E-Newsletter . Issue 268 . April 23, 2020

Welcome to the Barnstable County Department of Human Services' E-Newsletter. This bi-weekly newsletter is designed to provide timely information on health and human service topics of interest for people living and working in Barnstable County. For additional information visit the Department website at   www.bchumanservices.net
We are pleased to announce that Sonja Sheasley, former Communications Project Specialist with the Department of Human Services was recently promoted to the Communications Manager at Barnstable County. Maria Silva, Administrative Assistant at the Department of Human Services will now be managing and distributing our department newsletter. In an effort to make the submission process as easy as possible, submissions will only be accepted using our online submission form. Submission buttons will be located at the bottom of every newsletter and on the homepage of our website. If you have questions regarding the newsletter, please email [email protected]
Barnstable County HOME Consortium 
Notice of Document Availability and Public Comment Period
The Barnstable County HOME Consortium Draft Five-Year Consolidated Plan for Program Years 2020-2024; Annual Action Plan for Program Year 2020 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021); and Amended Citizens Participation Plan are available for review at the Barnstable County HOME Program website at:  HOME Program Website
These plans outline funding priorities and serve as the strategic and planning documents for Barnstable County's HOME Program which is funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The proposed funding allocation from HUD for Program Year 2020 is $462,217.  You may submit written comments to:   [email protected]

Comments on the Draft Plans will be accepted through May 14, 2020. 
Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment: COVID-19 Updates
The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment of Health and Environment is working consistently to maintain their website for COVID-19 updates and information.

Please also find the following links to Town Health Departments:

URGENT message from the AG's Office
Food Access & Resources During COVID-19
Access the Food Finder
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) partners with 500+ hunger-relief agencies, including food pantries, community meal programs and other food assistance providers throughout the nine counties and 190 towns and cities across Eastern Massachusetts. Access the Food Finder  HERE
Free Student Meal Services & Pick-up Sites
Barnstable Schools  (Open to ALL Students regardless of residence)|   Cape Cod Tech  Regional High School  Monomoy Schools    Nauset Schools  (Brewster, Eastham, Orleans, Wellfeet)  Dennis-Yarmouth   (Delivery option available) |  Mashpee  |  Sandwich Public Schools   Provincetown  |  Truro   M eal Service and Pick-up Sites from EOS Foundation

Access this map of sites serving meals to children and teens during April school closures due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Grocery Stores - Updated Service Hours
Grocery Store Updated Services and Hours: 
The Family Pantry News
Mobile Pantry Truck Campaign
Our senior population is being hit hard by the pandemic. With your support we can help sustain our neighbors who are vulnerable, isolated and food insecure.  In response to this immediate need, a group of North Chatham Summer residents have pledged to match all donations up to $125,000 to help us purchase and stock a second Mobile Pantry truck. Please donate   HERE
Barnstable County COVID-19 Recovery Resources
COVID-19 can be difficult for all of us but especially for those in recovery. This might be exacerbated by people unable to attend their normal support group meetings or other recovery supports. Please click on button below to find local and nationwide resources related to substance use disorder and mental health. You can also call the MA Substance Use Helpline anytime at 800-327-5050.
A Conversation on Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health During COVID-19
Community Agencies and Therapists Offering Telehealth Support

The Barnstable County Children's Behavioral Health Work Group has developed a list of community agencies offering telehealth support  HERE   

Please email   [email protected]   if you have additional telehealth support that you would like listed, or if you want to update your listing. This listing will be periodically updated and distributed by Barnstable County.
COVID-19 and Dementia: Common Questions/Topics
Thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association for sharing the questions and answers for the most common concerns that they are hearing on their hotline calls. These documents will soon be available in Spanish.
You or anyone else – can reach out to the Alzheimer’s Assoc. 24/7 Hotline at 800-272-3900 to ask questions.

Managing Grief During a Pandemic
Helpful Utility Links During COVID-19
Donation of Home-Made Face Masks and Face Shield Headbands to Support COVID-19 Emergency Response 

The Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps (MRC),  in service to the Barnstable County Incident Command COVID-19 response, wishes to bring to the public's attention the following information for people willing to produce and donate face masks and the headbands that hold plastic face shields. Learn more  HERE
Housing Assistance Established Cape Cod COVID-19
Workforce Housing Relief Fund
Housing Assistance has established the Cape Cod COVID-19 Workforce Housing Relief Fund to provide urgent and ongoing assistance with past due rent or mortgage payments or other housing-related expenses for current, year-round Cape Cod and Island residents who are losing income due to the coronavirus. To apply for support for any Housing Assistance programs, contact an intake counselor at  [email protected]   508-771-5400. See more information  HERE
CARES Act & UI COVID Materials for Providers & YYA Experiencing Homelessness
The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice has released informational pamphlets on the  CARES Act   and  Applying for Unemployment Benefits to assist Youth and Young Adults navigate systems for critical resources during the Coronavirus pandemic. Access to these resources play an important role in maintaining housing stability for our region’s young persons facing financial hardship due to loss of employment. Additional resources for Unaccompanied Youth and Young Adults age 24 and under that are homeless or at-risk of homelessness can be accessed through the Program Manager at  [email protected]  or one of our  community partners .
Thank you for helping us help others
Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund
Launched by Massachusetts Governor Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker, the  Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund  will help support essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations across the state, including Massachusetts residents and immigrants facing homelessness, food insecurity and loss of critical services as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Fund is administered by Eastern Bank providing a safe and reliable way for donations to be made to this Fund, and at no cost to the Fund. In addition to the $10 million already announced by our Charitable Foundation, our Foundation has donated to this fund and Eastern is among the leading organizations and philanthropists that are Founding Donors.  Please help at  https://www.macovid19relieffund.org /
YMCA Cape Cod EXPANDING FREE Childcare for ALL Essential Workers Effective April 1, 2020

Governor Charlie Baker, through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care ("EEC"), has established a process to fund approved Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs to serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens. Please read details  HERE
Council of Churches News

The Council of Churches  operates as a "front-line" service provider in many areas and offers remote operations where possible. Please see below.
Faith Family Kitchen  will continue to provide nutritious dinners on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Please note these revised hours. At the door, families and other adults will be given a paper bag containing Jeni's homemade soup plus a few supplemental items. 

Hands of Hope Food Pantry  will continue distributing a single prepackaged bag of groceries during regular hours of operation, which are Monday and Friday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Clients will wait outside the door for a bag that is designed to feed 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. New clients, please call 508-432-1312 or email [email protected] first to register. No client should come inside the building during service hours. The Thrift Store is closed until further notice. Hands of Hope is located at 49 Route 28, West Harwich. 
A Baby Center  will offer "To Go" bags of baby essentials for existing clients on Wednesdays 10 a.m. - noon. This will be a "drive up window" service only; no clients are to enter the building. A Baby Center is located 81 Willow Ave, Hyannis.
Health Imperatives News
Health Imperatives is now offering telehealth support. We are able to quickly assess your needs, provide most services and connect you to multiple resources. Please see how to access these services  HERE
In the Reality of COVID-19
As we grapple with the current pandemic, we are grateful for the many individuals and organizations whose work addresses the Social Determinants of Health and who are on the front lines supporting our communities. 
Catch up on previous episodes of Health Matters: Cape Cod to learn about the agencies dedicated to this work, and visit their websites to see how they've adjusted their services during this current crisis: 

Homeless Prevention News

The Homeless Prevention Council (HPC) is providing support for our neighbors in need on the Lower and Outer Cape. We have undertaken the following actions to ensure that services are not interrupted. Please read more  HERE
Independence House News
Independence House continues to assist those in the community that seek help for domestic and sexual violence matters during the Covid-19 crisis.  Remote services range in all areas including one-on-one counseling with active and new clients by phone and video, group video counseling, assistance with court applications remotely in order to obtain emergency 209A Restraining Orders or 258E Harassment Orders, and legal assistance and representation by a staff attorney. Their confidential emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter remains in full operation as well a 24-hour hotline at 800-439-6507.  Full details about the Independence House Covid 19 response can be found at  www.independencehouse.org .
Cape Cod Children's Place, The Community Development Partnership, The Family Pantry of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Homeless Prevention Council, Lower Cape Outreach Council , and  WE CAN  have joined together to better serve the unique needs of the Lower and Outer Cape Communities. In this unprecedented time, their collaboration and communication is focused on removing barriers to human service delivery--now more important than ever. A list of free and confidential services provided by these organizations that community members can access is available  HERE
*All community members are welcome to reach out to the organizations regardless of income or immigration status.
Considerations for Moving a Loved One Home from a Nursing Facility, Rest Home or Assisted Living Residence
Contacts for Older Adults and People with Disabilities Needing Non-Medical Emergency Assistance
Please see a list of contacts for older adults and people with disabilities needing non-medical emergency assistance  HERE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to move our event to this fall: 
Thursday, October 15th, 2020 ∙ 6:00 p.m.

Thrive! CIGSYA - LGBTQ and Ally Center of Cape Cod Continue Digital Meetings
Thrive! Wednesday Events have been moved to a digital / online gathering the past few weeks and this format will continue until further notice. The Thrive! building will be closed on Wednesdays . Folks who are ages 22 and under are encouraged to login to join Wednesdays from 4 - 6pm. Additional Saturday meetings have been added. For the link or any questions and additional info please check our  FACEBOOK, Instagram (cigsya), or email   [email protected]
Transgender Support Group is meeting on the first and third Wednesday from 5:30-7:00PM - Group via internet/conference call.

Email  [email protected]  for more information. The group will soon be meeting via Zoom and information will be updated for this newsletter.

Barnstable County Submission Guidelines 
Please submit your news to be included by clicking on image above.
  • Content Policy - We are prioritizing timely information on the ever-changing landscape of health and human services events and opportunities.

  • Due to the increasing number of submissions to the newsletter, the Department reserves the right to limit the number of times a submission is published.

  • Posting of articles submitted for publication in the Barnstable County Department of Human Services E-Newsletter is at the discretion of the Department. To request this newsletter in alternate formats, please call 508-375-6628.
Barnstable County Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 427, 3195 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 02630
EMAIL | 508-375-6628