COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK COVID-19 WEEKLY UPDATE

Join Community Action National Partners CAP, CAPLAW and NASCSP for a weekly update on the impact of COVID-19 on the network, taking place every Thursday at 3 ET / 2 CT / 1 MT / 12 PT  (3 AST / 10 AKST / 9 HST). NCAF will participate as schedules allow.

As a follow up to our May 4th COVID-19 Testing and Tracing Webinar the National Community Action Partnership will be hosting regional discussions with Community Action Agency and Community Action Association leaders. Learn more here.

STATEMENT FROM THE PARTNERSHIP

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Community Action Partnership is reaffirming the recommended safety measures for the Community Action network provided by Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW), as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The wellbeing of our members and their customers continues to be our paramount concern.

In addition, the Partnership recognizes that any national crisis always hits the families Community Action serves the hardest. We also recognize that local Community Action Agencies will face their own challenges in terms of responding to this crisis. Unlike some organizations that can adapt to staff working remotely or changing their work environment, Community Action can only be effective when we are IN the community, particularly those communities where there are fewer resources to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

The Partnership is working with the National Partners, State Associations, non-profit leaders, and with local CAA’s to learn how we can respond effectively to the changing environment. We have daily conversations with members across the network about their concerns, their questions and their strategies for continuing our work.

As the situation continues to evolve we will continue to monitor updates accordingly.

COMMUNITY ACTION RESPONSE PORTAL

Click here to answer five short-answer questions about your agency’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in your community. For longer response stories and attachments, e-mail csbg@communityactionpartnership.com.

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES

National Partner Resources

Community Action Partnership

CAPLAW

National Head Start Association

•  Resources to Support Head Start Children and Families (Posted March 16)

Guidance on CSBG
  • CSBG IM 2020-157 Immediate Guidance on COVID-19 Response (Issued April 13)
  • CSBG Dear Colleague Letter (Issued March 31): This Dear Colleague Letter covers ACF administrative flexibilities for grantees affected by COVID-19.
  • CSBG Dear Collegue Letter (Issued March 12): The Office of Community Services has released a Dear Colleague Letter to the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Network providing a roundup of coronavirus-related information on funding and guidance released by various divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We encourage you to explore these resources as necessary to respond to the situation in your communities.
Guidance on WAP & LIHEAP

Letters to Governors Seeking Action on Utility Protections

 • Letter to Governor  Re Need for Moratorium, Revised C&C Procedures (Issued May 14): This letter is directed to governors in states where neither the governor nor the public utilities commission has taken specific action to halt utility shut offs. This letter asks the governor to order, through the governor’s authority under your state’s emergency powers statute, all utility service providers, both regulated and unregulated, to: 1) Reconnect customers previously disconnected due to inability to pay; 2) Halt all shut offs of both regulated and unregulated utility service, including electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications services; 3) Revise credit and collections procedures so that customers aren’t faced with disconnection due to unaffordable bills once emergency orders are lifted, with specific directives on what needs to change.
• Letter to Governor — Re Unregulated Utilities C&C Revisions (Issued May 14): This letter is for states whose governors or PUC commissions have already halted disconnections for investor-owned, regulated utilities. This letter asks the governor to order, through the governor’s authority under your state’s emergency powers statute, all utilitiy service providers, both regulated and unregulated, to: 1) Reconnect customers previously disconnected due to inability to pay; 2) Halt all shut offs of unregulated utility service, including electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications services; 3) Revise credit and collections procedures so that customers aren’t faced with disconnection due to unaffordable bills once emergency orders are lifted, with specific directives on what needs to change.

Other Federal Guidance

Office of Head Start

Corporation for National and Community Service

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Department of Agriculture

•  FNS Program Guidance on Human Pandemic Response (March 16): Important guidance related to FNS nutrition assistance programs.

Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Legislation & Policy

Phase 1 – The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

Phase 2 – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Phase 3 – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Phase 3.5 – Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

Community Action Partnership Fact Sheets:

•  Coronavirus Legislation – Community Services Fact Sheet (Updated April 6)
•  Coronavirus Legislation – Nonprofits as Employers Fact Sheet (Posted April 2)

Nonprofits & Coronavirus

American Public Human Services Association

Internal Revenue Service & Paid Leave Resources

•  Non-Filers: Enter Payment Information Here (Posted April 13): This IRS portal allows non-filers to enter their direct deposit information in order to avoid the need for paper checks.
•  COVID-19, Paid Leave, and Unemployment Flow Chart (Posted April 13)
•  IRS Issues Guidance on Claiming Credit for Paid Leave (Issued April 1)
•  Coronavirus and Paid Leave (March 30): The latest information about the availability of paid family and medical leave.
•  Coronavirus Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) Toolkit (March 30): This toolkit contains sample language and images related to coronavirus and PFML.

Advocacy Resources
Hope & Healing Page

Community Action Hope & Healing PageIn light of the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know it’s as important now as ever that we continue to embody the spirit of hope for our customers and colleagues. With this in mind, we wanted to provide a space for folks throughout the Community Action Network to share sentiments of hope and healing as well as recognize and honor colleagues who have passed or been affected.

Click here for the Community Action Hope and Healing Page.

NATIONAL PARTNERS

Our National Partners also provide guidance and updates on COVID-19 impact on Community Action Agencies.