For all critical health and human services needs call Mass 2-1-1
Dial Mass 2-1-1 for information about critical health and human services available in your community.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Mental Health Resources
- Norfolk County Food Pantry Locations: Complete list of locations and contact information:
- Project Bread
- Child Nutrition Outreach Program: School Closure Meal Information
The most up-to-date information: https://meals4kids.org/summer
Recent news stories suggest an unwanted outcome of social distancing may be a higher incidence of domestic violence. If you or others need support for family members living in close quarters for an extended period of time, please consult the following resources:
One Tough Job
Connects parents with parenting information, ideas, and on-the-ground resources. Also provides connections to other moms and dads who have asked the same questions and faced similar challenges.
DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended)
A volunteer-run, 24-hour crisis hotline providing comprehensive support services to victims of domestic and dating violence: women and men, adults and teens.
(617) 471-1234 or 1-888-314-3683
A statewide, domestic violence hotline, free and confidential. Call to talk to someone. Be connected with a local sexual assault or domestic violence program.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
A national hotline. Confidential.
If in immediate danger, please dial 911. If you or someone you know is affected by domestic or dating violence, please contact the Dedham Police’s non-emergency number, (781) 326-1212.
From the MIRA CODID-19 page:
IMPORTANT: If you or a loved one are sick or know you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, don’t hesitate to get tested and treated, regardless of your immigration status or insurance coverage. State officials have confirmed that testing and treatment for COVID-19 related services will be covered by MassHealth Limited; testing and treatment for COVID-19-related services provided by hospitals and community health centers will be reimbursed by the Health Safety Net.
MassHealth and COVID-19
Guidance for patients and applicants, including info for those lacking insurance; note that Connector enrollment has been reopened through April 25
Health care access
Health Care for All’s HelpLine is a free resource available to everyone to answer your questions about health coverage in Massachusetts. You can reach the HelpLine by calling 1-800-272-4232. HelpLine counselors are available 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday. You can also submit questions online.
Resources for workers in Massachusetts
- Know Your Work-Related Rights During the Coronavirus (FAQ by Justice at Work, GBLS and Lawyers for Civil Rights); also en español, with an ever-evolving more in-depth FAQ (Google Doc), also en español
- About COVID-19: Employee rights and employer obligations (FAQ by Attorney General’s Office, also en español, em Português, 用中文（表达 )
- FAQ on Mass. earned sick time requirements (Attorney General’s Office)
- Mass. Dept. of Unemployment Assistance – multilingual resources, incl. claimant booklet in 12 languages, and Mass. Legal Services guidance on unemployment
- Emergency funds for workers (by Mass Jobs with Justice), also en español
Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
- If you need to file for unemployment and need to talk to someone you can click this link and fill out and submit the form. You can request help in your language.
- You will be placed on a list and will receive a telephone call from DUA. The DUA contact center is extending hours including weekends.
- Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Virtual Town Halls Sign up for a town hall presentation on applying for unemployment assistance. Learn more and sign up here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-department-of-unemployment-assista nce-dua-virtual-town-halls
- Unemployment Insurance: The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are filing emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment if their workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks.
- New federal guidance has allowed for more flexibility at the state level for unemployment insurance. Massachusetts has suspended its one week waiting period, and other requirements have been temporarily relaxed to assist workers like bartenders and servers, who may not have been laid off but are currently out of work.
- If you already have an unemployment claim, all requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended, and missing deadlines due to the effects of COVID-19 will be excused under the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance’s (DUA) good cause provision.
Emergency Sick Leave:
- If you are sick, please stay home. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expanded paid emergency sick leave to more workers.
- Emergency paid sick leave also covers those who need to stay home to care for a sick child or family member.
Contract workers, or gig economy workers, can now receive a tax credit in case they need to take emergency sick leave.
- Here is a link for more information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Special relief programs
MassUndocuFund – special COVID-19 relief fund created by a group of grassroots organizations, now accepting donations and applications
Lawyers for Civil Rights – wide range of information in English and Spanish
Mass Legal Services on COVID-19: https://www.masslegalservices.org/es/covid-19
Access the Internet
EveryoneOn offers broadband service to income-eligible families (for example, those that qualify for free or reduced school lunch, or who live in public housing) at a cost of around $10-12 per month (varies from state-to-state). Some states also offer very low-cost laptops or desktops ($100-200).
Several internet providers are offering discounts or free internet services during the time of the pandemic:
- Comcast offers income-eligible families internet access at $10-12 per month. However, they are now offering this low-cost service for free for the next 60 days. internetessentials.com
- AT&T is waiving data overage fees to all customers so that families and students can stay connected during the pandemic. They will not terminate the service of any customer over the next 60 days. All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free—including non-Xfinity customers.
- Verizon is waiving late fees and committing to no discontinuation of service during the next 60 days. Visit verizon.com/about/news/our-response-coronavirus for information about Verizon’s services during the pandemic.
Advice for Renters and Homeowners
Financial Assistance for Vulnerable Tenants and Homeowners
Did you have students who may be in need of rental assistance? Even with the end of the eviction moratorium, there is assistance that could protect them from eviction and enable them to get up to $10,000 to pay rent or mortgage if they could not pay because of unemployment during the pandemic – this also applies to tenants who are undocumented immigrants. Find more information about Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) here, and further information about getting help with housing costs here. Tenants and Homeowners can also call for help on this hotline run by the community group City Life at (617) 934-5006 (English) and (617) 397-3773 (Spanish). This document summarizes the available assistance. These resources are part of a $171 million plan announced by the Baker administration to keep tenants in their homes and support landlords after the state’s eviction moratorium expired in mid-October.
For homeowners: If you are unable to pay your mortgage due to loss in income, please contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible. A number of banks have posted their policies online. For those with government-backed mortgages, the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have suspended foreclosures. For those with private lenders, there are mechanisms in place for borrowers experiencing an economic hardship that may enable you to reduce or suspend payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a list of suggestions and resources that can be found on their website.
Social Security Information
It is important for everyone to know that all Social Security benefits will continue to be paid to those who receive them. Scammers and other bad actors may try to misinform you into thinking that the pandemic will stop you from receiving Social Security payments, but that is not true.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, all local Social Security offices will be closed to the public and will no longer be able to accept walk-in visitors.
In case you or a loved one is need of assistance during the pandemic, you can access most services on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/ or call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
Getting Home from Abroad Safely
Any American who is currently abroad and trying to return home should enroll in the
State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrolment (SMART) Program. SMART is a free service that provides travelers with important information from the U.S. Embassy about safety conditions in the country that they are visiting, allows the U.S. Embassy to get in contact with them in an emergency, and helps family and friends get in touch with the enrollee while they are abroad. https://step.state.gov/step/
(Compiled from various sources with help from Sandy Goodman, SABES Program Support PD Center, 3/23/20)