COVID-19: Need Help or Want to Help?

Economic Resources: Individuals and Workers

L.A. County extended its temporary moratorium on residential and commercial evictions through June 30. This moratorium protects tenants from evictions if they are unable to pay rent due to hardships related to COVID-19 and for other COVID-19-related reasons. Please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/tenants-and-landlords/ and https://dcba.lacounty.gov/noevictions/ for details. These pages also offer additional resources for tenants and landlords.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program is an emergency unemployment assistance program under the federal CARES Act. PUA provides assistance for individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance and are unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related circumstances. The EDD is accepting online applications for this program.

An executive order from Governor Newsom prohibits debt collectors from garnishing any COVID-19-related relief. This includes federal, state, or local relief, including money received under the CARES Act. Funds may still be garnished to pay for child support, family support, spousal support, or criminal restitution for victims. Learn more about other financial help the state has made available.

The State of California released a COVID-19 Guide for Immigrants (PDF). Learn about how to protect you and your family from COVID-19, and the services and public benefits that are available to you. Many services are available regardless of immigration status.  

Workers and employers can apply for various types of assistance with the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The EDD handles unemployment insurance claims, disability insurance claims, paid family leave, and more. Their website offers information on additional resources for workers and employers who are experiencing hardships related to COVID-19. Visit https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm.

The L.A. County Business & Worker Disaster Help Center offers various resources and information for workers and businesses, and tenants and landlords. Staff can counsel you on the various local, regional, and federal assistance programs that have been created over the last several weeks. The Center is staffed with live people who speak 9 languages. Please call 833-238-4450 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays to help you find the resources right for your situation. For online assistance, visit LACountyHelpCenter.org or e-mail questions to disasterhelpcenter@lacounty.gov. 

If you’re out of work, OnwardCA.org is a resource that may be able to help land you a new job and get back on your feet. The platform has a dynamic matching system to match out-of-work Californians with available jobs and resources that best match their current situation, skills and experience.

America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) provides workers and job seekers many of the resources normally available in-person at AJCCs, including job openings, online education, and information for recently laid-off workers. Visit workforce.lacounty.gov.

There is a state-wide moratorium on residential evictions through May 31 for renters who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 related economic hardships. Read the order on the Governor’s website

State and federal tax filing deadlines for all taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, have been postponed until July 15, 2020. Learn more at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/ and see all COVID-19 updates from the State Franchise Tax Board.

Business Owners

Commercial tenants are included in the L.A. County temporary moratorium on evictions, now extended through June 30, 2020. As a commercial tenant, you are protected from eviction if you are unable to pay rent due to hardships related to COVID-19 and for other COVID-19-related reasons. Please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/tenants-and-landlords/  and https://dcba.lacounty.gov/noevictions/ for details. 

A State of California tax relief program for small businesses offers a free deferral of sales/use tax of up to $50,000 for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable sales. Additionally, the California Small Business Loan Guarantee program offers $50 million in state funding for those who may not qualify for federal funding. Please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/business-and-employers to learn about these programs and others that may help small businesses in California.

All California small businesses and taxpayers who file a return of less than $1 million now have until July 31, 2020 to file their return. Qualifying businesses do not need to apply - the extension is applied automatically. Visit the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website to learn more, apply for special assistance, and/or learn about additional relief from interest and penalties.

The L.A. County Business and Worker Disaster Help Center can also guide businesses through the process to receive small business loans from the federal government, help with questions about the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, and connect you to Layoff Aversion services, tax credits, and comprehensive support. Visit their website, call 1-833-238-4450 or e-mail disasterhelpcenter@lacounty.gov. Live people are available to assist you.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering multiple new funding programs for small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options, call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. 

Los Angeles County: COVID 19: Information for Businesses: This page contains L.A. County-specific information on how businesses can obtain assistance during this health emergency.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation established an L.A. Covid-19 Community Connectory which provides resources and assistance for small businesses and nonprofits. The L.A. County EDC is prioritizing COVID-19 relief for organizations. For additonal assistance, call LAEDC staff at 213-236-4837, or e-mail covid19response@laedc.org.

The L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Office of Small Business can also help connect you to local, state and federal resources, including layoff aversion and emergency loans. Visit dcba.lacounty.gov, call 800-593-8222 or e-mail concierge@dcba.lacounty.gov.

Mortgage Assistance

Several major banks and financial institutions have agreed to delay foreclosures and provide mortgage relief to California homeowners who are struggling to make their monthly payments due to COVID-19. If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage if COVID-19 has resulted in job loss, income reduction, etc., contact your mortgage servicer to request mortgage assistance. 

Homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration may be eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Contact your loan servicer for details.

Additionally, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 additional state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for consumers and homeowners in California. Learn more about financial relief for homeowners and renters.

Student Loan Borrowers

Federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Visit the Department of Education’s COVID-19 page to learn more.

For all other student loans, pleae contact your servicer directly. The State of California is working with several loan servicers to provide forebearance and other options for borrowers who are facing hardship due to COVID-19.

Food and Essentials

The Community Services Department is now offering weekly grocery delivery for qualifying low-income families and qualifying low-income seniors in Signal Hill through the Brown Bag Distribution Program. Visit Brown Bag Food Distribution Program to apply.

L.A. County has a free delivery service for older adults aged 60+ and individuals with disabilities who are unable to leave their home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will help vulnerable individuals get the groceries, household items, and other necessities they need during this time without having to leave the safety of their homes. Delivery will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no extra cost. No application process is required but items must be pre-paid and ready for pickup. Deliveries can be scheduled by calling 1-888-863-7411 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please see the Program Fact Sheet (PDF) for more information.

L.A. County agencies and partners that provide free groceries and meals are expanding their services during COVID-19. See options and find food distribution sites near you. Some programs also provide delivery. 

The CalFresh Program is available to all low-income Californians. The program issues monthly benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food may be purchased at any grocery store or farmers market that accepts EBT cards. You can apply at getcalfresh.org or call 866-613-3777.

The Long Beach Unified School District is serving meals to students at a limited number of schools, including at Signal Hill Elementary. Starting Monday, May 4, LBUSD will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are provided Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These meals are free to students regardless of which school they attend. Learn more from LBUSD.

Many grocery stores are changing hours to allow staff to re-stock and sanitize. Some stores are also offering special hours for seniors only. For your convenience, we have a list of local stores, and their hours, location, and contact information: Grocery Store Hours (PDF)  

Many Signal Hill restaurants are open, offering delivery, take-out and drive-thru service. We’ve compiled a list of local restaurants, the services they’re offering, their hours, and contact information. Visit cityofsignalhill.org/restaurants

Utilities and Bill Payments

The City of Signal Hill is suspending all water shut-offs due to non-payment through June 30.

Long Beach Energy Resources will provide restoration of gas service to customers currently shut-off for non payment. For more information, visit: longbeach.gov/energyresources

Southern California Edison is temporarily suspending service disconnections for customers unable to pay their bill, and waiving late fees, for residential and business customers affected by COVID-19. If you have difficulty paying your SCE bill due to COVID-19, please call 800-950-2356 and/or visit https://www.sce.com/safety/coronavirus to learn more.  

Telephone, Cell Phone and Internet: The FCC has reached an agreement with several major service providers, including Frontier, Spectrum/Charter, TracFone Wireless, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and others under the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. These providers agree that through at least June 30, they will not terminate any services to residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills due to complications from the pandemic, as well as waive any late fees those customers might incur because of economic hardships resulting from COVID-19. Please consult your individual service provider for information.

Mental Health Resources

Managing the stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19 and staying at home may be overwhelming for some people. It can help to keep a healthy routine that includes regular sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and increased communication/connection with friends and loved ones. People with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. 

Mental Health Hotlines

The California Surgeon General has a simple guide with things you can do every day, at home, to help support your mental and physical health during the pandemic. Use these six strategies:

  • Supportive relationships: Maintain supportive relationships wherever you can, including virtually.
  • Exercise: Engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, if you can. It doesn’t have to be all at one time.  
  • Sleep: Get sufficient, high-quality sleep. This may be particularly hard right now, but going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day can help. 
  • Nutrition: Ensure you are getting proper nutrition to help combat stress. 
  • Mental health support: Resources available here.
  • Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness in whatever way works best for you. This could be things like meditation, yoga, or prayer for 20 minutes, two times a day. 

Learn more in the California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief during COVID-19. (PDF). 

L.A. County is offering residents free access to Headspace Plus, a virtual guide to meditation and mindfulness. Access to a free subscription is available through 2020. Residents can use this tool to get hundreds of science-backed guided meditations in English and Spanish, as well as mindfulness and sleep exercises to help address rising stress and anxiety.

The State of California launched an online hub with resources for emotional support and well-being. Visit their website for helpful strategies for managing stress, hotlines if you need to talk to someone, and behavioral and mental health services. 

Seniors who would like to speak to a real-life person for emotional support: please call the Friendship Line at 888-670-1360. This line is available 24/7.

Additional Resources:

Domestic Violence

For many domestic violence victims and survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. Please be assured that help and services are available during this time. COVID-19 does not mean you have to stay in an unsafe situation.

If you need help or support for Domestic Violence, please call the L.A. County Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-978-3600 or dial 2-1-1. 

Here is a list of Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Shelter 24-hour Hotlines (PDF). All shelters are practicing safe COVID-19 protocols. You can call these shelters any time.

Seniors

The Great Plates Delivered Program offers free delivery of three nutritious meals per day to eligible seniors. L.A. County and the state of California are teaming up with local restaurants to provide meals to seniors, at-risk individuals, and those who otherwise are unable to access meals. Please call 2-1-1 to find out if you are eligible for the program and to get started. Learn more from the State here. 

L.A. County’s Critical Delivery Service is free for older adults aged 60+ and individuals with disabilities who are unable to leave their home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program offers free delivery of groceries, household items, and other necessities, allowing seniors to stay home. Delivery is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no extra cost. Items must be pre-paid and ready for pickup. Deliveries can be scheduled by calling 1-888-863-7411 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please see the Program Fact Sheet (PDF) for more information.

Visit the California Department of Aging’s COVID-19 page for a list of resources for older and other at-risk adults.

L.A. County Department of Public Health offers a wealth of resources specifically for seniors online. Visit their website for help with food delivery, health care, mental health, and support for caregivers.

Senior Fitness

Seniors can maintain their health and fitness without leaving the safety of their home. In partnership with SeniorFitnessWithMeredith.com, the City of Signal Hill is broadcasting fitness classes just for seniors on the City of Signal Hill Cable Information Channel; Charter/Spectrum cable channel 3 or Frontier/FiOS channel 38. Classes air daily at 5:45 a.m., 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. These classes do not require special equipment and are designed specifically for older adults. Tune in and get moving with us!

There are also online exercise classes just for seniors that can be done in the comfort of home. Check out the following websites for senior fitness classes:

Resources for Parents and Children

An online portal from the State of California connects parents with safe and licensed child care providers nearby. Visit https://covid19.ca.gov/childcare/  for more information. Simply type in your zip code and you’ll be directed to a map showing nearby centers. There are several listed in the Signal Hill / Long Beach area.

Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease: Talking with Children About COVID-19

Keep kids healthy while school is out, and protect kids from getting sick: CDC: Children and COVID-19

The Signal Hill Public Library has a variety of online resources (PDF) for kids and adults during its closure.

Long Beach Unified School District is offering home learning opportunities at https://www.lbschools.net/HLO

How Can I Help Others Right Now?

The Signal Hill Community Foundation is seeking donations to its Signal Hill COVID-19 Relief Fund that will support community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus response in Signal Hill. Donations will support approved 501(C)3 nonprofit, educational, volunteer and governmental organizations working on these efforts. Learn more: https://signalhillcommunityfoundation.org/covid-19 

Become a volunteer by signing up for the Californians For All initiative. You’ll be matched with volunteer and assistance opportunities in your area that fit your expertise. Visit californiansforall.ca.gov to learn more and sign up.

The United Way of Greater Los Angeles created the Pandemic Relief Fund to support L.A. County’s most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund aims to support public health efforts to protect the homeless, prevent an increase in homelessness, and provide support to low-income students and their families who need technology assistance to continue their academics. Learn more: unitedwayla.org

Reach out to a friend or neighbor and offer your help, if you are healthy and able. At-risk (over 60 years old and/or experiencing a chronic health condition) individuals are advised not to leave their homes at all right now, therefore a friend or loved one should help them with essential supplies, food, etc. Appropriate ways to reach out include calling, texting, using social media, or simply leaving a note in their mailbox or door. Make sure you practice physical distancing while interacting with others.

California is asking all health care providers who may not be in the workforce right now to step up and join its California Health Corps. If you’re a retired provider, a nursing or medical student, a dentist, a mental health care provider, or other kind of health provider, you have the opportunity to play a critical role in responding to this urgent situation. You will be paid and will be given malpractice insurance coverage. Learn more and sign up at healthcorps.ca.gov

The American Red Cross is urgently calling on all healthy and eligible adults to donate blood.  It is perfectly safe to donate blood right now. However, you must make an appointment to donate.

If you are a vendor interested in providing supplies and PPEs to Los Angeles County’s Emergency Operations, visit https://doingbusiness.lacounty.gov/