The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created unprecedented challenges to our global community and daily lives. It will take months, or years, to assess the full scope of hardship the pandemic will have on our families, businesses and economy. To assist Georgians in need, our campaign has compiled a list of resources as a guide during this uncertain period. We hope pointing you to these resources will elevate some of the challenges Georgians are facing. Above all, continue to observe professional guidelines to stay safe as we support one another during this time.
Professional health guidelines are one of the most important resources we can all share. The Center for Disease Control recommends the following:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
Additional guidance on what to do to protect yourself and what to do if you believe that you are sick can be located on the Center for Disease Control website.
The Georgia Department of Health also provides information on what to do if you feel sick, steps to take if you believe you’ve been exposed and symptoms to watch for here. A downloadable guide with tips for isolation is available here.
With over 10 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance, most for the first time, understanding where to go and how the process works may be challenging. Each state determines unemployment benefits however, all states are required to adhere to Federal guidelines. For more information visit unemployment FAQs.
In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under CARES, new compensation programs were established to enhance previous unemployment benefits. The Georgia Policy and Budget Institute has outlined the different programs that Georgians may be eligible for during their unemployment. For more information, visit the Georgia Policy and Budget Institute here.
Social distancing and stay at home orders have left small business owners scrambling to protect their businesses. Resources are available to help ease the short term damage and provide a foundation for business to rebuild when social distancing orders are reduced.
For Georgia owned small businesses, the University of Georgia Small Business Resource Center and the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Department of Economic Development created a site with a resource bank, downloadable guide on small business loans and webinars to assist small businesses.
For additional support on loans, safety guidelines, information for women business owners, taxes and more, check out the following resources:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention– Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Small Business Association – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- Small Business Development Network –COVID-19 Small Business Resources
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – Resources for Women-Owned Businesses in Response to COVID-19
Emergency Food Assistance
Families and individuals dealing with loss of employment or reduced income can connect with the following government resources and organizations for food assistance.
Feeding America has eight food banks throughout the state of Georgia. To find one near you, follow this link Hunger in America.
The USDA National Hunger Hotline is a resource for people seeking food assistance.
The hotline, operated by Hunger Free America and can be reached
Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
School closures have separated school lunch dependent students from the desperately needed meals. To assist the USDA Meals for Kids Site Finder will locate meals for kids in your area. This resource aims to ensure that children who benefit from free or reduced-price meals continue to receive the nutrition while observing stay at home orders. .
Support for our senior population can be found through Meals on Wheels providing meals throughout the state and nationwide.
Dealing with Stress
As the virus spreads there are so many levels of uncertainty. Some of us may experience fear and anxiety due to the uncertainty of our day to day. Constant news updates and news of loved ones contracting the virus is stressful and depressing. The loss of loved ones during social distancing is an unprecedented reality many people are facing. The Center for Disease Control has a resource page outlining ways to cope with stress.
If you are facing mental health challenges please contact your primary care provider or a mental health care professional.
For additional help:
- Call 911 in a mental health emergency
- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline,
or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
Stay at home orders are vital for reducing the spread of COVID-19. For many of us, staying at home means more time with family, for victims of domestic violence and child abuse, staying at home disconnects individuals in abusive home enviroments from protective social networks and resources. According to the American Psychological Association, job loss, financial stress and lack of resources put strain on families resulting in upticks in abuse and neglect to the most vulnerable in our society. There is help for you or your loved ones if you are experiencing domestic violence. Click here for the American Psychological Association, Intimate Partner Violence fact sheet and click here for ways to protect children from abuse and neglect.
For help contact:
- 911 or your local law enforcement agency
- Crisis Text Line – The Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 resource with trained volunteer Crisis Counselors ready to assist. To reach a counselor Text HOME to 741741.
- National Domestic Hotline offers live chat for assistance on their website. Counselors can also be reached by calling (800) 799-7233.
American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 8 Apr. 2020, www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/domestic-violence-child-abuse.
Aunt Bertha is a comprehensive online directory of social services. This organization connects individuals with organizations offering emergency social assistance. Search for free or reduced cost services through the site for local services such as medical care, food, job training, and more. COVID-19 specific resources can be found here – food assistance, help with bills and additional programs.
Georgia Legal Aid provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website with mult-lingal links to aid with everything from filing claims for unemployment benefits, legal advice, housing support and applying for government benefits.
Disclaimer: The Sarah Riggs Amico for Georgia Campaign is not affiliated or endorsed by the organizations or resources listed and all of the resources cited are public information. We will continue to add resources to this page as we monitor COVID-19’s progression in our state. If there is a resources you would like to submit as a recommendation for inclusion, please email us at [email protected]