The UMS Office of Student Success and Credential Attainment has compiled a list of community support for students and staff during COVID-19. If you have other resources to recommend for the list, please email us at: UMSCSAO@maine.edu.

Campus specific resources

Community, State and Federal Resources

Comprehensive resources about multiple types of assistance (housing, food, transportation, etc) in your area.

  • 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, 7 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.
  • 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.
  • If you feel you are in great distress during this stressful time, or at any other time, please reach out to any of these critical support agencies.
  • Unemployment Insurance  If your hours were reduced or lost your job because of the COVID-19 pandemic you may apply for unemployment benefits. The Maine Bureau of Unemployment Compensation 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 aren’t 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 UI won’t affect an employer’s experience rating. File for Unemployment Insurance.
    • FAQ’s related to COVID unemployment claims
  • General Assistance is a 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? 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 (Finance Authority of Maine)

Comprehensive resources to help you find employment due to layoff or the school year ending

  • Networkmaine (#StudyfromCar) 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. Click on this updated, interactive map showing locations where this service is available.
  • 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 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 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 up to 100 Mbps.
  • Federal Student Loan Payment Assistance: To temporarily stop student loan payments  The U.S. Department of Education has directed all federal student loan servicers to temporarily stop requiring payments (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 or how to contact your federal student loan servicer.
  • Federal Student Loan Payment Assistance: Stopping payments for delinquent borrowers 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, formerly known as Food Stamps, helps Mainers with low incomes get the food they need for nutritious and well-balanced meals. The program provides support to help stretch your household food budget. It is not intended to meet all of your household’s food needs. It is a supplement. If you are approved for SNAP, you can use your benefits at many stores, farmers markets and senior dining sites. More information on SNAP eligibility and application process.
  • Other food assistance programs  Get help from food shelves, food banks and organizations that offer free meals. To find these in your area:
  • Maine courts have changed practices and timelines for court-related business due to COVID-19. Some cases have been postponed, others continue.  All courts are restricting in-person access to facilities.  This includes things like:
    • 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
    • County specific court information
  • Maine Equal Justice focuses its work on many of the issues that affect people’s daily lives – access to adequate health care, housing, transportation and childcare; food and income security; and higher education and training.  Maine Equal Justice’s COVID resources
  • 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 this list of local housing authorities 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.

Managing stress and mental health during times of distress 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.

  • What to do with the kids during Covid? 125 ideas here!
  • Steve Hartman, who showcases the best of America each week in CBS News’ award-winning series “On the Road,” is teaching a series of virtual 30 minute classes on kindness and community. Find it on YouTube: Kindness 101.
  • Child Care Choices 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’s office has created a resource page with information about the State’s response to COVID-19 and ways that you can help be part of the response.