[Last updated: June 29, 2020 | 2:50 p.m.]
This guide is intended to help Mid-Southerners find and lend support. See something we missed or need to update? Message us on social or email [email protected]
Scroll to find the section you need:
- COVID-Specific Information
- Local Information & Updates
- Social Distancing Requirements
- Ways to Give Locally
- Resource Hubs
- Food & Pharmacy
- Housing & Utilities
- Mental Health
- For Workers
- For Businesses, Creatives, & Self-Employed
- For Seniors
- For Parents
- For Spanish-Speakers (para recursos en español)
- Stay Healthy, Stay Busy
1. COVID-Specific Information:
2. Local Information & Updates:
3. Social Distancing Requirements:
All municipalities in Shelby County are coordinating a phased approach to reopening. We are currently in Phase 2 with no set date to begin Phase 3. Residents are asked to:
- Limit gatherings to 10 or less, gatherings of 50+ people are prohibited
- Maintain a minimum of six feet from anyone who does not live in your home
- Wear a face mask while in proximity to anyone who does not live in your home
for more information on each phase.
4. Ways to Give Locally:Click here for a list
of the most critical volunteer needs in the Mid-South or donate to:
to support Literacy Mid-South's COVID-19 Book Drive for kids and teens. Read our related article here: "Experts fear COVID-19 will widen Memphis' literacy gaps."
Shop with Amazon Smile
to make a free-to-you donation to the local charity of your choice.
5. Resource Hubs
These organizations can connect many different people, needs, and services across multiple assistance categories in this guide.
- United Way’s Relief Call Center: Staff can connect callers to multiple emergency resources. Staff triage needs, contact the right organizations, and explain your situation. The orgs then call you back with the right resources. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at 1-888-709-0630. After hours intake form can be found here.
- LINC 2-1-1: Memphis Public Libraries' LINC 2-1-1, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. LINC has the most comprehensive database of human service resources in the area. Access LINC here or dial 2-1-1 on any phone.
- Regional One Health's One Health Connect: Searchable database of assistance for food, housing, transportation, work, bill assistance, health, legal and more. Find it here.
6. Food & PharmacyEmergency Food Relief:
Free Meals for Kids and Teens:
To-Go & Delivery:
Don’t hoard! Plan carefully to limit trips, stay at least six feet from others, and don't touch what you don’t intend to purchase. Wear gloves or use hand sanitizer frequently. Thank staff members for their service. Wash your hands as soon as you return home. Leave your shoes at the door and Isolate or wash your clothes immediate.
- Walgreen's and CVS are offering free delivery for most prescriptions. CVS will also deliver store items with prescriptions. Walgreen's is offering free standard shipping on all online orders. Click here for Walgreen's details and here for CVS details.
- The Community Services Agency can help cover prescription costs for the under- and uninsured. Call 901.222.4212.
7. Housing & Utilities
Utility and Rent Assistance:
Community Services Agency is offering up to $605 in utility assistance and $1000 in rent assistance to those eligible. Click here
or call 901-222-4200.
8. Mental Health
9. For Workers
COVID-19 Testing for Frontline Workers:
Front line workers can be tested for COVID-19 without
showing any symptoms. Click here for more info
and a list of sites and contacts.
Free Virtual Tax Prep:
Mid-Southerners in TN, AR, and MS can get safe, free virtual tax prep and filing or help self-filing. Click here for info
TN Temporary Unemployment Assistance:
If you were employed as of March 11 but have since lost at least 50% of your income, you're eligible for temporary unemployment benefits. Click here for info or to apply
TN Talent Exchange:
The Tennessee Talent Exchange pairs Tennesseans looking for work with employers who need to hire more staff immediately. Click here to apply
10. For Businesses, Creatives, & Self-Employed
Freelancers, Contractors, etc.:
You are eligble for the Small Business Administration's forgivable loan program. Click here for info or to apply.
Free Virtual Tax Prep:
Tennessee residents can get free tax preparation and filing or assistance self-filing. The federal filing deadline has been extended to July 15. Click here for info
Memphis HCD's Small Business Resiliency Loan:
Business must be 1) operating in a distressed community, 2) located inside city limits, 3) in operation for at least three years, 4) already denied help from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 5) certified with the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity & Compliance. Call 901-636-9300 or 901-636-6210 or email loan administrator Jerry Brack at [email protected]
Memphis Economic Hardship Emergency Loan:
Business must have: 1) made less than $1 million in annual revenue, 2) located inside city limits, 3) in operation for at least three years, 4) certified with the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity & Compliance. Call 901-636-9300 or 901-636-6210 or email loan administrator Jerry Brack at [email protected]
The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South is paying local restaurants to provide daily boxed meals. Local restaurant owners who want to participate should contact Eric Monroe at [email protected]
11. For SeniorsMedicare Stay-at-Home Healthcare:
Medicare is covering remote doctors appointments. Visits can be conducted by phone or video and doctors will be allowed to prescribe medications. If you have Medicare and need a primary care doctor, Oak Street Health works exclusively with Medicare-only patients and is offering video and phone appointments. Call 901-321-1696.
All Shelby County grocers and retailers now have safer shopping hours by mandate of Mayor Lee Harris. Check retailers’ websites or call specific store locations to confirm hours.
General Aid and Assistance:
The Aging Commission of the Mid-South offers food and other assistance to those who qualify. Call 901-222-4111.
901RideChoice Transportation Assistance
: Connects seniors to ride providers who can take riders to the doctor, grocery shopping, etc. Click the link or call 901-743-3901.
12. For Parents:
Food Assistance: See Food & Pharmacy above.
SCS Digital Resources:
- Online Resources by Grade: SCS has an extensive list by grade. Click here.
- SCS Student Learning Guide: Download here or pick one up. Location list is here.
- SCS & Discovery Education: Partnership offers over 190,000 free activities and resources for K-12. Click here.
- Reading Lessons for K-2 Students: ALLMemphis and partners are leading lessons every Mon, Tues, and Wed. for K-2 students via SCS's livestream C19TV. Kindergarten lessons air at 8:00 a.m., 1st grade at 9:00 a.m., and 2nd grade at 12 p.m. Click here for C19TV live. Additional lessons are available on ALL Memphis' Facebook and YouTube pages.
- Creative Writing Contest: Open to all SCS 9-12 graders (in 2019-20 school year. Cash prizes. Click here for info.
- SCS TV Guide: Click here for SCS's full schedule of TV-based remote learning. Schedule provides time, channel, grade, instructor's name, and subject and skill to be taught.
- PBS: Local PBS television station WKNO 10.1 is providing in-home educational instruction. K-5 instruction will air weekdays at 12 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. Middle and high school sessions begin at 2 p.m. on alternating days.
Youth Mental Health:
WiFi & Digital Device Assistance:
- Parent Plus: Families with young children may be eligible for learning assistance and other programs. Click here for more information and to apply.
- Free Web Design Class: kids and teens can learn to design and manage their own website
SchoolSeed Foundation and SCS are launching a relief fund to provide WiFi access to low-income families without service and digital devices for students without existing in-home devices. Implementation has not begun but watch for updates here
13. For Spanish-Speakers (para recursos en Español)
Los traductores de español están disponibles:
- De lunes a viernes | 3360 S. Third Street (Monday through Friday)
- Martes, miércoles y viernes | 5366 Mendenhall Mall (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
- Jueves at 3481 | Austin Peay Highway (Thursday)
Envíe un texto "test2020" al 91999 o llame al 901-842-3160 para programar una cita.
Spanish translators are available at Christ Community Health Services per the above schedule. Text "test2020" to 91999 or call 901-842-3160 for an appointment.
Few Tips for Staying Healthy
14. Stay Healthy, Stay Busy:
Few Options to Keep Busy:
- Follow all CDC guidelines to prevent exposure to and spread of COVID-19
- Maintain basic best practices around hygiene, exercise, sleep and diet
- Read this guide to productivity, physical, and mental health while working from home
- Read this guide to safer oral hygiene during the pandemic
- Or read these Oral Hygiene Instructions During Coronavirus
- Go outside. Walk, ride a bike, sit in the sun, listen to the rain, play fetch, play catch. Just keep a minimum of 6-10 feet between yourself and anyone not in your household.
- Health officials are urging people to avoid hospitals unless you have a life-threatening emergency. If you have non-life-threatening symptoms of any illness or injury, call your primary care doctor first.
- Join a virtual exercise and coaching sessions, including soccer skills training, with local org Play Where You Stay. Join via Facebook here and Instagram here.
- Memphis' Explore Bike Share is offering free bike use. Take a ride on EBS through May 20.(Update! Previously April 20)
- Celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Week: May 3-9, UTHSC is hosting a week of virtual and televised events for kids and caregivers. Click here info and schedule.
- Read this guide to maintaining productivity and health while working from home
- List of Memphis-based virtual events and experiences
- Play Nintendo Switch with other Memphians
- Take in a Frida Kahlo exhibit
- Read this list of 50 museums you can tour virtually, including tech and science museums
- Make a call list and reach out to family, friends, and neighbors
- Go outside. Walk, ride a bike, sit in the sun, listen to the rain, play fetch, play catch.
- Write down that list of small projects you've been meaning to get to and knock a few off
- Make it "Bearable." Place stuffed bears in windows to bring a little joy to your neighbors.
- Get creative with art, crafts, writing, singing, dancing, etc. Want to share your creativity with the world? Decorate signs with positive messages. Place in windows or yard to brighten someone's day. Pro tip: use them to thank your mail carrier and sanitation workers.
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