COVID 19 Resources
COVID 19 Resources

Our commitment to the well-being of our customers and our local communities remains as strong as ever 

We will continue to update the resources and information below with the latest we have available.

Stay well Niagara - we are in this together!

 

May 12th, 2021-  EMERGENCY BROADBAND (INTERNET) BENEFIT PROGRAM 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. Under the law, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year. For more information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help raise awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The materials below are available for public use. You can download and customize the materials to meet your needs, including by adding your logo to co-brand.

As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting sort byGetEmergencyBroadband.org.

To learn more about the program or to become a partner visit www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

 

 

March 12th, 2021-

NYS Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Granting Employees Time off for COVID Vaccine

-Under this new law, employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued. This legislation becomes effective immediately.

To schedule a vaccine appointment through Niagara County click here or call the NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829) 7AM-10PM 7 days a week.

Appointments go quickly, check back or call frequently

For a list of other vaccine sites click here.

Resources:

Latest Updates:

Home with the kids?  Here are some activity ideas!

COVID-19 A-Z Resources
A

Anger Management Virtual Group

Mondays 5:30 - 6:30pm. This class will help those that are mandated or who want to learn a new skill set to better control and manage their anger. Provided by Independent Living of Niagara County. RSVP or call (716) 836-0822, ext: 208

"Are you OK?"

Is a free well-check service for Niagara County residents provided by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and the Lewiston Police Department.

These daily, timed phone calls to a resident's cell phone or landline will help to confirm the resident is ok.

(716) 754-8477 to sign up for this free service.

C

Catholic Charities COVID-19 Hotline

Phone: (716) 218-1419

Between 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., a Catholic Charities staff member is available to discuss mental health and substance abuse counseling; make arrangements to obtain food from one of the organization’s nine food pantries; or seek assistance with housing, utilities or other related basic living needs.  

Childcare for Essential Workers

Childcare for Essential Workers with school-aged children in the Lockport area, provided by Cornerstone CFCU Arena and Youth Mentoring Services.

The Community Child Care Clearinghouse of Niagara can assist families of essential workers that are in need of childcare assistance. Call the Clearinghouse Hotline at (716) 285-8572 x109 or x105 for help finding childcare in your area.

Clothing Closets

Wear N' Share 4061 Creek Road, Youngstown, NY  Sun & Mon 11am-1pm and Wed 11am-1pm & 5pm-7pm

Crisis Services

Phone: (716) 285-3515 in Niagara County

p>There is Help - There is Hope.  Contact our 24 hour hotline for free confidential support and guidance in accessing the most appropriate resources and/or treatment options available to you based on your needs.

D

DMV

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) * License and Inspection renewal deadlines expiring March 1st, 2020 or after have been extended indefinitely at this time.

For NIAGARA COUNTY residents ONLY:

Domestic Violence

If you are in immediate danger call 911

You are not alone, you are not trapped because of Coronavirus and your have to stay in a dangerous situation....Let us help!      Confidential.....24 hours

In Niagara County call (716) 433-6716 for the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier's 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline.

New York State text line  text (844) 997-2121

E

EPIC

Every Person Influences Children has launched a YouTube channel for families to utilize during quarantine.

"We are asking so much of parents right now," says Tara N. Burgess, Executive Director. "If EPIC can alleviate any stress for them, we want to do so."

The channel features a variety of educational content as part of EPIC Academy, a comprehensive set of activities ranging from STEM topics to Storytime, literacy, art, nature, health and wellnessspecial education and Common Core. also is the start of a podcast-style series, "Kitchen Table Talks", designed to connect with community experts on varying topics.

F

Feed More WNY

Meals on Wheels and  Food Bank of WNY (716) 852-1305

Financial "Checkup" and advice

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Buffalo is offering free financial checkups by phone and encourages all those concerned with their financial issues to call (716) 712-2060 or visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org

  • Virtual Workshop Wed. May 6th @ 1pm
  • Protecting your Financial Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Learn about Relief Options and Benefits you may be eligible for and Personal Finance tips.
  • To register:  please email [email protected] 
  • Presented by Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo

Food access during COVID-19 outbreak

  • Compiled by Cornell Cooperative Extension, Niagara County

Food Pantry Map for the City of Niagara Falls *You are encouraged to call before going to be sure they are open*

  • Lockport Food Pantries: Call for times
  • NIACAP - 80 Washburn St., Lockport, NY 14094.........433-6632
  • The Salvation Army Worship -50 Cottage St. ..............434-1276
  •  Grace Episcopal Church - 100 Genesee St. ..................433-2878
  • North Tonanwanda Food Pantry:  100 Ridge Road, North Tonawanda, NY 14120   Monday - Friday  10am - 12:30pm
  • Ransomville / Sanborn / Youngstown / Lewiston :  Care and Share Food Pantry, 3628 Ransomville Rd. Ransomville, NY 14131. Tuesday 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm / Thursday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm / Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Little Free Pantry locations in the greater Buffalo area...."take what you need, leave what you can"
H

Headspace

NYS is partnering with Headspace to provide FREE mindfulness, meditation, and mental health resources to all New Yorkers. 

Healthy NY

New York State of Health - special enrollment period extended for uninsured individuals in need of health insurance due to Covid-19.

By phone at 1-855-355-5777 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220) or nystateofhealth.ny.gov 

*If you recently lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus*

Some Healthcare options the Career Center has been made aware of:

Housing questions/concerns - The State's Homes and Community Renewal Agency has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page with information about housing issues for tenants, landlords and homeowners.

* Governor has extended the "pause" on evictions due to Covid-related hardships until August 20th*

I

Individuals with Disabilities

What is the COVID-19 impact on your benefits and work incentives? 

Our Disability Resource Coordinator/Benefits Advisor is available to assist you. Contact Marilyn by EMAIL or Phone at (716) 278-1695.

At-a-glance documents from Neighborhood Legal Services:

Insurance

Many companies are providing relief to their customers during this pandemic, including; Allstate, FarmersState Farm. Check with your Agent or Customer Service representative to see what relief you may be eligible for, and if there's anything you need to do to receive them.

Internet

FREE internet for students provided by Charter Spectrum

Households with students K–12 or university students can sign up for a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.

Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.

J

See who is hiring - JOBS!!!  

K

Know Your Rights - what special programs and protections have been put in place to help you?

L

Life Insurance premiums

The Governor announced on 3/27/20 that for a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums.  

Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.) 

M

Mental Health HOTLINE

We can't underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to get free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider.

Mortgage Assistance

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Buffalo has Certified Financial Counselors available by phone to assist with the various options available. (716) 712-2060

My Benefits

to apply for SNAP- nutrition assistance, HEAP- heating assistance, Temporary Income Assistance

N

Neighborhood Legal Services

Is still assisting people by phone with many civil legal issues. They can help with domestic violence and other family law matters; health insurance; government benefits/SNAP/shelter/benefits counseling; Social Security disability/SSI hearings; and evictions/housing conditions/housing discrimination matters. To request legal services, please call: Niagara County (716) 284-8831 and Erie County (716) 847-0650. Neighborhood Legal Services has provided a COVID-19 helpful resources flyer.

NFTA

NFTA Fares suspended on all NFTA Metro Bus and Rail services. Riders temporarily ride for FREE

Niagara County Restaurants

Niagara County Restaurants providing take-out and delivery service  Support Local! (compiled by Niagara County Department of Health)

NYS Paid Family Leave

P

Paid Sick Leave

Person Center Services COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Private College Tuition Assistance

Students attending five area private colleges (Hilbert, Canisius, Daemen, Houghton and St. Bonaventure) are eligible for assistance of up to $250 in COVID-19 emergency relief funds from the SAGE scholars, who have pledged $100,000 to aid students attending any of its more than 400 colleges and universities. Students who want to apply should contact their school's financial aid office.

R

Red Cross

Virtual Family Assistance Center for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19

The American Red Cross is operating a virtual Family Assistance Center to provide comfort and support, information and referrals for New York State families that have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The virtual Family Assistance Center will link families to crisis counselors who will provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as information and referrals to help them navigate the challenging process they might be facing as a result of their loved one’s death.

Families (or friends of a family) who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 can fill out an online intake form, and a Family Assistance Center volunteer will contact them:

RENT

The Governor has extended the "pause" on evictions due to Covid-related hardships until August 20th. (5/7/20)

RESUME SERVICES

NO COST ways to create a professionally designed new resume or improve on your current one.  Let us help you put your best foot forward!

S

SNAP benefits

As of 4/10, those enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) who are not yet receiving the maximum benefit will receive an additional payment to bring them up to this amount in March and April. The supplemental benefits will be issued in April and delivered directly to recipients' existing EBT accounts.

NOTE:  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is automatically extending certain TA/MA/SNAP and SNAP only recertifications scheduled to expire in March, April and May for a period of three (3) months - see FLYERfor more information

SNAP-Ed

For money saving food, meals, recipes, and nutrition ideas, including "Food Planning During The Corona Virus Pandemic"   SNAP-Education Newsletter for April 2020

Stimulus Checks

What can you expect?? Here are some FAQs

Student Loan Borrowers

Those borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services' website for more information about available student loan relief.

T

Tax Day

Both the Federal and NYS tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 15th, 2020

Questions about free tax assistance? Try these two agencies (you will likely need to leave a voicemail message);

  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services - (716) 712-2060
  • Niagara University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - (716) 286-7328
  • Or try this free online tax preparation program through the United Way
U

US Census

Shaping Niagara County's future! - If you have not already done so, please complete your 2020 US Census ONLINE or by phone at 1 (844) 330-2020 from 8am - 10pm EST  [español 1 (844) 468-2020]

Utilities relief assistance

National Grid - On March 13th we temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardships for our customers. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when we will evaluate their continued need. National Grid is also not charging late payment charges. 

National Fuel - is waiving late charges for people impacted by this pandemic.

NYSEG- To assist customers that have fallen on hard times as a result of the coronavirus they announced last month that they would temporarily suspended shut-offs and late fees associated with non-payments. If you find yourself suffering a hardship, you are encouraged to contact their customer service team to make arrangements that may assist you. 

W

WIC

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program which supports pregnat women, post-partum women, breast feeding women, infants and children up to age 5, providing nutrition assistance.

WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund

The current state of emergency caused by COVID-19 has profoundly impacted Western New York’s creative industry. With the cancellation of performances, workshops, gigs, and more, artists and arts and cutural organizations who rely on event-based income are losing revenue that is essential to continue their operations. So, the goal is simple: to ensure that our rich and diverse arts sector withstands this crisis. 

The application for Individuals OR Art Organizations will open on Friday, May 1.   FAQs