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May 21, 2020
Dear Neighbors,
You're Invited to a Weekly Facebook Live every Wednesday

Thanks for joining us on Facebook Live this past month! We'll continue these sessions through the end of the month so be sure to join us next week on May 27th at 7 p.m. We'll update you on the latest City Council news and take your questions.

To view our latest Facebook update click here .
Hope you'll join us next week!
Reducing the Burden: CPS Energy Late Fee Forgiveness
 
Today, City Council approved an ordinance authorizing CPS Energy to forgive late fees for customers making timely payments under a payment plan. While this means less revenue for CPS Energy and the City, it frees up residents’ wallets to pay for essentials like food, fuel, and childcare. This is great not only for the individuals it directly benefits, but for the entire city.

Governor Moves to Open More Businesses
 
On Monday, Governor Abbott announced that Texas is opening up more of the economy. Changes include:
  • Restaurants can open to 50% of their occupancy limit;
  • School districts can offer in-person summer school beginning June 1st 
  • A number of businesses can open over the next week:
  • Child care centers can open on May 18th 
  • Bars can open on May 22nd at 25% capacity
  • Zoos can open on May 29th at 25% capacity with precautions
 
You can find the full list with more details at gov.texas.gov/OpenTexas .
 
While restarting our economic recovery is critical, we must do so cautiously. I remain committed to making sure our residents and businesses have the resources they need to safely reopen while protecting public health. Please continue maintaining a distance of six feet, washing your hand frequently, wearing your mask around others and staying home if you are able to. Following these tips, we’ve saved thousands of our neighbors’ lives.

Mayor Nirenberg Updates Stay Home Work Safe Order
 
Since Governor’s latest announcement, the City and County have updated their Stay Home, Work Safe orders to be in line with the new executive orders. The City’s updated order was signed by the Mayor on May 19 th . Council approved to extend this order through June 4th. The updated Stay Home, Work Safe order states that:
  • People over 65 are strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible and to be careful if they do leave home;
  • Residents still need to practice social distancing when using a shared outdoor space or when at work;
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged for all people 10 and older; and
  • Residents that are sick should stay at home and not engage in any activity outside their residence unless related to treatment or healthcare.

How We Recover: Plans for Stimulus Funding
 
On Wednesday, City Council received a briefing on the $270 Million in CARES Act coming to San Antonio and how City staff proposes to use that funding to help our community recover. Staff recommends using approximately $70 million for health and urgent needs and $200 million for recovery efforts. City staff proposes investing the $200 million into four areas (1) Workforce Development and training people for new careers, (2) Supporting Small Businesses, (3) Bridging the Digital Divide by expanding internet access, (4) Housing assistance for families and individuals.
 
City staff proposed 16 programs including:
  • providing workforce training and support services like job placement and tuition support through the Alamo Community Colleges;
  • providing grants to small businesses to rehire staff;
  • increasing in-home internet access for students in communities with little internet access;
  • expanding domestic violence prevention and intervention strategies.

You can learn more about the 16 recommendations here .

In addition to these programs, I asked City staff to consider a few other programs. For example, providing funds to small businesses to pay workers who might not be permitted to work because they have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who does. Another idea: let’s consider providing technical assistance to businesses and provide guidance on how to keep workers safe. We can also invest in improving health in our community, especially among populations with little access to healthcare, healthy foods and parks.
 
So, where do we go from here? Next Thursday, May 28 th , Council will receive a draft plan with dollar amounts. Council will then vote on a finalized Recovery & Resilience Plan on Thursday, June 4 th .
 
With that said, I want to hear from you. What kind of programs do you think City Council should prioritize in the Recovery & Resilience Plan? Feel free to send us an email at District7@SanAntonio.gov .
 
Our office will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day. We encourage you to reach out by email or phone and we will respond promptly when we return.
We will get through this, together, San Antonio.
Yours in public service,
District 7 Initiatives
Join Councilwoman Sandoval on Facebook Live Wednesdays at 7pm during the month of May as she updates you on the latest City Council news and takes your questions. You can watch at Facebook.com/AnaSandovalD7
Local and State Updates
COVID-19 Updates

  • As of May 20th, there are 2,322 cases of COVID-19. Of these, 1,164 individuals have made a full recovery. Unfortunately, we have had 63 deaths attributed to the virus in San Antonio.

  • Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff issued updates to their Stay Home, Work Safe Orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. The orders are effective immediately and will last until June 4th.
 
  • The City and County orders are consistent with the Governor’s new orders, issued Monday, May 18th. You can see the Governor’s announcements here.

  • The City of San Antonio will provide COVID-19 safety supply kits to small businesses and nonprofits on Wednesday, May 27 at the Alamodome. Organizations are asked to pre-register at COVID19.SanAntonio.Gov/Reopening or by calling 311 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  • The San Antonio Public Library will remain closed until at least June 1st. Per City Manager, Erik Walsh, the libraries will likely open in phases. A reopening plan will be provided to City Council in the next week.

  • Metro Health will be hosting two walk-up COVID-19 testing sites this Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Palo Alto College, 1400 Villaret Blvd and Nellie Reddix Center 4711 Sid Katz Dr. No prior appointments are necessary.
Community Updates
Community and Non-Profit Updates

  • CPS Energy is working with the community to provide assistance and resources during this time. Customers are encouraged to call 210-353-2222 or visit www.cpsenergy.com/assistance if needing assistance with their monthly bill.

  • IDOYOGASA.org invites you to save the date for Yogathon on June 20. The event will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will benefit yoga instructors affected by COVID-19.

  • Join the Central Library as they host a virtual celebration on Saturday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include a virtual tour, a parade, and new announcements.

  • Covered with Compassion is committed to working with the business community to reach the 50,000 face covering donation goal. Donations may be dropped off Thursday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TriPoint, 3233 N. St. Mary’s St.

  • Hearts Need Art, a community non-profit, is offering digital support for caregivers and patients in the medical community in an effort to reduce social isolation. If interested, you can schedule one-on-one zoom sessions with artists free of charge without the need for prior experience.

  • Join CPS Energy leadership as they share tips on how to save on your electricity bill right in time for Summer. The Facebook Live event will be streamed today at 3:30 p.m.

  • SA2020 is hosting a Facebook Live today at 5 P.M. to share with the community, "Small Business, Big Impact"


  • St. Paul's Catholic Church is hosting a Facebook Live with Chef Anita Centeno Thursday nights at 7:30 P.M.This week, Zuchini 3 Ways! Click here to learn more.

  • As we continue staying at home and self-isolating, The Monterrey Bay Aquarium has brought the outdoors to your home. Tune into these live webcams that share a glimpse of west coast wildlife.

  • UTSA is officially launching Career in Focus workforce initiative for San Antonio citizens.Programs such as Job Jumpstart and Career Builder Badges are being offered online and many are completely free of charge. 

  • If you are in need of food assistance, the San Antonio Food Bank is here to help offering daily food distribution at multiple locations as well as home delivery services for seniors.

  • Endeavors is offering immediate financial assistance for qualifying veterans. If you are a veteran in need of assistance can call (210) 469-9664 or email SSVF-SA@endeavors.org.

As a reminder, please be mindful of where you receive your information. Trust only reliable news sources that provide the latest and most accurate information.
Jefferson Outreach
Councilwoman Sandoval assisted Jefferson Outreach in delivering food assistance to District 7 residents in the community last week. The non-profit organization works in the heart of District 7 providing senior citizens with free support services including transportation, emotional support, and emergency needs like grocery delivery.

Read more about how you can assist Jefferson Outreach here .
Engage Online
Public Health Reminders
Stay Informed
Click any of the following buttons for reliable information about COVID-19. Additionally, you can text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates.
Community Resources
The following buttons link to community resources should you need any assistance. If you need a service that is not listed below, please contact our office at 210-207-0870 or by email at District7@SanAntonio.gov.
Additionally, please note the following resources:

COUNSELING SERVICES
  • Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

  • Crisis Text Line - Are you feeling anxious about COVID-19? To get free confidential, 24/7 support for anxiety, text “HOME” to 741741. 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. 


  • San Antonio Clubhouse - provide community, opportunity and hope for adults diagnosed with mental illness.


FAMILY RESOURCES
  • Childcare Assistance - The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County are poviding emergency childcare assistance for residents who qualify.

  • United Way Helpline -2-1-1 is a social service hotline that helps people in the region find information about local resources in their community.

  • School Meal Finder - Find locations where free meals are distributed to students in the San Antonio area.








FOOD RESOURCES
  • San Antonio Food Bank - Network of food pantries and mobile food distributions remains fully operational and open to the public for help.

  • School Meals Map - shows students where they can find breakfast and lunch near them for free. Please check with your school district for regular updates.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - provides money for food, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children provides resources for pregnant women and people with children younger than 5.

  • Meals on Wheels - is providing meals to at-risk senior’s in the community.

  • Little Free Pantry - is a grassroots, crowd sourced solution that facilitates feeding neighbors and bringing attention to food insecurity.


HOUSING / SMALL BUSINESS
  • Rental Assistance - The Salvation Army assists individuals and families who are struggling to pay their rent. We are often able to assist those facing eviction.

  • SAMMinistries - Offers rental assistance, utility support and long-term housing assistance.


  • Request for Utility Assistance - This program assists with utility assistance for CPS Energy and assists with an Affordability Discount Program Application. Seniors, families with young children, individuals with disabilities, and individuals using critical medical care equipment are eligible to apply.

  • Fair Housing Council - The Council’s programs and services, such as complaint investigation, advocacy, and education & outreach are available to consumers living in this South Texas service area.

  • Endeavors - is offering immediate financial assistance for qualifying veterans. If you are a veteran in need of assistance can call (210) 469-9664 or email SSVF-SA@endeavors.org.


  • LiftFund - Small, minority, and women-owned businesses may qualify for 0% interest loans from between $500 to $100,000.




  • To see which local properties are subject to the federal CARES Act protection for tenants, review the best available data here. For more information on tenant protections during COVID-19, click here.

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released two tools that help renters check if their properties are financed by federally backed mortgages. To learn if your property is covered, visit KnowYourOptions.com or Freddie Mac's website.


  • City of San Antonio and Bexar County remind renters of their protections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Federal Tenant Protections: A 120-day moratorium on evictions for any residential property that receives federal housing funds, including both public housing and mixed income housing beginning March 27, 2020 and ending on July 24, 2020.

EVICTIONS / NOTICES


  • Neighborhood and Housing Services is offering emergency rent and housing assistance during this time. Click the link to access the application or call 210-207-5910 for further assistance.

  • Tenants who have experienced harassment in the form of illegal lockouts from their home can find self-help packets here. Frequently asked questions on your rights as a tenant or landlord can be found here.

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released two tools that help renters check if their properties are financed by federally backed mortgages. To learn if your property is covered, visit KnowYourOptions.com or Freddie Mac's website.

  • Beware of price gouging. It is illegal to raise the cost of necessary supplies at any point during a declared disaster. Call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online.

  • The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is issuing guidance to unemployment claimants concerning their continued eligibility for unemployment benefits should they refuse rehire.

  • Tenants who have experienced harassment in the form of illegal lockouts from their home can find self-help packets here. Frequently asked questions on your rights as a tenant or landlord can be found here.


Digital Resources



Federally Qualified Clinics
for Uninsured Persons
Local Job Listings
How You Can Help Your Neighbors
Looking for a way to help your neighbors during this time? Here are a few ideas:
The City has identified the following community volunteer opportunities:

  • Consider checking in on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions. Give them a call or send them a text message to let them know you're willing to help if they need it. If you're getting ready to go to the grocery store, consider offering to pick up items they might need.

  • Prepare hygiene kits for outreach to homeless persons. Individuals and families experiencing unsheltered homelessness may not have access to COVID-19 information or hygiene supplies. City of San Antonio Homeless Street Outreach Teams will deliver hygiene kits, assess needs, and connect people to services.
  • Hygiene kits for the street homeless population are needed. Hygiene kits will include, but are not limited to, the following: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, soap, bottle of water, socks, and snacks. Items may be packaged in plastic grocery bags.
  • Hygiene kits can be delivered to your nearest SAPD SAFFE substation. Additional information at: https://www.sanantonio.gov/SAPD/SAFFE

  • Deliver food to seniors with Meals on Wheels. Many seniors in our community depend on home food delivery while self-distancing. Volunteers are needed to deliver perishable and non-perishable food items to their homes.
  • Contact Meals on Wheels at samanthaf@mowsatx.org or call (210) 599-7405 ext. 309.

  • Volunteer as an Elder Friend with Meals on Wheels. Homebound elderly individuals are in need of socialization and friendship.
  • Elder Friend volunteers typically serve three hours per week with a home-bound senior and do things such as play games, take a walk, run small errands or go out to eat as advisable.
  • Contact Meals on Wheels at samanthaf@mowsatx.org or call 210-599-7405 ext. 309.

  • Volunteer with homeless service providers. Volunteers are needed to provide services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Volunteers assist with serving meals, sorting clothes, engaging with clients (arts/crafts, singing, etc.) and helping with everyday program operations.
  • Contact SARAH Volunteer Registration here.
  • Contact Have for Hope Volunteer Opportunities at volunteers@havenforhope.org or 210-220-2549 or here.

  • Plan grocery shopping strategically. Major grocers are overwhelmed with urgent shoppers while small grocers are under-shopped.
  • To redistribute the crowds, use NextDoor, or other social media, to organize your neighborhood’s shopping days. Note smaller grocers in your area as alternatives. Example: Odd house numbers shop Monday, Wednesday, Friday and even numbers shop Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Designate Sundays or a particular time window for elderly shoppers.
  • Participate by putting a sign with #taketurns in your window. Use #taketurns to spread the word.
Updates from Local Universities
District 7 Office
Work Arrangements
During this time, the District 7 Office is continuing to work for you. We are taking the following precautions to protect your health and ours:

  • We will remain accessible for your phone calls and emails.

  • We will begin calling into neighborhood association and HOA meetings, should you choose to host them. If you would like help hosting a video or conference call for your NA/HOA meeting, we can assist!

  • We are postponing office events for the time being.

We appreciate your understanding.
Our Offices
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr, Ste #160

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Closed for Lunch:
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Plaza de Armas
100 Military Plaza

Monday - Friday:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm