Down Home members and people in our communities are struggling.

COVID-19 is exposing the social, economic, and political crisis our communities have been bearing for decades and more. Down Home is building power with poor and working-class folks in North Carolina so that we can challenge those that created these crises that pre-date COVID-19 and have left our communities so vulnerable.

However, we know that while we are building power for tomorrow, we need to make sure the people we care about are safe today. Our members have compiled this resource list with that in mind. Let’s take care of each other today so we can fight tomorrow.

Click here if you were looking for the Down Home Mutual Aid Fund.

Financial Assistance, Unemployment, Taxes, and More

  • On March 17 the Governor issued Executive Order 118 which made unemployment benefits more widely available. Find FAQ’s here: EnglishSpanish
  • Filing for unemployment insurance can be done here. Because of recent federal action, North Carolina has waved some restrictions on who can apply. The Cares Act opened the door for gig workers, freelancers and the self-employed to qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • The IRS has pushed back the filing deadline for federal taxes to July 15, 2020. More information and updates can be found here.
  • For information on the Economic Impact Payments being issued by the federal government, check here.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance is available for disaster-impacted Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters.
  • NOTE (As of 4/5/2020): Guidelines for states to implement the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) created by the CARE act are not yet rolled out. This is how self-employed and 1099 Form (contract labor/gig workers) will apply. It is recommended that you open an NC DES account as preparation.
  • NOTE (As of 4/21/2020): Furloughed employees in North Carolina can get unemployment insurance according to an executive order.
  • Information compiled by Down Home members on the stimulus package, student loans, and more can be found here.



  • On March 31 the NC Governor issued Executive Order 124 (Spanish) prohibits utilities – including electric, gas, water and wastewater services – from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. The order applies for the next 60 days and gives residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills. Find FAQs here.

Food Access

  • SNAP (Food Stamps) cases that have certification periods ending March 21 or April 30 will be automatically extended. Details on applying for SNAP here.
  • Most food pantries are providing services, they may have changed hours or changed how they provide services. Search for a food pantry near you here or call 211.
  • Many local communities have arranged meals for school children. Text FOODNC to 877-877 to get connected to food resources for your kids.  
  • On March 30th, CDHHS announced it is temporarily increasing benefits for March 2020 and April 2020 to current Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients. Find more here.

Childcare Assistance & Education

  • The state Childcare Search hotline is available to locate available childcare. Priority is given to first responders, hospital staff, healthcare providers, adult care staff, child care staff, and those caring for children who are homeless or in unstable environments. Dial 1-888-600-1685 , Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm for information.

Mental Health Resources

  • The Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24 hours a day for anyone in distress. Dial 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • The NCBAM Hope Hotline is available for older adults who are feeling isolated and lonely during this time. It is available from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Dial 1-866-578-HOPE.

To get involved organizing around these issues and more, join Down Home’s mailing list here.

If you or your family is struggling right now, the first thing we want to do is connect you to help. However, if you are willing, we would also love to help you RAISE YOUR VOICE by sharing your story. Tell us your story here.