For residents worried about paying for food, rent and other necessities in the wake of coronavirus-related closures, the Dauphin County Commissioners want everyone to know that help is available.
“This is a difficult time for all of us, especially for those left without a paycheck if their employer had to close during the pandemic,’’ said Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III. “We want to let residents know they are not alone and where they can go for help.’’
Additionally, information about COVID-19, including health safety tips and links to services, are available on the Dauphin County’s website at www.dauphincounty.org/coronavirus
How to get help:
211: Connect with programs and services
The United Way’s 211 service offers a way to access assistance ranging from help with rent and financial assistance to locating nearby food pantries.
Access the service by calling 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898-211 for a live, two-way conversation, or going online to www.uwp.org/211gethelp for statewide, regional and local resources. Due to the volume of calls, texting and using the website will give faster access.
Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
Find soup kitchens, food pantries and social programs near you by going to www.centralpafoodbank.org/find-help/find-a-food-pantry or calling the organization’s helpline at 877-999-5964
Unemployment and Workers Compensation
Assistance is available for full-time workers as well as the self-employed and “gig” workers. For more information and to fill out an application, visit the state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation at www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
If you were exposed to the coronavirus through your workplace, information about making a workers’ compensation claim is also available on the website.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Eligible low-income households can apply for food assistance through SNAP, which provides an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used at grocery stores. Families may also qualify for other services, such as Medical Assistance, childcare assistance and cash assistance.
For more information and to apply for benefits, go to the PA Department of Human Services, www.dhs.pa.gov
Help for active military members and their families and veterans
Active military and their families and find information about financial help and other assistance at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/
Information for veterans, including a telehealth option to talk to someone about their symptoms, is available at https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/
In mid-March, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued an order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations for the duration of Gov. Tom Wolf’s disaster declaration related to the coronavirus is in effect. Wolf signed the declaration on March 6.
For more information on assistance offered by specific utilities, visit:
Capital Region Water: https://capitalregionwater.com/news/