February 2021 Newsletter

Covid-19- CT Vaccination Information

Covid-19 Vaccination Information:  Click here to learn more about Connecticut’s Covid-19 vaccination phases and how and when you can access the vaccine.

For those 75 and older, there are three ways to register for your vaccine:

  1. Online: A form can be accessed online at gov/covidvaccine that allows individuals to schedule an appointment through the web-based Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
  2. Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line at 877-918-2224. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of the same-day response.
  3. Healthcare Provider: Many residents have already been or will be contacted to schedule an appointment by their healthcare provider, but only if their provider is participating in the state’s vaccine program. Not all providers are administering the vaccine. A list of participating providers is available atgov/covidvaccine. Residents are urged not to contact their physician or healthcare provider directly for COVID vaccine appointments.

 Covid-19- CT Testing Information

Covid-19 Testing in Bridgeport: The City of Bridgeport Covid Testing webpage lists daily testing locations and pop-up sites.  Click here for more information and available locations.

City of New Haven Covid-19 Updates: Click here to visit the City of New Haven Covid-19 Hub

HUSKY Health Testing Resource List:  HUSKY Health has put together a list of sites where you can get a free test for Covid-19. Click here for more information.

 Covid-19- General Information

Covid-19 Resources for Seniors:  The Agency on Aging of Southcentral CT, has Covid-19 and lots of other information on their website for seniors.  Click here to view.

Covid-19 Resources for Connecticut Families: Family Resources for housing, food, energy assistance – click here for English and click here for Spanish.

CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention:  Read the summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what is currently known as well as frequently asked questions about the vaccine.  Click here for more information and read up-to-date data as it becomes available.  

Healthy Eating

The Hispanic Health Council has launched a new Facebook page and YouTube Channel that include nutrition and physical activity education videos in both English and Spanish.

SNAP-Ed Resources: Our friends at the University of St. Joseph/SNAP-Ed continue to create new resource videos.  Check out their Facebook page for more details and share them with others!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy at Home: The US Department of Agriculture, SNAP-Ed, has an online library of resources to help you and your family stay safe at home during this pandemic, including how to plan your weekly menu, when and how to consider food safety, recipes and more.  Click here to view all of the resources that are available. 

 Getting Active at Home

Move More Together at Home:  The American Heart Association has a collection of online workouts for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.  Workouts feature mindful meditation, yoga, strength and cardio workouts.  Click here to view them all. 

Virtual Classes from the YMCA: The Y is here for you, even when you are home!  Community members are welcome to take advantage of free classes with some of our favorite Central Connecticut Coast Y instructors live on Zoom or try classes offered by Y instructors across the country anytime.  Click here for more details.

Fit 5 Portal: Special Olympics Connecticut continues to find ways to keep athletes engaged and active in the absence of sports practice and competition. The Fit 5 Portal provides health and fitness resources that athletes can utilize to stay fit and active at home. Health and fitness content includes healthy recipes, 30-minute workouts, and mental/emotional wellbeing activities. The portal is designed for those with disabilities, but everyone is welcome to utilize it. Click here to access the portal.

World Health Organization Updates Physical Activity Recommendations: According to the WHO, up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active.  Click here to learn more about the updated recommendations and here for their physical activity fact sheet.

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  Getting physical activity can be a challenge while staying at home. However, it’s possible—and important—to be physically active while social distancing.  Click here to learn more about how to be physically active while social distancing.

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  Physical Activity Basics in English and Spanish.  The evidence is clear—physical activity can make you feel better, function better, and sleep better.  Being physically active also fosters normal growth and development, improves overall health, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. Click here to learn about how to.

Winter Hiking Locations in Greater New Haven:  Click here for an article that lists 5 local hiking locations to try this winter.

Local Food Resources

New Haven Food Assistance Resources: Click here for a list of food resources in the New Haven area.    

Hamden Food Assistance Resource Guide:  Click here for a list of the available food resources in the Hamden area.  

 Stratford Health Department Food Distribution:  Every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 1950 Barnum Avenue in Stratford.  This is a drive thru food pantry.  To stay up-to-date on the latest news from the Stratford Health Department, like their Facebook page.

Stratford Shakespeare Winter Market:  Takes place on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month through April 18.  Located at 1850 Elm Street in Stratford.  Click here for more details in English and Spanish.

Bridgeport Hospital Food Distribution:  Every 3rd Tuesday starting at 5:30 PM at 200 Mill Hill Avenue.  Click here for more information.

St. Vincent’s Medical Center Food Distribution: Every 4th Friday of the month starting at 1:00 PM at 2800 Main Street in Bridgeport. 

City Seed Winter Market: The annual winter market will run on Saturdays through March 27 from 10 AM-1 PM and be located at Conte West Hills School (511 Chapel Street, New Haven). Click here for more information and here to visit their website.

The CT Food Bank:  The CT Food Bank hosts several local mobile food pantry and milk/dairy express distributions each month.  Click here to view the latest schedule.  Check the CT Food Bank website often, as the schedule does change frequently.  

United Way 2-1-1:  You can visit the 2-1-1 website or call to be connected to resources including local food pantries, Covid testing, transportation, housing and much more.  

CT Emergency Food Resources:  Click here to access information on food assistance eligibility, statewide mobile food pantry schedules and much more. Also, learn more about WIC, GFMNP, SNAP and much more.

Online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits: The Department of Social Services worked with participating food retailers to offer online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut.  SNAP enrollees are now able to use SNAP benefits available on their EBT debit-type card to purchase eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup at participating food retailers.  Retailers approved for the initial launch are Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh; 12 Walmart stores and Wakefern Food Corp., with 21 participating ShopRite stores.  Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions or here for more information.

Healthy Living

Virtual Couponing Club:  Save more at the grocery store.  The Hamden Public Library is hosting a virtual couponing club.  This virtual program is free and open to the public and will meet at 6:30 pm every 2nd Thursday of the month.  Upcoming dates include February 11 and March 11.  Registration is required.  Click here for more details.

Dental Care Resource: Have you been delaying dental treatment due to Covid-19 fears?  Click here for a helpful list of questions you can ask your dental provider to learn more about their Covid-19 safety procedures.  Click here for the Spanish version.

HUSKY Health Members:  It is time to go back to the dentist, and it’s safe!  Call the Connecticut Dental Health Partnmership at 855-CT-DENTAL (855-283-3682) M-F 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM or click here for more information or help in finding a dentist.  For TTY call 711.

Web MD:  In many places, hospitals and health clinics are focused on testing and taking care of people who may have the new coronavirus. So what should you do if you have another health problem and need to see a doctor?  Click here to read about the guidelines on medical care.

Cancer Action Prevention & Engagement (CAPE):  The Yale Cancer Disparities Firewall Project provides free health navigation by phone to those living in local communities.  They will work with you to understand and address your day-to-day needs, help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, help you stay up-to-date on cancer screening tests and will connect you to free and low-cost health and social services to help you reach your health goals.  Call (203) 200-3030 or click here to follow CAPE on Facebook.

Bridgeport Basics:  The Bridgeport Basics are designed to help parents of young children learn 5 simple practices to help children grow and become ready for preschool.  Click here for more information.

 Mental & Behavioral Health

Online Resources about Mental Health:  The US Department of Health and Human Services has an online resource library dedicated to a variety of mental health topics. The information is also available in Spanish.  Click here for more information.  

The Hub:  The HUB has created a thorough listing of behavioral health resources within the Greenwich and Greater Bridgeport Regions.  The Hub’s Resource Guide lists non-profit & public-sector services for crisis, mental health and substance use disorders, and support programs, including a listing of free peer support groups.  You can also click here to subscribe to their weekly newsletter.

Clifford Beers:  Clifford Beers provides over 16 programs and services to help meet a variety of mental and emotional needs for children and families.  Click here to view all of their online resources and click here to see their Covid-19 related resources. 

Diet & Nutrition (Impact on Mental Health):  The quality of the food you eat can impact your overall physical and mental health. Learn more about the importance of eating nutritious foods by clicking here.

2-1-1 Resources for Mental Health: The 2-1-1 website has comprehensive, up-to-date information on programs and services that can assist with mental health care.  Click here for more information.

CT Stronger: Support coaches can help connect you with resources to keep your family safe and healthy. Support coaches can put you in touch with services that can help, or listen if you want to talk with someone about how this pandemic is affecting you. Click here for more details.

Connecting to Care CT:  CONNECTing Children and Families to Care is intended for families, providers and anyone else interested in enhancing CT’s children’s behavioral health system. Click here to view their website.

Healthy Lives Connecticut:  Get information, tools, and screening for maintaining or achieving wellness, including emotional wellness, physical wellness, holistic wellness, financial wellness, and addiction recovery. Click here for more details.

Children’s Behavioral Health Plan: Find out how Connecticut is improving and integrating children’s behavioral health services, systems, and support into a comprehensive network of care.  Click here for more details.

Reach Out CT Warm Line:  This warm line is a free emotional support line for all CT residents (available in English and Spanish) to use when they are feeling stressed, lonely, overwhelmed, need resources, or just need someone to talk to. The pandemic is not over and many individuals in our community are still struggling with social isolation, the loss of loved ones, illness, or just missing life pre-Covid. Click here for more details.

Other Resources

2-1-1 Storm and Cold Weather Information: Click here for links to local, state and federal information and resources available to Connecticut residents regarding winter storm and extreme cold weather events.

Rental Assistance Programs:  Click here for a list of rental assistance programs.

Eviction Information: Click here for up to date information about the Federal (CDC) and Connecticut ban on evictions from CT Law Help.

Legal Assistance: For Statewide Legal Services, contact (800) 453-3320 or for the Connecticut Fair Housing Center (860) 247- 4400 or (888) 247- 4401.

Transportation Assistance Information:  The Kennedy Center’s Mobility Department is available by cell (203) 512-4174 for information on public transportation including paratransit, transit district updates/modifications, etc.

Free Tax Preparation Assistance Information: United Way 2-1-1 has compiled information on tax services on their website that will be available after January 19.  Click here or dial 2-1-1 (option 3, then 6).

Job Training:  The WorkPlace serves Southwestern Connecticut, helping people prepare for careers and strengthening the workforce for employers. Their programs include job training, career services and employment.  Click here to visit their website and to learn about their many programs.