Weekly Resources Update: Food Distribution, Scholarship Deadline, Rental and Mortgage Relief Changes, Job Assistance and More
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
February 19, 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, February 20
ALIVE! will distribute food at two drive-through sites on Saturday, February 20, 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 officially closed for any reason (e.g., inclement weather), ALL events 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.
Deadline February 25 for Scholarship for Eligible Immigrant Students
Paying for college can be an expensive endeavor, especially for those who are DACA or TPS recipients, asylum seekers or undocumented. 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 in English and Spanish.
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.
Changes in Rental and Mortgage Relief Programs and Resources
FHA Moratoriums Extended. To provide urgent economic relief to homeowners impacted by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has extended the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure and eviction moratoriums through June 30 for most FHA-insured or Home Equity Conversion mortgages. The FHA has also extended the length of forbearance for some borrowers and will allow more borrowers access to COVID-19 loss mitigation options, providing relief to homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages who are adversely affected financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners in need of assistance should contact their mortgage lender immediately or a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or to visit the HUD Coronavirus Relief for Homeowners page for more information and additional resources.
State Mortgage Relief Program Ends. The Virginia Department of Housing is no longer accepting mortgage payment assistance applications. New federal funding does not cover mortgage assistance, and other funding relief sources have been exhausted. Homeowners who are unable to make mortgage payments are encouraged to visit “Resources for Homeowners” for guidance and assistance, and to visit the Virginia Department of Housing website in late February for further updates.
State Rental Assistance Extended. The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) will continue to provide assistance for eligible households to cover rent payments that are past due beginning April 1. Tenants are urged to complete a survey to determine eligibility, submit an application, or call 703.962.1884 for more information. Landlords can also apply directly on behalf of tenants at VirginiaHousing.com/RMRP. Review the list of participating City of Alexandria landlords. Residents who are currently facing eviction for unpaid rent due to COVID-19 related loss of income may be eligible for emergency rental assistance through the City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing. Learn more about the program and eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program or call 703.746.4990.
REMINDER: Apply for Crisis Assistance for Past Due Balances on Primary Heating Bills
Residents needing assistance with past due balances on their primary heating bill can apply for Crisis Assistance up to March 15 through CommonHelp or by calling the Enterprise Customer Call Center at 855.635.4370. Since utility companies are currently not issuing disconnect notices due to the pandemic, disconnection notices are not required this year, but there must be an outstanding balance due on the bill. Income limits apply. For questions or assistance, call DCHS at 703.746.5700 or text 703.346.5599. Learn more. Virginia residents can also apply for food stamps (SNAP), medical assistance such as FAMIS and Medicaid, child care assistance and cash assistance (TANF) through CommonHelp.
REMINDER: Free Tax Prep Services Available by Appointment for Eligible Residents Through April 10
DCHS is offering free tax return preparation by appointment to eligible residents Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, February 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. Call 703.831.2918 to make an appointment. For more information, view or download the flyer or read more on DCHS Connect.
City of Alexandria Academy Programs Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2021
Participate in City of Alexandria Academy programs to learn how local government, partner agencies and the community work together to create a well-managed place in which to live, work and visit. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, the spring 2021 Academy programs will be held virtually to keep the Alexandria community healthy and safe. These free programs are designed to inform, educate, engage and encourage participants to become more actively involved in fostering a thriving Alexandria. Learn more.
For more information on the wide range of resources available, visit Resources to Meet Basic Needs of those Impacted by COVID-19: