Dear Neighbor,

As we continue to face the new realities of living with the threat of COVID-19, I’ve felt encouraged to see our community step up in the face of adversity. Many of you have worked to care for older neighbors, volunteered to distribute food for low-income families, and have even tried to support our small businesses by continuing to order take-out from local favorites.

I'm proud of our Welch community leaders and all of the volunteers who came out to help at the Welch Park Food Distribution this past Saturday to make sure we safely provided fresh fruits and veggies for families in need. This is the District 8 spirit, our residents are always ready to help wherever they’re needed! Below you’ll find other ways you can help neighbors in need through a new initiative called Silicon Valley Strong .

We’re still in the midst of uncertainty but our office will begin to send out weekly updates on the resources available to help you and your family. Again, if you have questions or concerns not answered below, please email us at or call (408) 535-4908 and we’ll do our best to get you connected to a community resource.

In Community,
Councilmember Sylvia Arenas
Statewide Shelter-in-Place Mandate
Governor Newsom has issued a stay at home order for all of California until further notice. This means residents are to stay home except for essential needs. Grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, banks, and pharmacies may still remain open but should only be visited if absolutely necessary. You’re also free to exercise outside keeping at least 6ft apart from other people. Learn more here .

Eviction Moratorium
The City of San José has enacted a temporary eviction moratorium in effect through April 17th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium stops residential evictions for nonpayment of rent due to impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to increase housing stability and minimize homelessness for people facing sudden, unexpected financial hardship. To learn more, call 408-975-4480 or visit  

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Households
The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System is offering financial assistance to low-income residents who have lost income and are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-related impacts. To qualify, you must be a resident of Santa Clara County, your household income must be less than 80% of the average median income (AMI), and you must have a documented loss of income related to COVID-19. For more information and to apply, visit  or call 408-780-9134.

Call or Text County Public Health Department - Now Available 24/7
Santa Clara County residents can now call or text 2-1-1 for information on COVID-19. Phone and text services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with phone interpretation available in 150 languages. Text services are available in English and Spanish and can be initiated by texting the message “coronavirus” to 211211. You can also get more information about services across the county here .

State and Federal Benefits during COVID-19
Have you or someone you know lost income due to reduced hours related to COVID-19? You may be eligible for a range of benefits including paid sick leave, paid family leave, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance. Call 1-866-870-7725 for more information or visit !

Comcast Expands Access to Internet
Comcast is offering free 60 days of their internet essentials package for low-income families. To sign up, call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish customer support or visit . New customers will be sent a free self-install kit. There will be no term contract, credit check, or shipping fee.

VTA Not Collecting Fares
VTA will operate bus, light rail and paratransit services for essential travel and will not be collecting fares at this time. Rapid 500 service is also being suspended in addition to the school trippers. Learn more at

Avoid Scams
Times of emergency are unfortunately also an opportune time for scammers. Stay vigilant and be extra careful about sharing your personal information with strangers. Be wary of emails (or phone calls!) requesting account information or to verify an account, as most businesses would never call you or email you directly to ask for your security credentials. Learn more and call (800) 962-1125 if you’ve been a victim of a scam during COVID-19.

Libraries Closed but Online Library Open 24/7
All City library branches are currently closed but there are plenty of free online resources available for free through .

Reach a Crisis Counselor
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, or nervous because of the coronavirus, Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Crisis Counselors are there to help! Text RENEW to 74174 or call 1-800-704-0900

Silicon Valley Strong -- Our Community's Response to COVID-19 is a hub for people to offer a caring hand to those in need and for vulnerable neighbors to find critical resources. This movement connects the County, cities, schools, nonprofits, private partners, churches, and community organizations—ensuring no one gets left behind. For more information or to volunteer go to or call 2-1-1
Free grab-and-go meals will be available at all school sites. They will not require 18 or younger individuals to be present and will provide the number of meals the individual needs. Half of the school sites will offer meals from 10:30am to 11:30am, and the other half from 12:30pm to 1:30pm, so call 408-223-4500 or go to to find out the time for your school.

Student breakfast and lunch will be provided from 11:00am to 1:00pm at Arbuckle, Chavez, Dorsa, Hubbard, Linda Vista, and Sheppard/Painter

Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch will be available to all students at Mt. Pleasant STEAM Academy or August Boeger Middle School from 9am to 12pm

Students will be able to pick up a bag lunch once a day from 12pm – 1pm. Locations include: Silver Creek, Mt. Pleasant, Evergreen, and Overfelt High Schools. For more information, call 408-374-5191 or go to
During trying times, it's important to remain hopeful so that we can manage our stress, anxiety, and relationships with others. We’re launching a new series where we hear directly from a District 8 resident on any relevant topic affecting our community. The opinions shared in this new series belong to the individual writer and do not express the views or opinions of the City of San Jose or the Council Office.

This month, we’re sharing a blog post from retired Evergreen Elementary School District teacher, Eddie Garcia, who hopes to offer a few words of comfort for anyone feeling anxious about their health and the world around them.

“My decade-long health crisis and subsequent spiritual journey have provided some answers for me. I started this blog six years ago to share my story with the hope that it will help others endure life challenges. The project has taken me to places I didn’t even know existed. As we’re in the throes of Corona-mania, my journey has given me the wisdom and tools to be measured and calm as fear rises around me.”   Click here to read more .

If you'd like to offer an inspiring message or hopeful to your neighbors during this time, send an email to to be included in the next weekly update.