Covid-19 Resource Guide

In this time of global pandemic, many are counting on governmental institutions that have been systematically hollowed out over the past 40+ years to come through in providing them their basic human needs: healthcare, food, housing, income etc. But often these institutions will (by design) continue to spectacularly fail to meet these basic needs for the vast majority of people—the poor and working class. This crisis of leadership has made abundantly clear that it is past time to become well acquainted with our neighbors and ourselves, as ultimately we are the ones who will provide the humanity, ingenuity and leadership necessary to meet our own needs. In this vain, the Shoestring presents a list of local resources that we hope will help fill in some of these yawning gaps. While making a truly comprehensive list is daunting, nay impossible, we strive to come as close as we can. This page will be a living document updated on a weekly basis to provide the most accurate and up to date information possible. We welcome any additions or corrections to this list—please drop us a line at theshoestringmag@gmail.com with the subject “Covid-19 Resource Guide” with any updates. If you’re able, please strongly consider donating money, time or materials to the crucial community aid groups listed below. And as ever, elbow bumps and e-hugs to all our comrades fighting for a better world.

Food

Housing

 

Protective Equipment

 

Worker Organizing

 

Decarceration/Immigration Justice

  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center Hotline (bilingual) or email them to get connected to the Decarceration/Immigration committee
  • Trans Asylum Seeker Network (email wmassanticapnetwork@gmail.com)
  • Now is a great time to write to incarcerated folks. If you don’t personally know anyone on the inside right now, here is a registry of prisoners who would like letters. NYC Anarchist Black Cross has a similar list of political prisoners, and Black and Pink has a pen pal program for LGBTQ+ prisoners. Here is a guide on writing to incarcerated folks for first-timers.
  • The Trump admin is pushing the postal service to the point of collapse. Privatizing this essential service could be devastating to incarcerated people. Text USPS to 50409 to follow steps to send your congresspeople a note urging them to take action to save it.
  • Decarcerate Western Mass is a coalition working to secure the release of incarcerated people during the pandemic and beyond. Join their project to support Western Mass attorneys in preparation of parole-related filings —email decarwmassparole@gmail.com to sign up for a parole packet training or to request support with a parole packet.

 

Mutual Aid Networks

  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center Hotline or email them to get connected to the Mutual Aid committee (google form to get involved as a volunteer. Distributions as it stands are Sunday afternoons at the Brightwood health clinic in Springfield and Tuesday late morning at the PVWC office)
  • Northampton Survival Center has new drop-off points (regular location closed) which can be found on their website: https://www.northamptonsurvival.org/
  • Amherst Survival Center updates and locations: https://amherstsurvival.org/covid19/
  • Western Mass Community Aid is a newly created site dedicated to helping connect people to regional mutual aid https://www.wmacma.com

 

Relief Funds

 

Petitions/Actions

  • Petition to Massachusetts Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka demanding a ban on evictions and foreclosures, cancelation of rent and mortgages, and guaranteed safe housing for all during the covid-19 crisis
  • Petition supporting UMass Amherst graduate student demands

 

Harm Reduction

 

The Shoestring is committed to bringing you ad-free content. We rely on readers to support our work! Please donate to The Shoestring on Patreon.