Resources for Families
MN Immigrant Families Fund
Free & Low-Cost Wi-Fi
USI opened their WiFi network in Minneapolis for those that may need temporary internet access.
- Look for the “City of Minneapolis Public WiFi” or “USI Wireless” networks on your mobile device and you will be connected. The process is similar to using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or the airport.
- No password or credit card is required to sign in.
Comcast opened its Xfinity WiFi network and is offering unlimited data for free.
- For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name open your Internet browser.
- For new customers, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Low-Cost Computer Resources
Minnesota Afterschool Advance has Chromebooks for up to 75% off to help with distance learning. To learn more and apply, visit https://mnafterschool.org/chromebooks.
To find more low-cost computer resources, visit https://www.everyoneon.org/find-offers.
Dealing With Grief
Ramsey County Services
- Financial Assistance Services: All Financial Assistance intake appointments will be completed over the phone. If you need to schedule an appointment or speak with your financial worker please call 651-266-4444. For questions regarding Ramsey County METS Medical Assistance cases, call 651-266-3870.
- WIC Program: Due to COVID-19, all WIC (Women, Infants and Children) appointments will be completed over the phone. If you are a client with an upcoming appointment, a WIC nutrition educator will call you at your scheduled appointment time. Please call 651-266-1300 if you have questions.
HOMELESS SUPPORT SERVICES
- Neighborhood House is suspending our housing crisis clinics, instead offering phone support, triage and then clear next steps to prevent eviction so families can stay stably housed. We are focusing on the homeless to get people in housing asap as well. We will meet families minimally if needed. Please call 651-789-2500 if there are any questions or needs.
- St. Andrews Resource Center has rental assistance (with eligibility requirements) for areas of suburban Ramsey and Washington County. If people are needing rental assistance, please call 651-762-9124 and we will screen them for preliminary eligibility.
- YMCA - all programs are continuing as usual, just virtually. Putting a hold on in person programming but doing intakes with youth and providing assistance virtually as much as possible.
- CDC Interim Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers on Covid-19 (Issued March 9, 2020): https://www.hudexchange.info/news/materials-posted-infectious-disease-preparedness-guidance-for-homeless-assistance-providers/
- MDH Coronavirus Site: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
- National Healthcare for the Homeless COVID-19 Site: https://nhchc.org/clinical-practice/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/
Information for Emergency Shelters
- Key staff at shelters are eligible for free childcare provided through the schools. To arrange free childcare, you should contact the school district directly. If you have any questions:
SOS – Sexual Violence Services; Liz De La Torre, Hablo Español/Asesora | Fluent in Spanish/Advocate | She/Her/Hers, Legal Services Coordinator
555 Cedar Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55101
24 hour line: 651-266-1000
Desk: 651-266-1281 | Work Cell: 651-249-9669
- Minnesota Care Partners is offering telehealth options for all services, for those who have insurance. They will continue to accept new referrals and get creative with delivering care.
- Northeast Youth & Family Services (NYFS) will only provide services on location at their Shoreview and White Bear Lake offices. Until further notice, they will only provide services to individuals, couples and families. Children of clients who are not included in the therapeutic process are asked to remain at home or with a trusted provider. Shoreview office phone: 651-486-3808; White Bear Area office phone: 651-429-8544.
- NAMI COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
- NAMI is offering online support groups
- Walk-In Counseling Center is continuing to see folks at Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul at this time. They provide free, anonymous, confidential counseling.
- Online resources:
- A guide to managing mental stress and anxiety for anyone who may feel stress or anxiety about COVID-19“Manage Anxiety & Stress.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020.
- The Jed Foundation Tips for Self-Care and Managing Stress
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
- SAMHSA Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (English, Spanish, and Chinese versions available).
- Child Mind Institute Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Age appropriate responses for toddlers with questions about the Coronavirus:
- Managing Your Coronavirus Anxiety
- Self-Care Tips to Get You Through the New Coronavirus Normal
- YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA with online Yoga, Bootcamp and Barre workout videos and Mindfulness Tips and Techniques (YMCA)
- Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative Coronavirus Calm
STUDENT AND PARENT RESOURCES
- A guide on how to talk to your children about the virus and support them through this time. “Talking to Children About Covid-19.” National Association of School Psychologists. 2020. (Translated in 6 languages)
- Online Museum Tours - Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 500 museums/galleries around the world to bring everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
- A general list of things to do with your kids when in social isolation: Children Activities Resource List
- Ramsey County Library In consideration of so many closings due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, Ramsey County Library has put in place some virtual offerings to assist K-12 students. Ramsey County Library card will provide access to two websites and apps with e-books and e-audiobooks. First is cloudLibrary, which includes 1,038 Young Adult fiction e-audiobooks and 8,826 Young Adult fiction e-books as well as another 360 Young Adult nonfiction titles RBdigital which has another 191 e-audiobook titles as well as e-magazines.
- ELibrary MN
- Ebooks Minnesota Consists of an online ebook collection for all Minnesotans covering a wide variety of subjects for readers of all ages and featuring content from our state's independent publishers.
- Ebooks Minnesota K-5 Collection In this exciting compilation of titles for young readers, children will learn and explore fun, vibrant books on a wide range of topics.
- Ebooks Minnesota Middle School Collection In this diverse collection of titles, middle grade readers will find books on a variety of educational and entertaining topics.
- Gale Virtual Reference Library Collection of 25 online reference books and encyclopedias covering topics from Art to History to Medicine.
Tax forms needed to be filed by April 15th, but if you owe money, you have a 90 day extension to make payment.
- Alternative Tax Prep Options Page
- United Way has online tax help
UNEMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
- If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment benefits, Executive Order of the Governor. This includes any COVID-19 related layoff, including parents having to leave work to do child care. The one week waiting period has been waived. Apply for benefits online at: https://www.uimn.org/
- Karen Organization of MN (KOM) is helping their clients with a language barrier apply for unemployment benefits.
- Workforce Solutions provides employment and training services to job seekers and businesses in Ramsey County. Workforce Solutions Hotline 651-266-9890. Online Inquiries, encouraged!:Ramseycounty.us/workforce
- XCEL: As families and communities face the challenges of COVID-19, we want to ensure our customers have the service you need to power your homes and keep your families safe. We will not disconnect service from any customers until further notice. If you have difficulty paying your bill, we are here to help. Just contact us and we will work to set up a payment plan that works for you. http://spr.ly/61831s11V
- Water Shut offs: Each city has different orders about this, so check your cities’ websites.
- CAP/RW can help with energy or water shut-offs.
- MN Cold Weather Rule
- Cell Phone - Century link and other major Cell Phone providers will not be shutting phone or internet service, or charge late fees. Check individual provider websites for details.
- COMCAST is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:
- Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
- No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
- Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.