • To learn more go to; New Jersey WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is allowing remote access to benefits and additional food items



  • Jersey City’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is working in conjunction with Hudson County officials to secure three local hotels as temporary housing for the chronic homeless; Those hotels will help people self-quarantine and act as isolation setting for those who have tested positive
  • Jersey City also expanded its shower service for the homeless in Journal Square, opening shower trailers from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday; each user receives a personal hygiene kit to further these efforts
  • Visit to see if you are eligible for any of the state's housing assistance programs
  • Eviction Protection: During the public health emergency, individuals cannot be removed as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding
  • You may be able to request mortgage payment forbearance for up to 90 days


Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst with the National Employment Law Project, talks about the impact of the federal stimulus checks amid pandemic and how the economy could further tailspin if the assistance package isn't extended by Congress.





  • Business Emergency Response Unit has created a dedicated phone line at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut's small businesses.
  • Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Organizations can apply for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses.
  • Unemployment assistance: click here to see details on unemployment benefits if you've lost your job due to COVID-19.




  • If you have any questions or concerns about fair housing protection, or believe you have experienced discrimination in housing, please call the Center at (860) 247-4400 or (888) 247-4401 (toll free), or email
  • Click here for information on Connecticut's homelessness response during the coronavirus pandemic.
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