COVID-19 Update - Additional Resources
COVID-19 Update - Additional Resources from the office of Councilmember Joseph I. Giarrusso III, District A.
Additional Resources are below. Also, ready.nola.gov is updated regularly and contains a plethora of useful information. It takes all of us to flatten the curve.
Internet Options for K-12 Students, Other Vulnerable Residents
Residents who do not currently have access to the internet at home may be eligible for new low-cost programs from AT&T and Cox.
Access from AT&T:
AT&T will continue to oﬀer internet access for qualifying households for as low as $5/month through the Access from AT&T program. They have expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, new customers will receive their first two months free. There are no contracts, no termination fees, no equipment costs and no installation fees. Equipment will be shipped directly to the customer for home installation with phone support. For more information or to sign up for services visit: https://m.att.com/shopmobile/internet/access/index.html
Cox is now offering its low-cost internet service, Connect2Compete, free for 30 days for eligible customers including premium remote desktop support. They have expanded eligibility to Connect2Compete to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and current K-12 families without home internet service. After the free period, Connect2Compete is $9.95 a month. There are no contracts, no termination fees, no equipment costs and no installation fees. Equipment will be shipped directly to the customer for home installation with phone support. For more information or to sign up for services visit: www.Cox.com/connect2compete
Citywide Feeding Program - Condensed Schedule:
Next Week and Moving Forward:
COVID-19 update from the office of Councilmember Giarrusso
Below is some detailed information from the office of Councilmember Joseph I. Giarrusso III, District A as of 3/24/20.
‘Stay at home’
Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a “Stay Home” order, which mandates all residents stay in their homes except for essential needs, such as groceries, medicine, and health emergencies. “Essential” personnel are allowed to report to work. Click here to understand what classifies as an “essential activity” and “essential personnel.”
Personal recreation is allowed, if the 6-foot distance rule is followed. Avoid close contact with others. Basketball courts, tennis courts, recreation programs, swimming pools, and playgrounds are closed until further notice; This includes NORD as well as those at Audubon Park, City Park, and New Orleans Lawn and Tennis Club. The Fly and sections of Lakeshore Drive have also been closed off to the public. NORD, City Park and Audubon green spaces remain open - please adhere to social distancing.
To report large gatherings or business operators in violation of the new regulations, call 311 or email my office (all office contacts listed at the end of this email).
The City has established 3 drive-through COVID-19 testing sites. You must arrive in a vehicle; pedestrians and bicycles are not allowed. You must be 18 years or older, and must be symptomatic; non-symptomatic people will be turned away. You do not need medical insurance to be tested.
Private clinics also offer testing. Each clinic has their own requirements for testing. Please call ahead to make sure you qualify for testing at a clinic. View a list of clinics here.
City Council is tracking COVID-19 cases throughout Louisiana and New Orleans. This dashboard is updated twice daily using Department of Health data. You can view the number of cases within Orleans Parish, as well as the change over 24 hours. View the tracker on City Council’s website.
Support local eateries
Many local restaurants are offering take-out and delivery. If you can, please consider supporting our neighborhood eateries. Councilmember Helena Moreno’s office has compiled a list of open eateries and their contact information. View that list here.
Please keep in mind that bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, entertainment venues, and gyms are all closed. We encourage people to consider delivery and pick-up options for groceries, to limit physical contact that could spread the virus.
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) suspended water shut-offs throughout the duration of the Mayor’s emergency declaration. SWBNO is also working to restore water to customers during this time. You should still call 52-WATER for emergencies.
Entergy halted customer disconnections due to the coronavirus for the next 30 days. Customers should call 800-368-3749 or visit their website for more information.
Verizon, Cox, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Century Link are also halting disconnections during this pandemic. All have vowed to waive late fees for those affected, as well.
Food & Hygiene
There are several resources for those needing food and hygiene supplies during the time. Seniors who need access to food should call 311, which is coordinating with other local agencies.
Drive-up food pantries for Hospitality & Gig Economy workers:
Second Harvest Food Bank will work to provide food assistance to residents of New Orleans who are experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19.Residents can also call 2-1-1 and ask about “emergency food assistance” to receive more information, find out where a food pantry may be located in their community, and sign up for services.
Nola Tree Project Meal distribution:
NOLA Tree Project will be distributing hot meals from Second Harvest every weekday from 3pm-5pm. These meals are drive-through only. Pick-up at NOLA Tree Project headquarters: 1509 Filmore Ave.
NORD After School Meals:
NORD, in partnership with Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry Louisiana, is offering hot meals from 4pm-6pm at all of our rec centers except Annunciation Rec Center. View all locations here.Total Community Action food pantry:
TCA Food Pantry, located at 4518 Thalia Street, will offer supplemental food assistance to families daily between the hours of 8am-5pm. During the emergency declaration all families are eligible and encouraged to participate in the supplemental food distribution.
Meal services for the homeless:
Some changes have been made to the normal meal service locations for homeless residents. See locations here.
Junior League Diaper Bank:
The Junior League of New Orleans is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute diapers throughout the Greater New Orleans area. Please visit one of these distribution sites if you are in need of diapers or period products. Click here to view all 8 locations.
Residential evictions have been suspended through April 24, with further orders to follow.
The Mayor’s Office of Community Development has partnered with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Total Community Action, and New Orleans Family Justice Alliance to provide immediate financial and legal rent and mortgage help. Contact the Office of Community Development at 504-658-4200 for assistance.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services provides free, civil legal aid to low-income people. You can receive assistance for landlord-tenant issues and more. Visitslls.org or call 504-529-100 for more information.
Clients and individuals in need of legal assistance or self-help can also reachThe Pro Bono Project at 504-581-4043. Email for clients is email@example.com and for self-represented litigants (i.e., self help) firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has released information for workers in Louisiana who have been impacted by COVID-19. Those who are eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits will also qualify for SNAP benefits.
As a worker, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance if:
The New Orleans Business Alliance has launched a relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly impacted via loss of income. Learn more and apply here.
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Entergy, and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation have launched the Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund to provide crisis grants to hospitality workers affected by COVID19. You can apply for a crisis grant here.
Catholic Charities can assist you with completing:
Assistance for Businesses
The City is encouraging all employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, if possible.
Small Business Administration:
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared a disaster in the state of Louisiana and made Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small businesses (including sole proprietors) and nonprofits. Impacted small businesses may apply for up to $2 million in working capital to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster. Loan terms (3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses; 2.75 percent for nonprofits) may be extended up to 30 years to keep payments affordable. Start an SBA loan application here.
Revenue & tax extensions:
The City of New Orleans announced on March 17, 2020 it is waiving fines, fees, interest and penalties on sales tax payments due to the City for 60 days. In addition, the City will extend the renewal period for ABOs up to 30 days without penalty.
The Department of Revenue for the State of Louisiana has delayed collections of February 2020 sales tax returns and payments to May 20, 2020 and will waive delinquency penalties and interest until that date.
If you are temporarily closing or reducing your hours of operations due to COVID-19, please contact the LWC to discuss how they can provide assistance and answer your questions about unemployment insurance and other programs and resources available.
Contact LWC at EmployerServices@lwc.la.gov with your unemployment insurance questions. Be sure to provide your company’s name, a point of contact, telephone number and email address, as well as specifics on the assistance you are requesting.
Mental health services
If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, fear and anxiety about the uncertainty surrounding this public health emergency, there is a special Keeping Calm through COVID Hotline you can call. This connects you to trained, compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can direct you to mental health and substance abuse counseling services. All calls are confidential: 1-866-310-7977.
Center for Hope will be offering free Telehealth services for those that might be experiencing stress and anxiety at this time. Call (504) 241-6006.
If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed by this emergency, please get assistance from SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR) has a 24/7 hotline, dedicated to sexual assault and emergency assistance. Call 855-435-STAR.
Donations & volunteers
Community organizations and philanthropic partners are stepping up to help our neighbors during this time. The following community partners are accepting both monetary donations and volunteers.
Greater New Orleans Foundation:
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has activated its Response and Restoration Fund in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The Response and Restoration Fund supports a network of voluntary and community organizations taking care of our elderly, the homeless, and low-wage workers who are made more vulnerable by this pandemic.
Second Harvest Food Bank:
Second Harvest is welcoming donations of fresh produce and non-perishable food items, as well as donations of cleaning supplies, soap, and hand sanitizer. Donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 7:30a.m-5pm at the Elmwood location: 700 Edwards Ave.
New Orleans Council on Aging:
The New Orleans Council on Aging is taking financial donations to support seniors through its Meals on Wheels program and other services. With elderly community members at high risk from COVID19, please consider giving generously to the Council on Aging so that they can continue to provide critical services.
Supplies for Saints:
Supplies for Saints is a New Orleans organization supporting our healthcare workers who are on the front lines of COVID-19. Supply for Saints is connecting local hospitals in need of medical masks, gowns, and gloves, with providers who are able to donate. If you have new and unused medical masks, gowns, and gloves please contact Supply for Saints as they are urgently needed.
Junior League Diaper Bank:
The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) founded its Diaper Bank in 2014 to help families from the bottom up. JLNO buys diapers at a highly discounted rate, provides volunteer support for sorting, packing, and distributing diapers. You can also purchase through Amazon Wishlist.
Medical & behavioral health volunteers:
The City is building a network of volunteers to support public health and medical efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Volunteers may be used for a variety of clinical and non-clinical tasks under the direction of the New Orleans Health Department and the State of Louisiana Department of Health. You can register to volunteer here.
Hands On New Orleans:
Hands On New Orleans' mission is to engage, empower and transform our community through volunteer engagement, community revitalization and disaster response programs. There are many ways to volunteer, both virtually and in person. Learn more here.
City Hall resources:
Though visitors are limited at City Hall, all departments are reporting for work; some are working from home, as required by their directors. Staff are checking temperatures when you enter the building, and anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent away.
My office is still responding to your questions and concerns. We are working with the proper departments to fix streetlights, service cuts, and other quality of life issues. Remember, you should still call 311 for non-emergency City work.
Annual Meeting on November 20th, 2o19
Join SCAA for our Annual Meeting & Reception
SCAA Annual Membership Meeting*
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
6:00pm Business Meeting followed by a Cocktail Reception
At the home of Jennifer and Fred Heebe
5531 St. Charles Avenue (enter on Joseph Street)
*Open to all 2019 dues paying members
> Pay Dues Now
Photo credit: Gil Rubman / St. Charles Avenue Magazine
On August 30, 2019, SCAA was featured in St. Charles Avenue Magazine's "Philanthropic Fun: On the Avenue" for our Fundraising Event on May 8th.
The fundraising event was held at IberiaBank on St. Charles Avenue. SCAA would like to thank Anne Redd and Tommy Westervelt for organizing the event.
> Read Article
Tropical Storm Barry Update
Here is an update on Tropical Storm Barry from Joseph I. Giarrusso, New Orleans City Councilmember, District A, as of July 11th, 2019:
1. The track is moving closer east. The current expectation – subject to change – is 10-15 inches of rain.
2. Trash that was not picked up yesterday should be picked up today. There may come a point when the City will notify citizens that trash will not be collecting trash this weekend. If that happens, please secure your cans.
3. If people see catch basins blocked with debris, please remove the obstructions. DPW has trucks on the streets now.
4. SWBNO says 118/120 pumps are available, all pumping stations will have operators on duty through the event, and turbines are available.
5. If your car stalls in water, do not start the ignition again. In the first case, it may only be a $500 repair. Equipment Department reports trying to restart it would be $15,000.
6. All streetcars have been replaced with bus service. Depending on weather's progression, cut backs on RTA service will begin 1-2 hours prior to landfall, as needed.
7. River crest projection has fallen by one foot (from projected 20' to projected 19'). USACE stands by integrity of levees and says overtopping should not cause flooding into neighborhoods subject to proper pumping. This is the same as reported yesterday.
8. High river is a concern. The general threshold for mandatory evacuation is being in the cone of a Category 3 hurricane.
9. People are encouraged to voluntarily evacuate if they desire. Otherwise, please shelter in place.
10. In Orleans, the remaining IHNC and MRL floodgates will be closed.
11. Please sign up for updates from NOLA Ready: https://ready.nola.gov/stay-connected/emergency-alerts.
Read About the Avenue's Oak Tree Canopy's Continued Improvement in the New Orleans Advocate and on Nola.com
A story about St. Charles Avenue's oak trees, and the St. Charles Avenue Association's efforts to improve the Avenue's tree canopy, appeared in the New Orleans Advocate and on Nola.com.
> Read the article on Nola.com
Trees Along the Avenue - Tree Survey Shows Positive Effects from SCAA's Efforts
A tree survey performed by Bayou Tree Service has demonstrated that the SCAA's efforts to improve the tree canopy along the Avenue are working.
The survey was funded by the Association and performed as a continuation of previous surveys, first conducted in 1992. Since the initial survey, over 300 trees have been planted and maintained on and along St. Charles Avenue.
The survey noted that the Association had planted live oak trees along the Avenue; the Association has also funded fertilization and tree trimming over the years, and is now considering treating a number of live oaks along the Avenue for termite problems.
It's important to note that the survey does not include the trees planted on the side streets near where they intersect with the Avenue. When the adjacent side street trees are included, there are over 1,000 live oaks on the Avenue.
Bayou Tree Service has recently trimmed some of the trees along the upper part of St. Charles Avenue in order to raise the canopy of the trees, focusing on the younger trees. The Association, through Bayou Trees, has trimmed a total of 52 trees, a mixture of new and old trees, mostly between Broadway and the Riverbend. SCAA intends to continue this work along the remainder of the Avenue as funds permit.
Bayou Tree Service is the official tree partner of the St. Charles Avenue Association and has planted and cared for the live oaks on the Avenue for nearly 40 years.
Donations to help save the trees can be made on SCAA's contact page.
> Read the survey (PDF)
St. Charles Avenue is on ARC's Meeting Agenda Tuesday, June 18th
The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission Architectural Review Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 18th at 12:30 pm. The meeting will take place in the Homeland Security Conference Room on the 8th floor of City Hall, located at 1300 Perdido Street.
Two St. Charles Avenue properties are on the agenda, and the public is welcome to attend. 4801 St Charles Avenue and 4132 St Charles Avenue are mentioned in the meeting agenda. Below are excerpts :
4801 St Charles Ave: Mitchell Curole, applicant; Candice A Gwinn, owner; Renovation of Significant-rated building, including change of porch material.
4132 St Charles Ave: Craig Tolbert, applicant; Craig H Tolbert, owner; Installation of new balconies on existing apartment building.
> View meeting agenda (pdf)
St. Charles Avenue Magazine features photos from SCAA Annual Meeting
St. Charles Avenue Association's Annual Meeting in November 2018 was held at the home of Sybil and Blair Favrot. St. Charles Avenue Magazine featured photos of newly inaugurated board members Odom Heebe, James Van Horn, Billy Freiberg, Ned Bergin and Ashland Hines, as well as a photo of John Bendernagel, Shaun Duncan, Sybil Favrot and Paul Masinter.
Vote Saturday, May 4
Dear St. Charles Association Members and Supporters:
This Saturday, May 4, the citizens of New Orleans will vote on a 20-year renewal of 6.31 mils in property taxes. This is not a tax increase; it is an extension of an existing tax and a more equitable redistribution of that tax.
Currently, two property taxes totaling 6.31 mils expire in 2020 and 2021. The current property tax benefits the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission ("NORDC"), Parks and Parkways and the Audubon Commission/Audubon Institute ("Audubon") as follows: NORDC – $5,000,000; Parks and Parkways – $5,000,000; and Audubon – $10,800,000.
If approved, the renewed tax will remain at 6.31 mils for 20 years but it will now be divided among NORDC, Parks and Parkways, Audubon and – for the first time in its 169 year history – City Park as follows: NORDC – $6,400,000; Parks and Parkways – $6,000,000; Audubon – $6,400,000; and City Park – $2,000,000.
At our last meeting, your Board of Directors voted to endorse the millage as it will provide greater resources to Parks and Parkways (which maintains the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground and live oak trees), NORDC (which maintains parks and play-spots such as Danneel Park fronting on the Avenue), and Audubon Park. This is an important election and we encourage our members and supporters to vote on May 4.
Should you want additional information on the millage, the most accurate and complete explanation of the proposal is contained in the Bureau of Governmental Research ("BGR") report, which the BGR recently issued when it recommended that the millage be adopted.
Thank you for your consideration of the millage proposal. And remember, May 4 is a Jazz Fest Saturday – so be sure to vote early.
Paul J. Masinter,
President, St. Charles Avenue Association
> View the BGR Report
St. Charles Avenue
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