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

Emergency Measures

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.

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

21 Local Leaders Issue STAY HOME Joint Statement



[3/30] Governor Ralph Northam Announces Shelter-in-Place Order

[3/23] Governor Northam Orders Statewide Closure of Certain Non-Essential Businesses, K-12 Schools

Commonwealth of Virginia Governor and State Health Commissioner Declare Public Health Emergency

Fairfax County Declares Local State of Emergency

Arlington County Manager Declares Local Emergency

City of Alexandria Declares Local Emergency

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 we progress 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 hopePersons 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.

N Street Village Hiring Open HouseWhile N Street Village has had to temporarily pause its non-essential programing, its staff has been working to ensure it can meet the basic needs of the women it serves each day across D.C. The organization relies on donated items from the community, and they are distributed free of charge to the women who use its services.

The team at N Street Village recently shared that Coronavirus reached the Village. The team moved into quick action, working closely with their city partners to ensure those impacted are receiving quality medical care. As always, they are dedicated to keeping their doors open and providing essential services to each woman that comes to the Village.   

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.

Alexandria Housing Development CorporationAHDC has set a goal in how they respond to COVID-19: “We want no household to have to move because of COVID-19” to that end they are raising funds to prevent displacement of their residents.

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.

As MHP connect with residents about the impact COVID-19 has on their daily lives, they have identified two main needs: access to food and rental assistance. MHP has set up a resident emergency fund to provide financial assistance to their residents in need. 

The Father McKenna CenterAt the Center, our Day Program from men who are experiencing homelessness is closed until further notice.

Our Food Pantry is still operating for DC residents who live in Ward 6. We also partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to be a community hub for the DC. We are one of a few hubs that will provide food for anyone who is in need of it.

Our 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. All we ask is for valid DC ID.

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.

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.

LeadingAge has put together several materials for housing providers, including template letters, media statements and visitation guidance. If your community serves older adults specifically, they also have provided key resources that could be helpful:

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.

Property 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.

Image result for comcast logo

For millions of low-income Americans who don’t have Internet service at home, this uncertain time is going to be even more difficult to manage. As schools and businesses close and families are encouraged, or even mandated, to stay home, Internet connectivity becomes even more important. Comcast is offering 60 days of complimentary Internet connectivity (with increased speed) to low-income families by way of its Internet Essentials program.

Image result for Urban Institute

Urban 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.

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.

CohnReznick has compiled a series of resources and webinars to assist the community navigate COVID-19 related impacts and resulting legislature including the recently passed CARES act.

Covid-19 Resource Center



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. 

Uber "brings back the U" in major rebrandUber is providing ten million free rides and deliveries for frontline healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need. They are working with organizations to help do this.

  • Organizations looking for support with rides or food deliveries can reach out to

Meal Programs

In an effort to weaken the spread of COVID-19, our local jurisdictions have implemented widespread school closings, organizations have issued event cancellations and many companies have transitioned to teleworking. For children who rely on free or reduced lunch at school, and food service/hospitality workers who depend on that income, the pandemic is a huge blow. Below you will find several local restaurants and catering services who are doing their part to support individuals and families.

Image result for DC Schools LogoAll DCPS schools are closed for students through April 24 , however will still be open to provide free meals. Meals will be available for all students every weekday at locations throughout the city. The comprehensive list can be found here.

BBAR – Building Bridges Across The River

Building Bridges Across the River: From now until March 31, FREE meals will be distributed to children 19 & under from 12-2 pm, Monday-Friday, by DC Central Kitchen @ THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE) on the outside patio. BBAR is also partnering with Martha’s Table to distribute free groceries in THEARC West Lobby.

If you are a resident in Ward 8, please contact if you would like to request volunteer support with errands or food delivery for homebound residents.

Sunnyside Restaurant Group

The Sunnyside Restaurant Group (Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza and Santa Rosa Taqueria) is offering free meals for children who are not able to eat at school. This offer is available at the following locations around the region:

  • Crystal City- Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza
  • Georgetown- Good Stuff Eatery
  • Capitol Hill- Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza, and Santa Rosa Taqueria
  • Ballston- We, The Pizza

Image result for Geppetto CateringGeppetto Catering recognized that in the wake of COVID-19, event cancellations will continue to happen over the coming weeks, and sought to address the challenge of keeping its hourly workers who greatly depend on the income from their jobs at work while also helping others across the region. Gepetto has created a special Give a Meal menu that has options for all different palates and diets, and it is partnering with United Way of the NCA, Jubilee Housing, and Goodwill of Greater Washington to aid in identifying individuals that may be in need. These pre-made meals are at a drastically reduced cost, and the delivery fees are completely waived. The team will deliver meals in foil containers right to the doorstep, so that there so that there is no hand-to-hand contact.

Good Company Doughnuts and Cafe in Arlington is offering a free meal from the kids menu (plus a doughnut!) to school-aged children from Monday through Friday, as long as Arlington schools are not open. Additionally, the cafe is offering free delivery to seniors who order purchases above $20.

Image result for hook hall logoHook Hall in DC has launched a widespread program to offer assistance to hospitality workers impacted by the cascade of cancellations and closures, including professional development programming, employment services information, and free meals. Hook Hall is also partnering with Kellogg’s to provide 150 meals each day for breakfast (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and dinner (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Monday through Sunday, starting on March 23. Other family-focused programming begins on March 16.

Little Miner TacoLittle Miner Taco in Brentwood, MD is offering one meal from the kids menu daily for DC Public Schools (DCPS) or Maryland students as long as their schools remain closed.

Image result for medium rare logoMedium Rare is delivering dinner to any local person over 70 who is quarantined, whether it’s a self-quarantine or they were mandated by a health official, with the help of volunteer drivers. Medium Rare appears to have been somewhat flexible about the age cutoff, depending on need.

Image result for milk and honey dcMilk and Honey is offering free breakfast to homebound students at its Bowie, College Park, and H Street NE locations. Meals include cereal, waffles, pancakes, and fresh fruit, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Po Boy Jim in DC is offering free meals from its kids menu as long as schools are closed.

Image result for rasa navy yardRasa in Navy Yard, DC is offering free take-out meals for all school children under the age of 18, hospital workers who can provide a valid ID, and its own staffers and their families.

Image result for think food groupThink Food Group Restaurants is closing all of its D.C.-area restaurants and converting many of its locations into community kitchens providing “affordable plates of the day” for takeout—José Andrés said in a release that “those who cannot afford to pay we will welcome as well.” The forthcoming community kitchens will be open at America Eats Tavern, Oyamel, Zaytinya, and the three local Jaleo outposts.

Additional Resources for


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.

Prince George's County Economic Development CorporationThe Economic Development Corporation (EDC), in collaboration with FSC First and the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, is working to inform small businesses about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they may be experiencing. The SBA has declared Prince George’s County an economic disaster area that qualifies for this program.