Coronavirus: United Way Response
United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) continues to monitor the COVID-19 crisis closely and staying in regular contact with local agencies, our partners, at the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD), city and county government partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
We will continue to respond based on the latest recommendations from our trusted local government, public health and medical professionals.Our focus is to understand our community’s health needs and have a communication/pipeline with local officials. For ongoing updates on how UWSWA is responding to COVID-19 and for updates from local authorities, please follow us on Facebook or www.uwswa.org.
We understand this may be a stressful time. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance, United Way 211 is the quickest and most comprehensive way to connect with the services and assistance available to our community. Dial 2-1-1 (251.431.5111) from your phone or visit http://211connectsalabama.org for more information.
UWSWA partner agency Lifelines Counseling Services has compiled a guide to access the available services to residents of Southwest Alabama. As needs grow and change and as services change to meet them, Lifelines will update the guide as new services and resources become available.
Workers Impacted by COVID
The Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Alabama small business owner that experiencing economic harm should submit an EIDL economic injury verification of loss worksheet to the Alabama district office. Alabama unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
- The Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.
- The Alabama SBDC Network, in conjunction with its outreach partners, is holding a series of webinars throughout the week to guide companies through the SBA Disaster Loan application process. We will be sharing lessons learned from our own SBDC clients that have already submitted an application, and insights gained from our SBDC colleagues throughout the US. There is no charge to attend these events, but registration is required, as room capacity is limited.
The US Department of Labor: Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:
- (1) An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- (2) An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- (3) An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is authorized to make Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs). The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Updated 10:45 AM Tuesday 3/31/2020 – The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program was amended to add a $10,000 emergency grant that is available quickly to businesses. Applications to the EIDL Program are made online directly to SBA. As a result of that change and the traffic to their website SBA has totally revamped and streamlined the disaster loan application process. The application, now online, is completely different than the earlier version. The new application is streamlined and easier to maneuver. IT can be completed more quickly than the original version they rolled out on March 18th. If you applied for a Disaster Loan prior to Friday, you need to log into the new system to check your status. If the version now showing in the system isn’t the new version, it is recommended you apply again to ensure you can take advantage of this emergency grant. Borrowers can apply by clicking on the below link to be redirected to the new Economic Injury Disaster Loan application website which is
Paycheck Protection Program – An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during COVID-19. Click here to apply.
Navigating Business Insurance – Click here for the story –
SOURCE: Business Alabama
- Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Teleconference Series
Internet Access Assistance
- Comcast – Internet Essentials from Comcast
- MediaCom – Connect 2 Compete
- Cox Media – Connect 2 Compete
- AT&T – Access by AT&T
Non-profit Small Business
South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP), a UWSWA partner, is continuing to serve the community during these unprecedented times. Join SAVLP Board Member, Scott Hetrick, Esq., for a zoom Q&A session this Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 12-1pm. He will share information about being a non-profit employer during the COVID-19 Crisis and what legal benefits and obligations you have. Please have your questions ready as this call will be limited to an hour. Thank you for your support of our organization! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the call or get the link to join.
FamilyWize Prescription Card
Now more than ever it’s important for community members to adhere to their prescribed medications. FamilyWize, a program of the United Way, has become critically important during this public health crisis especially for families with diminished resources. The FamilyWize program is free and saved participants an average of 45 percent off of their prescription medications. Most FDA approved brand and generic prescription medications are covered.
Learning by Distance
In response to the growing number of school closings and the rapid adoption of remote and distance learning, United Way Worldwide’s team at EVERFI mobilized last week to ensure that Character Playbook: Healthy Relationships and Mental Wellness Basics is accessible to students around the country — those with existing login credentials and those interested in accessing this tool for the first time.
If you are an administrator, teacher or student with a current EVERFI username and password through your school, please note that you do and will continue to have access to EVERFI programming. Please log on to www.platform.everfi.net using your credentials to leverage the resources at this time.
Care For Others and Yourself
Many adults and children could be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing higher levels of anxiety. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
If you or someone you know is immediate need of help or just need to talk, call 1.800.273.TALK or join a Lifeline Chat. There are recommendations for families to manage health and well-being. Click here for more
Avoiding Fraud and Scammers
UPDATE 04.08.2020 – UWSWA discovered a man was fraudulently using the name United Way of Washington County to solicit donations of building supplies from a company in Chatom, Alabama. United Way of Washington County does not exist as an independent organization. UWSWA’s service area includes Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, and Washington Counties. We have contacted the Chatom Police Department to make them aware of the situation, and they are beginning an investigation.
Jill Chenoweth, President & CEO of the United Way of Southwest Alabama stated, “I am always amazed at the generosity of the human spirit; therefore, I am always shocked and stunned by individuals that chose to scam innocent people during times of trouble. The United Way of Southwest Alabama is soliciting funds to complete our 2019 community campaign and funds to assist our partner agencies during the COVID-19 crisis. The thought that someone would use our logo and our name to scam money from the community is disturbing. If individuals are solicited by United Way of Southwest Alabama, they can verify the solicitation by visiting our website at www.uwswa.org and contacting the individual who made the solicitation or by contacting me.”
There are several known scams being perpetrated on the vulnerable. We have collected a list of the most common ones and tips on how to avoid them. Click here to find out common scams and how you can protect yourself
How you can help
UWSWA has established United Way of Southwest Alabama COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide additional resources for the agencies and clients they serve. If you would like to help, you may do so through the channels listed below:
- Choctaw County
- Text “HealthyChoctaw” to 41444
- Visit http://app.mobilecause.com/f/2pn2/n?vid=5xs9q
- Clarke County
- Text “HealthyClarke” to 41444
- Visit http://app.mobilecause.com/f/2pn3/n?vid=5xslx
- Mobile County
- Text “HealthyMobile” to 41444
- Visit http://app.mobilecause.com/f/2pmx/n?vid=5xsjf
- Washington County
- Text “HealthyWashC” to 41444
- Visit http://app.mobilecause.com/f/2pn4/n?vid=5xsh2
You can help while social distancing. Shop for items on the UWSWA COVID-19 Help Wish List on Amazon Smile and help our agencies provide your donated items to their clients.
A list of additional partner agency needs are listed at: https://uwswa.org/our-partners/partner-agencies.
Several of UWSWA partner agencies need volunteers to help them meet the needs of the clients they serve. You can find volunteer opportunities through our volunteer database, Volunteer Connect.
There are some agencies that have immediate and critical needs:
- American Red Cross
- The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross Alabama South Alabama Chapter by visiting https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results…
- Feeding the Gulf Coast
- Feeding the Gulf Coast Needs Food Sorters Now. Due to the Coronavirus, there are significantly more individuals and families that are food insecure. If you are able, you can help them get the food to the community pantries for those families as fast as possible.
United Way Worldwide is sending an emergency appropriation request of $110 million to Congress to help build 211’s capacity to answer the tens of millions of calls and inquiries from the American people needing community resources and serves available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the current call volume to the 211 centers in the 22 states officially promoting 211 as the number to call for information, United Way anticipates a surge of 27 million calls over the next 6 months. That represents a 300% increase over their annual call volume and well beyond the current capacity of the 211 system.
UWSWA requests you to call Senate Appropriation Committee Chair Senator Richard Shelby (202.224.5744), Senator Doug Jones (202.224.4124), and U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (202.225.4931) and ask them to support the funding for United Way Worldwide and the 211 system.
Comply with Social Distancing Orders
It is important to curb the spread and potential impact of the COVID-19 by following the recommendations of the CDC, local governmental and health agencies.
- Stay home where you can. Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Keep a 6 feet distance between yourself and others.
- Visit loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person, especially if they are 60 or older.
- Use standard hygiene and wash hands frequently.
- Do not share things like towel and utensils. If you need to go to the doctor or other business that may be open, call first so they can prepare for visitors. People who may have been exposed to the coronavirus and are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days.
Check on vulnerable people you may know
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors and/or exchange phone numbers.
- A very easy, low-fi way to make yourself available to neighbors is simply putting a handwritten note on your door (or on the inside of the front door of your building). Include your name, phone number and/or email address, and, if applicable, your apartment number, plus a message that people can call/text you if they want to connect or need help. If there are specific tasks you’re willing and able to do, it might make sense to add those. (“I’m able to baby-sit, walk your dog, chat via FaceTime, make pharmacy runs, and share my huge supply of cat food with anyone who has run out.”)
- You could also knock on other people’s doors, but if you’re worried about getting too close—or worried they’ll be worried—opening communication by posting a note is a good place to start.
- Ask your neighbors what they, personally, are most worried about, and tailor your help accordingly.
- Ask people who live alone if they would like you to check in on them daily and if they want to give you their emergency contacts’ info.
- Start a community “in need of” list.
- Set up a NextDoor App, WhatsApp, Slack, or Facebook group for your community.
While practicing social distancing you can help your favorite local businesses especially those in the service industry. They are facing an extremely difficult times while their indoor service areas are closed. These issues also affect the supply chain of every local business. To help you can order to go or curbside meals and goods. This will enable their employees to continue working drawing paychecks while providing the owners with income.
Resources: Information about COVID-19
Alabama State COVID-19 Resource – AlTogetherAlabama
COVID-19 Testing Locations
- Ladd-Peebles Stadium
- To schedule an appointment, call 888-872-2650
- 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Infirmary Health’s Diagnostic and Medical Clinic
- Medical evaluations are continuing for individuals with these symptoms daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m
- To make an appointment, please call 251-435-1106
- Locations: 1700 Springhill Avenue and 831 C Hillcrest Road
- Greater Mobile Urgent Care
- For an appointment, call 251-633-0123
- Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Location: 2350 Schillinger Road
- Main Street Family Care
- Click here to schedule an appointment
- Location: 6280 Grelot Road
- American Family Care
- Click here to schedule an appointment
Safety Workplace & Protecting Workers
Understanding the Coronavirus – Multilingual
- SOURCE: Cultural Survival
- URGENT PSAs on the coronavirus are available in Español, Ayuujk, Purépecha, Kaqchikel, K’iche’, Tseltal, Mam, English, Sunuwar, Tamang, Nepalí, Gurung, Maasai, Hindi, Luo, and Afrikaans. We are working on more languages. Click here to listen and share.
United Way of Southwest Alabama – Office Operations
Currently, UWSWA is continuing to operate, but with limited hours and most of the staff will be working remotely. Meetings will move forward as scheduled. Teleconferencing will be made available as much as possible. We will send instructions on how to participate in the conference calls to each committee member through email.
For the comfort and safety of our guests and team members, we have enhanced our housekeeping protocols and increased the availability of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes throughout public spaces and private offices. However, we are also making every effort to limit traffic in and out of the office so please call before you attempt to visit.
We have decided to postpone the following events scheduled for this month:
- UWSWA Campaign Video Shoot in Thomasville – March 19. New date TBD.
- Clarke County Community Resource Fair and Agency Roundtable Discussion – March 20. New date TBD.
- Day of Caring – April 24 – Rescheduled for May 22nd.
- Project Blueprint – March through May. New dates TBD.
We have decided to conduct all meetings scheduled for the month of April 2020 via conference call.
We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and staying in regular contact with local agencies, our partners, health organizations, United Ways of Alabama and United Way Worldwide. Our focus is to understand our community’s health needs and have a communication/pipeline with local officials. For ongoing updates on how UWSWA is responding to COVID-19 and for updates from local authorities, please follow us on Facebook or www.uwswa.org. Please contact our office at 251.433.3624 with any questions or concerns. As always, our 211 information and referral line is the quickest way to access services available to assist our community.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work through this together as one community looking out for one another. United we win.