Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
This page was last updated March 2, 2021.
La Casa’s Programs & Services Updates
As of 3/2/21, all in-person home energy assistance at our 317 Roseville Ave center in Newark is closed until further notice. Learn more about the programs at http://www.lacasanwk.org/energy-conservation-assistance.
Some La Casa de Don Pedro centers are now open with limited capacity, social distancing, and health & safety measures in place. Other programs continue to be offered remotely.
If you need to reach a La Casa team member but do not have their email or phone number, please email us at email@example.com. Include the name of the person you wish to speak with, and we will do our best to connect you to that individual.
Now enrolling for all Early Childhood Education programs: preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start, and Prenatal Support. Programs are all virtual with very limited in-person classrooms. Call Wendy Garcia at 973-370-4467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll.
Family and domestic violence counseling services, emergency assistance services, community health, and HIV/AIDS services continue virtually and through Facebook Live: (Facebook.com/LaCasaFamilySuccessCenters). Call us at 973-483-2703 or 973-624-4222, email Health services: email@example.com.
Rental assistance for families who are facing eviction due to back-rent owed because of the impact of COVID-19 is available for qualified households! In order to qualify you must be able to continue to make rental payments once financial assistance is provide. Attending a financial education workshop is a requirement. Contact us at youth@firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-483-2703.
Youth, Family, and Health Community Center at 23 Broadway offers in-person child care for school age children to complete their virtual schooling, family counseling by appointment only, and housing assistance for households who can demonstrate income loss due to Covid-19 and can now show housing sustainability moving forward. Contact us to make an appointment or to register for our programs at 973-483-2703, 973-624-4222 or email@example.com.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance season is up and running! Submit LIHEAP and USF applications, emergency requests and all supporting documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org, drop off in our drop box at 317 Roseville Ave, mail to La Casa de Don Pedro/LIHEAP, P.O. Box 7118, Newark, NJ 07107, or fax to 973-485-9984. Email inquires and questions to email@example.com.
All adult education, LEAD Charter School, citizenship and English as a Second Language classes continue to be offered online only. Immigration legal services are provided in person by appointment only. Contact us at 973-481-4568, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to learn more or to make an appointment.
Housing counseling (foreclosure prevention and first time homebuyer counseling) is available by telephone and email. Email Dante Lara (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dorothy Rivers (email@example.com). HUD-Certified First Time Homebuyer Education workshops are available online at www.ehomeamerica.org/lacasa. Rental Housing Assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Weatherization and Lead Abatement clients can submit program applications, supporting documents and questions to: email@example.com.
Please visit this this webpage for regular updates and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news & resources. We are committed to share important news and information to inform and engage our community as we work together to move forward.
COVID-19 Vaccination Information
To get your vaccine, register online on your portal of choice here:
LAST UPDATED: March 1, 2021
See updated guidance and please be patient! If essexcovid.org is full, please wait for follow up from them (if you are already registered) or please consult this link to see ALL available vaccination sites in New Jersey organized by County: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-eligible-recipients.
Who is currently eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination?
Currently, vaccines are available to the following groups:
- Paid and unpaid healthcare workers
- Residents and workers of long-term care and high-risk congregate care facilities
- First responders including sworn law enforcement and fire professionals
- Individuals aged over 65
- Individuals aged 16-64 that have certain medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus
Beginning March 15th, New Jersey is expanding the ranks of those eligible to receive their vaccinations:
- Pre-K through 12th-grade educators & support staff, in pre-K through 12th grade settings
- Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
- Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees;
NJ TRANSIT workers; and New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission staff
- Public safety workers who are not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors
- Migrant farm workers
- Members of tribal communities
- Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelter, including domestic violence shelters
For NJ educators – the state of New Jersey will work through the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Education Association, school leaders and local education stakeholders, and sites on means of ensuring full access without interrupting the school days.
What do I do if I’m eligible but in need of transportation to a vaccination site?
There are 2 fully accessible transportation options – Essex County Special Transportation Services (the blue bus) and Access link for residents age 60+ or with disabilities. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED IN ADVANCE TO USE EITHER SERVICE. Once registered, you can make reservations:
· Essex County Special Transportation Services: For residents 60+, Essex County provides free, handicap accessible transportation to all towns within the county. Call (973) 618-1280 to register and set up an appointment. Once you are in the system, you can begin scheduling rides.
· Access link: Access Link is for people with disabilities. Service shadows local fixed route buses and light rails, with pick-up and drop-off points within 3/4 mile of an eligible bus route or light rail station.
For current Access link riders, call 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and selecting option #2 or go to https://accesslink.njtransit.com to make a reservation.
To find out if you are eligible for Access link or to register and be certified for the service, call 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #1 for information on the Certification Group
Find out when the next vaccination phase open up and how the phases are determined.
County of Essex Vaccination Sites
The County of Essex has established four vaccination sites for Essex County residents. Residents of each municipality are assigned to specific sites, except Newark, whose residents can go to any site. Vaccinations will be by appointment only. See flyers below for more info, visit www.essexcovid.org or call 973-877-8456 for questions.
NJ Transit buses #70 and #92 go directly to the Livingston Mall Vaccination Site.
City of Newark Vaccination Sites
The City of Newark has launched several Newark Department of Health & Wellness vaccination sites. In addition to the two located at 110 William Street and 394 University Avenue, there will be new rotating vaccination locations throughout the city. Please visit newarkcovid19.com for more details.
To pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine administered by the City of Newark’s Department of Health and Wellness, visit newarkcovid19.com or call 973-733-5728.
Private Business Vaccination Sites
Other vaccination sites are ongoing, such as recent news of Shoprite’s pharmacy as a new location, including Shoprite of Newark. Read this NJ.com article listing current COVID vaccination sites in NJ as of 1/6/21.
COVID-19 Testing Centers
Click HERE for up to date information on where to get tested for COVID-19 in New Jersey. Everyone can get tested, even if you don’t have health insurance. You will not be denied. But if you do have health insurance, bring your health insurance card.
All undocumented Newark residents can apply and receive a Newark Municipal ID when they to take their COVID-19 test at Ann Street School. To get the ID bring documents such as Passport, proof of residency, current bill, notarized letter for residency, picture ID, etc. There is a points system. Contact the Mayor’s Aide at (973) 733-6400 for specific information.
Testing at all of the sites listed below is reserved for NEWARK RESIDENTS only and residents do not have to have symptoms. Testing is free at all sites and residents with insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, should bring their insurance cards with them.
City of Newark & State of NJ Updates & News Headlines
Beginning Monday, March 1st, New Jersey is allowing large sports and entertainment venues with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or more to host events at up to 10% of their indoor capacity, and up to 15% of their outdoor capacity.
Effective Monday, February 22nd, New Jersey allowed up to two parents and guardians as spectators at collegiate sporting events.
Effective Monday, February 22nd, New Jersey increased capacity limits for religious services to 50% capacity of the room in which they are held.
Sign up for updates from the Governor by texting ‘NJ COVID’ to 898211 .
New Jersey is currently in Phase 2 of Governor Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Plan.
Click here to view Governor Murphy’s full details of Stage 2 Restart and Recovery plan.
La Casa de Don Pedro offers a COVID-19 Rental Relief program for households who owe back rent due to job loss or other challenges caused by the pandemic. Renters who can demonstrate that they can afford their rent once their arrears are paid may qualify. Contact us at 973-483-2703 for more information.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working together to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic. If you or anyone you know is concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent because of the coronavirus emergency, here is information on what to do now, and options for mortgage and rent payment relief.
Visit the new Mortgage and Housing Assistance site for the latest information on how to get help with housing.
Eviction Protection and Assistance
Your landlord cannot remove you from your home during this emergency. This moratorium on evictions will remain in place for up to two months after the end of this emergency.
On March 19, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 106, which states that any lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.
If you are at risk of eviction or are concerned about paying rent, use this online eviction moratorium information and question tool to see your rights and what assistance programs are available.
Counseling is free, available now, and can be provided remotely to help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure. At the same time, the counseling made available to renters will guide them on how to approach discussions with their landlords on dealing with their rent situation.
City of Newark Down Payment Forgivable Loans to First-Time Homebuyers & Homeowners Making External Repairs
As part of the City of Newark’s Covid-19 Stimulus Package, first-time homebuyers may qualify for a $5,000 down payment forgivable loan. Forgivable loans up to $15,000 is also available for for homeowners undertaking external repairs ad City employees have access to a be $5,000 down payment forgivable loans. The forgivable loan terms all require the recipient to live in the house for at least five years. For information on how to apply visit https://www.newarknj.gov/departments/economichousing.
Have you found yourself unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic? Visit
https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov to learn about benefits and protections you may be eligible for.
In order to get your check processed, the unemployment office requires you answer these key questions. See more about certifying for your benefits each week.
Question 1 – Were you able and available for work?
Question 2 – Were you actively seeking work?
Question 3 – Did you refuse any work? (if the reason to refuse a work offer is related to the pandemic answer NO.)
Question 4 – Were you attending school or job training?
Question 5 – Did you receive holiday or vacation pay for the week beginning mm-dd-2021 and ending mm-dd-2021?
Question 6 – Are you receiving or have you applied for a pension or other retirement pay from any of the employers listed below?
Question 7 – Did you work between mm-dd-2021 and mm-dd-2021?
Looking for work? Visit NJ Covid-19 Jobs portal here.
Resources for Small Business Owners
Small businesses are being hit especially hard with the crisis. Fortunately, there are a variety of supports that are being made available.
Special Paycheck Protection Program Application Window for Small Employers. Exclusive processing window from Feb. 24 – March 9.
If your organization employs fewer than 20 people and is interested in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan, now may be the best time to apply.
For a two-week period, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and PPP lenders will process loan applications ONLY from businesses with fewer than 20 employees, including non-profits and sole proprietors.
Starting Wednesday, February 24 and running through Tuesday, March 9, the exclusive small-employer PPP processing window is designed to provide more equitable relief by “targeting the PPP to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts” to ensure that lenders give smaller employers the attention they need to work their way through the application process.
If you think your non-profit may be eligible for an initial PPP loan or a second draw loan Congress authorized at the end of 2020, now is the best time to contact a lender and find out how much relief may be available. Learn more at SBA.gov.
Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund
The New Jersey Forty Acres and a Mule Fund (NJ FAM Fund) is a first of its kind private investment vehicle focused on making equity and debt investments in Black and Latinx businesses located or doing business within the State of New Jersey and also transforming real estate projects within New Jersey’s Black and Latinx communities. Visit NJFAMFund.org to learn more, sign up for updates and preview the applications.
Reliable News Outlets
With lots of misinformation and plenty of fake news on the coronavirus, be sure toget your news from trusted news sources. Here are some reliable news options:
Live Updates from NJTV:
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN NEED OF FOOD IN THE CITY OF NEWARK, send a message to NewarkPeoplesAssembly@ci.newark.nj.us. The family’s name, address, phone number AND ward in which they live is needed each week by Sunday at 8pm. Meals will be delivered on Wednesdays (typically between 10am – 3pm). On this day, you may get called from an unknown number. Please answer the phone, it may be your delivery.
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey has compiled a list of partner agencies throughout the state of New Jersey where families and individuals struggling with food insecurity can find assistance near them. Visit cfbnj.org/findfood for more information.
Breakfast and Lunch is available for all Newark Public School students at designated schools on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 9:30am-11:30am.
Learn more here to find the location nearest you: https://www.nps.k12.nj.us/covid-19-resources/breakfast-lunch-program-locations/
Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF)
Location: 982 Broad Street, Newark. Call to confirm: (973) 639-2100.
Newark Food Service Hotline: 973-733-5728. Call between 7am-3pm Newark seniors and families with financial need can call the city at the number below to put in a grocery shopping request. They will shop for you and deliver the groceries to your home. When you call, you will be asked questions to verify eligibility. Newark educators, please let your students & their families know.
SNAP and WIC Assistance is providing additional benefits to existing and new income eligible clients. Learn more here.
NJ SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits card to order groceries from Amazon starting on May 27. Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers that provide online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits starting on May 28.
To learn more, recipients can visit Amazon.com/SNAP to register their EBT card. Visit here to learn about Walmart’s SNAP online program. Any Walmart, ShopRite or The Fresh Grocer that currently provides online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits.
Child Care for Essential Workers
La Casa’s Study Hall Program is now registering children ages 5-13 years old for our in-person childcare with small groups of 10 students or less, support with virtual learning, educational and fun activities, and more. See flyer below for details and register today!
Instead of using healthcare.gov to enroll in health insurance coverage, New Jerseyans should now use www.GetCovered.NJ.gov. The new NJ health insurance marketplace will allow NJ residents under 65 to shop and apply for health plans for FREE from November 1st to January 31st. Individuals can enroll online at GetCovered.NJ.gov, by Phone at (833) 677-1010, or by mail.
Financial assistance is available! 8 in 10 enrollees will receive financial assistance. Incomes qualifying for assistance range from $51, 040 for a single person to $104, 800 for a family of four. Individuals who qualify for federal assistance will also be eligible for new state subsidies, with the average subsidy ranging from $578 for a single person to $2313 for a family of 4. And this year, net premiums will be lower than ever before – as low as $117 a month.
Social Security Services
The Social Security Administration has created a new website, Information for People Helping Others, which provides helpful resources in one place for anyone in a position to help another person access their programs and services.
Mental Health Support
If you are struggling coping with the COVID-19 crisis, please call New Jersey Mental Health Cares, Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc. at (877) 294-HELP(4357) between the hours of 8AM to 8PM for emotional support, guidance, and mental health referrals as needed.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
USCIS field offices and asylum offices have resumed non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. We have enacted precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our facilities.
- You may not enter a USCIS facility if you:
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including recently developed cough, fever, difficulty breathing, changes in smell or taste or fatigue (list is not all-inclusive);
- Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
- Have been instructed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider, public health authority or government agency within the last 14 days; or
- Are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
- You may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes before your appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
- We will provide hand sanitizer at entry points.
- You must wear face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose inside USCIS facilities. We do not allow masks with exhaust valves, neck gaiters or bandanas. If you do not have an acceptable face covering, we may provide one or ask you to reschedule your appointment.
- There will be markings and physical barriers in the facility; you should pay close attention to these signs to ensure you follow social distancing guidelines.
- You may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility.
- We encourage you to bring your own black or blue ink pens.
Appointment notices will include more instructions for visiting USCIS facilities. For more information, see our USCIS Visitor Policy page and the web alert.
Visit USCIS Office Closings page for the latest information on office closures.
To find your local USCIS office, please visit the following links:
- Field Offices (within the United States) handle scheduled interviews on non-asylum related applications. They also provide limited information and applicant services that supplement those we provide through our website and by phone.
- Asylum Offices handle scheduled interviews for asylum-related issues only
- International Offices provide services to U.S. Citizens, permanent residents of the U.S. and certain other persons who are visiting or residing outside the United States who need assistance in immigration matters.
Additional State of NJ Resources & Information
In anticipation of the COVID-19 vaccine, the New Jersey Department of Health has launched the COVID-19 vaccination website at https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml. Visit the site often for updates as information becomes available. This site will contain information regarding the state COVID-19 vaccination plan, frequently asked questions, resources ,as well as other information for both public and health care providers. Please distribute to your staff and fellow stakeholders and consumers the attached Vaccine FAQs.
- COVID19 Info Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
- Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 24/7 Public Hotline (available in multiple languages) 1800 222-1222 or if calling from an out of state area code call 1800 962-1253
- Department of Education Updates: https://www.nj.gov/education/topics/index.shtml
- The Governor’s YouTube channel live streams the daily press conferences: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH8YwF0eRl9E5lpGj8OaiLg
- Governor’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NJGov/
- New Jersey’s Twitter https://twitter.com/NJGov
- MVC information is here: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/
- Department of Labor updates: https://www.nj.gov/labor/
Federal Student Aid Upates
If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.
Your servicer or school can provide information about deferment or forbearance options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. You may also be able to change to a different repayment plan that would give you a lower monthly payment.
City of Newark’s Immunization Services
Immunization services provided at the City of Newark’s Immunization Clinic at 110 William St. will now only be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only. Call 973-733-7580 for more details.
Newark Public Library
The Newark Public Library is offering a robust selection of core and specialized services to patrons through their web, social media, and digital platforms, which are all available FREE with your NPL library card!
Students, parents, and teachers can take advantage of live online homework help and writing assistance offered by Brainfuse, which can be found by clicking on the link to Kids Place https://npl.org/kids-place/. Additional educational resources are available through Gale in Context, also found on Kids Place. Brainfuse also offers opportunities for teen and adult learners.
NPL is will be hosting online storytimes on their YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/NewarkLibrary. Please tune in at 11:00 a.m & 2:00 p.m. Monday – Friday to participate!
Librarians love questions! Please don’t hesitate to ask any of yours by emailing email@example.com or calling 973-733-7779.
Essex County Updates
New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) 24/7 Hotline: 800 200-222-1222.
It is also important for everyone to know the signs and practice prevention tips as those provided by the NJ Department of Health.