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Need help for unemployment, food, paying bills? Use our resource guide

Updated March 31, 2020 - 3:34 pm

With a spike in the number of people who’ve experienced COVID-19-related job loss or other financial impacts, there’s help available.

Nonprofit organizations, government agencies and utility companies are offering assistance such as food and help with paying bills.

Need help? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

What if I don’t feel well?

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican launched Virtual Care Anywhere, a free urgent care service for anyone in Southern Nevada experiencing mild to moderate symptoms similar to those of the new coronavirus.

People can seek on-demand, professional medical advice by visiting dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere, downloading the Virtual Care Anywhere app or calling 855-356-8053 and using the coupon code COVID19.

The $35 per-visit service fee will be waived for any patients who think they may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

How do I file for unemployment?

The state agency that oversees unemployment insurance is the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

There are two ways to file a claim: by phone or online. Some people who are trying to file have experienced technical issues or long wait times.

The state agency has two administrative offices — one in Las Vegas and one in Carson City — but claims can’t be filed in person.

The department has an instructional video on YouTube — available in both English and Spanish — about how to apply.

Online: DETR officials say the best way to file a claim is online. The website is ui.nv.gov/css.html.

The agency suggests filing a claim during non-peak hours, such as overnight or early in the morning.

If you encounter technical problems, call 775-684-0427 or email INTERNETHELP@detr.nv.gov.

DETR announced Friday it will expand security helpdesk hours to include Saturdays — from 8 a.m.-noon — to provide assistance with username, password or PIN issues. The phone number is 702-486-3293 in Southern Nevada and 775-687-6838 in Northern Nevada.

If you need to reset your username and/or password, there’s also a request form at gov.nv.gov/Forms/Unemployment.

Phone: DETR has call centers — which have added hours and staffing – to help people file a claim. The hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in English and Spanish, with translation in different languages as needed.

Southern Nevada, including the Las Vegas area: 702-486-0350

Northern Nevada: 775-684-0350

Rural areas in Nevada and out-of-state residents: 888-890-8211

Where can I get food?

— Three Square food bank: There are 43 new emergency food distribution sites. Visit threesquare.org/help for a list of sites and hours. Their phone number is 702-644-3663.

— SHARE Village Las Vegas: The organization has expanded pantry services to seven days a week at SHARE Village Las Vegas #2, 50 N. 21st St.

Ready-to-eat breakfast items (such as sandwiches, bagels and donuts) are available from 8-9 a.m. Fresh foods (including fruits, vegetables, meats and nonperishable items) are available from 10 a.m.-noon.

For more information, visit 702-384-0294 or visit sharelasvegas.org.

Meals for children:

Clark County School District: The school district has 38 pickup sites with free meals for ages 2 to 18. The recipient doesn’t have to be a CCSD student. A list of sites can be found at ccsd.nutrislice.com/menu. Parents and guardians are now allowed to pick up meals without a child present, but will be asked to provide their student’s identification card, name, or school and grade level.

Public charter schools: Equipo Academy (4131 E. Bonanza Road in Las Vegas) and Quest Preparatory Academy (4025 N. Rancho Drive in Las Vegas) also are providing meals.

Help for seniors: A handful of senior centers — including in North Las Vegas, Henderson and Moapa Valley — are providing food assistance for seniors who normally come in to a center for lunch.

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada provides a Meals on Wheels program for homebound seniors in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. Seven frozen meals are provided each week at no cost to seniors. Call 702-385-2662 or visit catholiccharities.com.

Three Square food bank said that home delivery may be available for those ages 60 and older. Call 702-765-4030.

How do I apply for food stamps?

Options include applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly referred to as food stamps), Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The state agency that oversees those programs is the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. Their offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19.

To see if you qualify for benefits or to apply, visit accessnevada.dwss.nv.gov. If you have questions, call 1-800-992-0900.

— Women, Infants and Children program: Local WIC clinics are processing new applications. A map with locations is at nevadawic.org. To find out if you’re eligible for help, call 1-800-8-NEV-WIC, email wicgeneral@health.nv.gov or visit nevadawic.org/contact-us.

— If you’re already enrolled in SNAP or Medicaid: Redetermination for benefits has been extended. That applies to cases originally scheduled to close April 1 or May 1.

How can I get help paying my utility bills?

NV Energy: For those experiencing financial or health hardships as a result of COVID-19, the company won’t disconnect your power for nonpayment and will waive late penalties, according to its website. It also has expanded its energy bill assistance program for those who qualify based on income.

For help, call 702-402-5555 (in Southern Nevada), 775-834-4444 (Northern Nevada), or visit nvenergy.com/assistance.

Southwest Gas: The company has “stopped service disconnections indefinitely, until the coronavirus situation improves,” according to its website. And it’s offering “flexible payment options” for customers.

For help, call 877-860-6020 or visit swgas.com.

Republic Services: The company has a COVID-19 statement on its website, but it doesn’t include specific information about customer assistance options to pay for trash and recycling service.

For help, call 702-735-5151 or visit republicservices.com.

Las Vegas Valley Water District: The district has “temporarily suspended customer shutoffs for delinquent and/or non-payment,” according to its website. It will also work with customers to make payment arrangements.

For help, call 702-870-4194 or visit lvvwd.com.

North Las Vegas and Henderson: Utilities departments in the two cities are halting water shutoffs for customers experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19 and are also offering payment options.

In North Las Vegas, call 702-633-1484. In Henderson, call 702-267-5900.

What are my options for health insurance?

Silver State Insurance Exchange operates Nevada Health Link — the state’s online health insurance marketplace where residents can enroll in a health insurance plan, and receive tax credits or subsidies to help pay for it.

As a result of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s declaration of emergency March 12, the exchange is offering an exceptional circumstance special enrollment period. It opened March 17 and runs through April 15.

A call center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The phone number is 1-800-547-2927. For more information, visit nevadahealthlink.com.

Other health insurance options include Medicaid (for those who qualify based on income) and Medicare (for those 65 and older).

Where can I get help with drug or alcohol addiction?

The Las Vegas Central Office for Alcoholics Anonymous’ Charleston Boulevard office is closed until further notice. However, the public can call the AA 24/7 hotline at 702-598-1888 for help finding a telephone or virtual meeting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers a number of online meetings and discussion forums through the video conference app, Zoom. A list of meetings can be found at aa-intergroup.org/directory.php.

Narcotics Anonymous also offers remote meetings for addicts.

In The Rooms hosts video meetings for various recovery groups and fellowships. It’s created a specific list of resources for addiction and recovery during the pandemic. Creating a free account gives people access to any of the network’s meetings.

What about Department of Motor Vehicles services?

All DMV offices are closed throughout the state indefinitely. The department advises against mailing any documents, as it is currently unable to process or receive mail.

Driver’s licenses set to expire between March 16 and April 30 have been granted an automatic 90-day extension.

Drivers can renew their vehicle registration online or at kiosks, and other services remain available online. Visit dmvnv.com/onlineservices for more information.

What can I do if I’m a victim of domestic or sexual violence?

The SafeNest shelter, 3900 Meadows Lane, will not turn away victims, CEO Liz Ortenburger has said, adding that they have the ability to quarantine someone who might be presenting symptoms.

SafeNest also is providing group counseling over the phone or on the internet for victims who might be self-quarantined at home. And the Rape Crisis Center will continue to provide free weekly support groups and counseling to victims.

Local and national resources include:

— SafeNest: Text or call the 24-hour hotline at 702-646-4981, or chat online with an advocate at www.safenest.org.

— Rape Crisis Center: Call the 24-hour hotline at 702-366-1640, or find resources at www.rcclv.org.

— The Shade Tree: Call 702-385-0072, or find resources at www.theshadetree.org.

— S.A.F.E. House: Call the 24-hour hotline at 702-564-3227, or find resources at www.safehousenv.org.

— National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233, or find resources, including how to create a safety plan, at www.thehotline.org.

— Family Law Self-Help Center: Clark County Family Court is processing domestic violence temporary protective orders by phone at 702-455-1500, or learn about other available resources by emailing flshcinfo@lacsn.org.

Where can I find LGBTQ+ services?

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada continues to offer programming, much of which is online.

The center’s crisis support program, Center Advocacy Network, is “operating via telephone and the web to help individuals and families in need of urgent help and resources, center Executive Director John Waldron said.

The center is working with other local nonprofits via the Delivering with Dignity program to provide meals to those who are low income or immunocompromised. People can apply for this program through the center’s website.

The name change workshop is by appointment.

Some programs remain on-site, such as the center’s parking lot vending machines offering hygiene kits and other resources. The Trac-B harm reduction program is available to registered participants. At the center, they can ring the bell to alert the reception desk and receive supplies.

Multiple programs or groups are hosting regular meetings through Zoom:

— Pivot, regular meetings for the center’s program for building healthy, supportive families

— Fostering Equality, a weekly support group for LGBTQ foster parents and hopeful foster parents

— LGroup Virtual, a weekly meeting for the lesbian community

— PFLAG, a family and friends support group

— QVolution, the center’s youth programming, is now offering “QVirtual” through Zoom and the Discord app

— Trans and gender diversity programs

— Bi-Pandemonium

— GuyTalk

— TFemme

— Out of the Gender Box

— Intersex Connect

— Facebook Jobs and Roommates Group

— Financial Education

— Fabulous Life Skills

HIV services are available for people in need of help finding care, processing eligibility for Ryan White Part B drug assistance and other referrals.

For more information, visit thecenterlv.org or call 702-733-9800.

What if I don’t know where to go to find help?

United Way of Southern Nevada announced the creation of the Emergency Assistance and Community Needs Fund on March 18.

The organization’s website (uwsn.org/COVID19) includes a map of available services across the region.

United Way is partnering with more than a dozen local nonprofits to offer help to residents with needs such as food, and paying essential bills such as a mortgage, rent or utilities.

Don’t see the resource you’re looking for in this list? Email your suggestions to resources@reviewjournal.com.

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