There is much to celebrate in the month of June. The city is nearing a full re-opening, with over 50% of the city vaccinated. We are also recognizing the contributions of our immigrant community with Immigrant Heritage Month and Pride Month, two groups which have contributed to the beautiful mosaic that we call home here in New York City. This past Memorial Day, we honored and remembered those who have sacrificed their lives serving this country.
Here at AMPHS, we have had a busy few months in service and solidarity. We have continued our social service and mental health work for our most vulnerable community members. Every week, we are out on the streets addressing food insecurity and vaccine awareness. Since our vaccine outreach began in February, we have helped nearly 2000 community members get vaccinated.
To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in May, we launched a #GiveInMay campaign to raise funds for free mental health services at AMPHS by hiring a Chinese-speaking therapist to address the fear and anxieties impacting our communities from rising anti-Asian hate crimes. If you did not have a chance to contribute, you can still do so at www.bit.ly/amphsgiveinmay.
We appreciate you for making this work possible. Check out more AMPHS, COVID-19 and resource updates below! Thank you for continuing to volunteer, donate, and spread the word.
Our team had another successful set of food distribution events this past month as a part of our FoodCares Initiative. Thanks to the support of Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, Send Chinatown Love, Asian American Federation, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, we provided hot meals, fresh food boxes, and safety booklets to over 2,000 families in need!
In June, AMPHS’ weekly Saturday fresh food box distributions will temporarily pause due to the end of a supplier contract; we are continuing to raise funds to ensure that we can feed our neediest neighbors. We will inform the community when fresh food box distributions resume; please reference our COVID-19 Resource Directory for other food pantries in the community. AMPHS will continue our hot meal distribution for AAPI Heritage Month and Immigrant Heritage Month into June, in partnership with Send Chinatown Love and Hispanic Federation.
The next event will take place Friday, June 11th at 2:30 pm in front of the Office of Councilman Carlos Menchaca at 4417 4th Avenue, featuring seafood tacos and rice dishes from the incredible El Rey Del Pescado (King of Fish Marisqueria). Questions can be directed to AMPHS at 212-256-9036.
“Vax Up, Sunset Park!”
As part of AMPHS’ “Vax Up, Sunset Park!” campaign, we teamed up with Offices of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, Fairstead Social Services, South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, Vaccine Pod, Brooklyn Public Library, and United Senior Citizens of Sunset Park to get out the vax between February and April — mobilizing over 40 volunteers, visiting 250-300 businesses, and tabling across the community. Together with our Vaccine Partners Program, where our hotlines answered calls, sometimes hundreds a day, we have been able to get shots in the arms of nearly 2000 community members!
On March 31st, AMPHS collaborated with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to bring to the community a tuberculosis (TB) workshop focused to help community members get a better understanding of what tuberculosis is and how to protect one’s health. Some of the topics discussed include changes in tuberculosis Tuberculosis in 2020 NYC, Active Tuberculosis vs. Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI), Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control tools used to screen patients for risk of LTBI, how LTBI is treated, and COVID-19 and Tuberculosis. Check out a recording of the workshop here in English and Chinese!
On April 14th, AMPHS collaborated with Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, the Office of NYS Attorney General Leticia James (OAG), and Mobilization for Justice (MFJ) on a Housing Townhall in response to housing concerns voiced by our community members and updates on legislative changes during the pandemic.
Highlights from the workshop include discussions on eviction moratorium, hardship declarations, navigating the court during COVID-19, NYS rent relief programs, and support services from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Check out a recording of the workshop here in English and Chinese!
Financial Assistance Resources
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)
Qualified New York City residents may be eligible to receive a temporary discount for current or new monthly internet service subscriptions. This discount is available as part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a $3.2 billion dollar short-term emergency subsidy program during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or to apply, you may visit here
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
Applications will be accepted beginning June 1, 2021. The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance. For more information, visit here. View renter’s checklist in English and Spanish.
FEMA Funeral Support is now offering financial assistance for funeral expenses occurring after January 20th, 2020, for COVID-19-related deaths. Expenses that are covered include the transfer of remains, burial plots, caskets, clergy services, cremation, headstones, and more. Learn more and apply to receive financial assistance here.
Excluded Workers Fund
The Excluded Workers Fund provides payment to low-income workers who experienced COVID-related economic loss and are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Economic Impact Payments (EIP) as a result of factors, such as immigration status. Income lost between March 27, 2020 – April 1, 2021 will be made up with a one-time payment. The application form does not include citizenship or immigration questions. To apply, you must have lived in New York State before March 27, 2020 and must currently live in the state.
Applications are not being accepted yet. You can learn more, sign up for the ACCESS NYC newsletter to be notified when the application opens, and determine your eligibility here.
Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund
On April 16, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund to assist essential workers and first responders with reimbursing out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging and other qualifying expenses that enabled workers to perform their duties during COVID-19. Private donations have allowed for an allotment of about $1,000 per household. Learn more here.
One Fair Wage High Roads Kitchen
High Road Kitchens (HRK) are independent restaurants that provide food on a sliding scale to low-wage workers, health care workers, first responders, and others in need. Launched during the COVID-19 crisis, HRK provides jobs for restaurant workers and a subsidy for responsible restaurant owners who commit to paying a living wage and following equitable employment practices. The program offers flexible funding for supplies, food, or other needs for partner restaurants. To apply, visit www.highroadkitchens.com.
Access to Vaccines
How to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
To schedule a vaccination appointment administered by a New York State-run vaccine site, visit the Am I Eligible? website or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829) from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., seven days a week, in multiple languages.
To schedule a vaccination appointment administered by a New York City-run vaccine site, please visit https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ or call 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692), which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in multiple languages.
For help, call AMPHS at (212) 256-9036.
Reporting Side Effects: Register for CDC’s V-Safe Program after receiving your vaccine to receive personalized health check-ins and to quickly report side effects after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Adolescents Access: Adolescents ages 12-17 can now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. There have not been any COVID-19 cases detected after vaccination and no cases of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). The side effects experienced are similar to those faced by older age groups, such as pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headaches. Trials of the Moderna vaccine also show similar side effects and effectiveness, but awaits emergency use authorization before it can be used for adolescents. Learn more at the New York City Health Department’s website.
Second Dose Walk-ins: First and second doses for COVID-19 vaccines are available by walk-in at any location — including pop-up locations. The state previously required the second vaccine dose be administered in the same location as the first dose, now the requirement has been removed. Vaccine providers can also draw both the first and second doses from the same vial at this time. However, please ensure that you visit a site administering the same type of vaccine as your first dose.
Mobile Vaccine Buses: For Youth Vax Week, NYC is hosting block parties at key vaccine sites with free food, music, family activities, and opportunities to speak with doctors and public health professionals. NYC Mobile Vaccine Buses are providing Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. See the full schedule below and online at nyc.gov/WalkUpVax. Walk-ups are welcome and you can also book in advance through vax4nyc.nyc.gov.
Testing Recommendations: Recent NYC Health guidance states that regular COVID-19 testing is no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals without symptoms. If you have symptoms, however, be sure to get tested. If you are not vaccinated, monthly testing is recommended.
Homebound Program: NYC’s Homebound program now provides in-home COVID-19 vaccinations (Johnson & Johnson) to anyone who is 75 years of age or older, has a disability, or is fully homebound. Fill out an interest form at on.nyc.gov/inhomevax or call 877-VAX-4NYC if you want an in-home vaccination.
Vaccine Efficacy: Recent studies have shown that people will remain immune from COVID-19 for at least a year and maybe a lifetime, improving after time following vaccination. Reports suggest that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and were vaccinated will not require boosters. Those who were vaccinated but were not infected and those who were infected but did not have a strong immune response when they had COVID-19 will most likely need booster shots. This is because cells that retain a memory of the virus stay in the bone marrow, maturing and strengthening over 12 months after initial infection, and may create antibodies when needed.
Travel Guidelines: Currently, many venues/travel destinations will require that you present proof of full vaccination for travel, entertainment and maskless activities, or if you remain, unvaccinated, a recent negative COVID-19 test. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after domestic travel, unless by health authorities, or self-quarantine following domestic travel. For international travelers, a negative COVID-19 test result is still required no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before boarding a flight to the United States. They should also review travel quarantine guidelines from destination countries.
Vaccine Passport: For individuals who are concerned about losing their vaccination card, it is recommended that you take a picture of your card. Some locations are able to reissue lost cards. You can also register for the Excelsior Vaccine Pass here for digital proof of your vaccination status. If you have an IDNYC, you can also access your vaccination status at NYC My Vaccine Record.
Getting vaccinated comes with perks!
CVS: Starting 6/1, eligible consumers who received a #COVID19 vaccination through #CVSHealth can enter the #OneStepCloser sweepstakes for an opportunity to win from thousands of prizes, like free cruises, live events + more: https://cvs.co/3vr92ty.
Krispy Kreme: If you’ve received at least one shot, you can get a free donut a day by presenting your vaccine card.
United Airlines: The UA Your Shot to Fly program is giving its MileagePlus members a chance to win free flights for a year, or a free roundtrip flight, if they upload their vaccination card to their account by June 22.
NYC Vax Sites: After 5/25, getting a vaccine at a NYC-run test site can get you free Brooklyn Cyclones tickets, NYC Ferry passes, gift cards to NYC Public Markets, free tickets to top cultural and tourist destinations, and other prizes. Find out more here.
Full SUNY or CUNY Scholarships: Governor Cuomo recently announced the “Get a Shot to Make a Future” incentive for 12-17-year-olds to have a chance of receiving a full scholarship to a SUNY or CUNY. You must have received the first dose of the vaccine and you have to register here.
Returning to School: SUNY and CUNY students must receive the COVID-19 vaccination before beginning classes this fall according to a new New York state requirement. The requirement applies to all students who are participating in official programming, taking classes, conducting research, or working or living on campus. Many other private universities may have similar requirements. For NYC public schools, all students will return to in-person learning in September.