COVID-19 Resources

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.

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COVID-19 Resources

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 this in-depth guide for students on surviving COVID-19. (Some of the information contained in this guide is included on this webpage).

    • 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 month 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.

  • 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: Open Tuesdays and Fridays, 2:00-6:00pm through May 2020 (for SSU Students only - closed during the summer)
  • 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)

Other Resources -

  • 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 

Comcast is offering Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Spectrum  

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.

California Social Services Agencies -

Financial Consequences -

  • 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.

Financial Resources -

  • 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.
  • Grants for Sonoma County Residents - Contact Sonoma County Job Link to find out more about a grant program for Sonoma County households whose jobs were negatively impacted by COVID-19. 707.565.5550

Food - 

  • Food bank locations or food resources:
    • www.auntbertha.com
    • Why Hunger hotline at 1 (800) 5-HUNGRY
    • USDA National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY/1-877-8-HAMBRE
    • cafoodbanks.org/find-food-bank
    • Dial 211: Can assist you with finding local food banks, meals on wheels, and hot meals programs in your area
  • 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.

    Housing -

    • 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.
    • Together We Rise offers emergency financial assistance to college students who have been displaced, are experiencing homelessness, and need help with unexpected housing expenses.

    Immigrant Resources -

    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)

    Utilities -

    • 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.