Weekly Resources Update: Food Distribution, Local COVID-19 Self Testing Kiosks, State Rent and Mortgage Relief Program Updates, Employment Assistance and More
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
January 8, 2021--Each week, the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) highlights new and existing resources to support individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis or those in need.
We encourage residents and faith-based and nonprofit organizations to share these resources with their neighbors and networks. You can also learn about and share the latest resources and news by following DCHS on Facebook or Twitter or subscribing to the Spanish Language Text Line by texting ALEXINFOESP to 888777.
ALIVE! Food Distribution on Saturday, January 9, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m., in Two Locations
ALIVE! will distribute food to City of Alexandria residents at two drive-through sites on Saturday, January 9, 8:30-10:30 a.m., in the parking lots of Cora Kelly (3600 Commonwealth Ave.) and parking lot B-1 of Northern Virginia Community College – Alexandria Campus (off Dawes Ave.; view map). Drive-through encouraged whenever possible for contactless distribution. Walk-ups are welcome and should maintain 6 feet social distance, wear a face mask, and bring carts or bags to carry food home. For the latest information on ALIVE! food distributions, visit alive-inc.org. Learn more about other resources for food assistance.
Alexandria COVID-19 Testing Kiosks Now Available
The City and Alexandria Health Department launched free kiosk-based COVID-19 testing sites on Thursday, January 7, in an effort to expand access to testing. The testing kiosks significantly increase access to free testing with multiple locations and daily schedules, replacing weekly community testing events. The kiosks, operated by Curative, provide self-administered testing swabs under the supervision of a Curative worker from inside a kiosk. All tests are free regardless of insurance or immigration status, and do not require government identification. Participants will be asked for insurance information if available so that insurance providers can be billed, but no co-pay from participants will be required. Walk-up testing is available, although appointments are encouraged and may be made at Curative.com. Kiosk service is available in English and Spanish. Curative testing kiosks are open at the following locations and times:
Updates and Deadlines for Rent and Mortgage Relief Program for Landlords
The current deadline for landlords to apply for the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, to cover overdue rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended to January 25. Applications that have not yet been submitted can now include requests to cover January rent payments. Previously submitted applications are also eligible to include January rent through a contract amendment process. Virginia Housing is working quickly to review submitted applications so that renters or landlords may request January rent coverage. Beginning on or before February 1, a new application will be available for new landlord submissions only. The same eligibility requirements must be met to qualify. Households that have already been approved do not need to submit a new application. Those seeking coverage for January rent who have already submitted an application should use the contract amendment process. Alexandria landlords who have residents in need of rental assistance should contact Virginia Housing at RMRP@VirginiaHousing.com for assistance, or visit virginiahousing.com/rmrp.
As a reminder, homeowners and renters can also apply directly for assistance by taking a survey to determine if they are eligible, or submit a new application online or by phone at 703.962.1884. Alexandria residents who have received eviction notices should call the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990 for assistance. Residents impacted by COVID-19 should call 703.746.5700 or text 703.346.5599 to determine eligibility for rental assistance and eviction prevention programs, and review additional services and resources offered by the City.
Job Openings and Workshops
Free Workshops and Training. Access free WDC job readiness and career development workshops--including interviewing skills, navigating the virtual job fair, transferable skills, one-on-one job coaching, networking and more--and over 5,000 SkillUp online skills training courses. Select WDC workshops are also available in Spanish.
Skills Training Programs and Scholarships. Access training through Re-Employing Virginians and Fast Forward Virginia, two new programs to help Virginians gain skills and credentials in high demand fields and get back to work. Learn more.
REMINDER: Winter Shelter for Families and Individuals are Open
The City's Winter Shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness is open in two locations. A shelter at Lee Center (1108 Jefferson St.) is serving single adults and another at Carpenter's Shelter (930 North Henry St.) is serving families. The program ensures that guests have a warm, clean and safe environment to retreat from the elements of winter at night. The locations are open 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily regardless of weather conditions. Learn more.
Virtual and In-Person Learning Resources
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to surge in Alexandria, school will continue to be very different for parents and children. While decisions about school status are made by the Governor and individual school systems and schools, the CDC offers guidance and resources for parents to help navigate virtual learning and the process of eventually returning to in-person education. An at-home checklist is available to view online or download and print to help caregivers set up and plan for virtual or at-home learning, and how to support a child’s mental health and well-being. Another set of checklists provide guidance to prepare for in-person classes, guiding the conversation about masks and the mental health challenges that will accompany a return to a group environment. There are also resources to help with parenting children at each stage of maturity; coping with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic; children’s mental health; bullying prevention; and children and youth with special health care needs in emergencies.
For more information on the wide range of resources available, visit Resources to Meet Basic Needs of those Impacted by COVID-19: