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Resources for Westport Residents Affected By COVID-19

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Prepared by the Town of Westport’s Department of Human Services 

This page will be updated regularly. This is not an exhaustive list nor is it an endorsement of programs/services.

For additional up-to-date information, please go to:

Westportct.gov/COVID19

wwhd.org

Ct.gov/coronavirus

cdc.gov/

www.211.org/services/covid19

Connecticut residents can call 2-1-1 or text CTCOVID to 898211 or go the website for 24/7 access to information,  resources and COVID-19 testing. 

The Town of Westport’s Department of Human Services continues to provide remote services to residents Monday through Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. We are monitoring inquiries and working closely with the Incident Management Team to address the essential needs of residents in a timely fashion. Please contact Human Services at 203-341-1050 or humansrv@westportct.gov if you or a neighbor has an emergency need of food or medications.  We are investigating ways to provide safe and efficient help to at-risk homebound seniors and/or households without unnecessarily exposing volunteers and/or recipients to COVID-19.  

 It is important to rely on natural supports of friends and neighbors at this time.  Every resident should formulate a backup plan in case you or a family member falls ill.  Many seniors, and other at-risk populations, are following CDC recommendations to practice social distancing or isolation.  Some may need assistance in procuring supplies for extended self-isolation. We encourage residents to call their neighbors to offer help, taking care to follow CDC precautions by keeping a safe social distance. Remember that even if you are feeling well, you could still be a carrier of the virus. Resources for Seniors

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.   For more information go to https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

 

Food Assistance

  • Food Resources for Income-Eligible Residents
  • Gillespie Center Community Kitchen is serving curb-side meals daily (lunch 12pm, dinner 5pm), 1 bag of groceries per week available by request Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri from 1-4pm. 203-226-1661 www.hwhct.org
  • Mobile Food Pantries are still operating.  For details go to www.ctfoodbank.org
  • Person to Person in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford assists income eligible residents https://p2phelps.org

  • Westport Families receiving Free and Reduced Lunch - families who receive Free and Reduced Lunch weekdays between the hours of 11am-1pm at Coleytown Elementary School 65 Easton Road. 

  • The Town of Westport Department of Human Services relies on the Westport Women’s Club food pantry to provide one-time, emergency food to qualifying residents. Contact DHS at 203-341-1050 for requests.

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) - If you are dealing with food insecurity and have yet to enroll in SNAP, please call the EHC! SNAP Call Center (English & Spanish – 866.974.7627), or go to the website https://www.endhungerct.org/snap/ for more information.
  • Expensify.org will match SNAP groceries up to $50 for Families on SNAP- For families that are already enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),  https://www.expensify.org/hunger  is reimbursing up to $50 per family (one time) to help with additional grocery expenses.

Emergency Financial Assistance

If financial or access issues exist for food, fuel, and/or emergency expenses, Westport residents can call the Department of Human Services at 203-341-1050 to determine if you are eligible for one-time emergency financial assistance and/or to explore other options. Documentation will be required of newly established clients.

 

Transportation

 Temporary Changes and Updates for Westport's Commuter and Door to Door Service

 

Renters

The Attorney General has suspended all evictions for the next 30 days. Contact your landlord now if you foresee this as an issue for your family. 

Utility Assistance

Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has ordered a moratorium on all utility shut-offs (electric, gas, and water) for the next 30 days, or as long as the Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergency is in effect. Residential customers are strongly encouraged to continue paying their bills, as they will ultimately be responsible for accrued services. This ruling applies to all residential customers and is therefore unlike the Winter Protection Program where income eligible households are protected from a shut off through May 1.  

AARP and VITA Tax Prep Assistance

US Tax filing deadline extended to July 15th due to COVID-19.  

The Department of Human Services has announced that, in light of the current COVID-19 distancing guidelines, VITA, the IRS’s companion to the AARP free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, is now offering virtual tax preparation to residents without in-person contact.  

The new virtual platform is available to taxpayers by connecting them via a secure portal to a remote certified tax preparer.  The site and requisite document exchange mechanisms are encrypted for safety, and the methodology conforms to IRS policy and procedures.

Go to: Free Tax Preparation Service Online

The IRS announced a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions for those facing challenges related to COVID-19. IRS Tax Relief

 

Unemployment Compensation

If you become unemployed due to coronavirus, you should file for unemployment benefits through Connecticut's Department of Labor. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about Corona Virus for workers and employers click here

 

Local Businesses

low interest targeted loans to assist small businesses and nonprofits severally impacted by COVID-19.  CDC recommended strategies for employers and businesses to reduce exposure and provide guidance to their employees will be updated as needed.  Business Resource Page

 

Health Care

  • Call Connecticut's 2-1-1 hotline or text CTCOVID to 898211 for information on COVID-19 for information, resources, testing and treatment options.

  • Healthcare providers are being granted a streamlined approval process to accelerate availability of treatment and services, including telehealth.

  •  is opening a Special Enrollment Period starting March 19 through April 2. Coverage is available for uninsured Connecticut residents who don’t otherwise receive insurance through their job or become unemployed. The only way to sign up for this Special Enrollment Period is by calling 855-365-2428.

  • Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) is working with its federal partners to modify the prescription refill processes in Medicaid/HUSKY Health and offer telehealth options.

  • Yale New Haven Health is offering a call center for patients and the community who have questions about COVID-19. Healthcare professionals from the health system are available to answer your specific questions Monday – Friday, 7 am – 7 pm. Call 833-ASK-YNHH

  •  Mental Health: If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis:
    •  CT Information Hotline 211 or go to www.211ct.org for mobile crisis support for individuals and/or children.
    • Kids in Crisis also has a 24-hour hotline for assistance 203-661-1911. 
    •  If you become unemployed due to Corona Virus, you should file for unemployment benefits through Connecticut's Department of Labor. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about Corona Virus for workers and employers click here
    • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health):If you need to talk to someone, text NAMI to 741741 or call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

    • Alcoholics Anonymous - Please contact your site to see if meetings are continuing in your neighborhood.

    • The Hub CT is Southwest Connecticut’s Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization.  Check their website for useful resources for mental health, prevention and wellness. https://www.thehubct.org/

     

  • For non-emergency situations, call the Department of Human Services at 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov for referral to appropriate resources. 

 

Online Activities for Families and Seniors

  •  The Westport Center for Senior Activities has started a new WCSA YouTube channel to encourage our homebound residents to stay active and engaged.  

 

HOW TO HELP

                                                                               

Volunteer
  • Grass-roots efforts to help friends and neighbors is an essential component to our COVID-19 response. We are investigating ways to provide safe, confidential, and efficient help to at-risk homebound seniors and/or households without unnecessarily exposing volunteers and recipients to COVID-19.

  • If you have chosen to help neighbors in need on your own, please be sure to follow CDC Guidelines and honor recipients’ privacy.

  • DHS is not currently utilizing volunteers, but if you’d like to be added to our resource list, we are accepting names and contact information from those that are healthy and available to assist as needed.

 

Donate
  • To donate to a virtual food drive for residents through the Department of Human Services’ “We Care Westport” portal please go to www.westportct.org\humanservices and specify “Residents in Need” on the drop-down menu. 
  • The Westport Women’s Club is our local food pantry, we are not currently accepting food donations due to exposure risks and lack of storage.  This may change so please stay tuned

 

RELIABLE WEBSITES FOR INFORMATION

 

If you have not already done so, you are encouraged to sign up or follow the Town of Westport’s updates:

Online:  www.westportct.gov/COVID19

Get Updates:  Signup for emergency alerts

Get Updates:  Sign up for email subscriptions

Social Media:  #Westportctcovid19info

 

For 24/7 access to information and resources, CT residents can dial 211 for the state information hotline.

Please only use 911 if you are having a medical emergency.