Support for Students During COVID-19: A Guide
Last week we brought you The Hope Center’s guide for colleges on how to help students through COVID-19. This week, we are happy to be reviewing The Hope Center’s guide for students. If you go to a college impacted by COVID-19, please read on for some helpful resources to get you through this time.
If you have experienced a loss of income or a job, the first thing the guide suggests is filing for unemployment with your local Department of Labor. Many states, such as California, are waiving customary waiting periods to file and are ready and willing to help. The guide also urges students to go ahead and file their taxes if possible. Though the deadline has been extended, getting your refund check early can help tide you over through a tighter time. Students should also look into emergency aid options from their university, as additional loans or grants may be available to you. Programs such as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) if you have children are also great options to look into. Call your creditors and billers to see if you can hold or stop payments due to being affected by COVID-19. Comcast and Spectrum are both offering low to no-cost limited-time internet services to qualified individuals and families.
If you are in need of food, look into applying to programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You can also find a food bank near you by going online to WhyHunger.Org/FindFood or by texting or calling 1 (800) 5-HUNGRY.
If you have been displaced or are experiencing homelessness or an urgent need to move, there are options. U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to those affected, and Penske offers trucks at a 10% discount to college students. Nonprofits such as Together We Rise also offer emergency assistance to college students experiencing homelessness. The guide strongly suggests looking into local options, such as hotels who may be partnering with your college, and contacting your Independent Living Coordinator if you have been in the foster care system.
If you need to see a doctor, use telehealth services and find providers on a sliding scale. Contact your university to find out what specific options they may offer. Take care of your mental health by using online resources. The guide suggests the Calm app and this online relaxation room. If you suffer from addiction, join an online group from your program, as offered by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Students of color can also fund support by texting STEVE to 741741.
If you are in an unsafe environment, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by phone at 1 (800) 799-7233 or by texting LOVEIS to 22522. You can also chat online at their website.
You can view The Hope Center’s full guide here.