VEP has compiled a list of resources that may be helpful to students navigating the Coronavirus pandemic.
If you are able, please have your student complete this short survey about how they are coping.
VEP advises all active tutors to NOT meet with students in person until further notice is received from VEP via direction from our local Commissioners and Health Department experts.
Immigrant Services: Census & Rights, Voting
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
Completing the 2020 Census strengthens our community by allocating funds for services such as hospitals, senior centers, jobs, roads, schools, and businesses. It also allocates funds for programs such as food stamps, Head Start, school lunch programs, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Please watch this informational video from PICC to learn why everyone, especially immigrants, should complete the 2020 Census: http://paimmigrant.org/2020/04/2020-census/.
Additional information on immigrant rights and services can be found at PICC’s website: http://paimmigrant.org/.
Voting by Absentee or Mail-In Ballot
Pennsylvania’s primary election date is June 2. Voting by mail is a convenient, secure and safe option as we work toward overcoming a global pandemic. Requesting a mail-in ballot (a new option available to Pennsylvania voters for the first time this year) takes just a few minutes. Those interested can learn more and apply here: VotesPA
Chester County Department of Human Resources Resource Guide
Comprehensive guide to regional services, covering mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, food assistance, housing, utilities, employment and financial resources can be found at https://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/54524/DHS-COVID-Community-Resource-Guide
Coronavirus Antibody Testing
Chester County has expanded its FREE drive-through antibody testing to include ALL essential workers AND their household members. This applies to anyone living OR working in Chester County (not just first responders and medical personnel) who has been working outside their home during the “red phase” of the government shutdown. For more information and to register for a free testing appointment, visit
Chester County Health Department
Latest statistics, advice & local information for Chester County & Delaware County can be found at www.chesco.org/coronavirus
Phoenixville-centric resources page: www.inthistogetherpxv.com
Community-created Google doc listing open businesses:
Phoenixville Open Businesses
Phoenixville Area Covid19 Makers
Collection of local makers supporting local medical needs by creating and distributing cloth face masks and 3D printed face shields. Information can found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/19460covid19/
Employment & Business Support
PA CareerLink (United Way Financial Stability Services)
Immediate Job Openings: PA residents who have lost their job due to Coronavirus-related business closures can access job openings from employers across the state who are in need of hiring thousands of critical roles. Access these jobs through PA CareerLink.
Resource Library: The PA CareerLink Chester County and United Way FSC office is currently CLOSED. JOB SEEKERS and EMPLOYERS may continue to access services remotely. Remote services are detailed on the COVID-19 Resource Library Page. To access any of their services, please call 610-280-1010 and leave a message. Someone will return your call ASAP. UC Claimants should direct ALL UC inquiries directly to the Unemployment Office. Due to the high volume of phone calls and UC Live Chat requests, the best way to currently receive assistance from UC is through email at: email@example.com. For more guidance UC claimants should visit the UC webpage for more information.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
As of 4/18/2020, Pennsylvania’s self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others not eligible for regular unemployment compensation (UC) can begin filing claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. PUA is included in the new federal expansion to unemployment benefits provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Anyone collecting PUA benefits is also eligible for the extra $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. You don’t need to do anything to receive the extra $600 – it will be paid automatically.
**The PA Department of Labor and Industry is now asking individuals who have not received their PINS to fill out this form in order to be prioritized in the system. Once approved, applicants will receive back payments for the weeks they were not able to file. **
Open Hearth Mobile Workforce Services
Contact: Ann Marie Barr, Mobile Workforce Navigator, 610-331-4101, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Association began accepting additional applications for the Paycheck Protection Program from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020. Businesses interested in participating should apply as soon as possible for PPP.
The first round of federal CARES Act funding ($349 billion) lasted about a week. The new round of $310 billion in funding is expected to last four to six days. With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis.Businesses interested in participating can find more information here, including how to apply for PPP.
PA Business Resource Page
Full list of guidance for businesses during the various reopening stages within PA can be found on the COVID-19 Business Resource page.
VEP partners with Open Hearth. Their staff provide community support in areas of Housing, transportation and financial planning. https://www.openhearthinc.org/
In response to the coronavirus emergency, many courts are closed and no evictions are being processed at this time. As a result, landlords may attempt to remove tenants illegally for nonpayment of rent or other reasons. Legal Aid of Southeastern PA can help you to file an emergency petition with the courts.
What to do if you’re illegally locked out:
(1) Call the police. Show them proof that you are a tenant.
(2) Call Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) at 877-429-5994 or www.lasp.org.
Transit Map: https://gis.penndot.gov/transitmap/
Maternal and Child Health Consortium
Family Benefits Specialists continue providing assistance to individuals with Health Insurance and SNAP Benefits Enrollments over the phone. For assistance, please watch this informational video.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are keenly aware that social and physical distancing is causing great distress. Our mental health is just as critical during this time. 24/7 Availability. Call 1-800-985-5990. Text “TALKWITHUS” to 66746. For Spanish speakers, Text “HABLANOS” to 66746.
Drug and Substance Abuse Support
If you need assistance, call 1-800-GET-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or www.ddap.pa.gov
Phone & online meetings: www.virtual-na.org
Full text of NA Book: https://spiritualprinciples.org/tag/na-basic-text/
Email, chat, audio & forums meetings in a variety of languages: http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php
Fellowship Health Resources (Phoenixville)
Psychiatric Rehabilitation – All face to face programming was suspended on March 17, 2020 until further notice. We are actively working to provide telehealth support to psych rehab individuals until the national crisis abates.
Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation – This program was modified to telehealth on March 18, 2020 until further notice. We are planning to provide telehealth to our individuals until the national crisis abates.
Outpatient Services – The program stopped providing primary services face to face on March 19, 2020 until further notice. We have begun to provide telehealth support, including individual therapy and medication management, to individuals until the national crisis abates. FHR will continue to provide face to face services once a week to administer Long Acting Injectable (LAI) medications, as well as support Clozaril Blood Work. Other programs under this license are also impacted by the crisis:
Mobile Mental Health Treatment – Has started providing telehealth, therapy and medication management, as of March 18, 2020. FHR MMHT will continue to provide face to face, in home appointments for individuals receiving Long Acting Injectable (LAI) medications only.
Decision Support Center – Certified Peer Specialist will participate in Peer Support Outreach calls to individuals that participate in the Decision Support Center.
Blended Case Management – As of March 18th, 2020, telephonic and video based only services will be provided as often as possible in order to mitigate COVID-19 spread. The program is prepared to provide limited community outreach services in situations where face-to-face engagement is clinically unavoidable. However, screening, social distancing, hygiene, and, as appropriate, use of personal protective equipment protocols will be rigidly enforced during any in-person encounters. We continue to collaborate with our community partners throughout this time to ensure ongoing quality care for our individuals. Hospitalization procedures and on-call services will continue to be available telephonically at this time.
Peer Support Services – This program was modified on March 18, 2020 to provide Telehealth services. The program is attempting to provide telephonic and video-based services at least once a week to each member or as clinically necessary.
Creative Health Services (Phoenixville)
Open for telehealth and in-person appointments: https://creativehs.org/
Chester County Community Foundation
During these difficult times, many nonprofits, arts organizations, museums, and local governments are providing resources to educate and entertain the public. The Chester County Community Foundation has compiled a full list of local and international resources (virtual museum tours, art classes, exercise classes, musical performances, and much more) can be found by clicking here.