COVID-19 has hit the Bronx, hard.
But there's help!
The resources below can help students, business owners, and everyone in the community
Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Quick Links:
Call 833-511-0311 for more information on the program and for help setting up
Go to getemergencybroadband.org to apply for eligibility and find a local Internet provider
In the Bronx, you can also call your current provider or visit their website to sign up
You can also call your Congressional representative for help signing up:
Congressman Bowman’s office: (718)530-7710
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s office (718-662-5970)
Congressman Espaillat’s office (646-740-3632)
Congressman Torres' office (718-503-9610)
What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefit will provide the following discounts:
Up to $50 per month discount for broadband service for eligible households
In some cases, a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a single laptop, desktop computer or tablet
Internet Providers in the Bronx participating in EBB
Parents of school-aged children can prove eligibility by showing proof of:
Child’s school ID with the child’s first and last names
Report card with the child’s first and last names
Correspondence from the school with the child’s first and last names
Verizon (via Mobile, FIOS or 5G Home)
Why is broadband at home important?
Broadband offers faster speeds when you are using the Internet. Having broadband Internet access in your home allows you to participate more fully in day-to-day activities like video conferencing, remote learning activities, tele-health visits, and accessing streaming and gaming services.
The Bronx is the borough with the highest percentage of residents without home broadband, at almost 38%. The EBB is a short-term solution for helping more people access broadband, but we will need to work together to increase access for the long term. We have come together as the Bronx Digital Equity Coalition over the past year to help lift up community-based solutions to make sure everyone in the Bronx has access to high-speed, quality Internet, an appropriate device, and digital literacy and tech support. Find out more about how to join us below.
Who is eligible?
Your household is eligible if you or another member of the household meet at least one of the criteria below:
Qualifies for the FCC's existing Lifeline program
Attends a Title I school
Lost employment or experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020
Is a student who receives a Federal Pell Grant
Meets the eligibility criteria for your participating internet provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program
You don't need to be a US Citizen and you don't have to share a Social Security Number.
Check your eligibility at: getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify
How do I apply?
Contact your preferred participating provider directly to learn about their application process.
Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to submit an application and to find participating providers near you.
Complete a mail-in application and send it along with proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center P.O. Box 7081 London, KY 40742
For information about how to apply, call 833.511.0311 or visit getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply
How can my organization help people sign up?
Spread the word about the Emergency Broadband Benefit via flyers, social media, and word of mouth.
Share this image on social media in English and Spanish - feel free to add your logos and any hashtags like #BronxDigitalEquity or #BroadbandforAll
There are more outreach materials and templates available here on the FCC's website.
Even more resources and templates here:
The Leadership Council
Spanish Launch Toolkit: https://bit.ly/EBBConectate
English Launch Toolkit: https://bit.ly/GetConnectedEBB
https://www.ebbhelp.org/ from Media Justice
Learn how to help community members prove eligibility and sign up
Here is a webinar showing how to sign up using the USAC system.
Set up a pop-up sign-up station at your location with support for verifying eligibility and navigating sign-up systems online.
How can I advocate for digital equity in the Bronx?
While the Emergency Broadband Benefit is a helpful short-term solution for our communities - it will not being digital equity to the Bronx. Digital equity is defined by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as "the condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy." The digital divide has existed in the Bronx for far too long. It is time for a borough of nearly 1.5 million people to be heard and come together to make sure all Bronxites are connected and have equitable access to the tools, services and information that help us in our daily lives and to prepare for the future.
Here are a few actions you can take to advance digital equity:
Talk to your elected officials about your experience with accessing affordable at-home broadband, computers for work or school, and tech training programs or digital literacy support in the Bronx. Ask them to advocate for more funding for local community networks, training for digital stewards and navigators, and inclusion of community members in funding decisions.
Demand that private Internet Service Providers are held accountable to customers including offering affordable access to broadband to all and protecting their customers' data and security.
Join the Bronx Digital Equity Coalition by signing up on the Google Form below.
NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
24-Hour Coronavirus hotline
Questions related to COVID-19? Call 1-888-364-3065
In need of emotional support? Call 1-844-863-9314
Health Resources & Services Administration Health Centers
If you’re feeling sick, Health Centers can assess whether you need further testing and provide primary care at a reduced cost or free of charge.
Offers free testing and 30 day trial membership for all NYC residents with Coronavirus concerns.
New York State Testing
Free testing for all eligible New Yorkers. Available through health care providers or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline: 1-888-364-3065
The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in phases to groups of people at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure or severe COVID-19 illness. Phased distribution will take time, with vaccines not expected to be widely available to all New Yorkers until mid-2021.
Provides legal defense for low-income Bronx residents. Current clients can also access the Client Emergency Fund.
For emergency legal support call: 347-778-1266
To contact a staff member or reception call: 718-838-7878
Protecting Immigrant Families
Provides information on immigrant eligibility of federal public programs during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Moratorium on evictions
New York State's residential eviction moratorium ended Saturday, January 15, 2022.
The ERAP application portal is reopened and accepting new applications.
Apply online at: www.otada.ny.gov/erap
Call at: 1-844-NY1-RENT (1-844-691-7368)
NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline
Survivors may receive temporary housing, emergency shelter and supportive services for themselves and their family. Available 24/7 at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
National Alliance on Mental Illness Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741 to text with a live, trained Crisis Counselor.
Groceries and hot meals are available at food pantries and community kitchens in all five boroughs
NYC Food Delivery Assistance
City service that delivers meals to New Yorkers who cannot access food themselves.
Know Your Rights
If you are facing rental hardships due to COVID-19, there's help, like Rent Hardship assistance for NYCHA residents and emergency "one-shot" assistance.
NYC is offering short-term emergency shelter and crisis intervention to homeless and runaway youth. For help, call Youth Connect at 800-246-4646.
Over 30 programs available to individuals and families regardless of immigration status.
Take-Out Meals for Remote Learning
Remote learning students may pick up a free breakfast and lunch at select locations. The parents/guardians of those students may also pick up the take-out meals. Take-out meals are available on school days only between 9 AM and 12 PM. You don’t need to register or show any ID or documents.
Community Food Fridges
Community Food Fridges are fridges that offer free food, to whoever wants it. Take what you need, leave what you don't. Set up and maintained by community members, many of the fridges are available 24/7.
Lemontree Food Helpline
Call or text the Lemontree Food Helpline for help finding the closest food pantry, applying for SNAP, and more. Your call will be answered by a real person who will connect you to the best resources available. They're open 10AM-6PM, every day of the week. Text FOOD to 90847, or call 888-489-7212 to get help now.
Unemployment Insurance Assistance
Temporary income available to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Additional benefits available due to COVID-19.
NYC Workforce 1 Virtual Career Center
NYC Small Business Services helps New Yorkers prepare for and connect to jobs across all five boroughs for free.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Provides economic support for Americans who are unemployed due to COVID-19 but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance.
NYS COVID Rent Relief Extension Program
The COVID Rent Relief Extension Program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance.
Paycheck Protection Program
A forgivable loan providing a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on payroll. Nonprofits are also eligible.
(Note: SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities)
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
A forgivable loan advance providing economic support to help small businesses overcome loss of revenue as a result of COVID-19.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
A loan for small businesses who currently have a relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
SBA Debt Relief
SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and associated fees on pre-existing loans and loans disbursed before September 27, 2020.
United Way of New York City COVID-19 Community Fund
Provides rapid crisis relief grants to nonprofit organizations that work with communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus
The Bronx Community Relief Effort Grant
A grant for the Bronx community with funds set aside for small businesses.
New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF)
Provides loans for small business, nonprofits, and small landlords who did not receive SBA Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance loans.
New York Small Business Development Center (NYSBDC)
Provides free business counseling, training, and business research to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
NYCDOE iPad Loaner
The NYCDOE is loaning iPads to NYC students K–12 who need a device for remote education.
NYC DOE Technical Support for Families
NYC public school students and family can get free tech support for their devices.
Free WiFi Hotspots
Altice and Charter (Spectrum) have made their WiFi Hotspots free to use for all.
(Note: Most Internet Service Providers, ISPs, are offering free service or promotional pricing during the pandemic to help keep students and families online. Call your local ISP to see if you are eligible.)