ITASCA AREA COMMUNITY RESPONSE FUND


The pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. Funds raised will help aid agencies providing local COVID-19 relief services, including access to food, health-related services, support learning, and child care services, to name a few.

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COVID-19 Information and Resources

What we are doing
As an organization dedicated to the well-being of our community, we are closely watching the developments surrounding COVID-19 and how individuals and families throughout our community will be impacted.

United Way is actively engaged in conversations across our region to learn how we can be best support COVID-19 efforts and serve the ever-changing needs of our community.

Like many workplaces, United Way staff are working remotely during this time of social distancing. They can be contacted by emailing info@uwlakes.org.

Committee meetings and public events previously scheduled for March are being cancelled or postponed. As the situation evolves, we will assess the need to resume committee work using video platforms or telephone conferences.

Advocates for Family Peace: (As of 5/11/20) advocates are available 24/7 by calling 218-326-0388 or texting 218-259-3407. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

Baby Steps:  (As of 5/11/20) the boutique is closed to the public; however, emergency diapers, wipes, or formula curbside pick-up is available. To place an order, call 218-326-2300 and leave a message with your name and phone number. Follow their Facebook for updates. 

Bigfork Food Shelf: (As of 5/11/20) the Bigfork Food Shelf is open during regular hours (Thurs. 12:30-3). Pre-packed boxes of food are delivered to clients’ cars to eliminate contact between clients and volunteers.

Bigfork Valley Senior Services: (As of 5/11/20) Bigfork Valley has implemented a universal masking policy and is restricting non-essential visitors from visiting their senior population, encouraging friends and family members to use virtual methods to stay in touch. Call 218-743-4144 to set up a virtual visit. Additionally, Bigfork Valley has created a fund to help the hospital as it prepares for an influx of COVID-19 patients. Learn more

Boys & Girls Club: (As of 5/11/20) the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway and Deer River are CLOSED until further notice. Grand Rapids & Greenway members are being served through virtual programming as well as evening meal assistance. Follow their Facebook pages for updates: Grand Rapids & Greenway  |   Deer River

ElderCircle: (As of 5/11/20) ElderCircle is providing grocery and prescription delivery and virtual programming and outreach. Staff are working remotely and can be reached by phone. Learn more

Grace House: (As of 5/11/20) The Grace House building will be CLOSED until further notice, but is still providing services and meals. Families and individuals looking for help can dial 211 to begin the coordinated entry process. Current residents have been re-housed to locations that allow for social distancing. Learn more

Habitat for Humanity: (As of 4/8/20) administrative offices and the ReStore are CLOSED until further notice. Staff are working from home and can be reached by email. Learn more

Kiesler Wellness Center: (As of 5/11/20) Kiesler Wellness Center is CLOSED to the public until further notice. Staff can be reached by phone and clients and members, peers, and clients are being served virtually. Call 218-326-5114 to learn more.

Project Care: (As of 5/13/20) Project Care Free Clinics are CLOSED until further notice. Existing clients can get assistance with prescriptions and questions by contacting a staff member. On June 1st, Project Care will hold its first-ever virtual phone clinic. Interested clients should call their Project Care clinic to arrange a virtual appointment. Learn more

Project READ: (As of 5/11/20) Project READ will be getting books into the hands of schoolchildren and their siblings through the school food program, which serves approximately 800 families.

Support Within Reach: (As of 5/11/20) staff are working from home and can be reached by phone. One staff member will work in the office during the week, responding to crises as they arise, going to the hospital when needed, and dealing with legal needs. The crisis line (1-866-747-5008) is still open 24/7. When in-person meetings are necessary, social distancing precautions will be followed. Anyone experiencing crisis or who would like to speak with an advocate is encouraged to call the crisis line. Support Within Reach is also offering virtual support groups and sexual violence training. Learn more

Local School District information, including Childcare Services: 

Grand Rapids Schools 
Deer River Schools 
Greenway Schools 

Emergency Child Care Grant Programs: The Northland Foundation has created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to offer immediate financial support to licensed family- and center-based child care providers caring for children whose parents/guardians are designated as emergency personnel and other essential workers. Learn more *Currently, applicants are being placed on a waiting list due to the high volume of applications received.

Childcare Aware of MN has a Peacetime Emergency Child Care grant program for licensed childcare providers caring for the children of essential workers. Grant applications are due on April 15th. Learn more

Digital Learning:

ISD 318 & 319 have a list of resources for students and parents.

ISD 318 Community Education’s YouTube channel features videos and activities for learners of all ages.

Computers: Students from low-income families can get a Chromebook for 75% off through Minnesota Afterschool Advance.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteering is a great way to occupy kids who are home from school. Have a look at our list of virtual and at-home volunteer activities for ideas.

Birthday Wishes for Kids: The Grand Rapids Fire Department and Grand Rapids Police Department are providing curbside and virtual birthday wishes for children up to 12 years old. Call 218-326-7639 to make arrangements.

211 Information and Referral (First Call for Help / United Way 211):  If you or someone you know is in need, dial 2-1-1 or text the letters MNCOVID to 898-211. They also are available to provide local resources related to accessing food, paying housing bills, and other essential services. Learn more

Masks: ElderCircle is distributing donated fabric masks to the community. To request, email ecircle@eldercircle.org or call 218-999-9233 ext. 277 and leave a voicemail.

My Free Taxes: Through United Way’s partnership with H&R Block, every household with a simple return can file their federal and state taxes for free. Learn more

Birthday Wishes for Kids: The Grand Rapids Fire Department and Grand Rapids Police Department are providing curbside and virtual birthday wishes for children up to 12 years old. Call 218-326-7639 to make arrangements.

Legal Advice: Those who qualify can call 800-933-1112 for Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota’s legal advice hotline. Learn more

Pop-up Pantries: Local volunteers are converting Little Free Libraries into pantries with food and basic necessities. Families and individuals in need can pick up items, no questions asked. One pantry is located outside the Itasca County Historical Society (201 N Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids).

Meals for Students: District 318 students can pick up free to-go breakfasts and lunches at school locations or arrange delivery. Learn more

District 317 students can pick up free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks at locations throughout the Deer River area. Learn more

Safety: People experiencing domestic violence can find 24/7 crisis assistance from Advocates for Family Peace by calling 218-326-0388 or texting 218-259-3407.

People experiencing sexual violence can find support 24/7 by calling Support Within Reach’s crisis line at 1-866-747-5008.

Transportation: Workers can receive transportation services and assistance through Rural Rides. To learn more, contact Itasca County Transportation Advocate Diane Gilmore at 218-327-6757 or diane.gilmore@aeoa.org.

The Cap Baker Lions Club’s Pedals for Purpose program refurbishes bikes and gives them away, along with a helmet and lock, to those who might not otherwise be able to afford one. They work through social services organizations to match individuals and families who are in need. Email info@uwlakes.org if you or someone you know is in need of a bicycle.

Delivery of Essentials: Contact ElderCircle at 218-999-9233 to arrange for no-contact grocery and prescription deliveries.

Mutual Aid: Homecare workers, PCAs, and clients needing assistance with meeting needs or accessing services can submit their needs to this mutual aid form for caregivers.

Senior LinkAge Line: Call 1-800-333-2433 for no-cost assistance with a wide range of programs and services for older adults and their families.

More Resources: Visit HelpOlderAdultsMN.org or First Call 211 to learn more about resources available to older adults.

COVID-19: If you think you may be infected with the coronavirus, GoodsRx offers free online screening to help you evaluate your symptoms and determine whether you need to get tested. Get screened

If you need a COVID-19 test, make sure to make an appointment in advance and follow testing protocol. Find a testing site

Prescription Medication: FamilyWize and GoodsRx offer free discount cards for prescription medications. Sign up online, or call FamilyWize at 800-222-2818.

Mental Health

Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5900 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a counselor and find help dealing with stress related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Suicide Prevention: If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, call 211 or the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-8255. Both lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Stable Embrace: Stable Embrace is a collaboration between First Call 211 and Itasca County to share ideas and resources to help Northern Minnesota residents care for their physical and mental health needs, stay connected with others, and build community. Learn more

Information & Updates

Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC website and social media channels offer accurate and timely information, including what you need to know about the virus, how to protect yourself and family, symptoms, and testing. Learn more

Itasca County Public Health: Itasca County continues to closely monitor the situation and review information as it comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). They are also maintaining close communications with cities/townships, school districts, and community service providers. Itasca County Health and Human Services offers a COVID-19 information phone line that can be reached at 218-327-6784. Learn more

Minnesota Case Information: The Minnesota Department of Health provides situation updates daily, updates include the number of positive tests among Minnesota residents, counties with cases, and the approximate number of patients tested. See report

Minnesota Department of Health: The MDH website provides guidance, including best practices for schools, health care facilities, working spaces, and more. Learn more

Itasca Area Economic Development Corporation (IEDC): Organizes Economic Disaster Resource ZOOM meetings to share information and updates on the COVID-19 issue with the community. These meetings take place on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and while they are targeting business owners and operators, they are open to anyone to join.  Learn more

Minnesota Department of Revenue: In line with the state’s continued response to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is granting a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04. During this time, the department will not assess penalties or interest. Learn more

Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED): The COVID-19 pandemic creates many new challenges for businesses, workers, and government. DEED is working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Walz-Flanagan Administration, and the Minnesota Legislature to take proactive steps to ensure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic do not cause unnecessary burdens on employers and workers in Minnesota. Learn more

Minnesota Unemployment Benefits: If you are unable to work, have had hours reduced, or have lost your job as a result of this pandemic, you can apply for unemployment benefits. More information

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance: On March 16, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order to ensure workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have full access to unemployment benefits. Learn more

 

Find Help

2-1-1 is a valuable resource, with information about local food programs, paying housing bills, and other essential services. If you or someone you know is in need, dial 211 or text the letters MNCOVID to 898-211.

GET HELP: SEARCH 2-1-1 DATABASE