Last update: May 21, 2020
The following list of resources for Brooklyn residents is updated regularly and verified by United for Brownsville. It’s organized by category.
Physical and Mental Well-being
Telehealth – There are a variety of options to receive medical health via your phone or a video visit, many of which accept a wide range of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.
NYU Langone Health – a major NYC hospital network
Weill Cornell – a major NYC hospital network
Brownsville Multi-Service (BMS) – phone and video visits through a Brownsville-based clinic.
Call 718-345-5000; some in-person visits are also available.
Teladoc – video and phone visits through a national service.
Testing for COVID-19
Call your primary care if you have one, but note that most individuals not requiring hospitalization will not be tested, per NYC Health and Hospitals guidelines. (Update: 4/14/2020)
COVID-19 Testing is now available at two sites in Brooklyn. You must have an APPOINTMENT to be seen. Please call 1-888-364-3065 to schedule an appointment. Testing is available at:
A walk-in site in at Brownsville Multi-Service (BMS) (592 Rockaway Ave in Brownsville). Testing is Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.
A drive-in site at the SEARS Parking Lot at 2307 Beverly Road in Flatbush (its the large lot behind Kings Theater).
United for Brownsville will distribute masks along with fresh produce every Thursday. Sign up through Plentiful or text FOOD to 726-879 to get started, enter 11212 as your zip code, and choose pantry “UforBVille, Brooklyn”.
New York City is distributing free face coverings in parks across the city.
Find out where you can get yours at http://nyc.gov/facecoverings
Spread the word in multiple languages: https://twitter.com/NYCImmigrants/status/1258424959216615424
Free pharmacy deliveries
CVS – Free delivery of medication
Red Stone Pharmacy – Free delivery of medicine (no website), closes at 7pm
Invisible Hands – Nonprofit organization that will help organize grocery and prescription delivery assistance
Motherly – Free online birthing class
United Hospital Fund
Domestic Abuse Help
NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence – Domestic Violence shelters are OPEN for intake. Call the City’s 24-hour DV hotline (800-621-4673; TTY: 800-810-7444).
Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence (English & español/Multi-language accessibility) – call the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 (711 for Deaf or Hard of Hearing) or text 844.997.2121.
Good Shepherd Services: Safe Homes Project – Our hotline provides crisis counseling, information, and referrals to support groups, counseling, safety planning, legal assistance referrals, criminal justice and family court advocacy, orders of protection, and shelter. 24-hour hotline: 718-499-2151
Additional Hotlines in New York:
New York State Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-342-3720
New York State Adult Abuse Hotline: 1-800-342-3009, press option 6
New York State Office for the Aging Helpline: 1-800-342-9871
Food Access & Delivery
United for Brownsville @ RACS – UB is distributing free produce and other goods weekly on Thursdays at Riverdale Avenue Community School with partner Brighter Bites.
Produce and goods vary weekly and depend on donations and stressed supply chains. There will be produce every week. From week to week we are trying to supplement produce with limited supplies of hard-to-find items like face masks, diapers, disinfectants, soap, canned goods, etc.
If someone does not have phone/internet access or cannot get to an appointment yourself:
You can sign up on behalf of someone else or send a representative to get the pickup for you.
We are experimenting with very limited delivery, though our resources are quite limited. Request help here.
NYC DOE – Free Grab N’ Go meals for ALL – 3 meals are now available for ALL New Yorkers, not just schoolchildren. No documentation required. (Update: 4/6/2020)
Expanded Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Benefits – All students who would have received a free or reduced-price meal at school—including undocumented students, and students whose private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program—are now eligible for additional food assistance through Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT). P-EBT provides families with cash on a government-issued card to purchase the same foods as are available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In New York State, approximately 2.1 million students eligible for free or reduced-price meals will receive an additional $420, or $5.70 for each day school is closed.
NYC.gov COVID-19 Food Assistance Resources – A website from NYC.gov that connects to a food help map, HRA benefits enrollment, and food delivery assistance.
Brownsville Community Aid Food Bag & Hot Meal Distribution – Brownsville Residents can request emergency food relief in the form of prepackaged hot meals and/or a prepackaged food bag for pickup. (Update: 4/16/2020)
Howard Houses: Fridays, 1:00pm until supplies last. Seniors can schedule a delivery by calling the Tenant Association at 347-425-8852.
Van Dyke Houses: Wednesdays, 1:00pm until supplies last. Seniors can schedule a delivery by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenmore Plaza Houses: Fridays, 3:00pm until supplies last. Please email email@example.com
Equality for Flatbush Delivering Free Groceries and COVID-19 Supplies – Any and all Brooklynites who need grocery/supply deliveries, medication pick-up/drops, tenant/rent-strike organizing support, and other forms of material aid, can please text, call, or email us at:
Bangla: firstname.lastname@example.org (908) 793-8195
French: email@example.com or (929) 314-0222
Kreyol: EnKreyol@equalityforflatbush.org or (646) 801-3032
Mandarin: firstname.lastname@example.org or (929) 314-1292
Spanish: EnSPA@equalityforflatbush.org or (862) 438-5060
Plentiful – App/website with locations of food pantries all over NYC and the USA. (Update: 4/20/2020)
Foodfinder – List of food pantries all over the NYC and USA (Update: Removed 4/20/2020 because Brownsville sites are inaccurate and not functioning)
The Bergen Restaurant – Offering free meals to families- 11:30am- 1:30pm / dinner 4:30pm-6:30pm
BedStuy Food Share – Every Saturday at 3:45pm residents share grown produce
Invisible Hands – Nonprofit organization that will help organize grocery and prescription delivery assistance
NYC.Gov – Senior center meal provision
CCC + Greedi Vegan – Meals delivered to seniors
Neighbors Together Community Cafe – Providing lunch 12-2 (M-F), Dinner 4pm-6(M-TH) grab and go style
Expensify: How to be reimbursed for groceries – Expensify is matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family
NYLAG Tenants Rights: Immediate Assistance – Call 929-356-9582 for a hotline that will connect you to free help from attorneys at New York Legal Assistance Group who help tenants facing eviction and other legal issues.
NYCourts.Gov: Eviction and Housing Court Suspension – Operating plan for NYC civil court during COVID-19 health crisis
Right to Counsel: Eviction Moratorium FAQ – Answers to common questions on the eviction moratorium
Coalition for the Homeless – Homeless resources including addresses and info on domestic violence
BronxWorks – Eviction prevention resources compiled by BronxWorks
Catholic Charities – Resources compiled on finding temporary and emergency shelter
SCO Family of Services General Preventive program – List of Dept. of Homeless Services (DHS) HomeBase sites with contact info
NYC Housing Authority – NYCHA Housing Support and Resources
Legal Aid Society – Resources from Legal Aid for housing-related issues
Housing Justice for All – Eviction courts are closed and evictions are suspended in New York State
Mental Health & Wellness
NYC Well – Text, call, chat mental health support
CDC Guide for Managing Stress COVID-19 – stress and anxiety management
Room to Grow – Offering individualized parenting education and support
Relaxation hotline: 718-920-2256 (meditation, relaxing music, breathing exercises, etc.)
Liberate – a “meditation app by and for the Black and African Diaspora”
Virus Anxiety – Resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.
Immigrants Rising – Virtual wellness gatherings
Psychology Today – Mental health resources and supports
New York Family – Coronavirus mental health for parents
Headspace – Relaxing meditations
Sister Diaspora – Resources websites for people of color/womxn & queer folks
Minka Brooklyn – Virtual meditation and reiki
Transgender Law Center – Virtual community gathering
The key to maintaining social connections while physical distancing. Crucial for accessing telemedicine, remote learning, and work from home as well.
NYC DOE Technology Request – Students without internet access, computers, or tablets should request internet-connected learning devices from the NYC DOE. (Update: 4/14/2020)
All other internet issues – Call 311 to report any issues with internet connectivity, and your information should be passed along to the Department of Information, Technology & Telecommunications, which can help you troubleshoot:
Slow or no service
Inability to get service installation in your apartment or building
Limits to your data that are impacting you/your family during the coronavirus pandemic
Billing issues, including previous debts that are preventing you from getting service now
Other connectivity issues
Other advice – Most cellphone and cable companies are offering the following accommodations during the coronavirus crisis. Call you company directly to discuss:
Increasing your data limits temporarily
Removing throttling (slower speeds) from your account
Billing issues/past due accounts
Additional Info on Internet Access Resources – includes info on Free Wi-Fi/Internet; Unlimited Data; Safelink Wireless
Central Brooklyn Mutual Aid – Volunteers offering to run errands, purchase food, or share services
Help Now NYC – Volunteer companies mobilizing on the state level
NYC Service – Volunteer opportunities
NYC EDC – Volunteer to create or donate COVID supplies from scratch
Meal Train – Tools to help you organize your own meal assistance opportunity for others
NYC.Gov – Food Delivery Driver Portal – Jobs delivering food during the coronavirus crisis
Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services – Job Openings at Jewish Board as of 3/30/20
Money & Finance
CARES Act (stimulus checks) via IRS – Register to receive your stimulus check if you have not paid taxes recently, track your payment, and find out more information about this plan.
There is also one in-person enrollment office per borough.
Recertifications are postponed during the crisis for existing clients.
NYS Unemployment Insurance – After an outcry over inaccessible phone lines, long waits, and processing delays, New York State released a new website for submitting unemployment claims online. (Update: 4/20/2020)
Assistance for individuals – the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The linked resources will be updated frequently
Bank, credit, and financial accounts – Many banks and lenders are offering reduced or lower fees, extending time to pay bills, and other accommodations if you have been affected by the coronavirus crisis. Some are also ensuring that clients receive their full stimulus checks even if they are past due on accounts. Please contact your institution directly and talk to them about your situation. Among large institutions are:
Bank of America – Helpful perspectives in volatile times
Capital One – Customer support
Chase Bank – Help with accounts or payments
Citibank – Waivers on service fees, remote deposit capture, CD withdrawal
TakeRootJustice has put together this Fact Sheet regarding The CARES Act including guidance for those with concerns related to banks, creditors and stimulus funding for individuals
Leticia James, NYS Attorney General – Application to suspend debt collection of school & medical loans
Info on Utility Arrears and Shut-offs– source: The Public Utility Law Project
NYC Business – NYC Employee Retention Grant program
NYC Small Business Services – Grants for businesses affected by COVID-19 to cover 40% of payroll
NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency – Emergency planning process checklist for small businesses
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund – Grants to small businesses through LISC
USBG National Charity foundation – Grants to bartenders and their families during COVID-19
COVID-19 Freelance Artist – Freelance Artist Resources
Facebook – Small business grants
Renaissance Economic Development Corporation – Small business loans
Southern Smoke – Restaurant financial assistance
Honey Book – Business Continuity Planning
Threadless – Community Action Plan, reduced fees for artists during the crisis
Accurate Information & Guidance
Navigating Essential Services
311 – It may seem too obvious, but call 311 to ask for help for yourself or a client navigating any essential service during the coronavirus crisis. They are positioned to assist with many evolving issues, including issues in all of the categories covered on this page. 311 may also be able to help with issues beyond city services, including consumer services, internet access, signing up for benefits, etc. (Updated: 4/21/2020)
Current Events & News
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo – Get the latest news, information, and executive orders from the Governor’s office.
Bklyner Coronavirus Coverage – Local news site; all coverage is free during the crisis
New York Times, “How to prepare and protect against COVID-19” – updated regularly – all NYT coronavirus coverage is free
Washington Post – All coronavirus coverage is free
Johns Hopkins – Regularly updated map tracking coronavirus cases worldwide
The Atlantic, “You’re likely to get the coronavirus” – Most cases are not life-threatening, which is also what makes the virus a historic challenge to contain.
USA Today, “How to Safely Take Care of Someone Sick with the Coronavirus”
NY State Dept of Health: Coronavirus – How to stay safe, latest restrictions, regulations, and news
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Updates on latest NYC recommendations regarding the coronavirus
Alison, “Coronavirus” – course to learn about the coronavirus online
NYC: General Information
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Coronavirus information and updates
NYC Human Rights – If you are experiencing any kind of discrimination during COVID-19
NYC Parks – Closures and open public spaces and parks for fresh air
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities – Resources and support for those with disabilities
MTA – Updated public transportation schedules and information for subways, buses, and trains
Staten Island Ferry – Reducted ferry times
Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel – Update on COVID-19
NYC Consumer and Worker Protection – Update on workplace laws
LSNYC Social Workers Resources and Responses – General resources directory for social workers
Supports for Children
NYC Department of Education Regional Enrichment Centers – Enrollment form for children of essential workers to receive childcare and in-person education at centers around NYC.
Workers Need Childcare – Connects essential workforce parents to a volunteer to help them find low-cost (or free) childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis.
Brooklyn United Arts and Marching Band – $80 per week/ $20 per day from 7am – 7pm for 4-17 year-old children, includes meals
Learning & Education
DOE Learning Devices and Remote Access – Request report learning devices, setup learning portals/platforms, or request technical support
Khan Kids – Free app for 2-7 year olds to learn literacy, numeracy, and other subjects
BrainPOP – Animated videos with educational activities and interactive quizzes aligned to state standards. Good for upper elementary to middle school. Free for families during COVID-19 outbreak
Scholastic: Learn at Home Curriculum – Day-by-day learning to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing
Future Learn: Online Courses – Explore online courses to continue studying, build professional skills, and connect with experts
PBS Learning Media – Free website with thousands of video clips, activities, and games, etc. from PBS stations and shows.
Sesame Street in Communities – Toolkits for parents and caregivers to help young children with literacy, social emotional skills, and family challenges including foster care, homelessness, parental addiction, etc.
Matr: Making Math Add Up – Indoor math games
MIT Scratch – Creative Computer Programming
National Geographic – Educational videos
Project Explorer – Explore the world through videos
We are teachers – Math websites
DocsTeach – Free educational site from the National Archives. Educational activities using primary sources from American History. Good for middle school-high school.
Storyline Online – Actors read online bookies to children
Ruler – COVID resources for School communities
Learn computer programming skills – Games for tomorrow’s programmers
Ted ED@Home – Animations and talk lessons on varying subjects
Advanced digital learning – Virtual museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Coursera – online classes arts and fashion
Home activities for families
Brooklyn Public Library – Virtual storytime and other activities
Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari Live – M-F @3pm EST on Facebook Live – 20 minute explanation of a different zoo animal with Q&A
The Cut: 28 Indoor Activities for Kids – Includes physical, art activities, games, etc.
Department of Education – Early Childhood instructional resources
Pinterest: Keep your child busy at home – Images of activities that you can do at home with your children
Forbes – 101 Activities to do with your child while home during COVID- 19
Fight for the Future – Stay at home online music festival
Kids Pantry Scientist – 15 science projects you can do at home with your child
Too Small to Fail: Talk, Read, Sing Staycation Kit – This booklet provides 10 ways you can talk, read, sing, and play your way through the day
Free Printable Coloring Pages – Variety of FREE printable coloring pages
KidsActivities.com – Virtual Field Trips
Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project – Activities and videos for children of all ages that encourage musical learning, discovery, and play.