While COVID-19 may not discriminate, demographics, income, and other circumstances not only put certain communities at higher risk of contracting the virus but also present specific challenges for coping with daily life. New Yorkers, particularly those such as the homeless, immigrants and refugees, or the disabled, who in normal circumstances rely on public social services, are being forced to reevaluate and readjust.
Below is a list of resources to help such New Yorkers stay safe and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details and information specific to your neighborhood, please refer to our Coronavirus Neighborhood Guides. The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center is updating this page regularly and adding new neighborhoods.
If you or someone you know has additional questions or is facing hunger or food insecurity, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the following organizations:
- Emergency Food Hotline: 866-888-8777
- Shelter or Temporary Housing Assistance: 3-1-1
Resources for Homeless People
Find shelter in NYC through the Coalition for the Homeless, Project STAY and ShelterList. Call the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) 24-hour hotline at (212)-361-0584 or the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) office, also 24/7, at 917-521-3900, for additional direction.
For a list of shelters, transitional housing, and services for homeless people in a specific neighborhood, please visit our Neighborhood Guides. The NYC Food Policy center will be continuously calling to check for openings.
Resources for Immigrant Populations
The resources below come primarily from A Guide to Community-Based Organizations for Immigrants.
While many food pantries and soup kitchens require ID under normal circumstances, some organizations are making exceptions for the state of emergency and extending their services to everyone in need, regardless of documentation.
The following resources offer services for which ID/official residence is never required:
Languages: English, Spanish
1011 First Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (888) 744-7900
Provides services for children, the homeless and hungry, families, and individuals with disabilities, and assists with crisis resolution and immigrant and refugee integration through legal counseling, English and civics classes, and work authorization.
Languages: English, Tagalog
406 West 40th St. 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 564-6057
Helps labor trafficking survivors to develop escape plans, secure emergency housing and financial assistance, access social and legal services, find employment, and facilitate family reunifications.
Languages: English, French, Polish, Spanish
505 8th Ave. #1212, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (347) 645-9339
Assists LGBTQIA GNC & TS individuals coming out of immigration detention to secure social support and services.
Refugee Services (RS) within the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is the single state agency responsible for the implementation of services to refugees.
- Find a program for refugees here.
- Contact RS for information about services at (518) 402-3096.
Resources for People with Disabilities
Coronavirus is putting immense pressure on mobile and delivery services throughout New York City. Below are resources for people with disabilities who may already rely on these services and/or need extra support during this time. Please call or email before visiting for updates about their services.
Center for Independence of the Disabled NY Currently via telephone only.
- Manhattan office: 212-674-2300.
- Queens office: 646-442-1520.
If they are unable to speak with you when you call, leave a message. They will return all calls as soon as they are able.
- ASL-speaking consumers can call the Manhattan office VP line at 646-350-2681 or the Queens VP line at 347-905-5088.
- Coronavirus update
- Food access
- Transportation and Access-A-Ride
A mobile crisis team is a group of health professionals, such as nurses, social workers and psychiatrists, who can provide mental health services, primarily in people’s homes.
- To request a team, call NYC Well at (888) NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)
- Action Line: Available 9am – 9pm seven days a week at 718-606-9712
- Food Pantry for Disabled People: They can bring food to you. Call 718-606-9712
- Can be reached by calling 311.
- Coronavirus Information ASL Video
- Emergency Preparedness
- Social Services & Benefits
Disability Service Facilitators can be contacted via email or ASL video phone, which may be helpful for people who are unable to hear and/or speak
- NYC Mayor’s Office
- Ms. Noel Haight
- Voice Phone: 212-788-2548
- ASL Video Phone: 646-396-5830
- Email: MOPD_DSF@cityhall.nyc.gov
- Department of Health & Mental Hygiene:
- Jorge Martinez, Esq
- Voice Phone: 347-396-6067
- Email: email@example.com
- Department for the Aging
- Kim Hernandez
- Voice Phone: 212-602-4197
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department of Homeless Services
- Elizabeth A. Iannone
- Voice Phone: 929-221-6617
- Email: email@example.com
- Department of Transportation
- Denise Ramirez
- Voice Phone: 212-839-3260
- Email: MobilityManagement@dot.nyc.gov
The Front Door is the way OPWDD connects people to the services they need and want. Once you enter, you begin a personalized planning process that helps you learn about and access service options that meet your particular needs and desires. You will also have the opportunity to direct your own service plan or help your family member or loved one as they direct theirs.
- The first step: Determine eligibility
- If eligible to receive services, begin the planning process
- Support and service options available: residential, employment, day habilitation, children’s services and aging services.
Contact the OPWDD regional office that covers your county (Manhattan 646-766-3220) to access the Front Door, or call the OPWWD Info Line at 1-866-946-9733.
- Links to government agencies and disability rights organizations in New York.
- Email: OlmsteadRights.org