(Maryland DHCD) Community Services Connection Newsletter - COVID-19 Resources and Updates

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

DHCD will continue to update its COVID-19 resource page that can be found here.

Support for Residents and Families
IRS Economic Stimulus Check Portal for Non-Filers

For people, such as possible clients in homeless programs, who may not have filed a 2018 and/or 2019 tax return this link can be used to register for their economic stimulus check. People can use this link to submit banking or address information to which they can receive their economic stimulus payment. This link is just for non-filers. Please check this same site periodically for an additional link for those who may need to update their banking or address information.

State and Regional Resources 
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Investment Connection Program 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's  Investment Connection Program creates a platform for regional funders to hear from organizations seeking funding to support low- and moderate-income individuals and distressed and underserved communities. The portal will be open from March 30-May 1.  

National and Federal Resources 

New Toolkit from NLIHC

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released a toolkit titled "Working with FEMA to Address COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Needs." The toolkit provides an overview of the structure of FEMA, gives background information on its role in the COVID-19 response, and summarizes assistance types.

HUD Offers Distressed Cities Assistance Program

The Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) program supports small units of general local government (UGLGs) that are distressed and have recently been impacted by a natural disaster. Specifically, the DCTA program is designed to improve the fiscal health and administrative capacity of small UGLGs. The DCTA webpage provides more information about the program, they also provide this  resource page with additional guidance.
FHA's Updated Guidance for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages During the COVID-19 National Emergency Webinar
This webinar will provide a detailed overview of options available to HECM servicers and borrowers affected by the COVID-19 national emergency in accordance with the CARES Act.
OCS Guidance on CSBG Supplemental Funding
The Office of Community Services has released CSBG IM 2020-157 Immediate Guidance on COVID-19 Response. This information memorandum provides emergency guidance for eligible entities providing community support as part of a national effort to address the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. A few key points to note include:
  • The federal poverty line amendment to 200% for eligibility determination applies to both regular CSBG funds as well as CARES Act funds for services provided in FFY 2020 and 2021.
  • CSBG grantees may continue to charge salaries and benefits to currently active CSBG awards consistent with the recipients' policy of paying salaries from all funding sources - both federal and non-federal.
NCAP Community Assessment ToolThe National Community Action Partnership has provided a Community Assessment Tool for for use by local Community Action Agencies as an addendum to their full Community Needs Assessment in response to COVID-19.

New Funding Opportunities 

COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore

The United Way of Central Maryland has joined forces with a group of ten other funders to launch the COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore. The collaborative provides a streamlined opportunity for nonprofit organizations to apply for funding to sustain, deepen, or pivot their operations to address critical needs in local communities resulting from the pandemic. Together, these philanthropic organizations and families have committed to deploying $1.2 million to meet a wide range of urgent challenges communities are facing. 

Funding is now available for non-profits serving Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through May 29, 2020. The application can be found here.


Amalgamated Foundation and Partners Create COVID-19 Response Fund to Help Families

The Ford Foundation, Schmidt Futures, Open Society Foundations, The JPB Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Amalgamated Foundation, and others have come together to start a rapid response fund dedicated to helping workers, families, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund has already generated commitments of over $7 million and plans to raise $20 million to fund organizations helping prevent workers and families from sinking deeper into poverty during the initial months of the pandemic. The fund will provide direct cash grants and loans to people and businesses who are at risk of being left out of the government policy response.  More information can be found here

Community Partner Spotlight

Community Assistance Network

Community Assistance Network (CAN) has remained fully operational serving Baltimore County. Their Outreach Team is fielding calls from people who were already behind in rent before the pandemic and are now in need of immediate support to stay safely in their homes. CAN's staff field 100 to 150 calls per day requesting eviction assistance as the agency's Eviction Prevention program remains a vital lifeline for families in the weeks and months to come.

Their dedicated homeless shelter staff are working 24/7, serving children and families in new ways as we all shelter in place. Their Food Pantry remains open every weekday to serve the growing numbers of those in need of extra support right now. CAN has seen an increase in visitors to their food pantry - in just over two weeks, 539 people visited the food pantry; and, 105 of them were first-time visitors.
Visit CAN's website to learn more about the amazing work they are doing on the frontlines to respond to critical community needs.

Please email CSConnection.dhcd@maryland.gov  if you would like us to include news or events related to your organization in our upcoming newsletter.