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COVID-19 Community Services

COVID-19 Community Services

Manatee County

**New Updates**

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.

Previous Information

Turning Points is still open serving critical and essential services to the most vulnerable men, women, and children in the community.

  • Anyone who enters the One-Stop Center is screened - with their temperature taken and questions asked.
  • The Medical Clinic is OPEN and seeing primary care patients only (8:30am-4pm). Specialty care appointments are being rescheduled.
  • The Dental Clinic is OPEN seeing emergencies in the morning (8:30am-Noon). All other appointments are being rescheduled.
  • The Open Door Resource Center is OPEN and is providing these services (8:30am-2pm) - Bathroom Access, Mailroom, Laundry, Showers and Food Stamps (but can change on a daily basis).
  • Transitional Development Program TDP (rent & utilities assistance) - new applications will be accepted through their website on Monday morning starting at 9 am. 
    • Interviews with Case Managers will be over the phone. There are further instructions on their website as well as the application.
  • Veterans Services - same process as TDP above.
  • MAPS Program - no change in services.

The Food Bank of Manatee is providing food to Manatee County food pantries and partner agencies who are ready to assist those in need.  For a complete list of food pantries, hours of operation, addresses, and contact information, please click here.   It is recommended for those in need of assistance to call ahead and confirm hours of operation.

The Salvation Army Manatee - Shelters are now at the maximum service capacity per COVID19 precautions. They are temporarily suspending new intake into the facilities. They will continue to provide services to families and single women in their Shelter Programs.

  • Starting Monday, March 30th they will have a Shelter in Place at the Shelters. Clients may only leave to go to the store once a day or to work or doctor appointments. 
  • Community Dinner Feeding - We are still doing community feeding. It is taking place outside with to go meals. The meal time has been changed to 3:00 in the afternoon for community feeding.
  • Social Services - Lobby is closed but services are still available. 

Manatee County COVID-19 Drive-Through Collection Site - Visitors to the collection site must have a prescription to be tested for COVID-19 and have made an appointment in advance with Manatee County Health Department. To make an appointment, call (941) 748-0747.

United Way Suncoast is now accepting applications for our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, which provides emergency funding to agencies supporting individuals and families affected by COVID-19. We welcome applications from any eligible non-profit human services organization serving people in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto counties in the priority areas listed below, with an emphasis on the ALICE population.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) temporarily closed all storefronts and lobbies.

Goodwill Manasota has closed the Job Connection offices until further notice.

The Salvation Army Manatee has shifted their evening community dinner from 5 pm in the dining room to 3 pm outside, where they are passing out food in the clamshell “to go” containers.

Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County has decided to suspend in-person interactions at our office in Palmetto. Effective, Thursday, March 19th at 6 pm, they will suspend in-person client appointments, and all Coalition operations and services will be provided remotely.  Ongoing operations to serve the children, families, and early learning programs of Manatee County are operating at full capacity remotely.

Centerstone Hospital and Addictions Center is fully operational and continues to serve clients. They are screening people who come to the hospital campus and clinics by asking questions about their recent health and travels. This screening includes taking temperatures using an infrared thermometer.

  • They are conducting the same screenings during client phone intake interviews.
  • They have stopped all visitation to the hospital and addictions center until further notice.
  • They have stopped participation in offsite meetings and instead offer video or phone options.
  • They have stopped volunteer participation in their facilities.
  • They are checking the temperature of their staff, including cleaning crews, prior to each shift.
  • They have increased cleaning procedures and have posted additional information regarding handwashing and virus symptoms.
  • They have increased hygiene/handwashing practices for all clients and staff.

Stillpoint Mission has reduced open days for clients from two to one. (Fridays 9AM-11:30 AM) They provide food, diapers (baby & adult), hygiene items and financial assistance.  Due to their days-of-service reduction, they are doubling the number of items they distribute.

Women’s Resource Center has set up the framework to offer remote programming for their clients. These programs include: Resource Advising, Mental Health Counseling, Employment Coaching, and Ask an Attorney. For information and to make an appointment, please call 941-256-9721 or stay up to date on all programs through their website  

Healthy Start Manatee has taken the necessary steps to close offices to the public, transition staff and providers to working remotely from home. Intake Coordinators and Care Coordinators will still follow-up on screens and referrals and continue to work with clients via text, telephone and video conferencing until it is safe to begin conducting home visits again. Additionally, scheduled General Membership Meetings for April 3, May 1 and June 5 have been canceled and speakers will be rescheduled for a later date. 

Regarding the Manatee Community Baby Shower scheduled for May 9, in conjunction with partners at the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County, we have decided to postpone the event until later in the year.

Sarasota County

**New Updates**

Sarasota County

  • All Sarasota County public beaches and libraries remain closed. 
  • All Sarasota County playgrounds, tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts and dog parks within county parks have closed to public use.
  • Sarasota County libraries are closed through April 12.
  • Sarasota County schools are closed through April 15.

Previous Information

DOH Sarasota To Offer Drive-thru Specimen Collection For COVID-19. Visitors to the Sarasota County COVID-19 testing site must be referred by a physician to be tested. The physician's office will contact DOH Sarasota who will then contact the individual with an appointment day and time.The site will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning Friday, March 27 2020. To make an appointment, call (941) 861-2883.

The site has been set up at Twin Lakes Park, located at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota.

Please be reminded:

  • Individuals being tested must be in a vehicle. No walk-ups.
  • Remain in their vehicle at all times.
  • Present a photo ID and prescription for specimen collection, written by their health care provider. (Name on ID and prescription must match.) 

Sarasota County residents who believe they may have COVID-19 are asked to call the Sarasota County COVID-19 call center at (941) 861-2883 BEFORE visiting a hospital emergency room or health care provider.  For general information, call the DOH COVID-19 Hotline at (866) 779-6121 or visit .

Sarasota Memorial Behavioral Health Services

  • Visitation Restricted: Effective March 20, visitors are no longer allowed at Sarasota Memorial’s Bayside Center for Behavioral Health. To help protect our vulnerable patients and prevent the spread of infection, restricting visitors is a difficult but necessary step to further safeguard our patients’ health and safety. We encourage loved ones and patients to connect through phone calls. Our social service team and unit staff members are available to assist. All units have a phone that is accessible to our patients. Please call (941-917-7760) with any questions.
  • Infection control: Cleaning and infection control measures are in place at all times. However, patients and staff are now being monitored with screening protocols and temperatures taken each shift.
  • Baker Act Receiving Facility: Sarasota Memorial’s Bayside Center for Behavioral Health is fully operational as a Baker Act Receiving facility. All patients are screened at the Comprehensive Assessment Center (CAC) prior to entering the units.
  • Behavioral Outpatient Programs: The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is serving clients via telehealth using both telephone and virtual platforms. For more information, contact (941-917-2660) or fax referrals to (941-917-3269)
  • Behavioral Health Assessments Services: Individuals needing urgent behavioral health services may contact the Comprehensive Assessment Center (CAC) for assessment and referral services at (941-917-7760).
  • Hotline: SMH has launched a public coronavirus hotline (941-917-8799) offering local coronavirus information that is updated regularly.

United Way Suncoast is now accepting applications for our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, which provides emergency funding to agencies supporting individuals and families affected by COVID-19. We welcome applications from any eligible non-profit human services organization serving people in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto counties in the priority areas listed below, with an emphasis on the ALICE population.

Teen Court

  • Is utilizing tele-counseling, online tools, and visuals with continued communication from staff. 
  • They continue to serve the teens that were referred before the COVID-19 virus and provide support to the new referrals that come through local law enforcement agencies and parents. 
  • Students are doing essays, there are check-in times, scheduled phone calls and court sessions have been converted to virtual juries with verdicts being emailed. 
  • Case Managers will continue to communicate with clients and monitor the unexpected needs of families. 
  • Court Sessions, CAMP X-RAYD, Group Counseling (Risky Behaviors) are postponed. Mental Health Care providers are utilizing teletherapy. 

The Salvation Army Sarasota County 

Emergency Financial Assistance & Family Services at 1750 17th Street 

  • The Salvation Army's Emergency Financial Assistance services and Family Services at 1750 17th Street Building N is operating through the following methods: telephone, mail, email and fax. Please call 941-364-8845 to schedule a telephone appointment. Family Resident Services is taking applications for eligible families over the phone.

Center of Hope/Emergency Shelter at 1400 10th Street

  • Overnight Shelter/Emergency Shelter
    • Overnight shelter is operating, with heightened precautions and CDC recommendations.
    • Nightly community dinner is sack-style with neighbors' dinner being served outside on the back porch and yard area.
  • Thursday Open Lunch is canceled indefinitely.
  • Public Bathrooms outdoors/back porch area are open from 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Showers for overnight guests are available from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Residential Programs

  • All Residential programs are operating with heightened precautions and CDC recommendations; no new intakes until further notice.
  • Meetings on campus are canceled
  • Center of Hope Sunday Services open to residential participants only and following CDC recommendations
  • Non-essential volunteers and mentors are asked not to come until further notice. 
  • Essential transportation only for Residential clients

Food Pantry

  • The Salvation Army Center of Hope 10th Street location does not operate a year-round food pantry open to the public. We have a food pantry that serves existing clients in need and in certain emergency situations. At this time of crisis and great need, we are stepping up as we are able, with limited capacity, to help people in need of food. We are accepting appointments for food pantry services from Tuesday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Please call 941-954-4673 (HOPE) to schedule an appointment for pick-up. 

Updated CDC Procedures for Program Services at 10th and 17th Street Locations

  • For All Activities Involving Clients (classes, meetings, groups, church):
    • No more than 10 people total in a room, for one hour or less (10 people includes 9 clients and 1 teacher/facilitator)
    • 6 feet between each person
  • For All Meals:
    • 6 feet between each person
    • For indoor meals, clients will sit 6' apart
    • For outdoor meals, this is understandably a challenge. Staff have been trying different patterns and approaches to encourage social distance and will continue to do so.
  • Staff and Client Social Distancing:
    • Everyone must try their best to maintain 6' of social distance when meeting, in conversations and in passing
    • Encourage clients to space themselves out
    • If 6' cannot be achieved, in staff or client situations, do your best to achieve at least 3-4 feet of distance.
  • Overnight Sheltering:
    • Mats are placed 6' apart
    • Clients are configured in head to toe pattern
  • Residential Sheltering:
    • Ensure there is no more than 10 people in one dorm
    • Encourage spacing and head to toe configuration even in dorms when it makes sense
  • Screening:
    • Any staff or volunteer must conduct a self-screening before coming to campus by asking themselves the questions below. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, contact HR if you are staff and please stay home if you are a volunteer.
      • Do I have a fever? (equal to or greater than 100.4 degrees)
      • Do I have shortness of breath?
      • Am I coughing more than usual?
      • Am I over 60, immune-compromised or otherwise at risk for infection?
    • Residential clients are regularly screened, monitored and questioned by the staff
    • Overnight Clients are educated and screened as they enter 
    • Dinner clients are educated and screened as possible
  • Public Education:
    • We have been posting signage regularly and will continue to do so. Our most recent signage focuses on 6’ of social distance.
    • All staff, caseworkers, coordinators, roaming monitors, managers, etc., etc. are continually and consistently creating and communicating the expectation to other staff and clients.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice are focusing operations around three key areas including food distribution, financial assistance, and tele-mental health services. All other Catholic Charities programs (with the exception of early learning and after school programming) remain operational with communication limited to telephone and email. Please contact any one of the three region-specific numbers below for more details on programs and services. 

Until Further Notice:

  • Catholic Charities is restricting its offices to staff only. 
  • Persons in need will be assisted by phone only. 
  • They are asking all volunteers to refrain from coming to offices.
  • They are suspending shower services and clothing donations until further notice.
  • Food distribution will take place ONLY at pantry locations listed below on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9AM – 11:30AM. Persons in need will receive one pre-packaged bag or box of food items for their families.
    • Bethesda House – 1670 4th Street, Sarasota, FL
    • EKG Pantry – 4235 Michigan Avenue Link, Fort Myers, FL
    • Bonita Springs – 28360 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs, FL
    • Judy Sullivan Center – 3174 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL
    • Guadalupe Social Services – 211 South 9th Street, Immokalee, FL
  • Financial Assistance – We are working to provide financial assistance for those in need. Financial assistance may include utility payments, prescription medication, or other critical needs.
  • Tele-Mental Health Counseling – will be available for existing clients on a limited basis using phone or videoconferencing. 

If you need assistance in any of these areas, please contact the number for your area below:

  • Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto/Hardee/Highlands counties: 844-385-2407
  • Charlotte/Lee/Hendry/Glades counties: 844-385-2423
  • Collier County: 844-385-2404
  • Hours of Operation: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) temporarily closed all storefronts and lobbies.

Goodwill Manasota has closed the Job Connection offices until further notice.

Harvest House all services are still currently taking place. They are still operating the Harvest Food Pantry which distributes 16,000+ lbs of food to the community weekly - next distribution is planned for this Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm at 3650 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34235. Food distribution will be executed drive-thru style. All life-skills classes are canceled until further notice‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The Center Of Hope of South County/ The Center Of Hope Neighborhood Church is handing out food in the courtyard at 2395 Shamrock Rd., Venice, FL to those who have a need Tuesday through Friday 8 AM to 11 AM.  They are still assisting with Season of Sharing applications. The daycare is closed until school resumes. They will not be doing access point due to DCF closures

First Step of Sarasota programs are all operational. Beginning on Monday 3/23/2020 all of their outpatient offices will be closed to foot traffic. They will conduct all client visits and communications through either telehealth or telephonic contacts. Their doors will be locked and only staff members will be permitted in the offices with very few exceptions. Until further notice:

  • No new client assessments/intakes will occur face to face.  They are working on a solution to allow them to occur via telehealth and will inform all of you when they are ready to begin.  
  • All existing clients will be contacted via telephone to arrange for telehealth services.  DCF and AHCA have recognized that some of their clients do not have smartphones or PC’s/Tablets.  Both are allowing services to occur telephonically.
  • If a client is due for a treatment plan review, the service can occur via telehealth.  For the client signature, please write the following, “COVID-19 Client unavailable”
  • They will not be admitting any new Suboxone clients and existing Suboxone clients will be maintained using Telehealth. 


  • Current clients who are scheduled for injection medication visits will be seen in their office to ensure continuity.
  • All services are subject to change based on evolving circumstances.


Mobile Pantries Available Times/Dates

  • Booker Middle - Sarasota 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. March 23, 2020
  • Vet's Pantry -Sarasota 9:00 am to 11:00 am March 24, 2020
  • Friendship Baptist Church - SRQ 10:30 am to 11:30 am March 24, 2020
  • Nocatee Elementary - Arcadia 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm March 24, 2020

Laurel Civic Center 

  • Adult Programs – They are offering partial services by appointment only and will comply with social distancing and other safety recommendations during those appointments. Contact Ben Petro at 941-483-3338 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 
  • Food Distribution - On Wednesday, March 25, Laurel Civic and All Faith's Food Bank are partnering to make available 150 prepackaged food boxes for distribution on a first come/first serve basis. This will be a drive-thru process at Laurel Civic Association, located at 509 Collins Road Laurel, FL 34275 from 9:00am to 10:30am.
  • Youth Programs – Temporarily closed until further notice.


JFCS of the Suncoast has temporarily closed all locations in order to safeguard the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19. All JFCS employees are working remotely. 

  • The main number, 941-366-2224, is being answered Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8:30am – 5:00pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30am - 8:00pm. There are signs on all sites in both English and Spanish informing anyone who arrives to call 941-366-2224.  
  • JFCS is practicing physical separation, not social isolation. They are staying in contact with all their clients, but have temporarily eliminated all face-to-face contact.  
  • JFCS continues to monitor and respond to intake calls. 
  • Clients in Counseling Services are being served by Licensed Clinicians and Interns through telehealth. 
  • Case Managers and other support staff continue to communicate with clients via text, email, telephone, video chat, zoom etc. 
  • We have temporarily closed the following: Fruitville Main Campus & Flanzer Campus, Bradenton Office, Glasser/Schoenbaum (17th Street) office; North Port & Port Charlotte Offices.

The Healthy Start Coalition will have a staff person in the office every day during the week for Care Coordinators that need to bring Clients in from CenterPlace Health or anywhere else from 9am - 1pm.

First Step & Coastal Behavioral outpatient offices will transition the majority of their services to telehealth and temporarily be closing offices to anyone other than staff members (or individuals making deliveries of supplies or mail carriers). Beginning on Monday 3/23/2020 all of its outpatient offices will be closed to foot traffic. They will conduct all client visits and communications through either telehealth or telephonic contacts. Doors will be locked and only staff members will be permitted in the offices with very few exceptions.

All Faiths Food Bank is continuing to use its parking lot for its mobile food pantry.  AFFB has incorporated measures to safeguard the health of its staff, volunteers, and clients by going to a drive-thru style distribution.

General Updates

**New Updates**

DOH Vulnerable Populations

Previous Information

NAMI has now scheduled two weekly meetings for our Online NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group via. We will be hosting groups Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30. The access code to join the group is 202-455-533.

Children’s First has made a few resources available -  Tip Sheets for Youth:  Freaked About Finances Tip Sheet and Reemployment Assistance.  Guidance for Professionals who work with Transition Age Youth  COVID-19 Tips for Professionals.

Women’s Resource Center created a list or resources.

National Low Income Housing Coalition CARES Act Analysis

From DCF

  • Governor DeSantis directed DCF to waive work requirements for SNAP and TANF. 
  • The federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” allows states to suspend these work requirements.
  • Governor DeSantis directed DCF to work with the USDA to submit a plan to allow families whose children are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch to receive SNAP benefits. 
  • The federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” encourages utilization of this proposal which will provide additional benefits to parents of more than 2.1 million children in Florida. 
  • Governor DeSantis directed DCF to pursue extending food, cash and Medicaid benefits for an extra two months for those families who are scheduled to recertify to ensure that health care, food and cash assistance benefits are provided without interruption. 
  • This will provide continuity for Florida families who are currently receiving SNAP, TANF or Medicaid benefits without requiring them to interact with the department during this public health emergency. 

Some Additional Resources for Reference  

National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

CDC "Get Your Home Ready" Detailed Planning Guidance

Florida Department of Education - Free Resources for Families and Teachers 

Reemployment Assistance 

COVID-19 Guidance for those with HIV/AIDS

Governor DeSantis Executive Orders

#2020-51 Executive Order re: Establishes Coronavirus Response Protocol and Directs Public Health Emergency
#2020-52 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
#2020-68 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 regarding bars, beaches, and restaurants
#2020-69 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Local Government Public Meetings
#2020-70 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Broward and Palm Beach County Closures
#2020-71 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Alcohol Sales, Restaurants, and Gyms
#2020-72 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Non-essential Elective Medical Procedures
#2020-80 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Airport Screening and Isolation
#2020-82 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Isolation of Individuals Traveling to Florida
#2020-83 Executive Order re: Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations, Gatherings of Private Citizens and Density of the Workforce

Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period is open and runs through May 8, 2020. Interested businesses should visit for more information.

HUD will not be enacting evictions for the next 60 days for single-family homes with FHA insured mortgages. This does not include any other HUD properties.

For updated information please go directly to the CDC, HUD or the local Health Department sites. 

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH): COVID-19 Resources

SNAPS COVID-19 Infectious Disease Prevention & Response

National Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Council: COVID-19 Resources

World Health Organization (WHO): COVID-19 Advice for the Public

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): COVID-19 & Homeless Shelters Guidance

National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH): Coronavirus and Homelessness

GovTech: A Resource Guide to Coronavirus for Government Leaders

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH): COVID-19 Resources

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): COVID-19 Resources

National League of Cities (NLC): Resources for Local Leaders

National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE): COVID-19 Resources

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: COVID-19 Resources

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA): COVID-19 Resources

Homelessness & the Response to Emerging Infections Disease Outbreaks: Lessons from SARS

National Governors Association: Steps states have taken to address Coronavirus


Hope Admin