COVID-19 Response

*Now available in all 50 states – minority populations, single parents, and those who make less than 30% AMI will be prioritized

Minority Veterans of America (MVA) is an organization that is home to nearly 1,000 members, dozens of leaders, and millions of constituents around the country and world. Together, we are the minority veteran community. We take our role in the stewardship of this community during a time of crisis very seriously. Since the declaration of a national emergency in the face of COVID-19 and before, the team of MVA has been working to prepare plans for how we can continue to serve our community while bracing for the impact of this pandemic. 

Though there is still so much we don’t know and can’t predict, we do know one thing – this community is strong, resilient, and we always care for one another. We have taken the last week to hear from you directly through our initial survey of your needs. With those insights, we have built resources, events, and services designed to meet your needs during this time which you will find below. We will continue to check in with our members and constituents throughout the duration of this national emergency, and after, to ensure that we are responsive, adaptive, and innovative in how we deliver service to the community. 

We encourage you to continue to follow all recommendations made by the CDC regarding COVID-19 and matters of public health. Although ‘social distancing’ measures are imperative to fighting the outbreak of COVID-19, for veterans who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress, depression, and other metal health challenges, this time has the potential to increase stress and anxiety. There are steps you can take to manage stress and improve your wellbeing as well as mental health resources and crisis lines available in the event you need support. Follow the link below to find national and local (for Chapter locations) resources. 

This page and the resources available will continue to be updated as resources and events continue to be made available so remember to check back from time to time. 

COVID-19

MVA Resources

ATTEND VIRTUAL EVENTS

Whether you’re looking to start your week with virtual recovery meetings, connect with your friends for a social event, or cap your week off with Community Coffee Hour, the team of MVA is building events and groups to help you stay connected to each other during this time of ‘social distancing’.

FIND RESOURCES

We have accumulated resources that can help members of the minority veteran community find resources in areas such as employment, emergency assistance, food, education, and more. These consist of resources for veterans and military families as well as members of the civilian population. Resources are cataloged by national and state levels with a focus on Georgia, Virginia, and Washington where MVA has chapters. 

VOLUNTEER

Are you looking for a way to serve your community during this national crisis?

Through our COVID-19 Response Team, Minority Veterans of Americais working to meet the needs of our community in the near and distant future. We’re looking for grant writers, case managers, resource coordinators, regional leads, and more.

RECEIVE ASSISTANCE

Applications for financial assistance to support food and transportation assistance of our members in the Atlanta, Richmond, and Seattle/King County regions are accepted from the 1st through 8th of each month beginning in May and ending in October. Find details about the COVID-19 Relief Fund below.  

MVA COVID-19 Relief Fund

The MVA COVID-19 Relief Fund provides food and transportation assistance to our members who need the support in the local communities we serve. Assistance will be offered to our members in the King County area through our P2P program and in Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA through our Chapter Programs

The fund is open for applications from minority veterans in all 50 states on a rolling basis. Applications are processed during the second week of each month to ensure we are serving our local communities as the needs and impacts of this crisis evolve. 

If you are outside of Atlanta, Richmond, and Seattle/King County areas and are in need of resources, information, or community connection, visit the resource database above where you can find MVA related content as well as that of outside organizations and agencies. These resources and information are updated regularly. 

Apply for Financial Assistance

FAQ

The COVID-19 Relief Fund will be distributed over the course of six months and will be open from the 1st through the 8th of every month beginning on May 1st.

Minority Veterans of America has dedicated $30,000 to the COVID-19 Relief project. With that funding, the majority will be dedicated to direct financial assistance to our members and a small portion dedicated to virtual programming while ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ orders are in placeFinancial assistance will focus on food and transportation assistance with some utility assistance available in Seattle/King County only after ‘stay at home’ restrictions have been lifted. Household limits apply based on geographic area (Current household limits of $100 in Atlanta and Richmond, $200 in Seattle/King County).  

Yes. All minority veterans and their families are encouraged to get involved with MVA and to take advantage of the virtual programs we offer. In order to be eligible to receive financial assistance, you must be a member of MVA. Membership is free and information can be found at minorityvets.org/join. 

This pandemic is impacting minority veterans and their families across the entire country and we recognize that only serving three local areas does not even begin to address the growing need. In order to dig deep in our local communities, MVA will utilize our Chapter Programs in Atlanta and Richmond and our P2P program in Seattle and King County to distribute resources and assistance. 

For minority veterans living outside of Atlanta, Richmond, and Seattle local areas, our team has compiled a resource database that is consistently updated to include new resources, relief funds, and information broken down by region. Additionally, virtual engagement and education programs are open to minority veterans across the country. To find a list of events happening, click here 

Yes. In order to receive financial assistance from MVA, members must submit one form verification of veteran identity or proof of service. This can be provided in any of the following formats: 

  • Redacted DD-214
  • Scanned VA ID 
  • DoD Retired ID 
  • VLetter of Service (Available at va.gov) 
  • NGB Forms 22 and 22A 

If you are unable to find this documentation or do not have any of the above, please still apply and indicate this on your application.  

No. As an organization, we recognize that not all need looks the same on paper. For that reason, we are not asking applicants to provide specific documentation, instead, encourage all who are in need of assistance to apply for the support through the COVID-19 Relief Fund. We will make every effort to support as many members of the community as we can with the resources we have and to do it in an equitable way 

No. Due to limited resources, each member/household is only eligible to receive financial assistance one time.  

If you have more questions about the COVID-19 Response Team and Relief Fund, please send us an email at info@minorityvets.org. A member of the MVA team will reach out with follow up information.  

Additional Resources and Information

Visit the CDC’s website for information about the Coronavirus including the symptoms, what to do if you think you have the virus, and how to prevent the spread. Information changes rapidly but the CDC updates their information and recommendations on an ogoing basis. Some basics about COVID-19:

What is novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

What is the source of the virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

What can my family do to reduce our risk of getting COVID-19?

Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
    (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).

Read more…

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

 

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches.

211 is the most comprehensive source of locally curated social services information in the U.S. and most of Canada. 

Call, text, or chat with your local 211 to speak with a community resource specialist in your area who will help you find services and resources that are available to you. You’ll find help with:

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • and more

Read more…

The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. The caring, qualified responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances.

Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 4.4 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in crisis more than 138,000 times. The Veterans Crisis Line anonymous online chat service, added in 2009, has engaged in more than 511,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service to provide another way for Veterans to connect with confidential, round-the-clock support and since then has responded to more than 150,000 texts.

If you are in crisis and need to speak with a crisis responder, please call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.

Read more…

VA has implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for Veterans in the face of this emerging health risk. We are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak of the virus.

On March 27, VA shared its COVID-19 response plan. This best-practice guide is a valuable tool, which may be useful nationwide for the medical community.

VA has administered over 13,216 COVID-19 tests nationwide, while taking aggressive steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

These measures include outreach to Veterans and staff, clinical screening at VA health care facilities, and protective procedures for patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units.

Read more…

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can make the call to or chat online with the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who Can Call

  • Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • Family members, friends and supporters calling on behalf of Veterans
  • VA Medical Centers and other VA facilities and staff
  • Federal, state and local partners
  • Community agencies and providers who serve Veterans who are homeless

Make the Call to 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of folks who share their  experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

AA is  not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. The primary purpose of AA is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

To find an online database of AA meetings happening virtually, click here.

To find an online database of NA meetings happening virtually, click here

The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger. Contact your local community food bank to find food or click here to read about public assistance programs.

Read more…

About The Hotline

Operating around the clock, seven days a week, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Callers to The Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) can expect highly trained, experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information, educational services and referral services in more than 200 languages. Visitors to this site can find information about domestic violence, online instructional materials, safety planning, local resources and ways to support the organization.

Support. Resources. Hope.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is home to highly trained expert advocates who are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

The Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to empower victims and survivors to find safety and live free of abuse. They also provide support to friends and family members who are concerned about a loved one. Resources and help can be found by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearingmay use TTY 1-800-787-3224.  Additionally, advocates who are Deaf are available 24/7 through the National Deaf Hotline by video phone at 1-855-812-1001, Instant Messenger (DeafHotline) or email (nationaldeafhotline@adwas.org).

If it’s not safe for you to call, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, another option for getting direct help is to use our live chat service here on this website. You’ll receive the same one-on-one, real-time, confidential support from a trained advocate as you would on the phone. Chat is available every day from 24/7/365. El chat en español está disponible de 12 p.m. a 6 p.m. Hora Central.

Read more…

virtual programs and Information