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Montgomery County Creates Guide on How to Access Sexual Assault Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

Montgomery County’s Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP), part of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services, and the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) have produced a guide on how to access sexual assault forensic exams (also known as SAFEs or “rape kits”), services, and counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can leave survivors concerned about what they should do next. The questions and fears that survivors have after an assault are often overwhelming and scary, and the additional stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic have created new barriers to getting help. Help for sexual assault survivors has continued, even in the face of stay at home orders.

The guide provides survivors with information on what to expect during a forensic exam and how services have been redesigned to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. The informational guide is available here.  

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View Montgomery County’s programs for abused adults and children, and what our organizations are doing to prevent violence in our community.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance: Applications Open Tuesday, Aug. 18

Applications will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 for the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. Details are here.

  What is the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program?

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing an unprecedented financial hardship for many Montgomery County residents, the CAP is a program that provides financial assistance in the form of a rent subsidy payment.  This program seeks to fill the gaps for those who have lost income during COVID-19.

 

Application submissions OPEN June 1, 2020 at 10:00 am and CLOSE June 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm.

Application Access Online Application Portal HERE beginning June 1, 2020 Digital applications must be completed using the portal. Applications will not be accepted via email. Download PDF Version belowHERE English  Español All paper applications MUST be date and time-stamped and placed in the designated drop box at one of the following locations:
  1. 10400 Detrick Avenue, Kensington, Maryland 20895
  2. 231 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
  3. 101 Lakeforest Boulevard #200, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
  4. 880 Bonifant Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Eligibility and Frequently Asked Questions Click below for eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions.  Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program  Preguntas frecuentes – COVID- 19 Programa de asistencia de alquiler    Timeline May 26, 2020 Application and accompanying materials open for public viewing and download. June 1, 2020 Applications accepted – paper and online – beginning at 10:00 am.

June 5, 2020 Applications and submission of accompanying documentation close. All applications and supporting documents – paper and online – must be received by 2:00 pm. Paper applications and document packages must be date and time-stamped using machines at HOC locations.

June 10, 2020 Applications in the pool are reviewed after a randomized selection process. June 17-23, 2020 Selected applicants and their landlords are notified of awards. July 1, 2020 Landlords receive COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program checks via USPS.   Questions  If you have questions or require assistance, please call (240) 627-9606 or (240) 627-9680 or email .

Engaging Youth & Family Activities

Montgomery County Recreation is offering outdoor programs and classes to promote active and healthy lifestyles this summer. Programs and activities are tailored to a variety of interests, skill levels and ages. Registration is now underway. Many programs are FREE!

To view available programs, visit our new Rec Outdoors webpage at mocorec.com > Activities & Programs > Rec Outdoors. Direct link: hhttps://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec/activitiesandprograms/recoutdoors/index.html

Here are just a few examples of the programs you will see:

Ready, Set, Go, Ages Vary, Month of August, Two Locations: Bauer CRC and Upper County CRC, flyer.

Pop-ups (Rec w/o Walls), All Ages, Month of August, Six Locations: Damascus CRC, Mid-County CRC, Germantown CRC, East County CRC, Coffield CRC, North Potomac CRC, flyer.

Again, this is just a quick glance at some of our offerings, please visit mocorec.com to see our full line up!

Free Covid -19 testing

Click on Montgomery County Maryland.Gov link to see the date, time and location to register for FREE COVID -19 testing. No doctor’s order or government ID is required. There are no co-pays or deductibles. On-line registration is preferred but it is NOT required. Walk-in appointments are allowed!

https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/testing.html

Montgomery County Health and Human Services entered into a contract agreement with Advagenix to conduct FREE COVID -19 testing. Click on the link below to register. Print your confirmation. I suggest you take a photo of your confirmation and take it with you on the day of the test. Issues with printing the confirmation has occurred.

https://advagenix.com/covid19testing

You can call Montgomery Testing Helpline at 240-777-1755 and request and appointment for FREE COVID -19 at a site nearest you. The Helpline hours are 8:00AM to 6:00PM Sunday through Saturday.

Everyone is encouraged to get a test – even those who do not exhibit symptoms or have a particular reason to suspect exposure. See the State of Maryland Department of Health’s FAQ’s on Corona Virus testing

Covid -19 Rental Assistance Program

What is the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program?

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing an unprecedented financial hardship for many Montgomery County residents, the CAP is a program that provides financial assistance in the form of a rent subsidy payment.  This program seeks to fill the gaps for those who have lost income during COVID-19.

 

Application submissions OPEN June 1, 2020 at 10:00 am and CLOSE June 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm.

Application Access Online Application Portal HERE beginning June 1, 2020 Digital applications must be completed using the portal. Applications will not be accepted via email. Download PDF Version belowHERE English  Español All paper applications MUST be date and time-stamped and placed in the designated drop box at one of the following locations:
  1. 10400 Detrick Avenue, Kensington, Maryland 20895
  2. 231 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
  3. 101 Lakeforest Boulevard #200, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
  4. 880 Bonifant Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Eligibility and Frequently Asked Questions Click below for eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions.  Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program  Preguntas frecuentes – COVID- 19 Programa de asistencia de alquiler    Timeline May 26, 2020 Application and accompanying materials open for public viewing and download. June 1, 2020 Applications accepted – paper and online – beginning at 10:00 am.

June 5, 2020 Applications and submission of accompanying documentation close. All applications and supporting documents – paper and online – must be received by 2:00 pm. Paper applications and document packages must be date and time-stamped using machines at HOC locations.

June 10, 2020 Applications in the pool are reviewed after a randomized selection process. June 17-23, 2020 Selected applicants and their landlords are notified of awards. July 1, 2020 Landlords receive COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program checks via USPS.   Questions  If you have questions or require assistance, please call (240) 627-9606 or (240) 627-9680 or email .

Free Covid-19 Testing in Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan has expanded free coronavirus testing to those without symptoms starting Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The governor’s order allows people without symptoms but who may have been exposed to the virus to be tested without a doctor’s order at select state testing sites. It also calls on doctors to seek tests for such patients.

The appointment-free, drive-thru tests will be available at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093, starting Thursday, May 21, followed by sites at the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) – Glen Burnie, 721 E Ordnance Rd., Curtis Bay, MD 21226, and Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program VEIP Station, Hyattsville, 7401 Jefferson Ave, Hyattsville, MD, 20785 on Friday, May 22. The week of May 26 the state plans to begin testing at the Clinton VEIP station 7213 Old Alexandria Ferry Rd, Clinton, MD 20735.

Please see the Maryland Department of Health testing information on this website for more information.

Enroll for Free COVID-19 Contact Tracing offered by Johns Hopkins University

The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly. The job qualifications for contact tracing positions differ throughout the country and the world, with some new positions open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.

In this introductory course, students will learn about the science of SARS-CoV-2 , including the infectious period, the clinical presentation of COVID-19, and the evidence for how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person and why contact tracing can be such an effective public health intervention. Students will learn about how contact tracing is done, including how to build rapport with cases, identify their contacts, and support both cases and their contacts to stop transmission in their communities. The course will also cover several important ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. Finally, the course will identify some of the most common barriers to contact tracing efforts — along with strategies to overcome them.

Sign up here: Enroll

COVID-19: Emergency Assistance Relief Payment (EARP) Applications are open

What is the Emergency Assistance Relief Payment (EARP) Program?

CASA de Maryland, Inc., Catholic Charities, Family Services, Inc. Impact Silver Spring, Identity, Inc., Interfaith Works, and Mary’s Center are the community-based organizations that have partnered with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to process EARP applications. If you have previously used their services, contact them and they will submit an application on your behalf. Alternatively, you can contact one of these referral agenciesreferral agencies.

Phase 2 of the EARP program begins on Monday, May 18.

How do I apply for the EARP in Phase 2?

There are three ways to apply for the EARP.

  1. Apply through one of the community-based organizations that has partnered with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to process applications.  If you have previously used their services, contact them and they will submit an application on your behalf.  
  2. Apply through one of the referral agencies that will connect you to a participating community-based organization.
  3. Call MC311 and ask about completing an application and being assigned to a processing organization.  You will be placed in line and contacted by a partner organization.  Processing will be much faster with a referral.  Be sure to write down your Service Request Number .

You can find out more information here https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/RightNav/Coronavirus_EARP.html ID-19 aid. Who is eligible for the EARP?
  • People who live in Montgomery County and need relief for food and essentials.
  • People who live in Montgomery County and will not benefit from the Federal and State relief programs.
  • Individuals/families with an income equal to or less than 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level*
Why were these categories selected? To provide assistance to target populations that need relief for food and essentials and will not benefit from the Federal and State relief programs How much is the payment? Benefits will be issued as follows:
  • Single Adult – $500
  • Family with one child – $1,000
  • Families with children – $1,000 (family with one child) with an additional $150 for each additional child, with a maximum of $1,450
  • Head of household should be 18 years or older, the claimed child should be less and not equal to 19 years old
  • The benefit increases by $150 per child to a maximum of $1,450
Will individuals who received EARP benefits have to pay the money back?
  • This is not a loan; it is a grant that the County is providing.
  • It is an investment in the families and communities of Montgomery County so recipients will not have to pay back the money.
  • Individuals and families who receive this benefit will not be taxed because this will not be considered income.  In addition, the payments will not affect a family’s eligibility for other federal government assistance or benefit programs.
How much will family with six children get? Since the maximum benefit is $1,450, a family of six will get $1,450.  The benefit reaches the maximum amount for a family with four children. Will I have to pay the money back? No, the Payment is a grant, not a loan, and you will not have to pay the money back. Will I have to pay 2020 taxes on this money? No, the Payment is not income, and you will not owe tax on your payment. A payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility other Federal government assistance or benefit programs. How will I get the money? Financial assistance will be distributed in three (3) phases. Phase 1: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will issue checks to eligible families enrolled in the Care for Kids program. The money will come as a check and will be mailed to your address. Phase 2: DHHS will partner with nonprofit service providers in the community to identify additional families and individuals eligible to receive the cash assistance. Phase 3: DHHS will open up an application process for residents who did not receive assistance through Phases 1 and 2. Eligible residents may apply directly to DHHS for assistance. County officials anticipate that all three phases will be implemented before the end of May. What are the eligibility criteria?
  • You are not eligible to file for Federal or State taxes file; and
  • You may not have filed nor are you eligible to receive unemployment; and
  • Your annual income must be below 50 percent of Federal Poverty Level; and
  • You must be a Montgomery County resident and provide a valid Montgomery County address
What documentation is needed? Recommended Documentation for Phase 2 and Phase 3: ✓ Driver’s License or another photo identification ✓ Proof of residency (lease or bill) ✓ Proof of last income ✓ Verification of number of children, such as:
➢ Birth certificates U.S. or other ➢ School report card ➢ Doctor’s visit notification, etc. (for infants and toddlers)
Documents can be scanned, faxed or photographed with phone and sent to a designated e-mail. Exact instructions for emailing documents will be obtained from the agency that processes your application.  What information will I need to report? The application process contains some basic demographic information for each member of the household, including language spoken, race, ethnicity, and zip code. I am enrolled in Care for Kids program, why didn’t I get a check in Phase 1? Phase 1 recipients were chosen based on active enrollment in the Care for Kids program as of April 3, 2020. If your children were enrolled in Care for Kids and the case(s) are inactive or closed, you were not included in the Phase 1 issuance.  I think that I should have gotten a check in Phase 1, what do I do? Phase 1 is a one-time-only issuance from the Care for Kids database as of April 3, 2020. If you did not get a check in this Phase, you may apply in Phase 2 when applications are processed by designated community organizations. Come back to this website later for a list of community organizations that will accept applications. How will Phase 2 work with the partners? For more information about the designated community organizations that will accept applications, come back to this website at a later date. Once I apply in Phase 2 or Phase 3, how long will it take to get a benefit? When your application is accepted by one of the community-based organizations, it may take approximately four days for the application to be approved. Following approval, it may take an additional four days to receive the benefit. Does the benefit have to be a check? Your benefit in Phase 1 will be a check for DHHS. There are no other options. Options for Phase 2 will be posted to the website at a later date. My income in 2019 was higher than the Poverty Table, but now I have no income. Can I still apply? Yes, your current income should be reported. Will DHHS contact me about my payment? If you are designated to receive a check in Phase1, DHHS will send you a letter about the check. If that letter is returned or if there is a question about your mailing address, you may receive a call from DHHS to verify your benefit. If you apply in Phase 2 or Phase 3, you may be contacted by DHHS or by the community organization where you applied.  Most calls will be about verification of documents received. What is the Federal Poverty Level? 
The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is a measure that is used to decide whether the income of an individual or family qualifies them for certain benefits and programs. The FPL tables used to determine eligibility for the EARP is below. 2020 Federal Poverty Levels for all states (except Alaska and Hawaii) Annual Income
Household /Family Size 50% *100%*
1      6,380 $12,760
2      8,620 $17,240
3    10,860 $21,720
4    13,100 $26,200
5    15,340 $30,680
Where can I call if I have additional questions?

Excel Beyond the Bell Goes Digital!

The Excel Beyond the Bell (EBB) Collaborative is now offering Online & Offline activities to keep the fun and learning going! The question has been asked, ‘what happens when out of school time is all the time?’
We are proud to announce that many of the organizations that partner to bring EBB to our Montgomery County school buildings, have partnered to help answer this question. The Collaboration Council is proud to coordinate this in support of youth and families as a part of our mission. How to Access Resources:
Our ultimate goal is to bring EBB fun wherever our youth are in the most accessible way! Please visit www.excelbeyondthebell.org on Mondays for weekly postings of resources including:
  • • Experiments • Projects • Creative ideas • Live activity links • SEL Resources
We hope that these activities will help keep our youth and their families moving, thinking, growing and having fun together. We also invite families to take a minute to visit www.infomontgomery.org to find even more information and resources during this time.
Supporting you as you “Stay Safe and Stay Home”
-The Excel Beyond the Bell Collaborative

View Available Resources Here!

Breakfast for the Unsheltered Homeless

Montgomery County, the City of Gaithersburg Homeless Services Division, and the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation have combined forces to host a breakfast for unsheltered homeless individuals. It’s available 7 days a week from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Griffith Park on the grounds of City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave.
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