Many Angelenos are facing difficulties getting their basic needs met as a result of the rapid changes brought about by the coronavirus.
To help, we've compiled this list of resources that are offering financial assistance, food and more. If you have a question (or if you know a resource that should be on this list), please tell us.
This information does not constitute professional/legal advice. Check with individual resources for the most up-to-date information. This guide was originally published April 5, 2020 and has been updated since.
- Call 211 or visit 211LA to find health, human and social services in L.A. County.
- Go to the L.A. County COVID-19 Disaster Help Center website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 833-238-4450 (weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to get help. They help workers, businesses, nonprofits, renters and landlords navigate available assistance.
- Explore this L.A. County Public Health list of food, financial, health and other resources for L.A. county residents.
- Use this One Degree COVID-19 resource guide to find resources.
- Get a City of L.A. list of resources that provide support during this crisis.
- Sign up for CalFresh benefits (it's a free, preloaded EBT card that you use for groceries).
- Use the 211LA FoodFinder map to locate free meals, including those for seniors and kids.
- Use the Los Angeles Food Bank Pantry Locator to find food pantries and food banks close to you.
- Use this LAUSD Grab & Go map to find locations where they offer free meals for students and community members. Anyone who arrives during open hours will be able to receive food.
- If you can't leave your house and need food or supplies, WDACS offers a Critical Delivery Service. If you have COVID and need to quarantine 14 days at home, you may qualify. You also qualify if you are 60 years and older, or have a permanent or temporary disability. If you need free food, they can bring you emergency dry food boxes or arrange for food bank delivery (if it's a simple pick-up/no-line situation). You can also pre-pay for prescriptions, groceries, restaurant food, cleaning supplies, etc. and they can pick those items up and deliver them to you for free. Call (888) 863-7411 (24 hours in advance is preferred) for delivery service. Get a detailed flyer and visit the WDACS website for more information.
- People4PeopleLA supplies groceries to "Black and POC, elder and immunocompromised families and individuals." Call (707) 390-0269 (Sundays noon to 4 p.m. and Mondays 2 to 4 p.m.) to make a request.
- L.A. Dream Center has 22 mobile food bank locations around the Los Angeles area on varying days/times. Any and all are welcome to come get free food. See their website for site times and locations.
- L.A. County has a list of locations where you can get free food, food delivery and other types of food assistance.
- If you are elderly or immunocompromised, you can get groceries delivered for free by Zoomers to Boomers, a free grocery delivery service provided by local high school students and young people.
- Here is a list of LA Area food bank contacts.
- There are additional food resources in other sections of this guide.
- If you have a frustrating or complex unemployment issue, call the Worker's Rights' Center EDD hotline at (916) 905-1625 to schedule an appointment to talk with their experts. They can help you get answers and movement regarding your EDD situation. We've heard from many people who have said this service really helped.
- Check out our LAist guide to applying for unemployment.
- This EDD FAQ page may help you.
- You can go to the L.A. County COVID-19 Disaster Help Center website, email email@example.com or call 833-238-4450 (weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). They help workers, businesses, nonprofits, renters and landlords navigate available assistance.
Restaurant, Food Service, Hospitality
- The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund provides cash grants of up to $3,500 and a year of support to small restaurants in eight counties in California (including L.A.) with priority given to women and people of color. They also offer hardship grants for servers, cooks and dishwashers. Learn more and apply here (and soon!)
- If you are in the hospitality industry, you can apply for emergency relief funds via Another Round Another Rally. They have multiple funds including ones meant specifically for people of color. They also offer professional development grants and scholarships.
- If you are a food service employee and have experienced an unforeseen hardship, you can apply for various emergency funds shared by The California Restaurant Association.
- Southern Smoke has an emergency relief program for "those employed by or own restaurants or bars or are employed by a restaurant or bar supplier that are faced unforeseen expenses that cannot or will not be covered by insurance."
- One Fair Wage is offering free cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped service workers.
- If you are a food and beverage service employee with children and are facing a health crisis and need support, you can apply for a grant from Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE). Qualifying events include but are not limited to (child or parent): COVID diagnosis, medical condition, injury/accident, death of immediate family, domestic abuse, natural disaster and more. Their grants cover medical bills for children, gas cards, groceries, clothing, medical supplies, therapies, utilities, rent and mortgage, and other essential needs. Apply for a CORE grant on their website or email info@COREgives.org.
Financial Assistance: Entertainment, Music, the Arts
- Apply for emergency financial assistance through the Actors Fund of America (they have partnered with other entertainment industry orgs). Funds are available for union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts. They also have an unemployment resources page.
- The Motion Picture and Television Fund administers relief funds and supportive services (including help with health insurance, unemployment, mental health assistance, rent, food, and other essentials) for various entertainment industry guild and group members. To get help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 634-3888 (if you're under 65) or (323) 634-3866 (if you're over 65 or need food delivery).
- If you're a music professional, you can apply for a COVID-19 relief grant for immediate financial support through Music Health Alliance. They also offer health insurance information and an emergency resource database with links to more funds. You can also apply for financial assistance from the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
- If you're a freelance artist (including but not limited to an actor, designer, producer, technician, stage manager, musician, composer, choreographer, visual artist, filmmaker, craft artist, teaching artist, dancer, writer, playwright, photographer, etc.), this aggregated list of free resources may help you.
- See a large list of emergency funding and artist resources from I Care if You Listen.
Financial Assistance: Child Care Providers
- Learn more about financial support and resources on the Child Care Heroes website.
Financial Assistance: Debt Relief and Interest-Free Loans
- Savi and Student Debt Crisis are offering help to folks who are having trouble paying their student loans because of the coronavirus' impact on their income.
- If you live in L.A. or Ventura, you can receive a 0-percent-interest, no-fee loan from the Jewish Free Loan Association. They offer interest-free loans for anything from everyday expenses such as rent and child care, to lost wages and wellness. You do not need to be Jewish to apply. Guarantors may be required.
Financial Assistance: Stimulus Packages
Rent Relief and Eviction Resources
- See our LAist guide on how to get help paying your back rent. It also includes links to many organizations that can help you with eviction and rent issues!
For Children and Families
- Child Care Alliance Los Angeles can help you find child care. Some programs include state preschool, child care subsidies through CalWORKs and federally funded Head Start and Early Head Start.
- Explore a map of providers that shows available spots near you for both private-pay and subsidized child care. It's updated twice a week, so be sure to call the place you're interested in first.
- If you are a child care provider, you can go to the Child Care Heroes site to link to the latest updates on operating guidelines, vaccine information, and financial and mental health support.
- Call the LAUSD Student and Family Wellness hotline at (213) 241-3840 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for support with mental health, health insurance, food, housing and more.
- See a list of family resources from the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.
- Get a list of resources from First 5 LA for ECE professionals and LAUSD students/families that can help with virtual learning, food, child care and more.
- Get free tutoring (English and math, grades K-12) through the Southeast Community Foundation Enrichment Tutoring Academy. Learn more and register here.
- Check out our giant LAist guide of fun and educational online activities for kids.
Mental Health Help
- See our LAist guide to getting mental health help now.
Free Medication Delivery
- Rite Aid offers free delivery for eligible prescriptions.
- Walgreens offers free delivery for eligible prescription and purchases on Walgreens.com.
- CVS offers free delivery of prescriptions and everyday essentials.
For Those Who Are Unhoused
- Get L.A. County resources for the unhoused.
- Connect with Housing is a Human Right, Streetwatch LA, and KTown For All to get support and services. KTown For All regularly distributes zines that discuss current events that are impacting unhoused people. You can read their most recent zines here.
- Visit The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for a list of congregate shelters and interim housing for adults, families and youth in need of shelter. Here is their current interim housing list. Keep in mind, congregate shelters are shelters that house many people at once, oftentimes in the same space, so COVID risk may be a factor to consider.
- Dream Center offers transitional housing and a variety of residential programs. Learn more.
- See a directory of health resources.
- Find L.A. County handwashing stations with this map,
- Locate mobile shower units offered by The Shower of Hope.
- Get details about YMCA showers, bathrooms and lockers.
- If you need legal help, The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) provides direct legal services at a weekly legal clinic in Skid Row, and provides legal services in collaboration with homeless services providers to unhoused individuals and families to remove barriers to housing and income benefits.
- To find nearby internet hotspots, enter your ZIP code into the map here, and it may help.
- If you know someone who is unhoused and are concerned about them, LAHOP may be able to help. Contact their outreach team
For Those Who Are Undocumented
- See several funds that you can apply for that provide cash assistance, food and more, on The California Immigrant Resilience Fund website.
- Learn how to get cash aid, food, housing for agricultural workers and more on the Help for Immigrants page of the State of California COVID-19 website (choose "select language" to choose your preferred language).
- The California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance has a large list of resources that can help with food, utilities, child care and more.
- See a big directory of COVID-19 funds and resources from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR).
- Use this crowd-sourced spreadsheet for immigrant resources by VietRise, a community organization based in Orange County. (Note: This is an external list that we have not vetted or updated.)
- Explore Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers in California from Legal Aid at Work (in Spanish and English)
- Learn more about your rights as an undocumented worker
How to Help Others
- L.A. County offers suggestions ranging from delivering food and giving blood, to doing wellness checks and assembling hygiene kits. Learn more
- The City of Los Angeles also has a page with opportunities ranging from food bank help and meal delivery, to neighborhood check-ins and virtual volunteering. Learn more.
- See a large list of ways you can support nonprofits, restaurants, stores, seniors, pet shelters and more via The Washington Post (no paywall).
- A while back, we shared a long list of ways you can help feed first responders. The list hasn't been updated in a while, so check in with each program for the most up-to-date information.
- Be a Neighbor connects community members with those who need volunteers (and vice versa).
If you have a question (or know a resource that should be on this list), please tell us.
What Do You Want To Know? Ask Us Questions
Screaming into the abyss has its merits, but the abyss doesn't typically respond with useful feedback. Try us instead.
Is there something you want to understand better? We've answered thousands of questions since the world turned upside down. Yours could be next.