Community Response: COVID-19/Coronavirus

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As the situation around the Coronavirus continues to evolve, Heart of Florida United Way wants to share a few important reminders as it relates to our service to the Central Florida community.

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Contribute to the ALICE Fund
In Central Florida alone there are 350,000 households that are working hard, but struggling to make ends meet. They are ALICE – or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Heart of Florida United Way is focused on supporting ALICE families in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Your contribution to the ALICE Fund will help keep a family housed, lights on for homework or food on the table. Nearly half of Central Floridians are ALICE, living paycheck to paycheck, so we need your help to support these families as they go through difficult times.

ALICE Recovery Fund
When Heart of Florida United Way set up the COVID-19/ALICE Recovery Fund on March 17, nobody could have imagined that the pandemic would have had the impacts we now see.  We received more than 14,000 requests for assistance, which far outpaced the available resources. Every day we hear stories of households that are faced with the fear of eviction because they may not be able to pay their rent, families having to make difficult choices, and individuals who have no idea when they might return to work and receive a full paycheck to pay for their bare essentials. We are committed to being your voice, sounding the alarm and demanding action. Read more here.

211 Information & Referral Crisis Line is Available
For information or connection to community resources, you can always dial 211, text your zip code to 898211. Call Specialists are standing by 24/7 to navigate available community resources with you.

Online Database of Community Resources

Looking for a specific resource? Check out 211’s online database for the top links to requested information. 

Utility Assistance for OUC Customers

Since 1994, Project CARE has helped thousands of local families through difficult times. The program provides emergency relief for temporary financial hardships— not chronic or long-term debts. A household is eligible for a maximum benefit of $500 in a 12-month period. Individuals may apply by completing the form linked here.

Take Care of Your Mental & Physical Health
We recommend following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control as it relates to your physical health. Some suggestions include practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your nose and mouth, and seeking medical attention if you exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Mental health is also very important. The uncertainty of the situation can be stressful. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious, reach out. 211 Call Specialists are also available to talk, text or chat online with you at any time.

Offices are Closed, But We’re Still Here for You
Although the Heart of the Florida United Way offices are closed, many staff are working remotely to keep our support to the community as robust as possible. Staff are responding to emails and have remote access to voicemails to continue operations, so please reach out as needed. If you are unsure who to contact, email and we will route your email appropriately. It is important to us to continue providing critical support to Central Floridians during this uncertain time.

Community Snapshot
COVID-19 is impacting all aspects of business and life in Central Florida. Click below to subscribe to a weekly review of data from the 211 Information & Referral Crisis Line, along with news and updates from non-profits throughout Central Florida. Our hope is to keep you educated and informed as to the level of need and available resources in our community.

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