Emergency Alert

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COVID-19 AGENCY UPDATE

Responding in Community | COVID-19

Posted on Category CEO Updates, UpdatesTagged

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Neighbors:

We continue to work towards how best we can serve and center community as the COVID-19 outbreak and impact continues. To date, we have delivered and secured over $2.5M in resources for those most in need.

Although our offices are not yet fully operating at pre-COVID levels, we are holding some in-person client hours to supplement our remote/virtual appointments and processes. Please see below for more information on program services and details of child care operations.

We are concerned about mental health and the abundant inequities facing communities of low income, undocumented workers, child care operators, immigrant communities, and communities of color.  We are working hard in response to create more programs, raise awareness, and deploy more resources for those in need.  Thanks to generous community support, we continue to ensure that rental assistance, individual cash grants, homeless outreach, and mental health supports strengthen. I invite you to join us!

Many have stepped up to support Marin County at this time. Thanks to donors like you, we are able to make new services and supports available through our Step Up Community Fund.

DONATE to our step up community fund

Bookmark this page so that you can get the latest insights about our most current operations. On this page you will find additional guidance about our agency's response and services. Community Action Marin is open in solidarity with community and other human service agencies in the county.

Are You a Community Member Impacted Directly by COVID-19 and Shelter-in-Place?

Take our survey so that we can better understand and meet your needs.

Take Our community survey

Here is what you need to know about our response:

  • Our Home Office at 555 Northgate Drive in San Rafael will continue to provide client intake over the phone (415-526-7500) and homeless outreach county-wide, as well as safety net services such as rental and cash assistance, utility assistance, and emergency food boxes. We will also continue to offer financial coaching services (appointments available) and mental health supports.
  • Agency Orientations have resumed. Register here! Virtual agency orientations in English and Spanish will continue each month.
  • Warm Line Emotional Support is available 7 days a week. Operating since March 23rd (English), our telephone peer mental health support services are open from 9am to 12am (midnight) every day. If you or someone you know is feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious, call us at 415-459-6330 to speak with someone and get the emotional support you need. We launched our Spanish Warm Line on May 4 and now have operations Monday-Saturday. Take a look at hours and number here.
  • Questions? Call: 415-526-7500 to get all other questions answered and information to meet your needs. We are coordinating with the county, other community-based organizations, and the emergency response office to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our staff and families. Please leave only one message to ensure that our staff can keep up with messages and a timely response.
  • Partnering in community for greater outcomes. Last summer, we partnered with Canal Alliance and Legal Aid of Marin, as well as local government, nonprofit and foundation leadership to call for action to protect Marin County residents hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Follow our progress with this initiative here.
  • COVID-19 vaccine? If you're a Marin County resident and want to be notified when you can get the COVID-19 vaccine, just answer a few questions to be subscribed to receive email or text notifications when your turn has arrived on the Marin Health & Human Services website here.

Rent Help & Cash Assistance

Rental Assistance help is available; please call only one agency if you are looking for rental assistance.

NOTE: Marin County has a new ban on evictions which is in effect through June 30, 2021. Learn more about the county's efforts to prevent homelessness here and our own ongoing response to the pandemic in support of our community here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RENTAL ASSISTANCE & CASH GRANTS
  • Is Rental Assistance still available? Background: The County of Marin and Marin Community Foundation provided $650,000 in Emergency Rental Assistance in April. This amount was quickly used and more funds came online thanks to generous donors and the county in May. In December, we have been selected by the County of Marin to help distribute $1.7 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, which will provide rental assistance to households economically impacted by COVID-19. Assistance will be provided to eligible households with an income at or below 30% of the Area Median Income who have not previously received CDBG funding through Community Action Marin or another Marin agency. You can call or email us to learn more, 415-526-7500 or cam@camarin.org. We continue to coordinate efforts across Marin to ensure that those in need of support get the help they need and anticipate continuing to pay out rental assistance through the end of the year and after.
  • How do families apply? If you are already on the County of Marin’s rental assistance wait list, then know that someone will contact you. A number of agencies and county staff are working together to address the wait list, so the person who calls you may not be from the agency you originally called to get on the wait list. If you are not on a wait list already, please call our agency's main number (415-526-7500), and we can refer you to the agency in your local area.
  • Will Rental Assistance be available after July? All applications are processed by month before the next month's request is considered. We are working with the county to go through the wait list of those in need. Thank you for your patience. We know this is a difficult time and we're working hard to meet your needs quickly.
  • Are other Rental Assistance funds available? A number of different agencies throughout Marin are providing rental assistance not only through this fund but using other resources. If you hear that requirements are different at different agencies or that some agencies are providing more than one month’s rent, it is because they are using other funds. This fund pays for rent only. No deposits, no mortgages, no hotel stays or other non-traditional living situations.
  • Is Deposit Assistance available? Yes. Community Action Marin has Season of Sharing funds available for deposits and mortgages. Families can still call the same agencies on the Season of Sharing referral list, but when they call, they should make sure to say that they are calling for deposit or mortgage assistance, so they don’t end up on the rental wait list.
  • Cash Assistance has been provided to over 635 clients already based on prioritized income and need. We continue to invite donations to support the community, especially for those in our immigrant community and low-wage essential workers who face tremendous challenges now. Households are being contacted now thanks to generous donors at the Marin Community Foundation.
  • If someone is in need of assistance, has not been contacted by the Marin County Public Health Department and has had a positive COVID-19 test result within the last 10 days, send the following information to CMiranda@camarin.org:
    • First Name
      Last Name
      Phone Number
      Date of Birth
      Date of Positive Test Result
      # of people in Household (NOTE: Assistance is not provided by Community Action Marin. We are only authorized to make a referral and will have no knowledge of whether or not someone is eligible or if they will receive help.)
  • Need help paying your energy bill? Our Energy Program can help! We're local administrators of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program which ensures families receive assistance with utility payments & other energy costs. While PG&E currently has a moratorium on shut-offs, we know that not everyone has been able to keep current with their bills during this crisis. Because of COVID-19, additional utility benefits are available and we are usually able to provide even more assistance to eligible households. NOW is a good time to apply for assistance with your PG&E bill. Call 415-526-7500 Applications can be emailed, regular mailed or picked up at our office. More info here.

Children and Family Services Update

We have opened selected regular preschool, infant, and toddler classrooms on August 21 with more centers opening in the weeks to come. Contact: Kelsey Lombardi at klombardi@camarin.org to learn more. 

  • Healthy Meals. Since the majority of our preschool and infant/toddler classrooms have reopened, our enrolled kiddos are back to receiving a balanced daily breakfast, lunch, and snack in-person. Meanwhile, we continue to work with a variety of community partners to provide supplemental groceries and prepared foods to our enrolled children and families beyond program hours. On one or more days per week we distribute boxes of fresh produce and protein plus various groceries, baked goods, and prepared foods from local grocers, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants in San Rafael and Novato. Although this food is distributed at selected childcare sites, it is available to all enrolled families. Enrolled families, please contact your assigned family advocate or home visitor for details about accessing these supplemental food resources, or email us at cam@camarin.org.
  • Essential Worker Child Care. We are providing essential workers' families with child care support and will keep community updated as more services become available. We are working to open additional classrooms for all essential workers and children with special needs or at-risk during this challenging time.

Please check our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information as the situation unfolds. We are also sharing some health resources for all community from our partner Marin Health and Human Services here, which is also available in Spanish, Chinese, and other languages by selecting the 'Select Language' feature at the top of the page.

Need Food?

Here are two great resources to find what you need, and our staff can help sign you up for CalFresh benefits over the phone. Call 415-526-7500.

We are with you, and I look forward to healthy days as we support one another by following healthy hygiene protocols like good hand washing and following all shelter-in-place guidelines. Thank you for all you are doing to support your families, neighbors, and loved ones. We're in your corner during this difficult time.

In solidarity,

Chandra AlexandreChief Executive Officer

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