by | Apr 30, 2020 | Community

It didn’t require a crisis to prove that the Santa Clarita Valley is incredible, but in the face of COVID-19, our Los Angeles County communities have outdone themselves in showing compassion and teamwork. I am so impressed by all the community members who have reached out to ask how they can lend a hand, and by our government and private sector partners who have sprung into action to help.

COVID-19 is a dynamic issue that has an impact on each one of us – personally, professionally, and economically. L.A. County is working overtime to provide resources to help our residents navigate this crisis.

To centralize our resources for businesses and employees, we created the L.A. County Business and Worker Disaster Help Center. This emergency office, composed of multiple county departments, will direct business owners and employees to various forms of relief. This effort includes local, state and federal resources, including the $2 billion United States Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Those in need of assistance can connect with the Help Center with multilingual services at (833) 238-4450 or lacountyhelpcenter.org. To further protect residents and businesses, I signed a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions. The order outlines several actions to prevent displacement or service disconnections.

The County is working to ensure this emergency does not contribute to homelessness. Temporary winter shelters that would historically close at the end of March are remaining open. Plus, through what Governor Newsom called Project Roomkey, we’re working to secure 15,000 motel rooms spanning across the county to ensure the most vulnerable are not left on the street, including one motel in the SCV. The Office of Emergency Management has also launched the People Experiencing Homelessness Emergency Response Coordination Team. Street outreach is ongoing and the County and its partners are collaborating with philanthropic organizations to provide relief to households on the verge of homelessness.

For seniors and those with disabilities, staying Safer at Home means your groceries, necessities, and household items need to come to you. Take advantage of our convenient, free delivery service 24/7 by calling 1-888-863-7411. To ensure older adults continue to receive critically-needed meals, we are distributing packaged and frozen meals for seniors at our meal sites. Our Emergency Food Assistance Program is provided at the Santa Clarita Valley Community Center on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are also family resource centers to provide care for children when parents are at work.

As we increase our testing capacity, we’ve added many drive-up mobile testing locations across L.A. County for those who qualify, including one in Santa Clarita. Testing is now available at 30 locations countywide for people of all ages who are showing symptoms, regardless of underlying health conditions. You can learn more, see if you qualify, and schedule an appointment at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.

Many community members are feeling anxious because of the uncertainty about COVID-19. I joined Department Of Mental Health Director Dr. Jonathan Sherin for a special video series to discuss coping with anxiety and to share resources for residents. If you need mental health assistance, please call our 24/7 hotline at 800-854-7771 or text “LA” to 741741. There are extensive videos, articles, and tips at dmh.lacounty.gov.

I am so proud of our community’s resilience. As a lifelong Los Angeles County resident, I have seen our residents overcome many obstacles. I am confident that when we work together, we will become stronger and better than before. Thank you for adhering to public health orders, checking in on neighbors and relatives, and caring for yourself and your family. For more information on how to get involved and for all the resources listed above, please visit kathrynbarger.lacounty.gov or covid19.lacounty.gov.



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