Community Resources

At Valencia College, we’re concerned about our students and fellow community members during the coronavirus crisis. We’ve assembled a list of local resources that may be helpful to you or your family during this time.


Internet and Wi-Fi Access

Charter Communications

Charter Communications is now offering free access to Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for new K-12 and college student households. Beginning Monday, March 16, Charter commits to the following for 60 days:

  • Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
  • Charter will continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a high-speed broadband program to eligible low-income households.
  • Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use.
  • Spectrum does not have data caps or hidden fees.

Charter Communications

Comcast

New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service. Comcast is also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads, and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.

https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19

CenturyLink

CenturyLink will waive late fees and will not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service for the next 60 days due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19. CenturyLink is also suspending data usage limits for consumer customers during this time period due to COVID-19.

http://news.centurylink.com/fccpledge

Other Internet providers

If your internet provider isn’t listed, reach out to your provider to find out if they are offering any special services for customers impacted by COVID-19 or if they are participating in the FCC’s “ Keep Americans Connected Pledge". That pledge asks internet and telephone service providers to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of the pledge, 185 cell-phone and internet service providers have agreed to open wi-fi hotspots to any American who needs them for the next 60 days. 

Here’s a list of providers who have agreed to the pledge

If you do not currently have internet service and want to find a provider in your area, Decision Data will help you find available internet and cellular services by zip code. Each provider is listed with a breakdown of expected internet speeds.

 


NEW ADDED 3/18

Jobs and Unemployment Help

If you lost your job or your working hours have been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits or short-term compensation: http://www.floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/ra-dua-documentation/dua-faqs-3-17-20-updates.pdf?sfvrsn=805543b0_4

 

Rent, Housing, Evictions

Orange County limited Rental Assistance Program

Orange County is offering a limited Rental Assistance Program for Orange County residents who need help with rent and utilities in the coming month. The Crisis Assistance Hotline operates from 8:30 am – 11:30 am and 1 pm – 3pm Monday through Friday. The number is 407-836-6500. Residents MUST call for an appointment to drop by the necessary documents. The program does not cover those who are receiving payment from their employer or any other social service organization, such as United Way. Read more here: www.ocfl.net/coronavirus

Evictions suspended

Sheriff John Mina has announced that Orange County Sheriff will temporarily suspend all eviction activities until further notice. Read more here.

 

Evictions suspended NEW 4/1

Sheriff John Mina has announced that Orange County Sheriff will temporarily suspend all eviction activities until further notice. During this time, deputies will not serve eviction notices or stand by while people are removed from their homes. Attorneys may hire process servers to serve eviction papers during this time, but no one except the sheriff’s office can physically remove someone from their home or business.  

https://www.ocso.com/coronavirus

 

Emergency Child Care NEW 4/16

The YMCA of Central Florida is offering emergency childcare for essential employees (including public sfety workers, healthcare and hospital workers, farmworkers and more.) At this time, childcare is for essential employees as defined by the Executive Order from Governor DeSantis. Please review  Executive Order 20-91 for the most up-to-date list of essential employees to determine eligibility.

To sign up, visit https://ymcacentralflorida.com/emergencychildcare/


Community Resources

Heart of Florida United Way

United Way's 2-1-1 helpline is a free service that connects residents to critical health and social service resources when they need help. The 2-1-1 helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. United Way also has a blog updated with the latest resources available to help people during the COVID-19 crisis


Orange County coronavirus help hotline NEW

The Orange County coronavirus help hotline is open daily from 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.  Residents who need assistance making their rent or utility payments can call 407-836-6500.

Community Vision of Osceola County

Osceola County residents can find a wide variety of resources in the Community Vision Resource Guide. Information for food assistance is listed under Food Assistance. Power and water companies are listed under Residential Services.


Christian Service Center of Orange County NEW

The Christian Service Center’s three offices (in downtown Orlando, Ocoee and Winter Park) are open Mon-Fri (limited hours), offering food pantry & financial assistance. The Daily Bread soup kitchens are open for lunch: Downtown Orlando location will be serving lunch Sunday through Friday each week, while the Ocoee location serves lunch Monday through Friday. The Love Pantry program is operating despite school closure, coordinating with participating public schools to get food & resources to struggling families. Visit www.ChristianServiceCenter.org for updates, office hours/locations and ways to get help or get involved.


WUCF, Central Florida’s PBS station NEW

WUCF, Central Florida’s PBS station, has launched At-Home Learning - an initiative that provides  free educational services to support the academic needs of Central Florida children (PreK-12) while they’re at home. For more information, visit www.wucf.org/coronavirus.

Business Damage Assessment Survey

The State of Florida announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and implement appropriate relief programs. 


Help for business owners NEW

The Orlando Economic Partnership has created a COVID-19 resource center for business owners.

OneBlood.org

Local and national blood supplies are low. OneBlood needs donations. Visit oneblood.org for details.

 


 

Food Assistance

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

If you need food assistance, visit Second Harvest’s online food locator to find a list of feeding partners near your home. Additionally, Second Harvest needs volunteers to help sort and distribute food donations. For details, visit feedhopenow.org/volunteer.

United Against Poverty grocery store NEW 4/16

United Against Poverty offers social services, including a grocery store in Orlando, where members (who qualify based on income) can shop for food and essentials that are discounted by 60 or 70 percent. For more information, please visit https://uporlando.org/member-grocery-center/.

Free Meals for Kids

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness encourage families to take advantage of alternative school meals that may be offered. Find a location near you by calling 211 or going to this website: https://summerbreakspot.freshfromflorida.com 

Central Florida Public Schools

Area school systems are providing a variety of resources, including free food for students who receive free and reduced-price lunches. In some cases, the schools are also offering to lend laptops to students who do not have a computer at home.

Orange County Public Schools: UPDATED 4/16

Starting April 20, the Orange County Public School district’s FREE Grab-n-Go meal distribution for children will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Meals for that day and the following day will be handed out, and on Fridays, children will be given enough food for the weekend. 

Any child aged 18 and under will receive the meals with no questions asked. Children must be present to receive the meals, they can be in a vehicle, walking or riding a bike, no identification is needed. Meals will be distributed in the car loop. The family does not need to qualify for free and reduced meals and the child does not have to be enrolled at our school to receive food. Also, please consider any food allergies if your child is consuming the meals.

You can find the list of locations on the front page of www.ocps.net and on the district’s Facebook page.

Osceola County Public Schools

To ensure children will not go hungry while school is not in session, Osceola’s School Nutrition Services Department will provide pack-and-go free meals for students at 12 designated sites, which can be found on the school district's website, from March 23 - April 15, between the hours of 9:30 - 11 a.m. Students will need to be with their parents or guardians who come to pick up the meal items, and we will utilize a drive-in procedure through our bus loops to minimize person-to-person contact. 

Seminole County Public Schools

Beginning on March 23rd, Seminole County schools’ FREE drive-thru Student Meal Distribution will begin from 10:30 a.m. thru 1 p.m. at seven pre-determined sites. As a reminder, the USDA requires children and teens must be present to receive the meals. For more information, visit the SCPS website.

 


Utilities

Duke Energy

Duke Energy will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment, in order to give customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments.

Duke Energy News

OUC

OUC has suspended service disconnect due to nonpayment until further notice.

https://www.ouc.com/coronavirus-monitoring

Kissimmee Utility Authority

Kissimmee Utility Authority has temporarily suspended service disconnections until Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

https://kua.com/news/kua-halts-disconnections-during-coronavirus/

 


NEW

Mental Health Support

BayCare Student Assistance Program

At BayCare Student Assistance Program, our trained staff can help college students with any stress or anxiety they may be experiencing and refer them to a therapist in their area. BayCare SAP is available to assist students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is confidential and free to students. You can contact BayCare toll free at (800) 878-5470, email them at BayCareSAP@baycare.org, or through the website at BayCare.org/SAP

Mental Health Association of Central Florida

The Mental Health Association of Central Florida is offering free tools for Orange County residents including telecommunication counseling. Residents can visit the Mental Health Association of Central Florida website to be connected with a mental health professional.

Other helplines

  • Aspire Health: Call 407-875-3700, ext. 2
  • Heart of Florida United Way: Call 211 to connect to the crisis call line or text 741-741 to reach a crisis counselor 24/7. 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call or text 800-273-8255.
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746


National Resources NEW

Cash for out-of-work students: Online scholarship website, scholly.com, will award $200 in cash assistance to a limited number of students impacted by COVID19. The application takes less than two minutes to complete. Apply here: myscholly.com/relief


WUCF, Central Florida’s PBS station NEW

WUCF, Central Florida’s PBS station, has launched At-Home Learning - an initiative that provides  free educational services to support the academic needs of Central Florida children (PreK-12) while they’re at home. For more information, visit www.wucf.org/coronavirus.

Baycare EAP provider
Valencia College Resources

Valencia College has contracted with a private counseling service to provide short-term assistance to credit-seeking students who need to resolve challenges that are negatively impacting their academic performance and/or emotional wellbeing. BayCare provides a toll-free confidential helpline 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

There are three ways to connect with BayCare:

Website: www.baycare.org/sap
Phone number: 1-800-878-5470
Email: baycaresap@baycare.org

Questions?

To better serve and assist residents regarding concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Florida Department of Health has established a call center to answer general questions residents and visitors may have. The phone number is 407-723-5004. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Florida Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center is 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents can also send questions via email at COVID-19@flhealth.gov