Support for Adults in College
The University of Maine System Office of Student Success and Credential Attainment has compiled a list of community support for students and staff. If you have other resources to recommend for the list, please email us at: UMSCSAO@maine.edu.
Find resources, assistance and support.
Community, State and Federal Resources:
- 2-1-1 Maine: 2-1-1 Maine provides free and confidential health and human services information for people in Maine. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect individuals with the resources and information they need. Dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Maine or visit the 211 Maine information site (External Site).
- Maine Community Action Partnership agencies: Community Action Agencies work to assist low income individuals and families access needed resources. Find your local community action agency (External Site).
- Individuals who are in great distress during this stressful time, or at any other time, can reach out to any of these critical Maine hotline numbers (External Site).
For some individuals, staying at home is not a safe option right now. If individuals are worried about needing to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, TTY 1-800-787-3224 or chat live online (External Site). Learn more about how survivors can stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting The National Domestic Hotline (External Site).
- Unemployment Insurance: If your hours were reduced or lost your job because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. The Maine Bureau of Unemployment Compensation (External Site) is encouraging people who have lost work to apply for benefits as soon as possible and to be patient as they are receiving an unprecedented amount of applications at this time.
- Maine’s emergency unemployment benefits will cover situations that are not usually covered, including:
- Your employer temporarily having to close due to COVID-19
- Being quarantined but expecting to return to work when the quarantine ends
- Leaving work due to risk of exposure or infection
- Leaving work to take care of a family member
- Maine’s emergency legislation also waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits start immediately and ensures that claims for Unemployment Insurance will not affect an employer’s experience rating. You can file for Unemployment Insurance (External Site) online.
- The Maine government has put together a Frequently Asked Questions page related to COVID unemployment claims (External Site).
- Maine’s emergency unemployment benefits will cover situations that are not usually covered, including:
- General Assistance (External Site): General Assistance is a state program administered through municipalities which purchases basic necessities for individuals who are without means to pay for such services. Applications for General Assistance can be made at any local municipal office.
- Need Help Paying Bills? (External Site): This organization provides information on assistance programs, charity organizations and resources that provide help paying bills, mortgage and debt relief (financial, rent and government assistance).
- Consumer Relief Loan Program (External Site): This is the Finance Authority of the State of Maine.
The Maine Career Centers (External Site) is a comprehensive list of resources to help you find employment due to layoff or the school year ending.
- Networkmaine (External Site) (#StudyfromCar): Networkmaine has offered to work with local schools and public libraries to enable “Guest” WiFi network access at locations across the state. This service allows students to access open WiFi sites where the signal extends outside of the buildings.
- Cable providers: Many internet providers are allowing students and families to have needed technology and access to the internet. Please check with the cable provider in your area.
- Comcast Internet Essentials (External Site): Help for low-income families to connect to the internet at home. For all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s internet service has increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
- Charter (Spectrum) Communications (External Site): Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days in home for K-12 and/or college students that do not have an existing Spectrum service for up to 100 Mbps.
Federal Student Loan Payment Assistance: To temporarily stop student loan payments (External Site) the U.S. Department of Education has directed all federal student loan service providers to temporarily stop requiring payments (which is called a forbearance) from any borrower with a federally held loan if requested by the borrower. You can request a forbearance for a period of at least 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020. To request a forbearance/stop payment, borrowers should contact their federal student loan servicer online or by phone. Find out who your federal student loan servicer is (External Site) or how to contact your federal student loan servicer.
Federal Student Loan Payment Assistance: Delinquent borrowers may be eligible to stop payments (External Site). The U.S. Department of Education has also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent on their federal student loan. Borrowers delinquent on payments do not need to take any action or contact their federal student loan servicer for payments to be stopped.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP (External Site), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps Maine residents with low incomes get the food they need for nutritious and well-balanced meals. The SNAP program provides support to help stretch a household’s food budget. It is not intended to meet all of a household’s food needs because it is a supplement. Maine residents who are are approved for SNAP can use the benefits at many stores, farmers markets and senior dining sites.
Other food assistance programs: Most towns, cities and counties offer food shelves, food banks and have local organizations that offer free meals to residents. There may be resources in your area, including:
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): TEFAP works with communities hosting food pantries. Find a pantry in your area by using this list organized by county (External Site) or this map of locations in Maine (External Site).
- The Backpack Program: The Backpack Program (External Site) provides children with healthy, easy-to-prepare food during weekends and school vacations, which are times when the school meals they rely on are unavailable.
Maine courts have changed practices and timelines (External Site) for court-related business due to COVID-19. Some cases have been postponed, others continue. Each county in Maine has different court closure protocols (External Site), but all courts are restricting in-person access to facilities, which may include:
- Housing, orders for protection (OFP) and other family law cases
- Immigration cases with immigration court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Late penalties, collection referrals and driver license suspension
Maine Equal Justice: Maine Equal Justice (External Site) focuses their work on many of the issues that affect people’s daily lives, including access to adequate health care, housing, transportation and childcare; food and income security; and higher education and training.
Housing for on-campus students: Many campuses are working to accommodate emergency housing for students currently living in residence halls who have no other housing options. Students should work with their student services and residential life offices to identify options.
Federal housing assistance: The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a list of local housing authorities (External Site) to contact for help accessing federal housing assistance programs, such as Section 8 vouchers and public housing.
State and county housing assistance: Various forms of housing assistance are provided through state and county programs. Maine State Housing Authority, our State’s housing finance agency, provides a list of services (External Site).
The University of Maine System acknowledges that managing stress and mental health during times of distress is important for staff, students and families. The following resources have been compiled to give more information about psychological first aid, how to practice self-care during an emergency and how to discuss COVID-19 with children.
- The State of Maine offers many hotlines to residents (External Site).
- The State of Maine offers many mental health and wellness resources (External Site).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out a resource guide for taking care of emotional health (External Site)
- The National Association of School Psychologists has created a resource for parents: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (External Site).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a resource for parents: Helping Children Cope with Emergencies (External Site).
- Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery (MAAR) (External Site): MAAR’s mission is to organize recovering people into an inclusive statewide addiction recovery network that supports all recovery pathways. MAAR provides recovery education and peer recovery support programs.
Not sure what to do with the kids during the CODIV-19 pandemic? Parade Magazine put together 125 ideas of things to do with kids during quarantine (External Site)!
Steve Hartman, a correspondent who showcases the best of America each week on the CBS News award-winning series “On the Road” is teaching a series of virtual 30 minute classes on kindness and community on YouTube in a series titled “Kindness 101” (External Link).
Child Care Choices (External Link) provides Maine family with information and resources about choosing the right childcare for your family. Searchable by location, information about licensing requirements, quality programming and subsidy programs.
Governor Janet Mills’ office has created a resource page with information about the State’s response to COVID-19 (External Site) and ways that you can help be part of the response.