Resources for Immigrant Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic
This website provides human translations into ten languages designated by Local Law 30.
Other languages are provided through Google Translate.
The City of New York is committed to helping New Yorkers significantly affected by the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many city services are available to all New Yorkers no matter what your immigration status is and regardless of your ability to pay, although other eligibility requirements may apply.
This information is up to date as of August 18, 2021. The information on available services and resources is frequently changing. For updated information, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus and follow @NYCHealthy and @NYCImmigrants on Twitter.
As of March 9, 2021, the new Public Charge rule is blocked nationwide. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that it will return to using policies in place before the new Public Charge rule.
Many immigrants are not affected by the “Public Charge” test. There is no “Public Charge” test when green card holders apply for citizenship.
All New Yorkers in need of medical care, food assistance, and other benefits and services should seek the help they need without fear. Many health and social services—including COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and care, food assistance, tenant protection, and free legal help—are available to New Yorkers no matter your immigration status or ability to pay. View more information or call 311 to learn about available services and resources in your language.
There are strong privacy protections in place for all health care patients regardless of immigration status. Under federal law, hospitals and clinics do not share patient information without patient authorization, unless required to do so by law.
If you have questions about immigration and public benefits, call the free, confidential ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call 311 and say “Public Charge” to access timely and trusted information and connections to legal help.
Health Care and Wellbeing
NYC Health + Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, no matter what your immigration status or insurance status is. NYC Health + Hospitals will help you even if you do not have insurance and cannot pay for health care. This is true for all types of health care services, including emergency care, doctor's visits, medications, long-term care, and hospital stays. Visit Visit NYC Health + Hospitals, or call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) or 311.
NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services offered by NYC Health + Hospitals to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. Visit NYCCare.nyc, or call 646-NYC-Care (646-692-2273) or 311. NYC Care is accepting new enrollments and currently available in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. It will be available in Queens and Manhattan in September 2020.
New York City is home to many community health centers that provide medical care on a sliding-fee basis, depending on your income. This care is available to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Human Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) provides information on community health centers near you. Visit FindaHealthCenter.HRSA.gov or the NYC low- to no-cost care option list to find a location near you.
Community testing sites operated by NYC Health + Hospitals use self-collection of swabs to minimize contact between patients and health care workers. Free and convenient walk-in testing is now available at the following locations. No appointment is necessary. Visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a community testing site near you.
If you are feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, connect with trained counselors at NYC Well, the City's free, confidential helpline available in 200+ languages. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text WELL to 65173, or chat online at NYC.gov/NYCWell. NYC Well’s website also offers a number of well-being and emotional support applications that can help you cope.
Many low- to no-cost health insurance plans are available to immigrants, including undocumented children and pregnant people. Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Essential Plan are available all year around.
Community Health Advocates (CHA) helps New Yorkers navigate the complex health care system by providing individual assistance and education to communities throughout New York State. CHA provides assistance on how to use health insurance, resolve medical billing and debt issues, and dispute coverage denials and eligibility determinations. CHA has a language line that can provide translation services in more than 170 languages. Call the hotline at 888-614-5400, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, helps people with limited income buy food. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores. Some immigrants may be eligible for the program. Online application and renewal can be done via ACCESS HRA, the city’s online portal that allows you to apply for and manage your public benefits case. For more information about SNAP benefits and eligibility, visit the Human Resources Administration (HRA)'s webpage on SNAP or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
WIC: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides free healthy food and other services to low-income women and children. Visit ACCESS NYC (for Spanish, visit ACCESS NYC Español) or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
Get Food NYC: The services listed below are provided for free to all New Yorkers no matter what your immigration status is. Undocumented immigrants can also receive these services, and doing so will NOT make you a “Public Charge” or hurt your ability to apply for a green card. There is no Public Charge test when green card holders apply for citizenship.
New York City’s food pantries provide groceries, and community kitchens provide hot meals. There is no income limit. Find locations near you and hours using the interactive maps of FoodHelpNYC or Food Bank NYC. You can also call 311 and say "food pantries."
Tenant Resource Portal: The New York City Tenant Resource Portal is an online tool to help renters in New York City navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. A tenant seeking help will be taken through a series of questions and directed to the most useful resources, including rental assistance, non-payment and holdover options, as well as the rights and protections they have based on their responses.
For the latest information on school operation, such as in-person classes and vaccination, visit Schools.NYC.gov
Family Enrichment Centers: NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) partners with community-based organizations in three neighborhoods to provide Family Enrichment Centers (FECs), which are warm, home-like spaces that provide a range of offerings for and with the community. FECs are now providing remote referrals and support, as well as limited in-person emergency resources. Please contact your local FEC for more information.
Circle of Dreams in Highbridge Office Hours: Tues., Weds., Fri., / 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Operating Remotely 718-618-5559 firstname.lastname@example.org
266 E. 165th St., Bronx, NY 10456
O.U.R. Place in Hunts Point/Longwood Office Hours: Mon.- Fri. / 2 to 4 p.m. and Operating Remotely 917-945-1152 ourplacefec.graham-windham.org
940 Garrison Avenue, Bronx, NY 10474
Community Partnership: ACS has established 11 community-based planning groups that meet monthly. They are now using virtual meetings and e-mail to plan and provide referrals for families. Some partnerships are also providing in-person emergency resources. Learn more about the program on the ACS Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships webpage. Download the flyer with contact information and hours: English
Staten Island (North Shore)
Office Hours: Operating Remotely
Worker Support and Financial Assistance
Know your rights as a worker and that you have these rights no matter what your immigration status is, including paid safe and sick leave under the New York City law. The NYC Department of Consumers and Worker Protection (DCWP) created a summary of City labor laws for employers and employees as you deal with the impact of COVID-19 on your workplace. Visit the DCWP website to download the summary in your preferred language.
You may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave for COVID-19 under the New York State law. In some cases, undocumented immigrants are also entitled to paid sick leave. To learn more, visit the New York State Governor’s Office website or call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Immigrant New Yorkers and/or their children may be eligible for cash assistance in New York. Visit ACCESS NYC (for Spanish, visit Access NYC Español) or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
DCWP provides financial education and counseling, safe and affordable banking options, and income-boosting tax credits. Visit the DCWP website to find out more.
DCWP also accepts consumer and labor complaints and continues to provide services online. Check the DWCP website for the list of available services and how to contact the office.
Adult Education and Job Search Assistance
We Speak NYC: We Speak NYC provides free online educational English language resources and is offering free weekly online classes. Sign up for a class today to meet new people, learn about New York City services available to all New York City residents, regardless of immigration status, and practice speaking English. If you would like to drop in to a class, please visit the schedule of classes here. Anyone can access free resources on the We Speak NYC website without a need to create an account. Multimedia resources include videos, study guides, short stories, and online quizzes, where students can practice reading, listening, and visual literacy skills. There are also materials for educators including lesson plans, and handbooks.
Adult Literacy Program: Adult literacy programs provide full instructional and support services to anyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in school and who is unable to speak, read and/or write the English language well enough to participate in education or training programs conducted in English. The program connects participants to a range of reading, writing, English-language and high school equivalency/General Educational Development (GED) Tests preparation programs. For more information, For more information, visit the NYC Office of Workforce Development’s adult literacy class online portal or call DYCD at: 1-800-246-4646 or 1-646-343-6800.
Workforce1 Career Centers: The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) prepares and helps New Yorkers to find jobs. Free services offered at the network of Workforce1 Career Centers throughout the five boroughs include job listings, recruitment events, job search resources, veterans’ services, résumé and interview workshops, and training. For more information, visit the ACCESS NYC webpage on Workforce1 or the SBS webpage on Workforce1.
HRA Career Services: HRA's Career Services offer Cash Assistance clients training and career service opportunities to help them increase their job skills and build a career that will lead to success and financial security. For more information, visit the HRA Career Services website.
Small Business Support
COVID-19 Guidance Compliance
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) provides up-to-date information on the latest COVID-19 guidance for each industry, including the forms you need. Visit the DOHMH COVID-19 guidance for business webpage.
New York City Small Business Services (SBS) has published plain language industry guides as a tool for small businesses to adhere to the latest mandatory guidance and to share best practices. For more information on the guides and forms/templates, visit nyc.gov/business.
SBS Hotline: SBS has launched a small business hotline to answer the most pressing questions of small business owners as they prepare to re-open. Small Business Advocates and Compliance Advisors will monitor the hotline and have been equipped with the latest guidelines and regulations to share with business owners. Call 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
SBS Resource Fair and Webinars: SBS is hosting an inter-agency digital resource fair for New York City entrepreneurs looking for the latest up-to-date guidance on recovery and reopening. Representatives from various City agencies will be on hand to answer any questions. SBS and partners will provide information about requirements and guidelines to re-opening, safety plans, financial assistance, regulatory changes, employee support, licensing, inspections, and more. Please visit nycsmallbizcourses.eventbrite.com to sign up for the resource fair and to find all of our digital webinar offerings, which include financial assistance, building a business website, and preparing a business for emergencies.
SBS Compliance Consultation: The NYC Department of Small Business Services offers no-cost compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City rules and regulations to avoid receiving common violations. The SBS will not issue violations or fines – the consultants simply help you understand the rules. To sign up for consultations, visit the SBS webpage and fill out the online form.
License Application and Renewal: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is extending certain license expiration dates and renewal application deadlines. Visit the DCWP website for more information. Online license application continues to be available on DCWP’s Licenses webpage. For inquiries, email NYC Online Licensing Service Help Desk at ELP@dca.nyc.gov.
SBA Loans and Grants: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has loans and grants for small businesses to address the economic impact of COVID-19. Visit the SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Resources webpage for more information. Some immigrant business owners may be eligible for these loans.
City and Community Resources for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYC Unity Project surveyed hundreds of LGBTQ program and service providers across New York City to develop a resource page, which includes up-to-date information on LGBTQ resources still available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Unity Project's COVID-19 resource page for more information.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Judson continues to provide urgent sexual/reproductive care, LGBTQ affirming services, and mental health support for New York City's adolescents and emerging adults during the COVID-19 emergency. The physical space is being temporarily being relocated to NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur located at 227 Madison Street, New York, NY.
In order to adhere to the social distancing directive and to ensure the safety of our staff and patients, those wanting to access these services should first call to receive a comprehensive telephonic assessment. An in-person appointment with a healthcare provider will then be scheduled as medically necessary.
The following services are being provided:
STI testing and treatment
Emergency contraception and birth control
Urgent GYN needs
Gender affirming care, including hormone therapy
Pregnancy testing and options counseling
Mental health support
NYC Health + Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, no matter what your immigration status or insurance status is. NYC Health + Hospitals will help you even if you do not have insurance and cannot pay for health care.
If your loved one passed away at NYC Health + Hospitals, you can contact the Patient & Guest Relations department to seek assistance in identifying their bodies and planning the next steps. The direct phone number for each facility can be found below.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
Public Safety and Protection Against Harassment or Discrimination
Hate and discrimination against anyone on the basis of their race, national origin, or other status is not tolerated in New York City. The NYC Commission on Human Rights, Mayor's Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and NYPD are monitoring and responding to reported hate and bias incidents resulting from fear and stigma related to COVID-19.
Call 311 to report harassment or discrimination.
Call 911 if you are the victim of a hate crime or witness what you believe to be a hate crime. NYPD officers will not ask about the immigration status of anyone seeking help.
Visit nyc.gov/StopCOVIDHate for information on how to report hate and bias incidents related to COVID-19, and access victim and mental health support.
NYC Family Justice Centers are available by phone to provide assistance to domestic violence survivors, including immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, legal assistance, mental health and counseling services, and other vital resources. You may be asked to leave a message, and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.
From Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can call the center location near you.
For NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx, call 718-508-1220
For NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn, call 718-250-5113
For NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan, call 212-602-2800
For NYC Family Justice Center, Queens, call 718-575-4545
For NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island, call 718-697-4300
In the evenings or weekends, call NYC's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-621-HOPE (4673).
ActionNYC is the City's initiative that provides free, safe, and confidential legal immigration help for New Yorkers. The program is currently adjusting during this time to allow for immigration screenings by phone to comply with social distancing (staying at least six feet away from people who do not live in your household). For any questions or concerns you have regarding immigration status, including COVID-19-related changes, call 800-354-0365 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call 311 and say "ActionNYC."
NYC Office of Civil Justice provides free legal services to New Yorkers in need, including tenants, immigrants, low-wage workers and other New Yorkers facing civil legal challenges. Visit the NYC Office of Civil Justice website to find out more.
Stay informed about immigrant court operation by visiting Justice.gov/EOIR, calling the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) hotline at 1-800-898-7180, and checking EOIR's Facebook page.
Price gouging is illegal for any personal or household good or any service that is needed to prevent or limit the spread of or treat COVID-19. This means businesses cannot increase prices of these types of goods and services by 10% or more. Find out more by visiting the DCWP website. If you think a store excessively increased the price of these items beginning in March, file a complaint online or call 311 and say "Overcharge."
NYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
Scammers often take advantage of vulnerable people during times of crisis and distress. It is important that you be aware of any potential scams in order to protect yourself and your money. Scammers have come up with numerous ways to defraud people in connection with COVID-19. These scams may be phone calls, emails, text messages, or sometimes even in person. It is important to be aware of them and know what to do if you encounter one. Some of the common categories of COVID-19 scams include:
Fake Government Calls/Emails/Texts. Legitimate government agencies do not call unexpectedly asking for money, especially in the form of gift cards. Most payments can be done through their official websites.
Charity Scams. Always do your research before donating to a charity organization or person setting up a GoFundMe page. All legitimate charities must be registered with the New York Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
Fake "Anti-COVID-19" Products and Medicines. Do not use products or medicines promoted as "anti-COVID-19" unless approved by a health care provider. There are currently no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19.
COVID-19 Home Test Kits. Ignore any online offers for vaccinations and home test kits for COVID-19. If someone unexpectedly knocks on your door claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to conduct a "COVID-19 test" – dial 911.
Personal Protective Equipment Scams. Beware of fake calls to your business requesting money for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The caller may state that a manager had placed an order for PPE for the company and a money order is needed to be sent prior to delivery.
Phishing Scams. Phishing emails, text messages, or social media posts often contain a link or ask you to provide personal information. Always verify the email address or link before clicking or responding.
Unknown Callers and Robocalls. Scammers may call you or use illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam COVID-19 treatments to work-at-home schemes. Beware of calls threatening to disconnect gas and electric services unless you pay immediately.
Debt Relief Scams. If you receive a call claiming to offer debt relief, do not engage.
Counterfeit Coupons. Beware of fake coupon deals circulating on social media. The coupon link may take you to a third-party site and ask for your personal information in order to receive the coupon.
Tax Loans. Beware of any promise to give you a "bigger" refund through deductions and credits.
Puppy Scams. It is important that you research the website before making any purchases. Fraudulent pet sites may advertise animals that don't exist and are never shipped. It is best practice to not buy a pet without seeing it in person.
Student Loan Scams. Most federal student loan payments are automatically suspended, without interest or penalties, until September 30. Student loan holders do not have to take any action to have them suspended. If you are contacted by someone claiming they can get you into the program faster or for free, it is a scam.
Questions about immigration or how to access City services? Call the MOIA hotline at 212-788-7654, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov, or reach out to a MOIA Neighborhood Organizer.