COVID-19: How You Can Help

Like many of you, HAND has been closely monitoring developments as it relates to the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). As health officials urge extreme caution in public spaces and large gatherings, the health and safety of the communities we serve is our top priority.

The most vulnerable among us will suffer the greatest impacts. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, uninsured or underinsured, or simply just lack the resources to adequately prepare and protect against the COVID-19, the risk of contracting and spreading the virus is greater. As our region’s response evolves, we applaud our elected leaders across the Capital Region who have moved swiftly in passing emergency legislations to mitigate the negative impacts to our region. However, we are still in uncharted territory and know that the fluid nature of this pandemic will have downstream impacts on vulnerable populations. The country’s safety net system is fragile, and our region’s is no different.

HAND is a community that represents many communities, and our goal will be to keep this page updated with information our members can use as you explore ways to fill in the gaps for the communities you serve. If there are resources you are aware of that would be helpful to have on this page, let us know. Please send your suggestions to


Capital Region’s COVID-19 Response

Across the region, our jurisdictions have sprung into action passing emergency legislation and other measures to provide relief to residents, businesses and other entities during this public health emergency. See how our local governments are working to keep our communities healthy and safe. Up-to-date information can also be found on Ballard Spahr’s COVID-19 State and Federal Legislation Tracker.

Federal Government

Washington DC

Commonwealth of Virginia

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State of Maryland

MWCOG-vert_2Lines_RGB-v15 | Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments


Resources for Housing & Service Providers

Housing providers are uniquely impacted by the onset of COVID-19, having consistent and close touchpoints with residents. From communicating with tenants to dispersing funds and most importantly – keeping everyone as safe as possible, there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind. Below are several helpful resources that can assist as you navigate these processes.

Until now, most of the policy response to the health and financial crisis has focused appropriately on immediate relief to those who need it most, including renters. However, a national response is also needed to address renters facing long-term unemployment and heavy housing burdens. New project-based rental assistance would simultaneously stabilize renters, protect scarce properties from deterioration, and preserve rent affordability.

Image result for HUD’s Office of Multifamily HousingHUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing has recently published FAQs for owners and managers of HUD assisted housing. While much of the HUD FAQs is focused on issues that all owners may encounter, there are also takeaways pertinent to affordable properties dealing with residents who may be impacted by the virus, including guidance on rent payments and income recertifications.

Additionally, HUD has released a CDBG Quick Guide to Support Infectious Disease Response, which provides grantees with information on implementing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in a coordinated effort with local health authorities before undertaking any activity to support state or local pandemic response.

Image result for Urban InstituteUrban Institute has organized key recommendations on how communities and programs can prepare for COVID-19, including resources on infectious disease preparedness, reducing infectious disease transmission, managing the spread of infectious disease in shelters, managing the spread of infectious disease in encampments and CDC guidance for preparing facilities for COVID-19.

For child care and early education providers, the federal government and many states already have plans developed in the aftermath of natural disasters in the past decade. These evidence-based materials are valuable to leaders and adults seeking how to prepare for the COVID-19 virus. Urban Institute has also published resources at the state and federal level for child care providers, early education providers, administrators, teachers and families.

SC&H Group has compiled several resources to help organizations prepare for the impacts of COVID-19. Whether it is navigating tax relief, understanding government and state resources as well as providing resources from their own practice. SC&H’s website will be updated regularly.

CSH has pulled together information from a variety of sources, considering the material from the vantage point of supportive housing providers, affordable housing providers and property managers to help your agency best support your residents, your staff and your community.

Image result for nixon peabody logoNixon Peabody has pulled together guidance on topics that owners, managers and other providers of market-rate and affordable housing should consider as they make plans to address the COVID-19 virus.

IREM.orgProperty managers inherently have a high standard of responsibility, but especially in uncertain times there are many people who rely on them as leaders to keep them safe and protect their interests. From employees, to owners, investors, residents, and tenants, there are several aspects of preparedness, business operations, and communication needed to address each one of these stakeholders when faced with the threat of a pandemic. Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has released a guide for property managers to successfully plan for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition is posting the most current resources from the federal and state government, national and state industry and advocacy groups, and from their members.

AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Housing Credit. Given the significant impact of the current COVID-19 crisis on the ability develop to build and preserve affordable housing, the AHTCC and their partners at the ACTION Campaign have provided recommendations to Congress that will help to mitigate negative effects and allow practitioners to continue to build sorely needed homes for low-income households by providing accommodations for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).

The National Low Income Housing Coalition released a new interactive “Housing Instability and COVID-19 Map. The map shows for each U.S. county the number of renters who are experiencing or at-risk of housing instability, including extremely low-income renters who are severely housing cost-burdened or living in overcrowded conditions, the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Continuum of Care to which each county belongs, and which counties have confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley is a collaboration between the College of Environmental Design (CED) and the Haas School of Business. The Terner Center leverages applied research and best practices to inform and advance innovation in the planning, financing, design and development of the built environment. Recently, The Terner Center published an article on lessons learned from the Great Recession and how it can apply to housing aid during current events. 


Standard_CMYKThe National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, Trusted Space Partners, and the Programs in Property Management and Real Estate at Virginia Tech convened a group of affordable housing professionals operating mixed-income communities to discuss how they are helping their residents cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations that are a product of that conversation are linked below:

After much anticipation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve) on April 9, 2020 announced additional actions “using its full range of authorities to provide powerful support for the flow of credit in the economy.”

Ballard Spahr is monitoring and reporting on EEOC’s updates to ‘Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace’ Guidance to Address COVID-19

Additional Resources for Organizations

On an organizational level, there are countless items to maneuver in the wake of COVID-19 as it relates to business operations. The below resources offer information on financial relief and key considerations for nonprofits specifically in the wake of the outbreak.

JPMorgan Chase and Co. Logo  JPMorgan Chase has made a $50 Million philanthropic investment to help address immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19.  This commitment will address humanitarian and economic challenges, supporting vulnerable and underrepresented communities, small businesses and existing nonprofit partners.

MInn Ave Main Street Logo - MainMinnesota Avenue Main Street (MAMS) Business Resilience Fund will help small businesses along the Minnesota Avenue commercial corridor thrive and prosper in place. MAMS intends to fund a total of $40,000 in grants, with awards of up to $10,000 per small business. Applications are due July 30th and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the funding is exhausted.

Truist HomepageTruist is offering relief measures, allowing greater access to capital for borrowers and empowering our teammates to support clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief measures include: payment relief assistance, temporary waiving of ATM surcharge fees, and supporting cash flow needs for clients who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image result for chronicle of philanthropyWhether you are guiding staff about travel or remote work arrangements, seeking guidance from other groups in response to Covid-19, fielding donors’ questions or worrying that the virus will dampen your fundraising, there are many items to consider as a nonprofit organization. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has put together resources for nonprofit leaders, communications staff, Human Resources and more.

Emergency Response Needs

Nonprofit organizations and the philanthropic community play a critical role in serving individuals and families across our jurisdictions. However, the great work that these organizations are doing is being severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Below we have listed: foundations that have set up emergency response funds, nonprofits that have shared their most urgent needs and services that are available for our neighbors under these extreme circumstances.

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is coordinating with Center for Nonprofit Advancement, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, United Way of the National Capital Area and Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers to rapidly raise and deploy critical resources to nonprofits on the frontlines of responding to the urgent health and economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities in Greater Washington. The Greater Washington  Community Foundation has established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support emergency preparedness and response efforts, and to help mitigate the impact on disproportionately affected communities in our region. Through this fund, the partners are focused on addressing lost wages, relief for small business and gig economy workers, expanding access to medical services, and meeting the unique needs of people experiencing homelessness, among other needs.

Image result for Center for Disaster PhilanthropyIn response to the outbreak, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) has launched the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery activities for those affected and for the responders. The CDP COVID-19 Response Fund will focus on supporting local nonprofit organizations working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those who are working with the most vulnerable populations in these areas to help build their capacity for response. These will include social service organizations focused on supporting hourly wage earners, workers in the gig economy, immigrant/New American populations, older adults, people with disabilities and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Image result for united way national capital regionThe United Way of the National Capital Area (NCA) is setting up an emergency assistance fund for those affected by COVID-19, with the goal of providing funds to local nonprofits that provide economic assistance and access to food and basic supplies, including Martha’s Table, Northern Virginia Family Service, Community Service Agency, the Capital Area Food Bank, Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Manna Food Center.

Image result for the community buildersAs COVID-19 puts our most vulnerable neighbors at risk, The Community Builders has organized an emergency fund that will help residents with food assistance, financial support and health & hygiene supplies.

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is aware low-income families are likely to be disproportionately affected by healthcare costs, price gouging for preparedness supplies, and lost hourly income amid COVID-19. APAH’s Resident Emergency Fund provides urgent rent assistance and funds for other emergency needs. As its residents are already experiencing income loss, APAH is coordinating closely with its partners in Arlington County and non-profit safety-net providers to meet emergency needs.

Image result for ACT for AlexandriaACT for Alexandria and the City of Alexandria established the ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund to provide emergency funding to nonprofits that are delivering the critical services and programs that are needed by Alexandrians right now.

Image result for The Community Foundation for Northern VirginiaThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia. The Fund will attract and provide flexible funding resources for nonprofit organizations and other programs in our region responding to COVID-19 and its impacts. The Fund’s focus will be to help communities who are disproportionately impacted by the virus and its economic consequences.

Image result for baltimore community foundationThe Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) has established the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund to enable rapid response to mitigate the effects of the public health emergency our region is currently facing. One hundred percent of all donated funds will go directly to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our region’s communities, workforce, and vulnerable populations.

Image result for Community Foundation of Howard CountyIn response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCO) is soliciting donations for the Howard County Community Relief Fund. As the community progresses through this health care emergency, CFHoCO will collaborate with other funders and develop a fair and well-managed process to support the nonprofit sector which delivers frontline services to the community.

Image result for United Way of Central MarylandThe United Way of Central Maryland is working to mobilize volunteers and has established the new COVID-19 Community Fund for Central Maryland to support the community, and in particular, support those who operate on the frontlines of providing help and resources to those in need.

PictureThe Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is inviting donations through its Emergency Response Network that will go directly to the Community Action Council to assist in providing adequate amounts of food to support Head Start families in Howard County.

Image result for community of hope Persons experiencing homelessness in particular may be at risk for infection during an outbreak of COVID-19. Community of Hope’s medical, dental, and emotional wellness services remain open and accessible for those experiencing symptoms.

Image result for Arlington Free ClinicArlington Free Clinic provides free, high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults through the generosity of donors and volunteers. The clinic is seeing current Arlington Free Clinic patients who think they have symptoms of COVID-19. You can support the clinic at the link below.

Image result for CornerstonesCornerstones is working closely with government and community partners to continue critical supportive services safely during this time. There are several opportunities to donate to its shelter, pantry and the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center & Connections for Hope Partnership. Items that are needed include: cleaning products, fast food and grocery store gift cards, toiletries, rice, beans, bleach and paper towel among several other items.

Image result for So Others Might EatSo Others Might Eat (SOME) is in need of several over-the-counter medicine, household and food items to help support any clients/residents who may become ill.

Image result for marthas tableThroughout this difficult time, Martha’s Table is doubling down on its mission to support strong children, strong families, and strong communities. The organization is calling for volunteers to help bag healthy foods for children and families affected by school closures and to prep, cook, and package meals for the nightly, hot meal distribution on McKenna’s Wagon. Additionally, Martha’s Table is partnering with DC Health, the Capital Area Food Bank, and DCPS and DCPCS to ensure bags of groceries are available at designated food access sites. Martha’s Outfitters will also continue to offer access to essential resources.

AFAC LogoThe Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) recognizes its responsibility to continue its services to all in need in its community. AFAC has already seen a sharp decrease in food donations from local grocery stores. Visit the link below to make a donation to help AFAC keep its warehouse full for families in need.

Image result for washington women's foundationSeveral other local nonprofits are having trouble maintaining supplies of items to keep their offices safe for their clients, who rely on their critical services. Check out the below link for more details on how you can support these organizations in need of toiletries, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food and volunteers among other items.

Seabury H 4C.jpgThis is an unprecedented event, and we are all now in uncharted waters – never have we experienced a pandemic of this magnitude. The older adults Seabury Resources for Aging serves are most at risk. Seabury is working diligently, 24 hours a day, to protect the health of our customers, residents, clients, families and staff members.


Mission First Housing GroupMission First Housing Group works to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, affordable place to call home. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to housing is one of the most important things we can do to keep individuals, families and communities safe and healthy. 

Mission First Housing Group need your help so their residents can continue to live independently in their own homes through this crisis and beyond.The pandemic is affecting everyone, but the vulnerable populations we serve are even more at risk.

The Father McKenna Center

The Father McKenna Center’s Food Pantry is still operating for DC residents who live in Ward 6. The Center also partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to be a community hub for the DC. It is one of a few hubs that will provide food for anyone who is in need of it.

The Food Pantry operates Monday-Friday from 10:45-11:50am. This program is for residents who reside in Ward 6 ONLY. The Community Food Distribution Hub operates Monday-Thursday from 1:30-2:30pm. Participants only need to provide a valid DC ID.