Updated 11/23/2020, 1:00 p.m.
Find out what assistance programs you may qualify for, by using Orange County’s new Centralized Eligibility Questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes.
Orange CARES for Residents – Individual and Family Assistance Program
The Individual and Family Assistance Program will reopen on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8 a.m.
Orange County Government has invested an additional $30 million into the Individual and Family Assistance Program, increasing the total investment to $60 million. The program provides a one-time payment of $1,000 per household for residents affected by COVID-19 to help bridge financial gaps. Residents who have already received funding from Orange County’s CARES Act Individual and Family Assistance Program are not eligible to apply.
Updated Eligibility Requirements – Fewer Restrictions
- The program now allows multiple applicants per household. New applicants in the same household can apply for funding.
- If you have already been approved for CARES Act Funding, you are not eligible to apply.
Updates will be communicated on the Orange CARES webpage and through Orange County’s social channels.
Orange County Resources and updates
Orange County Government Florida –various links and information.
ORANGE COUNTY UPDATE: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings News Conference video (October 1) outlining COVID-19 update, including Orange County CARES Act
ClickOrlando news update: News bulletin outlining Orange County CARES Act portal to reopen
Health and health care
Orange County Florida Health – Florida Department of Health in Orange County
Orange County – drive through COVID-19 testing
Center for Disease Control (CDC)– Global updates on COVID-19
Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans – Free resource with activities and guidelines for all ages.
Residents who have lost their health insurance or have experienced a change in income within the last 60 days may be eligible to qualify for a special enrollment period through the federal ACA Marketplace. Licensed health-care navigators from Covering Central Florida are available to provide over the phone, confidential assistance for the ACA Marketplace, as well as Florida KidCare. Additionally, the Primary Care Access Network in Orange County may be able to assist underinsured and uninsured residents with access, quality, and coordination of health care services.
Shepherd’s Hope – Shepherd’s Hope is a faith-based ministry providing free, short-term medical care for uninsured residents of Central Florida using volunteer doctors and nurses. Shepherd’s Hope operates at 5 locations in the Greater Orlando area that are open mainly in the evenings between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM in donated clinic space. A list of centers and their hours of operation can be found on the website.
Orlando Sentinel article: Where to find turkey giveaways and free Thanksgiving meals.
OCPS Free Grab-and-Go– OCPS info on Free Breakfast and Lunch (children 18yo and younger)
Fresh from Florida (more counties) – Free Breakfast and Lunch – this site lists Florida counties
United Against Poverty – low cost grocery program
Aldi Home Delivery-Through Instacart (Online grocery order, delivery to your home)
USDA Food Group Recommendations – FREE US Department of Agriculture website for choosing the right foods based on age, weight, height, sex and activity level.
Healthy Eating – FREE online learning games on healthy eating and nutrition. Good for children and teens.
SNAP & Medicaid –As directed by Governor DeSantis, the maximum monthly allotment of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits has been temporarily increased based on household size for April. Six-month recertification extensions have been granted to families scheduled to recertify in April or May for SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid benefits. No current recipients of Medicaid will lose benefits during the State of Emergency. For more on these programs, visit MyACCESS.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.To learn more about SNAP (food assistance program) and eligibility, visit: Click here to learn more about SNAP benefits.
WIC (Women, Infants and Children) WIC is a nutrition program for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or who have recently been pregnant, infants & children under age 5.
WIC provides the following at no cost: healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care, immunizations, and community services. To learn more about WIC benefits and eligibility requirements, click here.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) The Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program.
The four purposes of the TANF program are to:
- Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
- Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
- Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
- Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families
To apply online, please visit Florida’s online application portal. You may speak with a TANF agent Monday – Friday (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) at 1-866-762-2237 or 850-300-4323.
SNAP y Medicaid – A petición del Gobernador DeSantis, la asignación mensual máxima de los beneficios del Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (SNAP) se ha incrementado para el mes de abril basado en la cantidad de miembros del hogar. Se han otorgado extensiones de recertificación de seis meses a las familias programadas para recertificar en abril o mayo para los beneficios de SNAP, TANF y Medicaid. Ningún beneficiario actual de Medicaid perderá cobertura durante el estado de emergencia. Para más información sobre estos programas, visite MyACCESS.
Senior Resource Alliance – Get information about food, meals and nutrition programs and assistance for seniors.
Relief Payment for non-Tax filers-Spanish Version– A site on how to request relief funding, for people who do not file an IRS tax return (Spanish version)
Cancer Support Community – Financial assistance to individuals affected by cancer who have lost their jobs or need help with food, utilities, and other basic needs. Toll-free CancerSupportHelpline® staffed by licensed professionals open 7 days a week. To request an application for assistance from the fund, please call this toll-free number: 1-888-409-4166.
- Duke Energy Payment Arrangements –set up payment extension or arrangement
- Energy Neighbor Fund: – You can make an impact! A small gift (even a gift of just $1 ) goes directly to an individual or family
- Duke Energy Updates (General COVID Information – Duke Energy response and updates to COVID-19
- Medically Essential Program: Duke Energy’s Medically Essential Program identifies residential customers who are dependent on continuously electric-powered medical equipment. Participation in the program does not guarantee uninterrupted electric service. The program does not automatically extend electric bill due dates, nor does it provide priority restoration.
Note: All of these pages are available in Spanish.
Duke Energy Customer Care Center can be reached at 800-700-8744.
OUC News/Utility Bill Payment Assistance – OUC – The Reliable One is offering immediate electric and water bill relief to residential customers who are eligible for Project CARE, the utility’s bill-payment assistance fund supported by OUC, its employees and customers.
OUC– Please check website for current suspensions and disconnection information.
Orange County Utilities is committed to serving the residents of unincorporated Orange County and has temporarily suspended late payment fees for residential water and wastewater customers, as well as disconnections for nonpayment.
Orlando Sentinel – List of employers who are hiring in Central Florida
Valencia Community College Accelerated Skills Training-Programs available at Valencia Community College. Grants are available for qualified students.
Housing & Rental Assistance
Orange County Eviction Diversion Program– In an effort to help curb the onslaught of possible evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners created the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program. The $20 million program is funded by the Federal CARES Act monies allotted locally and the Florida Housing CARES Act – Coronavirus Relief Funds.
COVID-19 Rental Assistance, Orange County Application – This website states that new applications are not accepted as of Monday, April 20. Please return to the website for further information.
JFS Orlando Cares, new rental assistance – A new rental assistance fund from the nonprofit JFS Orlando is offering help to residents of unincorporated Orange County. The charity — formerly known as Jewish Family Services — has been awarded a $500,000 grant in CARES Act funds for the program. Called JFS Orlando Cares, the relief effort can provide up to two months of rent to qualifying residents. Residents don’t need to be Jewish to apply.
“We know that a lot of people are desperate right now,” said Heather Petrusky, the charity’s assistant director. “But the last thing we want is to make people jump through these hoops for no reason, so we try to spell out all the requirements in advance.” Applicants will need to provide a copy of their formal lease or rental agreement and submit a self-disclosure form on how they’ve been impacted by COVID.
To be eligible, applicants:
- Must have lived in Orange County for the past 12 consecutive months and currently live in unincorporated Orange County.
- Have income below 80% of the area median — which isno more than $40,750 a year for an individual or $58,150 for a family of four.
- Must have lost their job or had their hours or income cut because of the pandemic’s impact on the economy or because they were infected with the virus.
- Cannot live in Section 8 subsidized housing.
- Must be at least one month past due on rent.
- Cannot be receiving rental assistance from another source — such as Orange County’s CARES Act program or the Heart of Florida United Way — for the same months.
Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. You can apply online at jfscares.smapply.io/.
Osceola County COVID-19 Programs: In an effort to help curb a potential flood of evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Osceola County is launching a COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program on Monday, October 5.
City of Orlando Cares – The screening process for the City of Orlando CARES Rent Assistance Program closed on September 29, 2020.
Only those households within Orlando city limits (in the City of Orlando’s jurisdiction) who completed the screening on or before September 29, 2020 are eligible to apply for rent assistance.
Please visit our website at https://www.hfuw.org/housingresources/ to learn more about other resources that are available for those impacted by COVID-19 in Central Florida.
Heart of Florida United Way – Rental Assistance
Mortgage Foreclosures and Rent Evictions – Orange and Osceola Clerks of Courts have been directed to suspend all actions related to mortgage foreclosure, residential eviction, and mortgage foreclosure sales. The Ninth Circuit’s Order is not to be construed as relieving obligation to pay rent or mortgage. Residents seeking legal advice regarding their rights as tenants may contact the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar or Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida.
Mortgage: If you are having trouble making a mortgage payment your first call should be to the company that receives your mortgage payments each month. They may be able to arrange temporary mortgage assistance options, including a mortgage forbearance plan. A forbearance plan doesn’t erase the amount you own, but it temporarily suspends payments until your hardship is over. https://www.fanniemae.com/here-help-homeowners
- Pet Food Pantry: Sun, Tue, and Thurs from 12pm – 5pm in both Orlando and Sanford locations.
- Affordable veterinarian services also offered – see website for details and locations.
Hurricane Resources during COVID-19
How to prepare your home for a storm:
For a pdf version of the list, updated 11/23/2020, 1:00 p.m.-Click Here.
St. Luke’s Missions Ministry is providing this information as it is shared with us. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we are trying to navigate the information from these resources through this current COVID-19 situation. Please exercise caution in using this information and giving out your personal information as you would normally. We appreciate you letting us know if you find updated information or if you have additional information about available resources.
Please send updates or other sources of information to Amy Winslow at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this list as information comes in. Please check back, as needed.
Thank you and be safe!