Connected in CLE: A comprehensive list of local resources and help for COVID-19#COVID-19

When the going gets tough, Clevelanders band together. As our city navigates uncharted waters during the COVID-19 crisis and pandemic, many organizations and individuals are working hard to make sure no Clevelander gets left behind. Though by no means an exhaustive list, below is a listing of helpful resources that reflect those efforts:

Charitable fundraising

The Cleveland Foundation has created the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund for people to donate to relief efforts. 

Business Resources

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization is maintaining and updating this evolving list of help for businesses.

Free Meals, Food Banks and Distributions

Farmers markets will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Shaker Square and Crocker Park. They will be outside in order to provide enough space for safety reasons. Other changes will be enacted as well. Visit here for details.

The Hunger Network has a comprehensive map of its Hunger Centers here. Restaurants and businesses with surplus food from canceled events can sign up to donate it here, and the Hunger Network’s Food Rescue Heroes will transport it to a local nonprofit to get it to those who need it most. See our November story on Hunger Network Food Rescue. The Cleveland Hilton has donated nearly 3,000 pounds of surplus food in only three days, which volunteers rescued and redirected to day shelters and other locations. Now more than ever, the Hunger Network needs volunteers and donations.

The West Side Market remains open for in-person shopping, or customers can call individual vendors and arrange for curbside pickup at two locations. The market is closed Tuesdays and Thursday. 216-664-3387.

View a community-organized map of free meals and food distributions here. And a link to a map that shows shuttle locations can be found here.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank continues to distribute nearly one million pounds of food each week. The food bank is also working with partners to obtain "grab-and-go" bagged Greater Cleveland Food Bankafter-school meals for various distribution sites, and will provide weekend bags of food through its Backpacks for Kids program—along with seven-day emergency food boxes for households and seniors. They are in need of volunteers to keep these programs running—please click here to see how you can help. If you are in need of food, please call the food bank's Help Center at 216-738-2067.

Every weekday during school closure, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be providing two take-home meals for any children 18 and younger—and accompanying adults—at 22 pickup sites (along with shuttle service). Get more details here.

See a full list of free meals and food distributions in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood here.

Clevelander Katya Wilkins has compiled a comprehensive list of local free meals.

The May Dugan Center, 4100 Bridge Ave., Cleveland, provides free meals every fourth Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The West Park Emergency Food Pantry and Delivery Program has a convenient donation form here. We wrote about this program March 20. See our story here.

Internet Access

Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Comcast is also offering two free months of internet service to all qualified, low-income households. You may cancel at any time or continue the service at $9.95 per month. To enroll, call 855-846-8376 or visit

Let's help support Cleveland bartenders like this one.Emergency Loans

Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans are available here.

If you are a bartender or work in the beverage industry, check out this specific grant program:

Hebrew Free Loan Association is offering interest-free loans up to $1,500 for those financially hurt by the coronavirus.  If you or someone you know is in need of an emergency loan due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), access the application here or call 216-378-9042 to have an application mailed.

Restaurant Support

The Cleveland Tip Jar allows the public to donate to service industry workers, via Paypal or Venmo.

The Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center has published a two-page list on its Instagram page of its clients and members in the restaurant industry that are offering carryout and delivery. (Their offices are closed through April 1.)

Clevelanders Erin Zaranec and Katya Wilkins have compiled a helpful list of restaurants offering takeout—reference Erin's list here at Rather Be Reading CLE, and Katya's list here.

The city of Cleveland Heights is offering free metered parking at all times to help encourage support of restaurants that will be providing takeout services. (Permit parking is still required for long-term parking.)

The Eat Drink Cleveland blog posted a list of 10 ways you can make a difference during this crisis.


Cleveland Pandemic Response is coordinating childcare for those who need an extra helping hand. Click here to learn more.


The new Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Help Line is 855-711-3035. It is in partnership with the United Way 2-1-1 First Call for Help program.

For information from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, visit here.

For information from the Ohio Department of Health, visit here or call 1-833-4-ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

The city of Cleveland Heights has a web page here that is devoted to the coronavirus, including a list of businesses that remain open in the suburb.

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland has closed its physical offices during the health crisis, but its online intake for clients is available around the clock, and phone intake is available during select business hours. Contact them here.

File for unemployment insurance with coronavirus modifications at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services here.

The in-person grief support groups offered by Western Reserve Grief Services are on hiatus. However, a private Facebook group moderated by trained grief support specialists provides confidential online support for grieving adults. To locate the group, search for “Hospice of the Western Reserve's Grief Support Page” and request to join the group. (The group is for any adult grieving the death of a loved one. No connection to hospice services is necessary.)

Hospice of the Western Reserve also offers these services:

Reading and information

A blog post on social distancing and grief

Enrichment and Education

The Center for Arts Inspired Learning in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood has created the #ArtsWorksChallenge, a 15-day online arts program to give kids a way to get creative and have fun while they're home. Their CAL Sprouts program has developed a variety of resources for teachers here.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District posted this coronavirus update from CEO Eric Gordon.

Literary Cleveland will move its classes online for April—see a list of their fantastic offerings here.

Cleveland Metroparks and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are offering virtual classroom lessons via Facebook Live every weekday at 11 a.m. Join the fun here.

Ariel Karas of Opus 216Career coach Sue Nelson is offering free online discussions and insights for weathering job transitions Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. Registration is required.

Opus 216 is posting live “pandemic playlist” performances of classic music on its Facebook page. Listen in here.

Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland will be live-streaming "The Quarantine Concerts" each week. Watch online at

Cleveland's Iron Chef Michael Symon is going to be offering free cooking
demos on Facebook live—get a taste here.

West Creek Conservancy has started a video series of virtual nature hikes, if you need a dose of the great outdoors while you are stuck inside.

Did you know the Cleveland Orchestra has a YouTube channel? Find it here. And while the best band in the land has canceled all concerts through May, they have educational resources available elsewhere online. The Music Explorers web series for ages 3 to 6 introduces kids to orchestral instruments. Video lesson plans for teachers and students are available here. Lesson plans and activities for kids pre-K through fifth grade are available here.

Job Opportunities

Thrive Peer Support offers peer-to-peer help for people in substance recovery and mental health treatment. They are uniquely positioned to still provide assistance during this time because they have been approved to offer their services through telehealth. They are also hiring Peer Support Coaches, Licensed Counselors, Recruiters and Billing Specialists—learn more or apply here.

Staying healthy

Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman narrates this video on social distancing and staying safe while enjoying the parks.

These two YouTube videos offer practical advice on hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of COVID-19 are listed here.

Thanks to the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Cleveland Pandemic Response participants, and all the others who helped compile this list. We will continue to add to it as resources come our way. Have an addition? Email us here.

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