COVID-19 Resources

During this time, a lot of things are changing in people’s lives. We will do our best to keep our tenants and others updated with information to help them during this time.

I’ve lost my job. What do I do?

Apply for rent relief.

The State of Maine is offering a one-time $500 rent payment for renters who have experienced COVID-19 related hardship. Information about the program is on the Maine State Housing Authority website here. That page outlines who qualifies, and how to apply, with the application at the bottom of the page. Under the landlord information, you should put as the name the person to whom you normally make rent check out to, and for the address it should be 757 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102. For a phone number you can use 207-772-5030 or Elise’s direct line at 207-517-3111. If you normally pay rent online, or in cash, and are not sure who the owner of your building is, just email Elise and she can help you figure it out or answer any questions you might have.

Keep in mind when you do fill out the application, you MUST download the PDF first in order to save any of the details you have entered, and then email it to rentrelief@mainehousing.org

File for unemployment.

Even if you are a gig worker or self-employed, you are likely eligible for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. You can do so online or over the phone. More information and instructions are on the Maine Unemployment website. You can go to the ReEmployME website to create an account. Keep in mind that so many people are attempting to file right now, that the website may be slow or unresponsive, and the wait times on the phone may be long. The staff at that agency is also overwhelmed, and it make take them several days to respond to messages. Please be patient, and try filing in off-hours.

Maine people seeking to file for unemployment by calling the 1-800-593-7660 with last names beginning with A-H should call on Monday; I-Q on Tuesday; R-Z on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will be left unassigned for those who miss their alphabetical day or need to call at that time.

IMPORTANT INITIAL CLAIM FILING INFORMATION: If you are unable to work as a result of the Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak, do not enter your reason for separation as a suspension, even if your job has been temporarily suspended due to the virus. This will delay your claim for benefits. If your employer closed or reduced your hours, select “Lack of Work/Laid Off”.

IMPORTANT WEEKLY CLAIM FILING INFORMATION: On your weekly certification for benefits, if you are unable to work as a result of the Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19), please do not answer the question with No, unless you, yourself, were actually ill during the week (either as a result of the virus, or some other illness). You would need to report your illness, and indicate the number of days of the week you were unable to work.

From the Maine Unemployment office (update as of April 8): At the direction of Governor Mills, Maine opted in to the new temporary federal unemployment programs created by the CARES Act. Guidance from U.S. DOL is beginning to be released though we still await guidance on one program. We are working to implement those provisions for which we have received guidance as quickly as possible. Once the new programs are in place, claims filed will be processed retroactively to the dates in the law. Those who have exhausted all available benefits already or are self-employed should wait to file a claim for benefits. Since these programs have not been implemented yet, filing at this point will only result in a denial. We will continue to provide information as it becomes available. If you have already enrolled in the current unemployment program, you should continue filing your weekly certifications.

Here is the link to the Maine unemployment website: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/

You will likely be getting a stimulus payment from the federal government.

Direct deposits of stimulus payments from the government started in mid-April.  If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and had your refund direct deposited, then that is how you will get payment, automatically. People who got their refund as a check should be receiving a check in the mail for their stimulus.

However, if you did NOT file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you are STILL eligible for a stimulus payment.    This page on the IRS website has an application so you can fill out your direct deposit information so you can receive your payment:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments More information can be found in Press Herald coverage here:  https://www.pressherald.com/2020/04/10/starting-next-week-americans-can-give-irs-direct-deposit-information-to-get-stimulus-check-faster/

Stay home.

One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and the community safe is to stay home, except for necessary shopping and medical attention.

If you are healthy, there are job opportunities in essential businesses.

Hannaford, Shaws, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, U.S. Postal Service, Fed Ex, and more are all hiring right now. Click on the links to get more information, or check indeed.com for other companies who need help getting supplies to folks.

Let Adams Management know you are experiencing a hardship

Complete the online hardship application. WE WILL WORK WITH YOU. You will NOT lose your apartment.

There is a state-wide Stay at Home order starting April 2.

Governor of Maine Janet Mills issued an executive order on March 31 that orders the people of Maine to stay home except for essential shopping or going to essential work. The Portland Press Herald has a good FAQ about what this means.

What is happening in Portland? What is a lockdown?

The City has a list of all the policy changes, deadline extensions, and unavailable services on their website. Notables include relaxing the purple trash bag policy temporarily, the GA office is closed to visitors and will be doing assistance over the phone, parking meters are not being enforced, and the 5-cent bag fee at grocery and other stores is waived. More Portland-related information and resources are on their site here.

The city manager issued a PROCLAMATION DECLARING CONTINUED STATE OF EMERGENCY AND REQUIREMENT TO STAY AT HOME effective March 25, 2020 at 5pm HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL APRIL 27, 2020. The updated order is available online here. This means unless your job/industry is considered essential, you must stay home, except for outdoor exercise and acquisition of essential supplies or services. If you do need to go out, you must stay 6 feet away from any other person, and not congregate 10 or more people together at a time.

What about in other towns?

Here are the coronavirus-related resource pages for towns in which we manage property.

How can I protect myself and my family? I am scared and I don’t know what to do.

We are all in this together, as neighbors, as the people of our town or city, of the country, and the world – we are all facing the same pandemic. This great equalizer makes it important to have empathy, patience, and follow the recommendations of medical professionals and the Maine CDC and federal CDC.

Wash your hands. Wash with soap and water, for 20 seconds, frequently. Here’s an article explaining the science behind why this is specifically so important. And, here is a video showing the World Health Organization handwashing technique.

Be kind. So many of us are home all the time now, and so we are hearing our neighbors a lot more than we used to; please have patience with people upstairs from you and step lightly for the people downstairs from you. The Fred Rogers Center has a lot of resources for people who want to help others, from children to the elderly.

When staying at home is hard

With the stay-at-home guidelines for the state, this is a hard time for those who are alone in their homes, and also a hard time for those who are at home with a partner, roommate, or family member who may be an abuser. 

It is important that everyone is safe, now more than ever.  If you are experiencing abuse or violence in your home, there ARE resources.  Courts are generally closed, but still open to survivors who need protection, and there are advocates available at any time of the day or night if you need to.  More information is here: https://www.mcedv.org/get-help/ and the phone number is 1-866-834-4957 (1-866-834-HELP)

Even if you don’t normally suffer from anxiety or depression, and especially if you do, this is a very difficult time for people.  There are resources available to help you deal with these feelings:

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national service available at 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746

While there are many emergency mental health hotlines, if you or someone you care about is having thoughts of suicide, call 911 for immediate help.

Some of the reputable 24-hour mental health hotlines that can provide you with support, education, and resources include:

Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741. Mental Health America is a nationwide organization that provides assistance through this text line. You will be linked to someone who can guide you through a crisis or just provide information.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Crisis intervention and free emotional support are available, which is helpful when you need confidential assistance during a time of emotional distress for you or a loved one. The helpline is open 24/7, and a live online chat is available as well.

Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. Specialized crisis counselors are just a text message away on this free, confidential 24-hour support line. To further protect your privacy, these messages do not appear on a phone bill. The text line also provides services and support if you are upset, scared, hurt, frustrated, or distressed.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255. Text a message to 838255. Operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these services aid veterans and their families who may be in crisis by connecting them with VA responders.

The bank’s drive-thru won’t give me quarters; how can I do laundry?

We will be selling quarters to tenants to make this easier so everyone can continue to do laundry. If you need some, please email laundry@adamsmanagement.com and let us know how much you would like to buy, up to $20.  We will come by and tape the quarters to your door.  You can leave a check made payable to Adams Management or cash in an envelope for us to pick up.  

Also, while everyone is home, please be a good neighbor and set a timer for your laundry when you are doing it, so that it isn’t left in the machine for a long time.  Everyone needs and wants to use the machines even more now due to social distancing, so please be kind.

Please do not flush TP alternatives.

Toilet paper is in very short supply due to panic hoarding surrounding the coronavirus. Alternatives to toilet paper like paper towels, wipes, kleenex, and newspaper can plug toilets or sewer lines. If you must resort to these types of alternatives, PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH THEM.  They should be thrown out in the trash. This is imperative because tradespeople may not be able to fix plumbing problems because of coronavirus.  

Other things affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020 Census. It is important that every person and household complete the 2020 Census. You may get a form in the mail to complete, or you can complete it online. Here are links to do so in English, en français, and em português.

Filing federal and state taxes. The new deadline for filing is July 15. You can file at any time before that, but if you owe, you don’t need to do it until then.

Restaurants, breweries and markets are offering delivery or curb-side pickup since dining rooms and spaces of 10 or more people are no longer allowed. Portland Food Map has an incredible list of places that are offering these services. If you can, support your local businesses during this difficult time for businesses and their employees.

The Portland Press Herald is offering coverage of coronavirus for free.  However, it is not free for them to produce this content, and many of the stores where people purchased the newspaper are now closed.  If you have the means, now is a great time to purchase a digital or home subscription.  Right now they are offering a special of $5 for 4 weeks for their digital subscription.  https://www.pressherald.com/subscription-plans/

Bangor Daily News is $7.99 per month for digital subscription: https://bangordailynews.com/subscribe/

And, Maine Public (TV and radio) is always free, but could use financial support as well by going to https://www.mainepublic.org/ and clicking on Donate.

last updated 4/24/2020