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.

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

Supporting Our Local Community

For over 15 years, The DC Center has served the LGBTQ+ communities of DC through direct support, diverse programming, and targeted advocacy. During that time, we have aided over 200 people pursuing personal freedom and asylum, and distributed over 250,000 condoms to our surrounding community. In the last 6 months, we have done over 140 intakes with new clients from communities of color that were seeking housing, education, sexual health screenings, employment, and mental health support. We have also educated over 2,300 people from marginalized communities within the LGBTQ+ umbrella through our new Early Intervention Services Program. Today, we have over 20 support groups that represent diverse domestic and international communities. Our programs focus on building community bonds to help ensure no one feels alone and all can access support in facing the barriers that impact marginalized communities of color, gender, and sexual orientation.

 

This year, the Center joined a Coalition of over 15 local, diverse LGBTQ organizations to collectively advocate for the support our community needs and deserves to thrive. Together, we submitted a $20+ million funding request to the Mayor’s Office with a collection of proposals that will support hate crimes reporting, housing, health education, and professional development for the most marginalized members of our community, including trans and non-binary youth and LGBTQ+ older adults. We’re extremely proud to be a part of the Coalition and believe it is the best way to advocate for the support our community needs.

The request includes $10 million to fund a larger LGBTQ+ community center. This space will facilitate expanded services and greater collaboration between DC LGBTQ organizations through colocation and partnership. With over 9% of the DC population identifying at LGBTQ+, this is long overdue. This money would be used to purchase a new, larger space that multiple organizations would use together to better serve our community. This is a model that has worked in many other cities around the world, and will greatly benefit the DC LGBTQ+ community.

Join us in advocating for the support our community needs! Sign up to attend one of the remaining two Mayor’s Budget Engagement Forums here.

The DC Center has always been committed to serving LGBTQ+ communities and our diverse team has fought to stand in unity with open doors, arms, and hearts as we renew our commitment to equality for our most vulnerable and oppressed community and family members. We will continue to serve our most vulnerable community members and lead the local fight for equity as we serve our community as a whole.

Join us here!

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

 

Team DC Scholarship Opportunity

Team DC Student-athlete Scholarships are awarded to self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) student-athletes that have contributed to the sport in which they participate and enhanced the perception of the LGBT community as a result of their contributions and involvement.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship:

  • Reside in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area comprising Arlington County (VA), Calvert County (MD), the District of Columbia, City of Alexandria (VA), Fairfax County (VA), Montgomery County (MD), Prince George’s County (MD), Prince William County (VA), and St. Mary’s County (MD).
  • Self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.
    IMPORTANT: Team DC is aware of potential issues around self-disclosure, and we respect the privacy of all applicants. Applicants do not have to be public in their self-disclosure, but they must self-identify as LGBTQ in order to be considered for this scholarship.
  • Attend high school as a senior or currently attend college with demonstrated academic success.
  • Participate actively in interscholastic athletics or a competitive sport (club sport, recreational league, etc.). Sports include, but are not limited to, baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading/competitive cheer, crew, cross country, fencing, figure skating, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, sailing, skiing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, or wrestling. Activity in other sports may be considered.
    NOTE: Applicants receiving other athletic scholarships must adhere to all NCAA rules concerning eligibility and reporting requirements.
  • Intend to enroll in a full-time, undergraduate program at an accredited two- or four-year college or university.

Applicants for the Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship cannot be related to a member or the domestic partner of any member of the Team DC Scholarship Committee or Team DC Executive Committee and staff.

Recipient’s Obligations

Acceptance of the scholarship constitutes permission for Team DC to recognize the recipient in name as a recipient of the scholarship in the organization’s publications and announcements. Team DC is aware of potential issues around self-disclosure and respects the privacy of all applicants when possible.

Scholarship recipients agree to provide official documentation indicating full-time enrollment at the college or university of their choice before scholarship funds are awarded.  Failure to supply documentation as a registered, degree-seeking student will result in revocation of the full amount of the award.

Although not required, scholarship recipients are extremely encouraged to attend the annual Night of Champions Dinner, which includes an awards ceremony for the Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship recipients.

Application Requirements

The Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship application comprises different components that the committee uses to assess the applicant. Each component can be submitted electronically to Scholarship@teamdc.org or by mailing to the following address:
Team DC
Attn: Team DC Scholarship Committee
2910 Sycamore Street
Alexandria, VA 22305

The following components are required to complete the Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship application:

  • Form with contact information found on the Team DC website.
  • Official, sealed high school transcript mailed to Team DC.
  • A personal essay (maximum of 1,500 word) that describes how being open about your sexual orientation or gender identity has impacted your participation and involvement in athletics, school life, and life outside of school. In addition, detail your future goals and aspirations.
  • Two (2) letters of support from individuals qualified to address the candidate’s suitability for this award.
  • OPTIONAL: Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAR is a summary of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial need may be considered in situations where the applicants are equally qualified.

In order to award a scholarship, the recipient must supply a copy of the acceptance letter for their chosen college or university. Team DC is unable to award funds until this acceptance letter has been received. Although not required prior to awarding a scholarship, consider this an application requirement although this letter can be submitted after the application deadline.

Scholarship Recipient Notification

Scholarship recipients will be notified both by email and in writing at the provided address. Scholarship funds will be made in one installment upon receipt of official notification of enrollment or registration for classes. Team DC reserves the right to make payment directly to the college or university on behalf of the recipient.

Scholarship recipients will also receive an invite to attend the annual Night of Champions Reception and Dinner, which celebrates the Team DC Student-athlete Scholarship recipients for their accomplishments.

Donate Non Perishables, Clothing Today

The DC Center operates a small food pantry and a small walk-in closest for the homeless and for those who may not be able to afford these items. We see a rise in community members stopping by for assistance as the temperature falls. Please assist us in our mission by donating your unwanted or used washed clothing. We accept all non perishables.

If you have questions please call or email us. Donations are accepted during regular business hours.

Help save a life—Know about the Hypothermia Alert

Between November 1 and March 31, when the temperature or Wind Chill is 32 or below, the District of Columbia issues a Hypothermia Alert. On Hypothermia Alert Day, the District is obligated by law to make shelter available. On those days, your call to the Shelter Hotline should result in the dispatch of a van to take the person from the street to an emergency shelter (or to a hospital if needed). The van is equipped with items such as water, blankets, gloves and jackets.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 F. When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work correctly. To get help for a homeless person in extremely cold weather, listed below are all the ways to contact the hotline.

202-399-7093

211 (or 311) 

1-800-535-7252

uposh@upo.org 

Applicants sought for D.C. LGBTQ Latinx Scholarship

The D.C. LGBT group LULAC Lambda is inviting current and future college students attending D.C. schools to apply for its 2020 annual scholarship that it says will benefit students from the LGBTQ Latinx community.

“For the third year in a row, LULAC Lambda will award a scholarship to a community-minded individual enrolled in a District of Columbia high school or college,” said Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC Lambda.

“Our scholarship program will help that scholar achieve their academic goals and reduce their student debt,” Garcia said. “We want to thank our members and allies who have supported our fundraisers to keep this scholarship program alive,” he said.

“The scholarship committee will look at academic performance and a student’s work in the social justice space, including community service accomplishments in the Queer Latinx community,” according to Erik Rodriquez, LULAC Lambda’s vice president. “We invite high school seniors, college students, graduate students and law students to apply,” he said.

A statement released by the group says scholarship applications are being accepted through Jan. 10, 2020. Further details about the application process can be accessed at lulaclambda.org/scholarship

The statement says LULAC Lambda is one of 1,000 chapters throughout the U.S. affiliated with the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, the nation’s largest and oldest Latinx volunteer-based civil rights organization.