BROOKLYN COVID-19 RESOURCES
COVID-19 has revealed just how broken NYC's safety net is. My campaign has examined those problems, their impact on the city, and recommendations to fix things and save lives;
Join us for a brief educational presentation on coronavirus, its impact on NYC, and what the next year might look like. Presented by Stu Sherman, JD, MPH and Hiba Abousleiman, MPH candidate. There will be a Q&A after, where we can answer questions on COVID and its impact on you and your loved ones. Topics covered range from evictions to school re-openings to infection rates. Presentation is on Thursday, September 17th at 6:00.
Our understanding of COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Science is a process of testing ideas, confirming some, and disproving others. Our understanding a month ago about the disease is completely different than it is today. Don't assume what you heard at the start of the pandemic is still true now. If you want to stay informed, this is a good guide. As new information and resources become available, I'll post those as well. Also, sign up for one of the community webinars, which are constantly updated and provide a direct Q & A opportunity.
There are plenty of confusing government websites to explain the current state of unemployment to you. One goal I have if elected will be to make sure we improve sites like those so they provide a clear, concise, accurate explanation of what benefits are and how to get them. In the meantime, this 45k member strong facebook group provides a lot of help to people in search of answers.
Brooklyn Legal Service Corp runs a free legal clinic for small business. They also run a group of legal service organizations that assist small businesses with free legal counsel on commercial lease and can help renegotiate leases.
Another fantastic legal aid organization, Volunteers for Legal Service (VOLS), has engaged the private sector to provide brief legal advice to over 300 small businesses by co-founding a new pro bono network. In conjunction with multiple non-profits, legal aid orgs, and over 20 law firms, they launched the Small Business Legal Relief Alliance (“SBLRA”) rapid response initiative. SBLRA advise small business owners on matters relating to financial aid, taxes, commercial leasing, contracts, employment, and business insurance.
Unfortunately, city and state government has not been providing small business the resources they need to survive. They aren't even providing good guidance to businesses about existing resources. My good friend Joe, the person that designed this cool webpage, highly recommends checking out this subreddit. It's a subreddit, so you'll have to use your own judgement about the information. But it's a lot more helpful than any existing resources you'll find online. I also recommend connecting with one one of the legal aid orgs that provide small business assistance (see above)
I work for NYLAG so I admit I'm a little biased. But it is one of the best legal service organizations in the country! I really do love my job and my coworkers are all brilliant. We set up a free COVID-19 hotline line to help people affected by COVID-19. We can help with housing issues, healthcare access, public benefits, unemployment, employee rights, special education issues, advance planning, and tons of other issues.
Mobilization for Justice is another spectacular legal aid organization and they have put together a series of guides to help people with COVID related issues around housing, unemployment, healthcare access, and other benefits. They also have guides on many other non-COVID issues, from how to get a discount metrocard to protecting the rights of nursing home residents. If there's something I don't know about, this site is one of the first places I check.
This is the city's plan to reopen schools. It is a good resources, but not fantastic at updating you on what is a quickly changing issue, with new news everyday. It's good to give you some background, but see below for more info.
This is my go to site for NYC school news. It reports on recent developments in NYC education, including reopening plans. They also have a very helpful daily news letter you can sign up for.
With the city unemployment rate now over 20% hunger and food insecurity, which have always been a problem, have become a disaster. This site has a comprehensive guide to food banks and pantries in New York city, including city resources and non-profits. It also has info on home delivery services.
Mutual Aid Organizations
One of the awe inspiring things to happen in the wake of the pandemic is the rise of Mutual Aid Organizations. Mutual Aid organizations are local community groups of neighbors helping neighbors provide for each other's needs. It's not about charity but community. For example, as an attorney and notary, I have helped people by notarizing documents so they don't have to risk their safety by going to a bank.This instagram story from Pitt Mutual Aid does a fantastic job explaining the concept.
Complete list (updated April 12th 2020)