What are some of the emergency resources that are available to me while PLU is utilizing remote learning? – March 24
PLU students, staff, and faculty continue to have a number of existing PLU-hosted emergency resources available to them. A number of new community and business COVID-19 related emergency resources also are becoming available to community members during this time and may be relevant to the emerging or current needs of PLU students, staff, and faculty. Please check back on this FAQ periodically as it will be updated as we become aware of new resources that have become available.
PLU HOSTED EMERGENCY RESOURCES
PLU food pantry – March 24
PLU’s food pantry will remain open, stocked, and available to PLU community members who are experiencing food insecurity during this period of time. The pantry is located in the Campus Ministry suite of offices on the first floor of the Anderson University Center (AUC). When the AUC is closed, residential students should contact their Community Director for access to the Campus Ministry Office and then use their PLU ID card for access to the food pantry. PLU community members not living on campus should access the pantry through Campus Safety by calling the Campus Safety non-emergency number 253-535-7441.
Emergency funding for urgent student needs – March 24
All students received an email from Student Financial Services on Thursday, March 20, detailing emergency funds that are immediately available to students. Please reference that email or contact Student Financial Services for specific details about sources of emergency funding.
PLU also has set up a donation site, the Emergency Care Fund, for community members to make gifts that directly address the range of financial emergency situations that students may be addressing right now. Students who may need access to the funds that are collected should either contact Student Financial Services or Jen Rude, University Pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Nelson, Assistant Dean of Students, email@example.com. Students and PLU community members also may continue using care forms to share concerns about a student’s financial well-being.
Individuals wishing to contribute to the Emergency Care Fund may do so at: www.plu.edu/care/
COMMUNITY HOSTED RESOURCES
A number of businesses have stepped up to offer financial support or financial relief to college students during this time. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a list that reflects resources that we have discovered or that have been shared with us to this point in time. We will continue to update this list as new resources are identified or become available.
Rental Assistance – March 31
Share & Care House is providing a program for those needing rental assistance to help households maintain existing housing due to circumstances related to COVID-19, such as loss/reduction of employment, quarantine, etc.. Households must be at or below 50% AMI and must live in Pierce County, outside the borders of the City of Tacoma. The program launches April 1.
Emergency Funding – March 24
United Way has a Community Economic Relief fund that is available to help with rent, purchasing food, bills. and other urgent needs. To learn more, individuals should call 1-866-211-9966 and be prepared to share their zip code to receive information about agencies in their area that are providing direct financial support.
Textbooks – March 24
Many textbook publishers are responding to colleges moving to remote learning by offering e-textbooks for no cost. The link below allows students to set up a log in and to search titles.
Internet Access – March 24
The FCC has implemented a “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” and internet providers are updating their services to comply. Below are links for common providers and their current responses to this FCC commitment. This overview gives you the information you will need to get free internet or a hotspot, if you need service. Right now they are offering free service for new accounts. If you already have service but need to improve it, most are offering to upgrade your speed during this time, eliminate data limits, waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open local hot spots.
Be sure to read the contract, many of these servicers will provide free internet for 60 days; after that they will charge for a monthly service. If this is the case, make a note of the end date and cancel the service on that day so you are not charged. It’s best for you to contact a company that’s near where you are staying.
Connectivity for students who don’t have it or who need to improve what they have to be able to participate in remote learning:
- FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.
- AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
- Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge
Storage units – March 24
Some local storage facilities are offering college students use of storage units for no cost or a reduced cost. U-Haul is among the facilities offering 30-days of free storage to college students during the COVID-19 outbreak. https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/About/20625/College-Students-U-Haul-Offers-30-Days-Free-Self-Storage-amid-Coronavirus-Outbreak/