Weekly Resources Update: Food Distribution, Utility Assistance Deadlines, Scholarship Deadlines, Virtual Job Fair, Rent and Mortgage Assistance, Multilanguage Resources and More
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
January 29, 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 January 30, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
ALIVE! will distribute food at two drive-through sites on Saturday, January 30, 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 (via Dawes Ave.; see map at alive-inc.org). Drive-through encouraged whenever possible for contactless distribution. Walk-ups are reserved for those without personal vehicles and should maintain 6 feet social distance, wear a face mask, and bring carts or bags to carry food home. If the college is closed due to inclement weather, all activities on campus will be cancelled. For the latest information on ALIVE! food distributions, visit alive-inc.org. Learn more about other resources for food assistance.
Assistance with Virginia American Water or Washington Gas Bills - Deadlines January 29 and January 31
If you were unable to pay your Virginia American Water or Washington Gas bills between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020 as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for assistance. Deadlines to apply online are January 29 for water bills and January 31 for gas. If you need assistance with past due balances on your primary heating bill, you may also be eligible for assistance through DCHS. Learn more.
Free Virtual Workshops For Teens by Teens on January 30
Alexandria teens are invited to participate in free virtual workshops on leadership, networking and embracing your imperfections, hosted by T.C. Williams High School students on January 30 from 3 - 5 p.m. Visit alexandriava.gov/sapca to learn more about the workshops and how to register.
Scholarships Available for DACA, TPS, Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Students--First Deadline February 1
Paying for college can be an expensive endeavor, especially for those who are DACA or TPS recipients, asylum seekers or undocumented. The Dream Project and TheDream.US offer scholarship opportunities. The Dream Project is awarding $2,000 scholarships, renewable every year for up to five years, to 100 immigrant students demonstrating academic achievement, leadership, community involvement and perseverance in the face of adversity; applications due by February 1. TheDream.US's renewable National Scholarship covers tuition and fees up to $16,500 for an associate degree and $33,000 for bachelor's at a partner college to eligible immigrant students who came to the U.S. before November 1, 2020; applications are due February 25. Get information on eligibility and how to apply and learn more about other resources for immigrants and refugees.
Free Virtual Job Fair on February 4
Register now for the Virginia Career Works Virtual Career Fair on February 4, 1-4 p.m. Employers and job seekers will have the opportunity to network via chat rooms, private chats and video chats, and apply and interview for jobs during this statewide virtual hiring event. Registration and attendance are free for both employers and job seekers! Learn more about the event and how to register.
Sexual Assault Male Survivor Support Group Begins February 8
The Sexual Assault Center is offering a virtual Sexual Assault Male Survivor Support Group, which offers sanctuary for male-identified survivors of sexual abuse. Attention is paid to building a safe experience to minimize re-traumatization and promote individual healing. The group will meet for six weeks beginning February 8. Learn more about the group and how to register at alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence.
Updates to Unemployment Benefits
All CARES Act unemployment compensation programs, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs, are extended through March 14. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program will provide an additional $300 per week for regular Unemployment Insurance, PUA and PEUC participants, which will be added to weeks claimed beginning with the week ending January 2 and will continue to pay through March 14 for eligible claims. Visit the Virginia Employment Commission COVID-19 web page for complete details of these updates.
Weekly Jobs Flyer and Workshops
Weekly Job Flyer. View this week’s list of employers who are hiring, which the Workforce Development Center (WDC) compiles and releases every Monday. Follow WDC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest flyer listing employers, or visit the WDC’s job board for a complete list of job opportunities.
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.
Rent and Mortgage Relief Program Extension
The 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 March 1. Applications that have not yet been submitted can now include requests to cover rent payments through February 2021. Previously submitted applications are also eligible to include rent due in February through a contract amendment process. The Virginia Housing User’s Guide explains how to submit a contract amendment. Households that have already been approved do not need to submit a new application. 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.
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.
Free Tax Prep Services for Eligible Residents Begins February 13
The City is offering free tax return preparation by appointment only to eligible residents Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon from Feb 13 through April 10. Taxpayers are eligible if income is below $55K for individuals and families. Expert volunteers from Community Tax Aid will ensure that taxpayers apply for all applicable credits and deductions. Beginning February 1, residents can call 703.831.2918 to make an appointment at 2525 Mount Vernon Ave. A mask and temperature check will be required. In case of inclement weather, the program will be closed if Alexandria City Public Schools are closed or if school activities are canceled. Check the ACPS Hotline at 703.866.5300. For more information, view or download the flyer or read more on DCHS Connect.
Multi-language Information About COVID-19 Self-Testing Kiosks Now Available
The City and AHD now offer three COVID-19 self-testing kiosks that are operated by Curative. The kiosks provide easy access to testing; do not require government identification; and all tests are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Service is available in English and Spanish. Nasal testing swabs are self-administered under the supervision of a Curative employee, and test results are returned by email or text message within 48 to 72 hours. A flyer containing the locations and hours of the kiosks is available in English, Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic.
Spanish Language Vaccine Information Available
A Spanish language flyer by the Alexandria Health Department with information about who qualifies and how to register for vaccines is now available. View an additional Spanish-language educational flyer containing reasons for getting the vaccine. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Vaccines.
Vaccine Panel Discussion Recording Now Available
A recorded panel discussion answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines is now available online in English, Spanish, Amharic and Arabic. A panel of local medical experts, civic leaders and community leaders discusses COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness; the role vaccines play in ending the pandemic; who is currently eligible to be vaccinated; and what to expect when vaccines are more widely available. This event is the first in a series of panels addressing the vaccine and impacts of the pandemic in our community.
ALL Alexandria Resolution Unanimously Adopted by City Council
On January 23, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to acknowledge racial inequity in the past and present, and commit to adopting practices and policies that promote racial and social equity. The resolution advances “ALL Alexandria,” the City of Alexandria’s commitment to pursue equitable outcomes for everyone in the community. Learn more.
For more information on the wide range of resources available, visit Resources to Meet Basic Needs of those Impacted by COVID-19: