Last updated 4/8/2020 at 12:00PM
Added Resources for Low-Income Residents on 4/8/2020 at 12:00PM
The below are resources available to residents and business owners throughout Providence and Rhode Island to support them during this time. As a reminder, all essential City services, including Providence Water and City-contracted trash and recycling collection, are scheduled to go on uninterrupted but City buildings are closed.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court released an executive order in which all non-emergency judicial matters are postponed through April 17, 2020. Emergency matters, such as restraining orders, arraignments, emergency family law orders, and other matters can still be heard to protect the public.
The Rhode Island Center for Justice is offering free emergency legal support for renters who are facing an urgent eviction-related emergency during the coronavirus outbreak.
You can reach them by calling 401-491-1101 and following the prompts on their voicemail.
Essential Utility Services
The Public Utilities Commission has directed every electric, gas, water, and wastewater utility regulated by the state agency, including National Grid, and Providence Water to discontinue service terminations and other collection activities until April 15, 2020, for residential customers and to March 31, 2020, for other classes.
Resources for Rhode Islanders Without Health Insurance
For residents who do not currently have health insurance, but would like to enroll now, a Special Enrollment Period has been established to enroll in a plan through HealthSourceRI until April 15, 2020.
Resources for Aging Adults
Providence has several meal sites dedicated to serving older adults throughout the city. Please contact each site directly as information may change daily.
Grocery stores throughout Rhode Island are providing dedicated shopping hours to promote the safety and wellness of older adults.
Resources for Food Access
Farm Fresh Rhode Island also has a Market Mobile wholesale service to get fresh food from local farms delivered to your home. Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile Service accepts PayPal in addition to SNAP and EBT.
Food Donation Opportunities for Residents and Businesses
For businesses that would like to donate food, we encourage you to submit your donation opportunity through the web-based food donation application MEANS, which helps match food donors to meal sites. The Rhode Island Department of Health is pairing with MEANS to make sure that unused, wholesome food is given to people in need instead of discarded.
Help ensure all Rhode Islanders have access to the food they need while preventing the spread of COVID-19. The best way you can help support this critical work is to make a financial donation to these organizations.
Resources for Recently Unemployed Rhode Island Residents
The State Department of Labor and Training has worked to increase the flexibility and manageability of the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)and Unemployment Insurance, including by waiving the seven-day minimum amount of time and previously-required medical certification to process your claim. Employees can view resources from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training here.
Affected businesses with questions on Unemployment Insurance, Paid Sick and Safe Leave, or other work-related programs should contact the Department of Labor and Training by emailing or calling (401) 462-2020.
Resources for Low-Income Residents
The Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) is conducting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) appointments by phone and is also available to help clients receiving assistance from the Low Income Home Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and other emergency services. To contact, call 401-467-7013 during regular working hours or email at Please note that state and federal taxes are not due this year until July 15.
Resources for Child Care Services
The State of Rhode Island has partnered with Care.com to provide three months of free, premium access to their site to support essential workers providing critical services to our community with help managing care for children, older adults and pets during this time. Premium services include unlimited messaging between frontline workers and caregivers who, in many cases, are willing to volunteer their time at reduced or no cost.* This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. For more info, visit Care.com/RIneed.
*Exact hourly rate to be determined between the frontline resident and volunteer. Care.com is not responsible for setting rates.
Medical Supply Donations Opportunities for Residents and Businesses
To donate personal protective equipment and other needed medical supplies, please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 medical supply donations form.
The Rhode Island Blood Center has a critical need for donations and expects the demand to remain high for the foreseeable future. It is safe to donate at any of the center’s six sites: Providence, Middletown, Narragansett, Warwick, Westerly, and Woonsocket.
Visit www.ribc.org or call (800) 283-8385 to make an appointment.
Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness
The State of Rhode Island has organized all of the meals, hygiene, and shelter sites in Providence and throughout the state in an interactive map.
For those in our community experiencing homelessness, the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless has developed a COVID-19 response webpage in addition to their comprehensive general resources.
You can also call the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless coordinated entry system hotline by dialing (401) 277-4316. Please help share this information with folks who you know may need it.
Many shelters are moving to reserved beds to limit transmission or are making changes to their normal operation in other ways. It is best to check directly with shelters to learn how they are adjusting services. Expect to be screened for symptoms at all shelters and other service sites.
Relief Funds Available to Local Businesses
We know there is a real and serious impact on our local business community at this time. While we encourage people to support local businesses as much as possible, we know that this might not be enough. Rhode Island’s Small Business Administration is taking steps to mitigate those challenges. There will be small loan help and an economic disaster loan program. We will work in concert with the Governor’s Office to identify businesses and non-profits in need. To learn more, business owners can visit sba.gov/disaster.
In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the Providence small business community, the Providence Business Loan Fund has announced temporary modifications to the Fund to provide access to capital for eligible small businesses and immediate relief for existing borrowers. We want to hear your feedback so we can improve supports for our small business in the City. Please fill out this quick survey and let us know how we can better support you and your business during this time.
On April 1, 2020, the Governor announced a short-term bridge loan program for restaurants and micro-businesses (business with up to 10 employees). Eligible businesses must first apply for a federal Small Business Administration emergency disaster loan. Businesses can then apply for the bridge loans through the Local Initiative Support Corporation website. You may also call 521-HELP or visit Commerce Rhode Island’s COVID-19 website for more information.
Resources for Businesses
During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. The US Center for Disease Control has recommended steps to protect employees and your business for disruption.
Resources Available to Local Nonprofit Organizations
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts has compiled a comprehensive list of resources available to artists, arts and cultural organizations.
- Support nonprofit organizations providing direct assistance to Rhode Islanders with financial need or demonstrable hardship resulting from COVID-19.
- Provide operating support to nonprofit organizations that are meeting community needs resulting from COVID-19, and are in financial distress.
The Rhode Island Foundation is asking nonprofits to complete a survey to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Rhode Island nonprofits as employers, conveners and service providers. The Rhode Island Foundation will make available grants to local nonprofit organizations through their COVID-19 Response Fund to support them during this time.
The United Way of Rhode Island is also working with partners from around the state to help local nonprofits and is asking nonprofit organizations to complete their survey to better understand the challenges currently facing them.
Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Resources
Online meetings and other resources are available to those suffering from Substance Use Disorder. Prevent Overdose Rhode Island has compiled information and other recovery supports for those seeking help.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control has issued guidelines for managing anxiety and stress and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has also provided tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation for those suffering from substance use disorder.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has released a Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide. To connect to their HelpLine, dial (800) 950-6264 Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., EST.
BH Link is managing a statewide hotline to connect residents to appropriate care and resources when you or someone you care about is experiencing a behavioral healthcare crisis. To connect to the BH Link hotline, dial 414-LINK.
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a full list of resources available on their website for anyone who is or knows someone who is experiencing abusive behavior. To connect to their 24-hour HelpLine, dial (800) 494- 8100.
Online Library Resources for Youth and Adults
The Providence Community Libraries maintain digital resources for youth and adults including educational presentations, ideas for craft making and digital storytimes with beloved storytellers. The State’s Office of Library & Information Services is also offering online learning programs and other services.
Census 2020 Resources
Over the last several weeks, every household in Rhode Island should have received a notice by mail to complete the 2020 Census. The Census will not ask for personal information, like immigration status, and your response is safe, secure and important. The decennial Census is critical because our state receives $3.8 billion in federal funding each year in addition to many services and programs our families rely on. Census results also determine the number of representatives our state sends to Congress. Respond to the 2020 Census today.
The Census Bureau has updated its operations timeline in response to COVID-19.
- March 12-20 Residents will receive invitations.
- March 30-April 1 The Census Bureau will count people experiencing homelessness.
- April 1 Census Day – when you respond to the Census, you’ll tell the Bureau where you are living and include everyone living in your home as of April 1, 2020.
- April Census takers will begin visiting college students living on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people.
- May-July Census enumerators will begin visiting homes that haven’t yet responded to the 2020 Census.
- December The Census Bureau will deliver (anonymized) apportionment counts to the President and Congress.
- March 31, 2021, The Census will send redistricting counts to the states. This info is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.