April 2020 | Issue 15
In This Together

As the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence continue to fight this long battle against COVID-19, the Providence City Council reminds all Providence residents that we are here to support you during this difficult time.

For many weeks, all of our lives have been drastically interrupted and restricted. We thank all of the frontline workers who are bravely facing COVID-19 head on. We also thank all of the every day Rhode Islanders who have committed to the difficult task of staying home and making great sacrifices to stop the spread. Our hearts are with those who have lost loved ones or suffered from the virus themselves. We will get through this, but we will never forget.

With Governor Raimondo beginning to discuss reopening the economy, it is important to remain hopeful yet cautious. We look forward to returning to some sense of normalcy, but we also know there is a lot of work that still must be done.

Every step of the way, the Providence City Council will continue to provide and share resources to help you with whatever hardships you may be facing. Our COVID-19 resources web page is updated daily with new information, CLICK HERE to see if there is anything that may help you.

In addition to this, please remember that our regular services are still operating remotely so do not hesitate to call our office or contact your councilor with requests that are not related to COVID-19.

Continue reading for Council news and a variety of resources regarding health, food, unemployment, education, senior citizens and more.

Visit our website for more resources, news, and information about your Councilor: https://council.providenceri.gov/

Or call our office at: 401-521-7477
Meet Your City Councilor
Providence is separated into 15 distinct Wards, comprising 21 unique neighborhoods, each a diverse and dynamic community. We believe that access to your Councilor is paramount.

By clicking on the link below you will be able to learn more about your Councilor, and have the opportunity to send them an email to share your thoughts or concerns.

Don't forget to participate in the 2020 Census! Fill it out here .
Council News
Providence City Council Honors the Life of Armand E. Batastini, Jr.
Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan introduced a resolution to honor the life and legacy of Armand E. Batastini, Jr. at the April 16th City Council meeting.

Mr. Batastini was a lifelong resident of Providence, he was a baseball and basketball coach, and an active community member of Ward Five, and he sadly passed away on April 11, 2020 at the age of 89.
At the request of Majority Leader Ryan, the City’s Flag above City Hall was flown at half-staff on Saturday, April 18, in honor of Mr. Batastini’s service to the City he so dearly loved.
Councilman Espinal Introduces Resolution Requesting Executive Order to Suspend Immigration Enforcement at COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Sites in Rhode Island
Councilman Espinal introduced a resolution at the April 16th City Council meeting requesting that Governor Gina Raimondo pass an executive order to suspend immigration enforcement at COVID-19 testing and treatment sites. Testing for COVID-19 is critical in stopping the spread of the virus as it assists healthcare professionals in quarantining positive cases and contact tracing to identify other individuals who may have been exposed. The fear of immigration enforcement has a chilling effect on the immigrant community coming forward to be tested, thereby increasing the likelihood of positive cases remaining undetected and spreading the virus further than it otherwise would.
Providence City Council to Award Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic $100K Grant to Expand COVID-19 Testing
Providence City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) announced today that the City Council would be granting  Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic  a $100 Thousand grant to expand COVID-19 testing at their health clinic. Data made public by the Rhode Island Department of Health last week showed that the City of Providence is being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 cases. More specifically, the hardest-hit zip code in the entire state encompasses the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Silver Lake, and Manton – communities that Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic serves. Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic is located at 60 Valley Street in the City of Providence. With this grant, they will be increasing their COVID-19 testing to six days a week from 4 PM – 9 PM daily. Their staff is multi-lingual, and you will need to make an appointment by email at  [email protected] , or by calling 401-408-0238, or by sending them a  Facebook  message.
Councilor Miller Delivers Groceries to Neighbors in Need
Councilor Rachel Miller was highlighted by WPRI earlier this month for her admirable efforts to deliver groceries to her constituents who could not get out to the grocery store themselves. Her giving spirit and willingness to lend a helping hand is exactly what will help everyone get through this difficult time.
Council President Matos Hosts Afternoon Read Along
On Teusday April 28th, Council President Matos, Education Commissioner Infante-Greene and Superintendent of Providence Public Schools Harrison Peters held an online afternoon read-along. They read "We Count' in English and Spanish. This book teaches children all about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census.

You can participate in the 2020 Census HERE
COVID-19 Resources and Updates
Ongoing Social Distancing Restrictions
Until May 8th

-There is a “Stay at Home” order effective until May 8, 2020. What does that mean? It means that you can only leave your residence for essential purposes: groceries, medicine, and work if you cannot do so remotely.

-Distance Learning for K-12 public education continues until May 8, 2020..

-All childcare centers to remain closed until May 8, 2020.

-If you work outside of the State of Rhode Island and cannot work remotely, you must self-quarantine upon your return home from work daily until May 8, 2020.

-Anyone returning to or entering the State from any type of travel must self-quarantine for 14-days with the exception of Public Health workers, Public Safety workers, and people traveling for business.

-All  non-critical retail businesses  will be closed until May 8, 2020.

-All gatherings of people in your home or outside cannot exceed five people. What does that mean? If you are working, you should not be in a small room with more than five people. You should not have more than five people in your home (unless they live there). You should only be in contact with those same five individuals as much as possible. This is vital to stop the spread of this virus.

-All campgrounds in the state will not be able to open until at least May 8.
Health Resources
  1. Everyone must wear face masks when at work or out in public until further notice. Learn more about masks here: Face Masks
  2. If you are feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed you can access services for adults and children where you will be matched with mental health professionals. Adults can call BHLink at 414-Link and for children, you can call KidsLink at 855-543-5465. If you are experiencing violence in the home or other mental health struggles here is a great resource provided by the RI Department of Health: In English  En Español
  3. If you do not have insurance Health Source RI has opened an emergency enrollment period until April 30, 2020 and if you have been laid off for any reason you have 60 days to apply for health insurance: Health Source RI
  4. For more information on what you should do if you feel that you may have contracted COVID-19, or come into contact with someone that could potentially have COVID-19 please visit the Rhode Island Health Department’s website or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 401-222-8022.
  5. Governor Raimondo has announced that testing and treatment for COVID-19 would be free for Rhode Islanders, with no co-pay or out of pocket expenses.
  6. If you are sick at all – headache, runny nose, cough, fever or other symptoms you must stay home from work.
  7. If you are in quarantine the state has set up a program for food service, you can go to RIDelivers.com or call 211 to access this service.
  8. Keep a daily log of where you have been and who you came in contact with to help in mitigation and contact tracing if you become infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Resources for Seniors

  1. Providence has several meal sites dedicated to serving older adults throughout the city. Please contact each site directly as information may change daily: Senior Meal Sites
  2. Grocery stores throughout Rhode Island are providing dedicated shopping hours to promote the safety and wellness of older adults: Dedicated Senior Shopping Hours
  3. With the recent stay-at-home orders issued across the states to further contain the spread of COVID 19, SeniorLiving.Org has compiled information on how to help seniors with communication, grocery delivery, home care and, health monitoring. This guide, Social Distancing: Apps for Seniors, provides practical apps for seniors (tech-savvy or not), along with setup assistance.
Resources for Lost Wages and Employee Rights
Here is a great resource of what you may or may not qualify for, and how to apply as published by  WPRI News .
  1. If you lost a job due to COVID-19 or unemployed, the State has launched a new website to match employees with companies that are hiring: employri.org
  2. If you lost a job due to COVID-19 or unemployed, the State has launched a new website to match employees with companies that are hiring: employri.org
  3. If you have lost work or have to stay home because of COVID-19, the state may be able to help: Workplace Aid 
  4. If you are quarantined with COVID-19 you can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI): TDI Application
  5. If the place where you work closes or your employer tells you that you must stay home without pay, you may be able to collect Unemployment Insurance if you can please fill out the form online and not call the office as it slows down processing of checks: File an Unemployment Claim
  6. Rhode Islanders have a right to paid sick time as passed by the General Assembly in 2018. Use them: Paid Sick Leave Fact Sheet
  7. Are you a member of the RI AFL-CIO? Here’s a comprehensive guide of resources if you are out of work and other benefits: AFL-CIO
Resources Regarding Providence City Schools and Meal Services for Residents 18 & Younger
  1. Distance learning will continue for grades K-12 in the State of Rhode Island for the remainder of the school year.
  2. The Providence Public School Department has a distance learning hotline for students and families: 401-456-0686
  3. The Highlander Institute in cooperation with the Rhode Island Department of Education has also implemented a Distance Learning Resource Hotline you can submit your questions via the internet and their group of volunteers will contact you with the support you need: Online Request Form
  4. Commissioner Infante-Green and Superintendent Peters have shared information regarding distance learning. Watch this informative video here: Distance Learning with Commissioner Infante-Green and Superintendent Peters
  5. What Distance Learning looks like – check out this Google Document for more information: Distance Learning
  6. There are 13 sites across the city where all children, ages 18 and younger, regardless of where they attend school, can access several days worth of “Grab & Go” meals. The locations will be open from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm (for school students their lunch break is from 11:00 am to 1:00 PM) Tuesdays and Thursdays during the duration of the closure. On Friday, they will be sent home with three meals for each day of the weekend: Meal Distribution Locations
  7. In addition to the meals being provided at the schools, the City of Providence is offering free, packaged dinner meals at each of Providence’s eleven recreation centers. Meals can be picked up between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays by residents 18 and under but they must be personally present at the distribution site. No ID is required: Meal Distribution Locations
  8. Providence City Schools will be undergoing a deep cleaning and disinfection of all schools and administrative buildings per CDC Guidelines.
  9. Providence Community Libraries and the Providence Public Library and all associated programming have been closed/canceled until further notice.
Resources for Renters & Homeowners
  1. The State of Rhode Island has partnered with several financial institutions to provide a 90-day grace period on residential mortgage payments, no negative impacts to credit ratings from this relief, no late fees or charges, and a 60-day moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions for those who are impacted by COVID-19. To find a list of participating financial institutions visit the Department of Business Regulation.
  2. HomesRI has released fact sheets on your rights as a tenant and how you can be protected during this COVID-19 crisis: In English En Español
  3. HomesRI has released fact sheets on your rights as a homeowner and how you can be protected during this COVID-19 crisis: In English En Español
How to Volunteer, Help Your Neighbors, How to Safely Grocery Shop, & Restaurant Food Donations

  1. The United Way of Rhode Island is creating a list of volunteers as a proactive measure to protect and support our communities during COVID-19. If you’re interested in helping nonprofits meet Rhode Islanders’ basic needs, please complete this short survey. Note: we’ll only contact you if there is a match.
  2. The RI Department of Health is looking for part-time or retired public health workers including doctors, nurses, LPN’s, CNA’s, CNE’s, social workers and mental health workers to help during the crisis. If you would like to sign-up please visit RIResponds.Org
  3. Check out this handy guide of best practices that City Council has created: English and En Español
  4. The City’s Healthy Communities Department has issued the following guidelines for grocery shopping: English and En Español
  5. If you are a restaurant or would like to donate food from a restaurant, please follow these guidelines: English and En Español
Upcoming Council Events
Upcoming City Meetings
Friday May 1st
Virtual City Council Meeting
6:00-7:00 pm
Click this URL to join:  https://zoom.us/j/91968729780
Or join by phone: Dial: 1-646- 876-9923 or 1-877-853-5257 (Toll-Free)
Enter Meeting ID: 919 6872 9780 followed by #

Wednesday May 13th
Ward 12 Virtual Community Meeting
5:00-6:00 pm
This meeting will take place on Zoom. Preregistration is required and can be done here.

Thursday May 7th
Virtual City Council Meeting
7:00 pm
Information to join meeting will be shared as date approaches.

Thursday May 21st
Virtual City Council Meeting
7:00 pm
Information to join meeting will be shared as date approaches.

Upcoming City Council Events
Monday May 4
City Council Led LGBTQIA+ Roundtable Discussion
7:00-8:00 pm
Watch on the Providence City Council Facebook Page

Sunday March 17th
Haitian Census Zoon Rally
4:30 pm
Information to join meeting will be shared as date approaches.

Open Meetings Portal
If you want to find information about past, present and future meetings then the open meetings portal is a must. Using the below link you can access meeting minutes, agendas, documents, videos and other useful information at the click of a button.
Providence City Council
©Providence City Council 2020