COVID-19 And Assistance: Find Out Where To Get Help And How To Help Others

Brian Kirkpatrick

Here are ways to help and resources if you need help with ….

Do you think you have the coronavirus? Here’s what you should do first.

Do you need someone to talk to? Get help anytime through the state’s free mental health hotline: 833-986-1919

Freeman Coliseum: An appointment is required. Schedule a free test at txcovidtesting.org or call 210-233-5970.

Walmart: The drive-thru testing location at 8923 W Military Drive is reserved for those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. It’s also open to all health care providers and first responders, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. The site will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting. Those eligible for testing can sign up for an appointment at DoINeedaCOVID19test.com.

Texas MedClinic: The drive-thru COVID-19 testing location is at 2530 SW Military Drive. The location operates seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This drive-thru location is a partnership with the South Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC). Visit the website or call 210-233-5970 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be screened. The test is free and is for those who do not have health insurance.

MedPost Urgent Care: Locations in the San Antonio area offer evaluations and testing 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Patients should call their nearest MedPost location for additional information.

Farmers to Families Food Box Program: Wholesalers may submit applications to participate in the new initiative, which aims to link farmers and ranchers to regional and local distributors affected by restaurant closures. The new network enables them to buy produce, dairy and meat that might otherwise go to waste. Wholesalers would work with food banks and other nonprofit aid groups to prepare food boxes for families in need, which could bring up to 60,000 food boxes into San Antonio alone. For more information, contact the San Antonio Food Bank’s Michael Guerra at miguerra@safoodbank.org or Celia Cole, CEO at Feeding Texas, at ccole@feedingtexas.org.

Community Response Fund: The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and the San Antonio Area Foundation have partnered to launch the Coronavirus Community Response Fund to support individuals and families experiencing food insecurities and other fundamental challenges. Donate at helpsatx.org or by texting “helpsatx” to 41444.

St. Stephen’s CARE Center: St. Stephen’s is accepting donations including non-perishable food items, bottled water, hand sanitizer, soap, anti-bacterial wipes, home sanitizing products, gallon storage bags and new or gently used clothes. Take them to 202 W. French Place during normal business hours. You can also donate money for their food pantry here.

Meals On Wheels: The group doesn’t need volunteers but it does need donations of any size. You can donate online and via Venmo or Cash App. The user name for both platforms is @mowsatx.

Christian Assistance Ministry: The organization accepts hygiene or food kits. They may dropped off at either of their two locations. A list of items needed for each kit and more opportunities to safely volunteer are online at Christianassistanceministry.org.

Rental assistance: The Bexar County Housing Authority is helping residents who’ve lost their jobs pay their rents. Up to three months rental assistance is being offered to those who qualify. Rental payments are made directly to landlords. Applicants can apply online at the authority’s website.

VIA Metropolitan Transit: It has extended its fare relief period through Sunday, May 17th. Fares for VIA buses, VIAtrans, and VIA Link service have been suspended since March 21st to help reduce crowding near the farebox when boarding. VIA still requires passengers to wear a face covering on its vehicles and at VIA facilities where proper social distancing isn’t possible. A maximum load of 16 passengers at a time is allowed on VIA buses to promote social distancing.

Animal Care Services: ACS announced that it does not allow public intake at its facility on 4710 State Highway 151. “We ask that residents call 311 or use the 311 app if they find a roaming pet,” the group said. It also asked anyone planning to surrender a pet at this time to reconsider because of the facility’s limited capacity. For those looking to adopt, they must first make an appointment. For adoption appointments, click here. Learn how to help here.

San Antonio Humane Society: The group needs donations to care for animals and staff. Learn more at its website.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

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