Help a Seawolf in Need
The COVID-19 crisis is causing immense hardship on our students. Please consider supporting our emergency fund to keep our students on track for the future they still believe in and are working hard to attain. Your support will help students cover such necessities as lost wages, housing, food, transportation, relocation costs, technology, and other essential items. More than ever, students need your support to continue their journey to graduation and toward achieving their dreams.
Specifically for Students
- Swift Student is a free platform that assists students with financial aid appeals. It helps students whose families have experienced a significant change in income write a financial aid appeal letter to their college or university.
It walks users through crucial steps of the financial aid appeal process by helping them understand if they are eligible, what documents they’ll need, how to write an appeal letter and how they can submit the letter to their financial aid office.
- COVIDCollegeSupport.com provides a “wealth of resources” to help students get back on their feet. The site offers students help with everything from accessing food, housing and money to healthcare, WiFi, transportation, legal needs and more.
The site is extremely user-friendly and even provides city-specific guides, so students can access the support systems closest to them.
The Hope Center offers an indepth guide on surviving COVID-19.
In this guide, the authors illustrate ways in which those who've lost their jobs can get money.
They offer advice and provide links to hep students obtain funds by applying for unemploymnet insurance and effectively apply for aid through their college or university.
They also suggest effective ways to help students land new jobs, among other things.
Additionally, the authors provide guidance on how students can reduce their credit card, utility, student loans or other bills.
They give advice on how to reduce spending on food and provide helpful links to assist students in finding local food providers.
They offer instruction on how to re-locate or find a place to live and include links to companies and organizations that offer discounts or emergency financial assistance to college students who've been displaced.
And for those who are in need of mental or physical medical attention and don't have money to pay for it, the authors provide information and links to resources to help them find free or low-cost care.
Also included in the guide are links to resources and information to assist parenting students, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, immigrant students and undocumented students.
Download the Guide - The Hope Center's "Beyond the Food Pantry: College During COVID-19: A #RealCollege Guide for Students"
- Please visit SSU's COVID-19 Resources site for campus updates and Student FAQs.
- Student Emergency Basic Needs Intervention Program - Sonoma State students can apply for funds for emergency basic needs such as housing, food, medical or transportation.
- Sonoma State CalFresh Outreach Program - staff are on hand to assist SSU students with pre-screening, application, and verifications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as CalFresh in California. Appointments are conducted via phone or Zoom. This program offers a modest monthly benefit on an electronic card you may use to purchase groceries.
- SSU Lobos Pantry: Sonoma State's food pantry provides students with shelf stable foods.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act provides funds to assist with the financial impact of the pandemic on the University and its students. Half of the institution’s allocation, $4,546,724, will go directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants to help with expenses related to COVID-19 including increased costs for housing, food, course materials, technology, health care and childcare. The remainder of the funding will mitigate expected costs associated with transitioning to online instruction and teleworking, as well as loss of revenue associated with housing, meal plans, canceled performances and parking among others. The application period for these funds is now closed. (June 5, 2020)
- Financial Resources for Students During Covid-19 - A comprehensive guide for college students, published by MoneyGeek.com.
- Beginning May 12, 2021,eligible households will be able to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
In announcing the official launch date, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated:
“Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner. In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities.”
Beginning on May 12 households can apply in three ways:
1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org
to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
- Avoiding COVID-19 Financial Scams. The infographic on this travel resources website explains the different forms of common scams and offers practical advice on how to avoid them.
- CURA is a community project delivering supportive services, healthcare navigation and emergency financial assistance to Latinx and Indigenous residents of Sonoma County most affected by COVID-19, led by La Plaza: Nuestra Cultura Cura and more than a dozen community-based organizations. To learn more about the support they offer, and to see if you are eligible for COVID-19 related financial assistance, contact CURA at 707-309-8972, https://www.laplazancc.org/en/cura-project, or email CURAproject@laplazancc.org.
- Dial 211 or visit www.211.org to get current information on available resources in your area, such as employment opportunities, housing or utilities assistance, physical or mental health services, and services to address and prevent homelessness. They can also assist you with finding supplemental food and nutrition programs in your area. For Sonoma County residents, visit https://211sonoma.org/.
- Families First: COVID-19 Constituent Service Resources Toolkit - Created by House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, this guide provides information on how eligible individuals can get a stimulus check, find other assistance resources, homeowner & renter protections, energy assistance, paid leave, and student, educator, business, Native American, and veteran resources.
- Internet Services- Several cable companies are offering free internet for students for 60 days. AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Spring, Verizon, and T-Mobile will not disconnect anyone for the next 60 days. They participated in the "Keep Americans Connected" Pledge (PDF). To qualify, you may need to be eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Medicaid, or SNAP.
Comcast is offering Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days during the coronavirus outbreak.
Charter Communication announced it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription.
- Western Center on Law and Poverty posts an up-to-date list of a myriad of resources that are available during COVID-19. Check it out!
California Social Services Agencies
- Recently issued guidance from the Department of Education clarifies that students who have a Federal Work-Study (FWS) position and are unable to work due to school closure or distance learning may continue to be paid for the FWS hours they were scheduled to work.
- Students who are receiving assistance through public programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, or a child care subsidy should discuss with their caseworker how to handle unexpected changes in school or work schedules due to COVID-19 to avoid disruptions in their assistance. Students can also check their local human services websites to see if there are proactive updates.
- Economic Impact Payments - Commonly referred to as "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment", the Economic Impact Payments are automatic for most taxpayers. However, some people will need to apply. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment website for more information and to apply online.
- Economic Stimulus Payments: How You Can Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness to Access These Funds.
- (January 2021) This CalEITC Guide includes a tax prep checklist, information on how to claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), how to file your taxes for free, information about the Young Child Tax Credit and more. Put cash in your pocket! Between the state and federal EITCs, an individual can receive more than $8,000, depending on income, number of dependents, and other factors. In addition, the new Young Child Tax Credit gives $1,000 back to some working parents with a child under age 6. Finally, if you didn't claim the CalEITC or other credits on your past tax returns, it's not too late. You can change your California tax returns from prior years at www.ftb.ca.gov/file/after-you-file/amend-a-return/index.html.
- Unemployment Insurance -
- File for Unemployment
- How to Set up a UI Online Account (DE 2338H) (PDF)
- COVID-19: Worker Resources
- COVID-19: Additional Assistance funds for Workers and Businesses
- Food bank locations or food resources:
- CalFresh (SNAP): If this crisis goes on and your finances are deeply affected, you may become newly eligible for CalFresh (SNAP). If you are using your CalFresh to purchase groceries at WalMart, shopping through https://grocery.walmart.com/ will avoid a delivery fee. Please visit our FAQs about CalFresh during COVID-19 for more information about changes to eligibility and benefits during the pandemic.
- Pandemic EBT - Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on the P-EBT card to use to purchase food and groceries. They may use this card to purchase items online through Walmart and Amazon. Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail by May 22, 2020 must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will be available beginning May 22, 2020 at ca.p-ebt.org.
- (2-19-21) Eviction Moratorium: This Tenant Checklist explains your rights and responsibilities under state law if you are being evicted any time after October 5, 2020. It does not appear to apply to students living in campus housing but we expect to get more clarification about this in the coming days.
- Per the Families First: COVID-19 Constituent Service Resources Toolkit,
- Mortgage Forbearance: Homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or Section 184 or 184A mortgages (for members of federally-recognized tribes) and those with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have the right to request forbearance on their payments for up to 6 months, with a possible extension for another 6 months without fees, penalties, or extra interest. Homeowners should contact their mortgage servicing company directly.
- Eviction Protections: Renters residing in public or assisted housing, or in a home or apartment whose owner has a federally-backed mortgage, and who are unable to pay their rent, are protected from eviction for 4 months. Property owners are also prohibited from issuing a 30-day notice to a tenant to vacate a property until after the 4-month moratorium ends. This protection covers properties that receive federal subsidies such as public housing, Section 8 assistance, USDA rural housing programs, and federally-issued or guaranteed mortgages. Renters whose landlord is not abiding by the moratorium should contact the relevant federal agency that administers their housing program or their local Legal Aid office.
- California Homeless Youth Project: The California Homeless Youth Project (HYP) is a research and policy initiative that highlights the issues and challenges faced by unaccompanied young peple who are homeless or lack stable housing.
- Emergency Housing, Food, & Financial Resources for Undergraduates at California's Public Colleges and Universities, February 2020. This resource guide helps college students and the faculty and staff who support them find emergency food, housing, and financial resources at 82 public colleges and universities in California. It is based on findings from our recent report, Measuring Our Success: Campus Supports for College Students Experiencing Food & Housing Insecurity.
- Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness: Perspectives from California's Community Colleges, Shahera Hyatt, Nancy LePage, Alexis Piazza (April 2019). This report details key findings and recommendations based on a survey of College Homeless Liaisons at California's community colleges. It is a collaborative effort of CHYP and the ACLU Foundations of California.
- Together We Rise offers emergency financial assistance to college students who have been displaced, are experiencing homelessness, and need help with unexpected housing expenses.
- Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for public housing assistance. You may check the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) website for information on your local housing authority and eligibility for assistance.
- Immigrants Rising: Tangible Support for Undocumented Communities During COVID-19
- California COVID 19 Response: Guide to Immigrant Californians
- New Initiatives to Support California Workers Impacted by COVID-19 (April 15 Announcement from Governor Gavin Newsom)
The Public Charge rule is moving forward, however an implementation date has yet to be announced. If you have any questions about Public charge and how it may impact you, please visit the Department of Social Services Public Charge website and Protecting Immigration Families website.
Medical and Mental Health Resources
- The Hope Center's in-depth guide on surviving COVID-19 provides a section on medical and mental health resources. (pages 4-6)
- Lower your utility bills. Look at the energy assistance programs available where you live. Energy assistance programs look only at the income of those people living in your household and they do not count financial aid (including student loans) as income. Apply for all programs for which you might be eligible. If accepted, share this information with your fellow students and college advisors so they can further share to help others. To learn more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in your state, visit the Office of Community Services or for California, visit the California Department of Community Services & Development website.