|The circumstances of the last few weeks have been at once heart wrenching and inspiring.
We’d like to thank all those working to assist the most needy at this time, most especially our health care workers who put their lives at risk daily. But there are also the teachers who have scrambled to bring their classes online, the store keepers arranging deliveries for the elderly, and all the many volunteers contributing in the ways they can.
The number one thing we can all do is a maintain a minimum social distance of six feet to lessen the load on our health care system.
And please remember to fill out the census today if you have not already done so! It will take you 5 minutes.
This is the third of our coronavirus emails to our membership. Due to an ever-changing list of resources, and advice we will continue to forward information as it comes to us. The content of previous emails is posted on our website www.northprospectheights.org.
The following new information is a selection from the Mayor’s Office for Community Affairs, our local elected officials Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, Assembly Member JoAnne Simon, and District Leader Olaniki Alabi, as well as Community Boards 6 and 8. Thanks also to the NYPD Community Affairs, Prospect Heights Mutual Aid Group and The Sara Smith Garnet PTO for their resource guides, and the North Flatbush Business Improvement District for its resources and updates.
Please stay healthy and well!
The North Prospect Heights Association board
For all the ways NYers can get and help with all issues related to COVID-19, NYC has established a new website.
NYC DOH’s COVID-19 website includes recent guidance and case data.
Sara Smith Garnet Parents Teachers Association has assembled a comprehensive resource guide for Prospect Heights parents.
Prospect Heights & Surrounding Areas Mutual Aid / Services group has formed to help provide support for neighbors. To sign up to volunteer or to help identify a need fill out this form.
For any questions about symptoms, or to get tested for the coronavirus, call your primary care provider or an urgent care center. Please remember to call before visiting. If you do not have a primary care provider, NYS’s hotline is 1-888-364-3065, or call 311. Symptoms of COVID-19 can be found here.
NYC COVID-19 Engagement Portal is available in 11 languages and allows New Yorkers to self-report COVID-19 information and will help NYC both better communicate with affected people and identify areas that may need enhanced response. Inputs are confidential. People without internet access or who need help can call 311.
General guidance for all New Yorkers, including information on best practices if someone in your household is sick can be found here.
Emotional support services are available. New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling. Prospect Heights psychotherapist Christine Schmidt is offering free zoom support groups limited to 10 participants twice weekly throughout April. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info and a zoom invitation.
The MTA is running essential service only so health care workers, first responders, and other essential personnel can get where they need to go. They are running as much service as they can with the crews who are healthy and available to work, but service on many lines is limited.
From the MTA: Please: If you’re not traveling for work related to an Essential Business, or for urgent personal business like a medical appointment, do not use the subway or take the bus. We need to keep our limited capacity available for people who must travel.
Citbike offers free 30-day memberships for critical workforce response to COVID-19.
Senior Centers are phasing out grab and go meals. Meals will be delivered instead. Seniors should call their local senior center for more information. The Senior Center Meal Provision is here.Schools
The New York City Department of Education is committed to making three free meals available daily for all NYC children.
- Beginning March 23, meals will be distributed at more than 400 sites across the city.
- Three meals a day, including breakfast, will be available to all NYC children
- Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at locations across the city.
- Use DOE’s site lookup tool to find a location near you!
Lack of access to telephones and the internet are hurdles for many. Reach out to us, local community boards 2, 6 and 8 or the offices of our elected officials for information or to direct assistance.
Invisible Hands Deliver
Free deliveries for the most at-risk community members facing COVID-19.
St. John’s Bread & Life
Wholesome meals and cooking education to our most needy neighbors.
For an updated list of soup kitchens and food pantries by borough follow this link.
Plentiful has a free application for Android phones from which you can find a pantry, manage reservations and get food faster to avoid waiting in line. If you don’t have an Android phone, text “FOOD” to PANTRY (726-879)
Donate personal protective equipment (PPE) as an individual or a business by visiting this site or calling 833-NYC-0040.
Food and non-medical donations can be made by visiting this site or calling 833-NYC-0040.
Drivers needed! NYC is recruiting TLC-licensed drivers through DeliveryTLC to help with work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults. Drivers will be paid $15 plus costs.
CONCERNS ABOUT RENT
The New York Times reports up to 40% of tenants may have difficulty paying their rent this month. Advocates recommend that if you are struggling, please communicate openly with your landlord about any loss of income. You can ask if they are willing to offer any concession or delayed rent payment. Please only sign agreements you can fulfill.
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Know Your Tenant and Homeowner Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic
New York City Housing Authority’s rent hardship policy is available here.
The City has published an overview of options available at this time for those having difficulty paying their rent.
We are keeping an eye on any future legislation that may be passed related to rent obligations. For potential avenues to advocate, see below.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
The North Flatbush Business Improvement District posts an ongoing list of open businesses on its website. It also has tips for how to support small local businesses and resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
For a general list of Prospect Heights businesses that are open and closed, visit prospectheightsbk.com. From this site you can also reach Prospect Heights Virtual Tip Jar and Prospect Heights Small Business Relief Fund.
New York City’s assistance and guidance for businesses impacted due to novel coronavirus can be found here.
NYPD Domestic Violence Unit advises when living with an abuser, a plan for safety can be the difference between life and death. While practicing social distancing, consider creating or updating your safety plan.
If you can, always have a phone within reach.
Let friends and neighbors who you trust, know what is going on inside your home.
Remember that there are domestic violence officers in every precinct across the city available to offer you guidance and support.
If you or anyone you know are in an unsafe situation, call 911.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING REGULATIONS
Alternate Side Parking regulations will be suspended citywide until April 14th, 2020. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.
In response to COVID-19, the Housing Justice for All Coalition (HJ4A) is calling for a rent, mortgage and utility suspension. It is circulating a petition to support its call. As part of that coalition, Crown Heights Tenants Union holds weekly Thursday night calls to discuss the eviction moratorium, how to fight for a 90-day Rent Suspension, and how to organize buildings during and after the crisis. For information.
The Metropolitan Council on Housing is a tenants’ rights membership organization made up of New York City tenants. It’s 24-hour telephone hotline 1- 212-979-0611 is open.
Vocal NY’s advocacy centers on some of the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19, including the homeless, those with drug related problems and the incarcerated.