Available Resources and Support for DC Children and Families in Response to COVID-19

The following is a list of government agencies and organizations currently providing resources for DC residents in need of support. We will continue to update this webpage as more resources become available. If you have suggestions for resources to add, contact Ciarra Crowe at ccrowe@childrenslawcenter.org.

Click to jump to a category below:

  1. Important Hotlines and Mental Health Resources
  2. DC Government Agency Updates
  3. DC Courts
  4. School Meal Distribution Sites
  5. Other Food Access Organizations (as of 3/26/20 at 1:45pm)
  6. Grocery Stores Open For Seniors, People with Disabilities and/or Compromised Immune Systems
  7. Housing and Shelter Services
  8. Medical Services
  9. Legal Services
  10. For Parents
  11. Resources for Deaf and Disabled Community
  12. Mutual Aid Networks
  13. Internet Services

Important Hotlines and Mental Health Resources

Please use these hotlines if you need help:

  • If you are experiencing COVID19 symptoms, call the DC Government Hotline for Symptoms: 202-576-1117. You can also email coronavirus@dc.gov.

  • Access to a mental health clinician and suicide prevention lifeline: 1-888-793-4357

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or chat with a specialist

  • Families in need of shelter: call 311 or 202-399-7093

  • Child abuse and neglect hotline: 202-671-SAFE

  • D.C. Mutual Aid Network hotline: 202-630-0336

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Help Line: 1-800-985-5990

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

  • EveryMind: The Maryland-based organization has a list of resources for coping with COVID-19 anxiety in healthy ways, as well as a hotline to connect with specialists in the area: 301-738-2255
  • DC SAFE: The 24/7 crisis-intervention agency for domestic violence in D.C. says in an email that “domestic violence rates tend to increase in the shadow of crisis as external pressures mount.” The agency provides support to victims and survivors, and is prepared for an uptick in abusive situations—its advocates are working remotely and are available 24/7. If you have an immediate need please call the City’s Victim Assistance line at 1-844-4HELPDC, 911 or 311
  • For general guidance, the National Institute of Mental Health and other leading mental health experts are offering free advice online on staying calm during this crisis. Plus, here a few helpful reminders from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
    • Separate what is in your control from what is not.
    • Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. 
    • Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds. 
    • Challenge yourself to stay in the present. 
    • Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.

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DC Government Agency Updates

For the latest information from DC Health and other DC government agencies, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/.

Important Department of Human Services updates:

  • DHS is automatically extending benefits for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance and other DHS benefits for people whose benefits would extend March 31 or April 30.
  • DHS is closing Virginia Williams (Family Homeless Intake Center) as of 3/16. Families needing shelter must call 311 or 202-399-7093 for shelter intake.

Important DC Public Schools and Public Charter School updates:

  • DCPS is closed March 16-April 27. Charters are determining their own schedule.
    • Strong Start:
      • Strong Start services currently suspended through 3/31/20.
      • Strong Start playgroups currently cancelled.
      • Eligibility evaluations and assessments will not be conducted.
      • Family interviews, IFSP meetings, and 6-month and annual IFSP reviews continue if they can be done by phone.
      • Referrals sent between 3/14 and 3/31 will be accepted.  Family will be contacted and notified that a service coordinator will be assigned once the Strong Start office reopens on 4/1/20.
    • Early Stages:
      • All eligibility, IEP and ISP meetings will proceed as scheduled if they can be done by phone.
      • Continue to accept referrals and complete developmental screening
      • Working closely with Strong Start to ensure transition processes continue
      • Evaluations will be rescheduled for a date after 4/1/20.


Important Department of Health Care Finance updates:

As many families do not want or should not have in-person visits with health providers, and many providers are limiting services to emergencies; the DC government has allowed more virtual health delivery.  Below are links that list all of the services currently permissible under the regulations.  

Important DC Superior Court Advisory - March 27, 2020, 4pm

The following two orders were issued:

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DC Courts


DC Court of Appeals has no oral arguments through May 31, but will be handling emergency matters. The Court asks parties to eFile or to email filings to efilehelp@dcappeals.gov.

  • Committee on Admissions: February DC Bar exams are being graded and applications are being processed. It is unclear whether the July exam will have to be rescheduled. 
  • DC Superior Court has only four courtrooms operating to hear adult arraignments and presentments; family court emergencies, neglect and juvenile initial hearings; criminal and domestic violence emergencies and civil, probate and tax emergencies. Most of these hearings are conducted remotely.
  • Temporary Protection Orders (Stayaway orders) that were issued for two weeks and were to expire in March will not expire until May 15th or the next assigned court date.
  • Jurors need not report. Questions can be answered by emailing jurorhelp@dcsc.gov; calling 879-4604 or going to www.dccourts.gov/jury and clicking on the 'live chat' button (8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday)
  • The Marriage Bureau is closed.

D.C. Superior Court Clerk’s Offices Remote Operations

In response to COVID-19 all clerk’s offices for Superior Court are operating in a remote status with no staff on-site. We have employees available to answer questions via telephone, email and Live Chat. Due to the limited resources for processing mail, please call or email a request, document or image of a document to avoid a delay in processing your request. Below is information regarding operations that will be conducted remotely by the Clerk’s Offices. All emergency hearings will be conducted by the judge remotely.

Clerk's Offices Remote Operations Information

Read the full Court Order here: https://www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus.

DC Superior Court Order Suspending Additional Court Proceedings (3/18/2020 at 6pm)

Pursuant to the authority given to the Chief Judges by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration this morning, DC Superior Court Chief Judge Morin has further reduced the number of courtrooms that will be operational in the Moultrie Courthouse. The order provides details on the limited operations that will go forward, which include: adult arraignments and presentments (courtroom C-10); juvenile, neglect and abuse initial hearings (courtroom JM-15); emergency matters - one courtroom for criminal, a second for civil and probate; extraditions; and judge in chambers. Show cause hearings will come before the judge hearing criminal emergency matters.

Temporary Protection Order (TPO) requests will go through the Emergency Temporary Protection Order (ETPO) process which will be accessible 24/7 during the time of reduced court operations. If you are in DC and are in immediate danger, please call the Metropolitan Police Department or the DC SAFE Critical Response Team (800) 407-5048 to access the ETPO process and find out you qualify for a TPO.

Read the full Court Order here: https://www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus

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School Meal Distribution Sites 

DC School Meal Finder

Meals are available for all students every weekday at both DCPS and public charter school locations throughout the city. Visit this link and select, Meal Locations for All DC Students, for more information. Meal service times may vary. 

Maryland School Meal Finder

Map that finds the closest meal pickup location from any Maryland address:


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Other Food Access Organizations (as of 3/26/20 at 1:45pm)

DC Food Project: https://dcfoodproject.org/emergency-food-access

The DC Food Project created a comprehensive page for emergency meal access as well as businesses and restaurants providing food for those in need: https://dcfoodproject.org/emergency-food-access?mc_cid=9a383c2cef&mc_eid=0cdb624254

DC Government Food Resources Map: https://dcgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5d2d7ad78bae466691bcbdbe3e14e51c.

The Food Resources Map displays a range of services for DC residents who need food resources, from free meal and groceries sites to the location of local grocery stores. The DC Government will update this map each evening.

Bread for the City: https://breadforthecity.org/

  • SE Center CLOSED 3/16 - 4/1.
  • NW Center OPEN 3/16 - 4/1 from 8:30 am - 12 pm (WARD 6: 1525 7th Street NW, DC 20001)
  • Providing medical clinic appointments for pre-screened patients.
  • Grocery pick-up for patients only (pre-packaged bags will be distributed).
  • Representative Payee Program checks can be picked up at the front of the building.
  • Casework management and behavioral health visits will be done via telephone.
  • Will continue legal services until/unless court system closes.


Capital Area Food Bank: https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

  • Programs hosted at schools and after-school centers CLOSED through March 27 in Maryland and Virginia, and April 1 in DC.
  • Meals will continue to be distributed either outside at existing sites or via community partners. Food will be distributed in boxes and bags.
  • Weekend Bag program will double quantity of food sent home with kids.
  • WARD 5: 4900 Puerto Rico Avenue NE, DC 20017
  • Pop-Up Pantries: The food bank’s primary emphasis continues to be on supplying food through its network of nonprofit partners.  However, in some areas where we are without a partner to help meet current need, the food bank is holding pop-up pantries in select locations. These pop-ups are for people without the funds to buy adequate food, and who would ordinarily seek help from a food pantry. The times and locations for these distributions that are currently confirmed are in the drop down here: https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response/


The Father McKenna Center: https://fathermckennacenter.org/

  • OPEN; food pantry operating normal hours.
  • Community food distribution hub is open Monday - Friday 1:30pm - 4:00pm
  • Day Program is closed until the end of April. 
  • WARD 6: 900 North Capitol St NW (ground level of St. Aloysius Church at Gonzaga College High School)


Food & Friends: https://foodandfriends.org/

  • Food & Friends is temporarily suspending volunteer activities for one week.
  • Temporarily Closed


Miriam’s Kitchen: https://miriamskitchen.org/

  • OPEN.
  • New hours: Breakfast 7-8am; dinner 4:30-5:30pm.
  • Ward 2: 2401 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037


Martha’s Table: https://marthastable.org/covid19/

  • Educational centers CLOSED 3/17-4/3. All other programs uninterrupted.
  • Remote learning for children through online platforms.
  • We will continue to offer bagged groceries for neighbors at our two locations:
    • WARD 8: The Commons (Monday-Friday 11:00 am-4:00 pm, 2375 Elvans Rd. SE Washington, DC 20020) 
    • WARD 1: The Maycroft (Monday-Friday 11:00 am-3:00 pm, 1474 Columbia Road Northwest, Washington DC 20009)
  • We will continue to serve pre-packaged meals through McKenna’s Wagon seven days a week at the following locations and times. 
    • 5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. (2nd and H Streets, NW)
    • 6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. (15th and K Streets, NW)
  • We will continue to offer access to essential resources through Martha’s Outfitters (WARD 8: 2204 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE)
    • Outfitters hours: Monday-Friday 10 AM -4 PM


Sasha Bruce Youthwork: https://www.sashabruce.org/COVID19/

  • OPEN.
  • Residential programs and Barracks Row Drop-in Center services as normal.
  • WARD 6: 745 8th Street, SE 20003


So Others Might Eat: https://www.some.org/news-events/newsblog/some-response-covid-19

  • OPEN.
  • Dining Room: People can pick up hot to-go breakfasts and bagged lunches from 8am to 10am.
  • WARD 5: 71 O St NW, Washington, DC 20001


Thrive DC: https://www.thrivedc.org/covid-19-update/

  • As of Monday, March 23rd, Thrive DC will suspend all operations at our service center and to all outreach sites.


DC Department of Aging and Community Living: https://dcoa.dc.gov/

  • Meals will be available for pick-up at each site between 10 am-2 pm for current participants. 

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Grocery Stores Open For Seniors, People with Disabilities and/or Compromised Immune Systems

This PDF lists special shopping hours in local grocery stores for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems: https://www.childrenslawcenter.org/sites/default/files/Grocery_Stores_Open_For_Seniors._People_with_Disabilities._People_with_Compromised_Immune_Systems.pdf

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Housing and Shelter Services

Central Union Mission: https://www.missiondc.org/

  • OPEN; services as normal.


Covenant House Washington: https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-shelters/washington-dc

  • OPEN.
  • Revising intake process to include recommended questions from CDC.
  • Setting aside quarantine space in the event a youth manifests COVID-19 symptoms.


D.C. Coalition for the Homeless: https://dccfh.org/about/

  • OPEN; services as normal.


Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless: https://www.legalclinic.org/about/

  • OPEN.
  • Community-based intakes have been suspended, moved to a phone intake model.
  • Starting March 17, WLCH office will be closed. No in-person appointments or meetings.

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Medical Services

Children’s National: https://childrensnational.org/visit/resources-for-families/wellness-resources/coronavirus

Testing for Coronavirus

Children’s National is providing drive-up/walk up COVID-19 test collection only for pediatric patients who have a physician’s referral. If you think your child needs to be tested, please ask your child’s physician for a referral. You may share these instructions with your child's physician so they can make a referral.

Children’s National Hospital has a drive up/walk up specimen collection site for coronavirus (COVID-19) at Trinity University located at 125 Michigan Ave NE Washington, D.C. Specimen collection is available only for pediatric patients up to age 22 as referred by their primary care physician. The site will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday 3/22, Tuesday 3/24, Thursday 3/26 and Saturday 3/28, weather permitting. Only children with referrals will be tested.

Effective March 10, Children’s National began enforcing the following visitor guidelines for the main hospital or any other Children’s National location:

  • Only two primary caregivers may visit or accompany a patient at any location. Everyone else, including siblings under the age of 18, may not visit.
  • They are pre-screening some patients if they have an appointment.
  • They are actively screening at their welcome desks and check-in areas at the main campus and all other locations.
  • To protect patients, any visitor who has a temperature, cough or flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a mask during their visit.


Christ House: https://christhouse.org/about/

  • OPEN; services as normal.


Mary’s Center: https://www.maryscenter.org/medical/coronavirus/

  • OPEN
  • If you have symptoms of a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call first at 844-796-2797 before heading in to one of the clinics.


Whitman-Walker Health: https://whitman-walker.org/covidserviceupdates

  • Max Robinson Center & 1525 are closed as of 12PM 3/19/20 and will reopen Monday 3/23/20.
  • Effective Monday, March 23rd through Friday, May 29th:
    • Whitman-Walker will operate in-person respiratory clinics to treat our patients who are affected by COVID-19 at Whitman-Walker at 1525 at 1525 14th Street, NW and at Max Robinson Center at 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. We will also have emergency dental care available at 1525 14th Street, NW. Please call our main line at 202.745.7000 for more information.The only in-person appointments that we will schedule at this time are those that support the respiratory clinics.
  • Discouraging outside visitors and community groups who use their space from visiting. Cancelling volunteer nights.


Unity Health Care: https://www.unityhealthcare.org/.

  • OPEN.
  • Potential patients encouraged to call first at 202-469-4699 prior to visiting one of the health centers.

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Legal Services

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For Parents

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 Resources for Deaf and Disabled Community

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Mutual Aid Networks

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Internet Services

To support families during school closings, Comcast is offering 2 months of free internet service and increasing their internet speed from 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps for all of their Internet Essentials program participants.

You may qualify if you:

(1) Live in an area where Comcast Internet Service is available;

(2) Are eligible for public assistance programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others;

(3) Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet within the last 90 days; and

(4) Have no outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than one year old.

The fastest way to take advantage of the two-months free offer is to sign up from smartphone, tablet or computer at www.InternetEssentials.com. Visit the website for more information. 

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