By Madison Bohlman and Yasmin Salazar at the New York Vaccine Literacy Campaign, CUNY School of Public Health & Health Policy
New York State has made significant progress against the coronavirus pandemic in recent months. As the State attempts to return to life as it once was, many New Yorkers will not. Millions of New Yorkers have lost employment or income over the course of the pandemic, plunging families into food insecurity and housing instability. The pandemic will continue to impact the lives of New Yorkers, socially, emotionally, and physically.
During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Vaccine Literacy Campaign with the CUNY School of Public Health has developed a list of resources for those seeking assistance. The following information aims to connect New Yorkers and their loved ones with links to resources they may need, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination information, food assistance, housing resources, pregnancy, and family services, unemployment, mental health services, immigrant resources, LBGTQ resources, and emergency funds.
We all have the power to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, taking extra precautions such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home when experiencing symptoms. Learn more about where to get COVID-19 vaccines and how to get tested. Please see the following for COVID-19 related resources:
COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing, and Guidance:
- NIH fact sheets for COVID-19
- CAI’s video resources regarding COVID-19
- NY state service explorer for healthcare, food, and COVID-19 related assistance.
- NYC resources here
- NYC COVID-19 and flu vaccine finder
- Schedule rapid test here
- Community Board 9 testing here – no appointment needed
- What to do when sick with COVID-19 guide
- Prevention and groups at higher risk tips here
- More NYC guides pertaining to COVID testing, vaccines, mental health, and other resources here
- The Brooklyn Hospital Center COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments
- Bronx Testing locations and resources here
- Healthcare Education Project resources here
- SUNY Downstate Health Community health and wellness resources
- Holiday and COVID-19 safety guide
- COVID-19 Common Sense Advice for Individuals and Families here
- Free at-home COVID-19 tests here
- COVID Vaccine Information for Immigrants here
Being a parent or caregiver can be challenging, especially during a worldwide pandemic. If you are a parent, or currently caring for children or teens, the list below provides information on resources for children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Resources for Children & Families:
- The Child Center of NY
- The Dream Center Harlem Youth Creative Collective
- Brooklyn, NY: WIC appointments here
- The Institute for Family Health
- New York City Teens Connection works with schools, clinics, and others to improve the sexual and reproductive health of teens. See more information here.
Resources for Pregnancy and Birth:
- Birth Justice Warriors //birthjusticewarriors.com/educational-materials/
- COVID-19 and pregnant tips here
- The New York Milk Bank Receive Donated Breast Milk (New York Statewide)
- Bronx (re)birth for Birth and Progress //www.bxrebirth.org/
- Planned Parenthood of Greater New York //www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-greater-new-york/learn/community-programs
- Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.
- The Bronx Health Link amplifies the voices of Bronx residents and community-based organizations by providing several workshops on topics including doula, breastfeeding, and more. See more information here.
- Caribbean Women’s Health Association //www.cwha.org/
Food insecurity among adults and children has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rising levels of unemployment, poverty, and COVID-19 restrictions. For information about food pantries and meal programs that serve New York City children and families, as well as seniors and other individuals at risk of hunger, please see the following:
Food Assistance Resources:
- USDA National hunger hotline The hotline can be reached at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
- Map of food in NYC through Get Food NYC
- NYC food delivery assistance due to COVID-19 resource here
- Hunger Free NYC serves low-income New Yorkers and helps families apply for SNAP or WIC, provides food resources guides, and more. See more information here
- Neighborhood Guide to Food and Assistance here
In the midst of a pandemic, housing insecurity can make it difficult for households to comply with public health measures such as quarantining or social distancing restrictions. Federal, state, and local policymakers have taken significant steps to help households navigate housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the following resources available in New York City:
- Crown Heights Tenant Union //crownheightstenantunion.org/
- COVID-19 resources for the homeless
- New York Foundation- Resource Hub //nyf.org/covid-19/community-response-funds/
- NYC COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund //www1.nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-ds.page
- NYC COVID-19 local information //www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/covid-19-testing.page
- Emergency cash assistance for rent here
Many city services are available to all New Yorkers no matter what your immigration status, race, gender, or sexuality is and regardless of your ability to pay, although other eligibility requirements may apply. Please see the following:
Resources for Immigrants:
- New York Immigration Coalition resources for COVID-19
- Voces Latinas COVID-19 resources and information sheets in Spanish
- African Services Committee is a multi-service human rights agency dedicated to assisting immigrants, refugees, and asylees from across the African Diaspora. More information here. Contact at email@example.com
- Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA). See more information here. Reach out to sophie@cianainc for more information.
- Adult ESL classes
- Civics classes
- Legal services
- Case management
- Elementary after school tutoring programs
- Middle school aftercare programs
- India Home supports the elderly South Asian community through health and wellness programs, expert-led community education, and more. See more information here.
- Mixteca: Mixteca’s mission is to empower the Mexican and Latin-American immigrants of the New York area by providing them access to services that enhance their quality of life and will allow them to reach sustainable social and economic development. Programs and resources are offered in Spanish/English
- Audre Lorde Project //alp.org/programs
- Harlem Pride’s NYC COVID-19 knowledge base by borough
- HarlemYES works to craft and deliver life-changing programs and events designed to improve the quality of life of the LGBTQ community and allies from 18yrs to our elder community. See more information here. Contact by filling out the online form here or emailing HarlemYES100@gmail.com.
The pandemic has amplified mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, please know that you are not alone. Help is available. Please see the following:
Mental & Emotional Health Resources:
- NY Project HOPE: emotional support line and resources for New Yorkers coping with COVID-19
- Emotional Support Hotline: Call 1-844-863-9314 anytime between 8 am-10 pm, 7 days a week
- Provider directory
- Mental health and COVID-19 guide
- Resources for domestic violence survivors here
- NYC Health: Crisis Services/Mental Health services here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities. Here is a list of local resources that may help those facing unemployment, health insurance loss, or other life stressors during these difficult times:
Community Healthcare and Unemployment Resources:
- Sign up for unemployment
- Settlement Health: Health Insurance Enrollment and Social Services and Care Management Resources
- United Way of NYC Resources
- RDRC resources for small business owners impacted by COVID-19
- Community Health Action of Staten Island COVID-19 resources here
- Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness
- Maternal Health Toolkit (for healthcare professionals)
- Buprenorphine Toolkit (for healthcare professionals)
- The Osborne Association
- Word of Life International Inc Resources. List includes:
- Feed the Community Food Program
- Emergency Clothing Bank
- Health Insurance Education
- SNAP/WIC Referral
- Job Screening & Referral
- Immigration Services
- Housing Assistance
- Nassau County: Union Baptist Church
- Interfaith Center of New York: Resources regarding safety and security in houses of worship, social workers, teachers, etc., and spirituality here.
- Nick’s Alliance: Elder care, workforce development, youth & education services. Location: Brooklyn.
- Harlem Community Justice Center
Resources for Rights & Justice:
- Health Equity Solution COVID-19 and health equity resources here
- Health Leads resource library
COVID-19 and General Health Education Opportunities:
- Union Settlement: COVID-19 resources and services including senior services, mental health counseling, early childhood education, youth services, etc. See here for more information. Based in Harlem.
- Interfaith Public Health Network: Works to educate faith communities to improve public health through a variety of projects and initiatives. See more information here. Contact IPHN here.
- Healthcare Education Project: Partners with community organizations, religious leaders, elected officials, and members of the public interested in protecting affordable, accessible, quality healthcare. New York State-wide. Contact here.
- African International Collaborative Center: Has a Community Health Education & Promotion program to inform, educate and empower the African community in New York City about health issues to promote and encourage a healthier way of life. Contact through the online form here, calling at (347)784-2228, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Health Equity Solutions: Health trainings for the community. Workshops include Health Equity – The Basics, Social Determinants of Health, Advocacy 101 & 102, Asset Based Community Development, and Storytelling for Advocacy. See more information here. Call 860.461.7637 or email email@example.com to inquire about workshops.
- Parent University, NYC DOE: Parent University seeks to educate and empower families as partners, advocates, and lifelong educators in their student’s education through free courses, resources, events, and activities.
- Little Essentials: Little essential offers at-risk families living in poverty urgently needed children’s supplies and parenting education to promote the health, well-being, and safety of their children under five years of age. Little Essentials also provides support for families by providing tools and resources to strengthen parenting and individual skills
While New York City has fully opened with hopes of getting back to normal, COVID-19 has remained a reality for many. The Vaccine Literacy Campaign and the CUNY School of Public Health hopes you have found this current information useful in navigating the five boroughs and combating COVID-19. We will continue working to provide updates that can help schools, community organizations, and families mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Click to view our COVID-19 community resources.
About the New York Vaccine Literacy Campaign
Launched in May 2021, the Campaign was developed by CONVINCE USA and a team of faculty and staff at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Our mission is to lighten the load of community and direct service organizations by increasing community-level access to vaccine education. The NY VLC provides tools, training, and capacity building resources to community partners. This work is supported by the New York Community Trust, the Altman Foundation, and the New York State Health Foundation.
About CUNY SPH
The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to promoting and sustaining healthier populations in New York City and around the world through excellence in education, research, and service in public health and by advocating for sound policy and practice to advance social justice and improve health outcomes for all.