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COVID-19 and Our Community
Respond. Recover. Rebuild.
As coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread across the U.S. and the globe, we’d like to share what United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona is doing to respond. The health and safety of our community and its residents are our number one priority. Our local focus, along with our community impact partners, is working to improve the lives of children, families, seniors and those in emergency situations. Now, the people we serve may be even more vulnerable during this public health emergency.
Due to concerns about COVID-19, United Way of Tucson is not accepting unscheduled visitors. If you do not have an appointment or arrangements with a staff member please contact us. Due to many employees working remotely you may not be able to reach someone by phone right away. Thank you for your understanding.
Please be assured that while we remain focused on the health and safety of our staff and those around us, we are also focused on providing continued service to the community. We are taking steps to ensure we can continue to deliver the same high level of quality and engagement internally and externally during these unique circumstances. We will continue to keep this site updated on any local assistance that becomes available.
United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is joining with our nonprofit partners, local foundations, businesses, media and educational organizations to launch United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund to help those who need it most survive during this crisis.
Meeting and program info
United Way Office and VITA Program and Meeting Information
United Way Hosted Meetings and Events
United Way hosted VITA Sites
At United Way, we understand the importance of free tax preparation services to members of our community who earn less than $66,000 per year. Since 2004, we’ve provided that service through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to ensure that eligible individuals and families have access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits that help boost refunds and recover income. We also understand that, during this national health crisis, many workers, especially those without paid sick leave, are facing the challenge of making ends meet. Those individuals need their tax refunds now more than ever, and while we have a responsibility to serve our community, the best way to do that is to put public health first. In that spirit, our tax sites will remain closed in an effort to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve.”
Taxpayers can still get their tax returns completed from the comfort and safety of their homes by using the new Get Your Refund online intake at getyourrefund.org – a partnership between United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Code for America, and other VITA organizations. This option also offers a significant amount of customer support to help walk taxpayers through this online process.
Community Resources Related to Essential Needs
Steps to Take
If you are experiencing Financial Hardship as a result of COVID-19, here are the recommended steps to take in order to receive assistance:
1. Go to www.211arizona.org to see which resources specific to your needs are available to you (or call 877-211-8661)
2. See any additional resources here on our page
3. Reach out to the social service agency or company who can best assist with your specific needs
Rent and Utility Grants
- City of Tucson COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance
- We are One/Somos Uno Resiliency Fund for Workers and Families Experiencing Financial Hardship due to COVID-19
- Grants up to $25,000 will provide up to two months of rent or mortgage payments due by small businesses headquartered in Arizona and which were directly impacted by Executive order 2020-43
- Comcast Increases Access to and Speeds of Internet Essentials to Support Americans Through Coronavirus Pandemic
- If you have a sudden decrease in employment/income due to this economic challenge, you may be eligible for WIC. Contact your local WIC Clinic.
School Food and Learning Assistance
Meal Assistance for Children
- Amphitheatre School District is providing free grab-and-go meals for students to take home. Locations and schedule available on the Amphitheatre Public Schools Facebook page.
- Sunnyside Unified School District will be offering grab and go breakfast and lunch for students under 18 starting March 23 7:30am-10am at the following locations:
- Craycroft Elementary
- Drexel Elementary
- Elvira Elementary
- Los Amigos Elementary
- Mission Manor Elementary
- Emergency Childcare for First Responders
Brichta IELC 520-225-1100 or for school aged 520-225-1179
Schumaker IELC 520-731-5200 or for school aged 520-731-5206
Child care provider search
Early Childhood Coalition
- Questions about the coronavirus, how to avoid coronavirus scams, and resources available for family caregivers. Check back daily for more information.
- Call PCOA’s Helpline at 520-790-7262 to speak with a member of our staff about how we can assist you
- Senior Housing, Home Repairs, Health Insurance, In-Home Support
- Call 520-795-0300
- File for unemployment and other economic security servicesThe safety and health of our teammates and our customers are what matter most. Our entire team is ready and standing by to support you. For the latest resources and information please visit our website.
- The Morris Institute for Justice offers helpful information (In English and Spanish) about benefits related to the following:
- Unemployment Insurance
- Food Stamps
- Cash Assistance
- Medical Assistance
- Stimulus Handout
Resources for Parents
Learning and Literacy
- Scholastic is offering free online courses so your kids can keep learning while schools are closed
- Free pdf versions of site word-based readers
- Free streaming and book services with a library card
Make Way for Books
- Download their app for great books you can share together right on your phone or tablet as well as literacy activities you can do with what you already have at home.
- Below you will find links to age-appropriate activities to explore with your children while in the safety of your own home. Learning best takes place when there is positive parent-child interaction and hands-on learning opportunities.
- Infants: Click here and here for some fun activities to do at home with your infant.
- Toddlers: Click here and here for some fun activities to do at home with your toddler.
- Preschoolers: Click here and here for some fun activities to do at home with your preschooler.
- School-age: Click here and here for some fun activities to do at home with your school-age child.
Art and Entertainment
- Take a Tour of these places!
- Six local businesses offering take-home crafting and painting
- Free online activities for kids during school closures
First Things First Helpful Resources
First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency, is committed to providing parents and caregivers with information and resources to support families with young children as our communities continue to be impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
As families spend more time at home, FTF has rounded up some resources that remind parents that everyday moments matter most when it comes to young children’s development. These include:
In addition, below are some resources to help you support your toddler or preschooler during the coronavirus health crisis. A top tip when talking with young children about any difficult situation? Keep it simple and age-appropriate. For example, “We’re taking a break from playing with others so we can all stay healthy.”
Birth to Five Helpline
The Birth to Five Helpline is a program of Southwest Human Development and is partially funded by First Things First. It is a free service available to all Arizona families and caregivers of young children.
Having someone to talk with or lend an empathetic ear is more important than ever, and the helpline’s early childhood experts are available by phone, text or email to answer any parenting questions, from basic health and nutrition to how to handle challenging behaviors and more. Helpline specialists can also help you think about how to talk with children in an appropriate way about what is going on in our world and all you are doing to keep them and their families safe. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available by phone/text at 877-705-KIDS (5437) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or you can send a message online.
Talking to young kids about coronavirus
Our partners at ZERO TO THREE offer several excellent resources and tips for families, including age-appropriate responses to common questions and activities for young children while social distancing.
The early learning experts at Sesame Street know that children thrive with structure in their lives and learn best through play. This site provides content, resources and ideas to offer comfort and spark playful learning moments.
PBS Kids for Parents
PBS Kids offers a wealth of helpful articles and videos, including how to talk to your kids about coronavirus and how you and your kids can de-stress during coronavirus.
Other Helpful Resources
Pima County Unemployment Hotline – 520-724-5735
COVID-19 Hotline – 520-626-6016 or 1-844-542-8201
- Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns
City Service Impacts Hotline – 520-791-2540
Coronavirus and Substance Abuse
- American Addiction Centers hope that you’re safe and healthy during this COVID19 pandemic. If you didn’t know, those with substance abuse disorders may be vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus on respiratory and pulmonary systems. Like other progressive and chronic conditions, addiction doesn’t always align with life events, such as the coronavirus. See the risks for going untreated: Coronavirus and Substance Use.
- Due to social distancing, we are also hosting free virtual AA/NA support meetings.
Small Business Assistance
Tucson Helping Tucson – Virtual Fundraising Event to help small businesses, April 10-12
Working From Home
The Southern Arizona Volunteer Management Association (SAVMA)
- Find out if your organization has a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and if it currently aligns with the guidance being issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Become familiar with the plan and how volunteers are utilized throughout this plan. If volunteers are not included, find and why and advocate for their inclusion where appropriate.
- Follow the guidance of the CDC and advice for safe health practices regarding COVID-19.
- Stay home if you are sick. Individuals who arrive on-site with symptoms will be sent home. Outline a clear system for getting in touch with you/the organization when canceling a shift.
- Please take all necessary precautions if you are immunocompromised, or live with/care for someone who is immunocompromised. We support your decisions, including and up to a decision to temporarily suspend your own volunteering during this uncertain time. Again, outline a clear system for communicating with you/the organization.
- We are implementing a no handshake policy at our organization while COVID-19 remains a threat. Please do not shake hands with staff, volunteers or clients. We recommend waving or verbally greeting people instead.
- Please thoroughly and frequently wash your hands, and follow other guidance provided by the CDC around disease containment.
- Offer additional information on if and how your organization’s services will be impacted as it becomes available.
- Prioritize volunteer and client safety. Know the key requirements for continuing interaction between volunteers and vulnerable clients, take all recommended precautions, including gloves, masks, frequent hand-washing, etc.
- Be sure volunteer concerns can be addressed during these restricted access times and that communication documents are updated appropriately for your volunteers in the field as supervisors may change.
- As executive orders are issued nationally and by state, workplaces may be closed and remote work may become an option where it wasn’t before.
- Plan for a volunteer workforce shortage. Executive orders may impact work schedules, but so could volunteer comfort and personal health risk. Plan to:
- Survey volunteers to determine their availability to continue volunteering 1) currently, 2) if schools were to close, 3) if quarantined (only if remote volunteering is possible). For volunteers who have high availability, ask if they would be willing to increase their volunteerism temporarily to help fill gaps (given that they are healthy). Track responses and keep a database/spreadsheet of volunteers who anticipate availability in certain situations.
- Work with organizational leaders to prioritize programming/services delivered by volunteers and determine where the volunteer workforce should be focused if there is a significant decrease in availability. For example, programs providing food for those experiencing poverty will be a higher priority than advocacy or education programs that could be postponed.
- Postpone large-scale volunteer events or training in the next few months. The City of Tucson has already requested events of 50 or more be postponed. Social distancing by avoiding crowds and events helps “flatten the curve” of the virus and helps keep cases within the capacity of our hospital system.
- Help counter stigma and discrimination in our community. Engage with stigmatized groups and speak out against negative behaviors. What tools/information/supplies will volunteers need to complete work remotely and what will be the process for submitting it or getting questions answered?
- Event Planners may find additional resources here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
- Resources for Community and Faith Leaders may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.html
- Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html