COVID-19 Know Your Rights PT2

COVID-19 DV HOUSING FAQs

 

Question:
I received a shut-off notice for my utilities. Will my utilities be shut off during this
time?
 Answer: On March 17th, the DC Council passed emergency legislation, the
COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. As a result, the electric,
gas and water companies cannot disconnect utilities for non-payment of a bill or
fee during a public health emergency and for 15 calendar days after the
emergency is declared over.

Question:
 I have an eviction hearing scheduled. What should I do?
 Answer: To address coronavirus concerns, DC Superior Court issued an order on
March 16, 2020th stating that all non-priority matters scheduled before May 1,
2020 will be rescheduled and new dates will be set. This means that all evictions
and foreclosures (as well as other court matters) on or before May 1st are
stopped and court hearings for such matters like landlord tenant, debt
collection, mortgage foreclosure, and housing court will be continued and
parties should not come to court until you receive a new date. Consult
https://www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus for more information.

Question:
 Can my landlord charge me late fees if my rent is late?
 Answer: On March 17th, the DC Council passed emergency legislation, the
COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, as a result, landlords
may not impose a late fee on a tenant during any month for which a public
health emergency has been declared.

Question:
 Are DC homeless shelters still open during this emergency?
 Answer: Yes. Shelters are still operational. If you need transportation to a
homeless shelter, please call (202) 399-7093 or 311.
 DV shelters are open but most services have switched to call-in services only. For
DV shelter and other services, please contact the DC Victim Hotline at 1-844-443-
5732 or access the online chat at www.DCvictim.org/chat.

Question:
• How will DHS determine eligibility during this time?

 Answer: The DC Council passed emergency legislation, the COVID-19 Response
Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which allows the Department of Human
Services (DHS) to place families seeking shelter in a short-term shelter placement
for 60 days, in the event DHS cannot determine a family’s eligibility on the same
day they seek services. It also allows the Mayor to extend the placement through
the end of the public health emergency.

Question:
 What will happen if my benefits expire during this public health emergency?
 Answer: DHS has stated in its COVID-19 status report that customers who
receive SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance and other public benefits do not need to
take any action to continue to receive benefits that would expire on March 31st
or April 30. Please visit dhs.dc.gov if you are filing a new application or visit a
Service Center.

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COVID-19 DV ECONOMIC SECURITY FAQs

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Question:
 What will happen if my benefits expire during this public health emergency?
 Answer: DHS has stated in its COVID-19 status report that customers who
receive SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance and other public benefits do not need to
take any action to continue to receive benefits that would expire on March 31st
or April 30. Your benefits will not expire until further notice. Please visit
dhs.dc.gov if you are filing a new application or visit a Service Center.

Question:
 I don’t have public benefits. How do I apply for public benefits like SNAP?
 Answer: For new applications for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Alliance, or
other public benefits, please visit dhs.dc.gov, You can currently apply online for
most public benefits. Residents with questions about their benefits should
contact the Call Center at (202) 727-5355 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Question:
 Due to the public health crisis, I’m unable to work. What benefits are available for
workers dealing with staffing changes?
 Answer: On March 17th, the DC Council passed emergency legislation, the
COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. As a result,
unemployment compensation benefits have been expanded to help even more
workers who become fully or partially unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
 This includes job losses from: Quarantine or self-quarantine of a worker; closures
as required by the Mayor or health department; and/or voluntary quit by a
worker whose employer fails to follow a public safety order of the Mayor or
health department.

Question:
 How do I apply for unemployment benefits? Do I need documentation when applying?
 Answer: To apply for unemployment compensation in DC, contact the DC
Department of Employment Services at (202) 724-7000 or online at
https://www.dcnetworks.org/vosnet/Default.aspx
 Any worker who experiences COVID-19 related job loss or loss of income should
attempt to document the job loss to the best of their ability – for example, with
a doctor’s note, written guidance from the Mayor or health department, or

email or letter from their employer describing the lay-off or temporary shut-
down of the workplace.

Question:
 My unemployment insurance application was denied. What can I do?
 Answer: If you are denied unemployment compensation in DC, you have a right
to appeal this decision within 15 days by filing a hearing request. Contact the DC
Office of Administrative Hearings at (202) 442-9094 or oah.dc.gov.
 If you are wrongfully denied unemployment compensation in DC, contact our
partners at Legal Aid at (202) 628-1161 or by completing an online intake to
apply for free legal help.

Question:
 Due to the schools being closed, I’m worried about feeding my children. Where can we
find additional food resources?
 Answer: DC Public Schools has meal sites across the city and is available for all
students and other families in need. You can go to the site that is closest to you,
even if your child does not attend that school. Updated location sites for
students and seniors can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/mealsites

Question:
 What other food and basic necessities resources are available during the public health
crisis?
 Answer: Martha’s Table, in partnership with DC Health and Capital Area Food
Bank, is offering pre-bagged groceries (fresh fruits and veggies) at D.C. Public

School & D.C. Public Charter School sites located in Ward 7 and 8. To see up-to-
date information on Grab and Go sites across the District, visit our friends at DC

Hunger Solutions: https://www.dchunger.org/home/covid-19-food-resources/

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LEGAL FAQs

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Question
 My civil protection order ends or expires soon. Can I get an extension or more time?
Answer: Any existing CPO is good through May 15, 2020 or the next assigned
court date. If the courts are still closed on May 1st, you can call the Courthouse
or DC Victim Hotline at 1-844-4HELPDC (1-844-443-5732) for assistance.

Question
 My CPO trial is scheduled in two weeks. Do I still need to go?

Answer: The courts will not hold any hearings until they open back up. All CPO
cases with a trial or hearing before May 15th will be rescheduled.

Question:
 I need a temporary protection order. How do I get one?

Answer: During Court hours, 8:30am—5:00pm, you can file a temporary
protection order petition through DC Superior Court’s portal at
https://www.probono.net/dccourts. Once you fill out the form and submit it
electronically, you should then contact the Clerk’s office by phone at (202) 879-
0157 or by email at domesticviolencemanagement@dcsc.gov to complete the
filing process.
A Domestic Violence Unit Clerk and a DV Unit Judge will review the request for
imminent risk. They will contact DC SAFE to complete the process with the
survivor as described in the ETPO court directive.
If you need a temporary protection order after hours, on weekends or holidays,
call 911 or the DC Victim hotline at 1-844-4HELPDC (1-844-443-5732) to speak
with an advocate.

Question:
 My abuser was arrested for domestic violence and is still in jail. What happens now?
Answer: To request information about a person who was arrested you can call
the Department’s Records Office at (202) 523-7060. If you are a victim, you can
register to receive automated updates on your phone or email about a person
who was convicted of a crime by calling VINE (Victim Information & Notification
Everyday) at 1 (877) 329-7894.

Question:
 I am supposed to do custody exchanges at the Supervised Visitation Center (SVC).
What do I do now if the SVC is closed?
Answer: For now, the Supervised Visitation Center is not supervising any parent
child visitation or conducting any visitation exchanges. To confirm whether the
visitation center is still closed you can call them at (202) 879-4253. Please note
that the child care center at DC Superior Court is also closed until further notice.

Question:
 I have a CPO against me and my abuser is telling me to bring the kids to them. Can I
ignore the CPO and go near my abuser?
Answer: A Temporary Civil Protection Order or any other court issued Custody
Order should say what you and can and can’t do. You should make decisions
based on the order, not what the other person is telling you. If the order says
you cannot go near them, do not take the kids to them. If you have questions,
you can call the DV Clerk’s Office at (202) 879-0157 or speak to an attorney at
one of the call-in clinics.

Question:
 Where do I go if I want to file for custody?

Answer: Please note that the court is limiting the matters it will hear before May
15th, 2020. Before that time, the court will only hear emergency matters in
Family Court. All trials and non‐emergency motions in Domestic Relations, and
scheduled before May 15, 2020 are continued and the court will set a new date
and notify the parties. You can call the courthouse at (202) 879-1010 for more
information. Due to limited staff, wait times may be longer than usual.

Question:
 Where do I make emergency filings and what are the filing fees?

Answer: Emergency filings should be made at the Central Intake Center.
However, due to limited capacity and changing information, you should call the
Courthouse at (202) 879-1010 for up to date information. All fees are due at
time of filing. You will have to pay a $80.00 filing fee before the Clerk gives you
the copy of the complaint and summons to serve on each defendant. All filing
fees must be paid by cash, money order, cashier’s check, or credit card
(Mastercard or VISA only).

Question:
 What if I cannot afford the fees to file documents?

Answer: If paying the filing fees will cause a hardship to you or your family, you
can request a fee waiver to ask the Court to allow you to file without paying
fees.To request a fee waiver, you must submit an “In Forma Pauperis” form (also
called an “IFP”) to the Court. If you receive Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) or other public benefits and can provide documentation showing
this, you may receive a fee waiver without having to provide additional
information. Otherwise, you may have to provide information about your
income, assets, and expenses.
Your IFP waiver request will have to be approved by the Judge in
Chambers (temporarily located in the Moultrie Courthouse, Room JM 540).

 

The above information was sourced in full from DC Coliation Against Domestic Violence.

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus),
please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

COVID-19 : Know Your Rights

Helpful resources created by Legal Aid Society of DC

Housing

  • The Office of the Tenant Advocate can be contacted here or by calling (202) 719-6560.

Employment Services

Child Care

Free Legal Advice / Assistance

DCVLP has opened up a call-in legal clinic from 9am – 5pm every day for individuals with immigration or family law questions. We know there are a lot of people in the LGBTQ community that are struggling with the uncertainty right now, so we want to make sure everyone has a quick resource to get the legal advice they need. Call 202-425-7573 or email clinic@dcvlp.org.

 

Health and Wellness Festival Vendor Registration – Postponed

Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information.

On March 28th, the DC Center will host its first ever health and wellness fair, as we work towards putting the finishing touches on our programming schedule, we are encouraging small to large organizations, businesses and nonprofits to sign up for a table or sign up to become a partnering sponsor of this wellness event. So far, we have organizations and businesses from varied backgrounds that are partnering with us. This Health & Wellness Fair represents The DC Center’s commitment to a strong and healthy community and is part of our ongoing effort to provide a safe space for the LGBT community to access basic health screenings and important information. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. We seek to provide a comprehensive offering geared towards the health and wellness of LGBTQ people in body, mind, and spirit as such we will be having several different workshops,pop-ups and panel discussion on LGBTQ health and wellness. We will have a day full of hands-on health and wellness activities including yoga, self-defense, tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, and massage. HIV testing, STI testing, and other health screenings will be available. Space is limited. Click the link below to register:
https://thedccenter.org/events/healthfest/

When: Saturday March 28, 2020
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Where: The DC Center for the LGBT Community
2000 14th St NW, Suite 105
Washington
DC 20009
Questions: supportdesk@thedccenter.org
202-682-2245

UPDATE : DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Festival

LGBTQ Health & Wellness Festival

*** Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival, we will no longer have the event on March 28th , a new date will be decided in the future. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information. ***

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we have been forced to reschedule our Wellness Expo. Join us on Saturday, March 28th for our first-ever DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Expo.

Please click here for the updated event information, and if you have previously registered there’s no need to re-register. Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please email supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Social Worker/Therapist

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time social worker/therapist. Bilingual in Spanish, a plus. See below for details.

Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually and in group settings, as well as in a couples/collateral therapy capacity, if requested. The person who fills this position is also responsible for assisting on other related projects, such as quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant, outreach and education in the LGBTQ community, and assisting the mission, vision, and values of The DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP). The Social Worker/Therapist will report to the Executive Director.

Special Skills:

The Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. The ideal candidate will have prior nonprofit/grant management experience and is well adept at multitasking in a fast-paced environment. Bilingual capabilities are not required but strongly preferred.

Functions and Duties

Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual, couples, and group mental health support services to a caseload of 25-35 unique clients
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in our clinical database system
  • Collaborate with DC Center staff to provide community-based education and outreach opportunities in line with OVSJG grant requirements
  • Provide data for quarterly reports and help manage grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please click here to apply

New Volunteer: Casa Ruby Meal Coordinator

Photo of Maura

Welcome Maura Kinney. Maura will be working the Casa Ruby meals program, organizing monthly group and individual volunteer dinners. She will also work on creating new projects that will affect the lives of the residents at the Casa Ruby shelters.

Maura has lived in DC since 2009. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, ice skating, kayaking, and doing crossword puzzles. She works as a technical writer and enjoys learning about primatology and U.S. presidential history.

Maura decided to become a volunteer with The DC Center because “although queer rights have come a long way, our fight isn’t over yet.”

We are excited to have Maura on board, if you would like to work with us and give back to Casa Ruby contact: maurak@thedccenter.org

Scholarship : Explore America Travel Scholarship

HI USA administers the national Explore America Travel Scholarship program. The travel scholarship program offers $1,000 travel scholarships with up to 7 free overnight stays at HI USA hostels across the U.S. for young adults ages 18-30 with demonstrated financial need. To be eligible, applicants must be:
  • Be 18 – 30 years of age
  • Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident (possess a green card) or DACA recipient
  • Demonstrate financial need by meeting at least one of the following criteria:
  • Have a strong desire and motivation to experience other people and cultures through hostelling

The application is live, and the deadline to apply is March 1. If you are eligible for the travel scholarship, click here to apply.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Program Assistant for Center Aging

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Program Assistant for Center Aging helps to achieve this mission by providing support services to the older adult community members. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL). The program assistant will report to the Executive Director.

This is a part-time, staff position that will require approximately 20 hours of work per week on the Center Aging LGBTQ Older Adult program.  

The Program Assistant will be in charge of:

  • Managing the Center Aging program, including all of its events, community partner relationships, social media pages, bilingual monthly newsletters, blogs, and more
  • Administering the DACL Center Aging Grant, including drafting all quarterly and final reports, and tracking the budget and workplan,
  • Participating in Center Aging Monthly Advocacy Meetings and other events in the community regarding LGBTQ Older Adults
  • Coordinating Center Aging Volunteers
  • Collecting and storing intake forms of Center Aging participants and providing follow up, assistance, and referrals to participants with specific need.
  • Connect Center Aging participants with other DC Center programs as connections arise.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have a personal and deep understanding of issues that impact LGBTQIA Older Adults  communities in DC and beyond,
  • Have a personal and deep understanding of issues that impact Older Adults living with HIV/AIDS
  • Have experience with event organizing and planning,
  • Know how to use grassroots organizing methods and social media to reach community members,
  • Be highly self-motivated and able to work flexible hours, including some nights and weekends.

Please click here to apply

 

Update from the DC Center Board of Directors: Welcoming a New Slate of Officers

With a new year comes Board elections! At our January 6th Board Meeting, we voted to re-elect a couple of our long time Board members, and we approved a new slate of officers.

The full list of Board of Directors and officers is listed below:

Chair – Rehana Mohammed
Vice Chair – Jonathan Gilad
Communications Chair- Rebecca Bauer
Treasurer – Tiera Craig
Development Chair – Nick Harrison
Secretary – Andrew Zapfel

Directors: Natalie Bucklin, Michael Fowler, Dr. Pat Hawkins, Lance Macon, Luke Scuitto

Our team is excited about the year ahead as we look forward to welcoming a new Executive Director, bringing on a couple of new staff members (we’re hiring now!), and continuing to enhance our programming for the LGBTQ+ community. “I’m very excited to work alongside this diverse group of leaders to build on the successes of the last 15 years and set a bold path for the future with our new Executive Director,” Board Chair Rehana Mohammed commented.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Development or Finance committees, or would like more information about becoming a member of the Board of DIrectors, please reach out to Rehana@thedccenter.org.