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Delegate Shaneka Henson - Newsletter

In 2019, Annapolis native Shaneka Henson joined Maryland's House of Delegates succeeding the late former Speaker Michael E. Busch. Learn more about the trial attorney and former Alderwoman who's family values make her a passionate and bright leader.

Stay Connected

Video Credit: John's Hopkins University
Check out Delegate Henson hosting a webinar for Johns Hopkins University on Disability Health. This installment of the Government and Community Affairs’ Showcase Series highlights the Johns Hopkins University Disability Health Research Center. Dr. Bonnielin Swenor will share how the work of the Center is helping to make Maryland a leader in accessibility and disability inclusion across healthcare, academic settings and research. Hosted by our very own Delegate Shaneka Henson.

Resources, Community News & Updates
Latest in the Fight Against COVID-19-- Beginning November 5th, your children age 5-11 can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine will help keep children safer at school and during the upcoming holiday season. The Department of Health is helping to ensure equitable access for families and children with barriers. To book an appointment visit HERE.

New Indoor Mask Mandate - Citing alarming and rapid increases in COVID hospitalizations and cases in the last few days, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced an emergency indoor mask mandate will go into effect countywide on Friday, Dec. 31. The mandate, which will apply to all indoor public locations, will expire on Friday, Jan. 7 unless the County Council votes for an extension.

Maryland Omicron Preparedness/NEW Testing Site-- The state of Maryland has just announced new measures to maintain preparedness in light of the new Omicron variant. MDH has added a state-run testing site at Anne Arundel Medical Center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for walk-in PCR tests only. This site only offers PCR testing (no POC tests or at-home test kits will be provided).

Help with Utilities-- If you need help with your utility bill, click HERE for community updates and resource guides. These guides include information about your rights as a residential utility consumer, information on how to get help with your utility bill, and telephone discount programs.

Health Insurance-- Open enrollment for the Maryland Health Connection begins November 1st, 2021 until January 15th, 2022. Visit HERE for more information and to get an estimate on plans.

 COVID Booster for Eligible Groups 

Find out if you are eligible for a booster.

Moderna or Pfizer? What's the difference? Find more information here HERE.

Schedule your appointment for the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson booster HERE.

 NEW-- Winter Weather Update 

Snow fall and freezing temperatures are being seen throughout Maryland. Find the latest on snow removal, closures, assistance and readiness.

City of Annapolis HERE

Anne Arundel County HERE

State of Maryland HERE
Photo Credit: Sen. Cory McCray

 NEW-Minimum Wage Increases for Most Workers to $12.50/hr

Effective January 1, 2022 minimum wage for Maryland workers increases to $12.50/hr for most employees.

Find more information HERE.

NEW -- Encourage People to Get Vaccinated and Win $250 

Post your video on TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter by January 10th. Make sure you tag @AAHealth (Anne Arundel County Health Department) and include the hashtag #VaccinateAACo

Winners will be announced on January 18th 2022. More information HERE.

NEW -- MD National Guard Hiring Event 

Come out to this multi-day face to face hiring event January 12th and 13th from 10am - 2pm with the Maryland National Guard!

MG Harry C. Ruhl Armory, 1035 York Rd. Towson, MD 21204

Register for the free event HERE.
Survey to Help with Hiring Challenges

If you are a business owner or anyone who hires, Anne Arundel County wants to know about the struggles you are having in hiring. They want to help you find the people you need for your business.

This survey will help them know how to help you grow.

Take the survey HERE.
NEW-- COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grant (Round 2)

Another round of funding has been released to help support Child Care providers in the State of Maryland. This funding is meant to support the critical role of child care providers in our state education system.
Applications are open now until January 23rd.

In this round of funding, all eligible providers will receive a base grant of $10,000 and eligible providers will receive additional funds, per licensed child care slot based

For more information and to Apply go HERE.
Help Fight Bullying

Are you aware of harmful behaviors in our schools? Safe Schools Maryland allows each of us to anonymously report tips concerning past, present, or potential harmful activities directed at students, school employees, and schools.
For more information visit their website HERE.
Quiet Waters Park Ice Skating Fundraiser For Bates and Annapolis Middle Schools

The most enjoyable way to help our Middle Schools is helping sell Hot Chocolate through the Winter Season. Join us to sell hot chocolate to the ice skaters and raise money for AMS and Bates PTAs! Sign up HERE.
COVID-19 Funeral Cost Assistance available through FEMA

If you lost a loved one because of the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA may be able to provide financial relief to the burden of funeral costs. You can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 1-844-684-6333, or visit their website HERE.
Warming Relief for Winter Weather

Anne Arundel County plans to make some facilities available for warming relief due to the expected prolonged cold temperatures. These facilities will have heat, water, and restrooms available.

More information and locations can be found HERE.
Volunteers Needed

The Healthy Families & Community Development Network is looking for men to volunteer to work with students in one of three schools/communities (Annapolis, Old Mill, and Meade). You will be able to provide students with positive male role models. Weekly meetings will be held every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30.

More information on who to contact HERE
Earn Money On Your Way To Work

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Commuter Choice Maryland is launching a program aimed at helping Maryland commuters save time and money, while also earning cash rewards when they take transit, rideshare or use other alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles in their rush hour commute.

Download the incenTrip App and start earning today. More Information HERE.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Community members can now provide volunteer language interpreter services to taxpayers who are not fluent in English. A basic tax knowledge is helpful, but there are no requirements.

To learn more visit HERE.
Maryland Health Connection Enrollment Now Open

Know someone who needs health insurance? Open enrollment through Maryland Health Connection is here!

Marylanders aged 18-34 have access to additional discounts thanks to a new state-funded subsidies pilot program. All plans available through Maryland Health Connection cover important health benefits, including doctor visits, prescriptions, mental health services, and more. Enroll HERE
Blood Donors Needed

The Red Cross is in urgent need of blood donors. They are currently working around the clock to meet the needs of their patients and hospitals, but desperately need community members to get involved. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for type O.

To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, download the Red Cross blood donor app, visit HERE, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Rent & Mortgage Tool Kits

If you or someone you know is struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created tool-kits to assist, which include consumer rights, action steps, and listings of financial assistance programs.

More Information regarding this toolkit can be found HERE
Lower Bills with Weatherization Programs
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) offers a wide range of programs that provide assistance to households to lower their energy bills. Applicants must turn in an OHEP or DHCD application to be screened for approval. Those with questions can call 1-855-583-8976.

More information regarding the programs can be found HERE

Breaking Free, a Healing Circle for Men of Color

The Busch Annapolis Library will hold a monthly Men of Color Healing Circle Until February 22, 2022. Register for free sessions by emailing HERE or call 240-988-4662 for more information.
Survivors Support Group

If you or a loved one has experienced COVID-19, you can join COVIDCONNECT! A virtual support groups that meets every Thursday (6:30-8:00pm).

Learn more HERE
COVID-19 Guidance, Masks & Clinics

Get Help Finding Jobs & Hiring New Employees
State of Maryland COVID-19 Information and Resources

The Department of Labor has guaranteed that they will get to all applicants; however, due to the overwhelming number of applicants, they cannot provide a time estimate. To troubleshoot, go to https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml.

If you are unable to determine your issue through the FAQs featured on the website, please send my office an email explaining the issues you're facing as well as the following information so that we may present that to our Legislative Liaison:
  • Full legal name
  • Phone number
  • Claim/Claimant ID (if applicable)

Please note that Senator Elfreth, Delegate Jones and I submit the same claims.
Pandemic Assistance
Childcare Assistance HERE

Court-Ordered Eviction HERE or call1-800-332-6347

Emergency Shelter call (410) 417-7260 Monday-Friday
24 hours a day, 7 days a week call County Warm Line at 410-768-5522

Energy Assistance (BGE) utility shut offs resumed Nov. 16, 2020 call the Community Action Agency's 24/7 hotline at 833-888-0401

Evictions CDC/DHS eviction moratorium has been renewed through October 3, 2021 preventing the eviction of tenants certain tenants who are unable to make rental payments.

Federal Student Loans (UPDATED: Student loan payments have been suspended through May 1, 2022 for federally held student loans.) HERE

Foreclosure Prevention free confidential counseling call 410-222-7600 HERE

Rental Assistance call 410-222-7600 or HERE

Taxi Voucher Program serving older adults and individuals with disabilities AACO residents call 410-222-4CAB (4222) or click HERE; Annapolis residents call 410-263-7964 or click HERE

Temporary Cash Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps HERE or call1-800-332-6347

Find energy assistance for Maryland residents HERE:
  • The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) helps eligible customers pay for a portion of their current electric bill.
  • The Arrearage Retirement Assistance (ARA) program helps customers with large, past due electric and gas bills receive forgiveness of up to $2,000 toward their past due bill.
  • Bill payment assistance may also be available from the Fuel Fund of Maryland.

NEW-- Utility Resource Guides HERE
Community Food and Necessity Distributions

Below are some food giveaways scheduled for this week:

  • City of Annapolis, Office of Emergency Management, Every Friday 12:00pm-2:00pm, Pip Moyer Recreation center, Every Friday-12-2pm, To be placed on the list, call/e-mail Office of Emergency Management: (410) 216 - 9167; kltisch@annapolis.gov

  • Light of the World Family Ministries at Pip Moyer Rec Ctr., 273 Hilltop Lane Annapolis, MD, every Tuesday 12:00pm-2:00pm, Drive Ups and Walk Ups Food Giveaway.

  • St. Luke’s Food, Baby & Senior Pantry at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1101 Bay Ridge Ave., every Tuesday 11:00am-12:00pm, (food, infant formula, diapers and wipes, adult formula supplement and adult incontinence protection items), bring ID.

  • Mills Parole Elementary School, 1 George & Marion Phelps Lane Annapolis, MD, every 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month 10:00am-12:00pm.

  • Asbury United Methodist Church, 87 West St Annapolis MD, has a food pantry available ever Wed. and Fri. from 9AM - 11AM.

  • Heritage Baptist Church, 1740 Forest Drive Annapolis MD, has food giveaway every Tuesday 9:30am-11am (must provide ID and proof of residency)

  • First Baptist Church of Annapolis, 31 W. Washington Street, gives away pantry bags and restaurant prepared meals every Saturday, 11 am - 1 pm

  • Discoveries: the Library at the Mall in Westfield Annapolis Mall, gives away baby/infant supplies and menstrual products every Saturday from 10 am - 12 pm.

Delivery and transportation options are available for those unable to pick-up in person. Call Office of Emergency Management at 410-260-2211 to Schedule a Fresh Food Delivery Option.

Information on regularly scheduled pantries can be found at the top of my newsletter by clicking on the link next to "Food Resources in District 30A." Please send an email to Shaneka.Henson@house.state.md.us if you know of a food resource that should be included in this newsletter.
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