I thought it would be helpful to collect all of the different local resources that have been put together for the Coronavirus crisis. We are at the beginning of the storm, so now is the best time to prepare. Be sure to bookmark these website links and check official Facebook pages to keep up to date on continual changes.
1. Clay County Public Health Department
Municipalities in our area are taking their lead from Clay County Pubic Health Department. Their website features the latest emergency orders for the area, planning guides for businesses and organizations, best health practices for dealing with the illness, and what to do if you think you might have it. Click here to visit their site.
2. City of Excelsior Springs, Missouri
The City of Excelsior Springs has put together a webpage to address the Coronavirus crisis. It includes the county emergency orders but also has details on City closures and service level changes. Click here to visit their site.
3. Chamber and DEP with Business Community
Our small businesses are hurting right now. Many have had to close their doors and lay off their employees. We have many that are in this situation. The Chamber and Downtown Excelsior Partnership have come together to try and help offer the public resources to the businesses and restaurants that are still operating and needing your support. Click here to visit their site.
4. Excelsior Springs Schools
Luckily this week was Spring Break for the Excelsior Springs School District, so it has given them some time to plan. Many teachers have skipped their Spring Break to plan for next week’s change and offer students lessons virtually. The School District also announced that they would continue to serve meals at the elementary schools (older students are welcome, as well). Click here to visit their site.
Local Charities that need your financial support:
Good Samaritan Center
The Good Samaritan Center has been feeding Excelsior Springs’ below-middle class families for thirty years. They are committed to their mission in preventing homelessness and hunger by providing basic life needs. They will continue to offer housing, utility, and food pantry access and have established safety policies that align with CDC guidelines. There has been a fund established that will be dedicated to helping our local families impacted by this crisis.
Meet the Need
Meet the Need has been doing amazing things for the people in the Excelsior Springs area since 2004. Their goal is to help assist people through the crisis situations in life.
Citizen Financial Assistance Resources:
• The City of Excelsior Springs has stated that utility accounts will not be shut off and disconnections will be postponed for late pay; the window will be open to accept payments. If you are unable to make your water payment, please seek assistance from the Good Samaritan Center where there is a fund set up to help citizens with their water/sewer/trash bill. It is likely to be higher now, when you are home all day using it.
• Good Samaritan Center on the corner of Broadway and Thompson downtown is distributing food to families on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week from 10am-2pm. Citizens will need to fill out a form but will then be able to get groceries for their family.
• Ameren customers, here’s a link where you can find information for payment assistance, including a Coronavirus Income Relief Program and other energy assistance programs. Click here for info.
• For an application for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), click here. This program offers assistance for financial help with heating/cooling your home.
• Food Stamp Benefit Update:
As part of the Families First Act, Missouri will issue Pandemic Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (P-SNAP) benefits. This means all households currently eligible for SNAP will receive the maximum amount for the household size. This P-SNAP benefit increase will automatically be added on the normal date the recipient receives their SNAP benefit for the month of April. This increase will affect 310,000 Missouri households (660,000 people). For example, for a household of three under P-SNAP, the maximum allotment is $509, and for a household of four, the amount is $646.
In addition to P-SNAP, families with children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch in all Missouri school districts that close at least five consecutive days will get a Pandemic EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) (P-EBT) card benefit for March, April and May. The amount is determined by the federal government and will be the value of the number of missed meals. This benefit will automatically be added to the Food Stamp/SNAP recipient’s EBT card. About 50 percent of Missouri public school students or 400,000 children will get this benefit. DSS is working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to identify and do outreach to families of children who do not get Food Stamp benefits but do get free or reduced-price lunch to enroll them in the P-EBT card program.
Any low-income individual or family who are now in need of Food Stamp or other benefits should reach out to the Family Support Division for help. Missourians can apply for services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400. Missourians can also apply for Family Medicaid over the phone by calling 1-855-373-9994 during business hours Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This situation continues to evolve and the department will continue to evaluate ways to streamline access to essential services. For updated information on program accommodations and policy guidance visit https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19. MO HealthNet providers can find additional information online https://dss.mo.gov/mhd/providers/pages/provtips.htm.
Additional Community Resources:
• Announcements are being posted consistently in the Excelsior Springs Area News, Events, and Daily Deals group. Click here to join that Facebook Group.
• An Excelsior Springs Coronavirus Relief Crisis Facebook Group has been started, in anticipation of an influx of needs that are sure increase as we get further along. Already we have had citizens reaching out for help in finding essentials like toilet paper. Then the more serious concerns, when both parents worked in the food or hospitality industry and have been laid off. Or the single mom who has children that now won’t be returning to school and she is desperate for childcare. Click here to join that Facebook Group.
• If you are interested in helping with volunteer efforts, click here to sign up.
• If you have someone that the churches should pray for, click here to submit a prayer request.
• If you know of a need, click here to submit a request for help.
• If you are a business that is being negatively impacted by this crisis, our family business Morgansites is offering small businesses in Excelsior Springs, Lawson, Richmond, Kearney, Cameron, and Raytown a FREE website with online shopping cart, as a way to give back to the communities that have given back to us. Click here for those details.
• Click here to see the Missouri Municipal League’s latest on the COVID-19 Crisis regarding ordinances, policies, legislation and other guidance.
• Click here for Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters.
• Child Care Aware of America Coronavirus News & Resources for Child Care Professionals, Families and Policymakers
• Coronavirus Resources for Missouri Employers – including Federal Cares Economic Relief Plan, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, SBA Disaster Assistance Loans, and more.