COVID-19: Emerging Resources and Mutual Aid Guide

This is not a replacement for 411 or existing community resource guides in your community. It is highly suggested you look at and support existing local resources. This guide is just collecting new, emerging resources that may be useful at this time.

Equality Ohio has not vetted these organizations or offerings––these are provided as-is, but we will try to keep it updated based on your feedback. Let us know at info@equalityohio.org if you have updates or comments.

If you have found yourself laid off or without a job or health insurance, apply for unemployment online.

In the U.S., cities across the country have declared States of Emergency in response to the pandemic created by COVID-19. As officials work to keep our communities safe from harm by extending school breaks, urging workplaces to move towards virtual spaces, and outlawing large gatherings, many folks in our communities are left in economically vulnerable positions. 

Because of coronavirus, parents in Ohio who may have depended on schools to take care of and feed their children are left struggling. University students who have been forced out of university housing and do not have physically and/or emotionally safe places to go are in need of help. Service workers who depend on tips and hourly wages to survive and small business owners who cannot keep their businesses afloat without patrons are doing their best to withstand the economic downfall. Our governments have encouraged residents to practice social isolation and social distancing to the best of their abilities, but have not yet created concrete safety plans for those in homeless shelters, in prisons and jails, or in migrant detention centers. 

In the ongoing chaos, many of our community members will not be able to survive both physically and financially unless we come together and help take care of one another. One form of help that has been emerging is mutual aid. Mutual aid is a form of social participation in which people take responsibility for caring for another and changing social conditions. Through mutual aid, community members build new social relations to help keep one another afloat and mitigate harm. 

Community members in cities across Ohio have started mutual aid forms to connect those who are able to provide resources to those in need of resources. Businesses, hospitals, banks, and governmental bodies have also worked together to provide resources to those in need.

Northeast Ohio Resources

Mutual Aid Forms

This form is for those interested in providing support & aid to those in the community while we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many university students are currently displaced. If you are able to host a student, please fill out this form.

If you are in need of childcare while Ohio schools are shut down during the COVID-19 crisis, please fill out this form.

Medical Resources

Cleveland Clinic is waiving testing fees for Coronavirus. A newly developed in-house test can deliver results in 8 hours.

MetroHealth Medical Center can now test COVID-19 samples, results available in 2 hours.

Cleveland Clinic, Metro Health, and University Hospital have nurses on call. Cleveland Clinic: (216) 444 2200, press Metro Health: (440) 592 6843 University Hospital: (216) 844-1574

If you or a loved one are age 55 and older and need mental health assistance, please call Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging  at 216.791.8000 or email intake@benrose.org

Food Options

Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be providing food pickups from March 16th – April 3rd, 11:30am – 1pm.

Boys & Girls Clubs around Cleveland, Lorain, Sandusky, and Akron will close for at least three weeks, officials announced. Many clubs will turn into meal distribution sites.

Willowick Pet Food Pantry will have a pet food distribution on March 28th. 

Painesville City School will begin a lunch distribution program for those 18 and under starting 3/23 Monday thru Fridays

Parma City Schools are offering grab and go lunches Monday – Friday for those 18 and under. A sign up sheet is required to be filled out through this link in order to receive meals.

Children’s Hunger Alliance will be distributing ready-to-eat meals to children outside most of Cleveland’s recreation centers while the centers remain closed during the emergency shutdown. The grab-and-go meals are available Mondays – Fridays from 4-5 p.m. Meals will be available at all city recreation centers except Kovacic, Cudell Fine Arts, and Camp Forbes.

List of free meals in Greater Cleveland

Through April 3, and possibly beyond, Cleveland Heights is offering breakfast and lunch pickup for any child 18 and under at a variety of pickup locations between 10am and 1pm,

Lakwood City Schools will be distributing breakfast and lunch from Lakewood High School.and Garfield and Harding middle schools beginning March 18 from 11 am – noon for free/reduced lunch participants.

Financial Support

City of Cleveland to halt water and power shutoffs, restore connections to residents.

FirstEnergy is suspending power shutoffs. Call 1-888-544-4877 to restore your connection.

Most foreclosures suspended for 60 days in Cuyahoga County on 3/19 .

Hebrew Free Loan Association is offering interest-free loans up to $1500 for those financially impacted by Coronavirus

Bartender Emergency Assistance for bartenders, their spouses, and their children

Job openings in NE Ohio

The Cleveland Legal Aid Society has a Worker’s Information line that can answer unemployment questions. Call 216-861-5899 in Cuyahoga County. Call 440-210-4532 in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties

The NEO Music Relief Fund is distributing relief in the amount of $500 to musicians and venue workers and owners

Educational Resources

Westlake is offering instant online library cards


Cuyahoga County court will hold Saturday hearings to reduce jail population in response to coronavirus

The city of Cleveland Heights is offering free metered parking at all times to help encourage the support of restaurants that will be providing takeout services.

Central Ohio Resources

Mutual Aid Forms

This form is to build a network of people who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Central Ohio.

Food Options

Emergency Food Supplies are available for those who qualify

Columbus Humanities, Arts, and Tech Academy is providing breakfast and lunch for ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18, regardless if they attend our school or not. You may pick up meals between 9:00am – 12:00pm.

Columbus businesses and restaurants are offering free meals and take-home activities to help families during the COVID-19 school closures.

During the period of canceled classes are canceled, CCS is offering free breakfast and lunch M-F for ALL children age 18 and under.

The LunchBox will be passing out emergency bags of food throughout the duration of the school closures to families needing them most.

Children’s Hunger Alliance will be distributing ready-to-eat meals Mondays – Fridays outside 3 Columbus Metropolitan Library branches during the library closures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Any child 18 and under will be able to pick up two meals to take home.

Financial Support

Water and power shut-offs suspended in Ohio until April 15th

Eviction Hearings suspended for 3 weeks in Franklin County

Impact Community Action for utility bill or rental assistance

Ohio State University emergency assistance for students

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus may be able to offer information on unemployment and benefits. Call their intake line at 614-241-2001 M-F from 9:30am-3:30pm or visit their helpful page.

Social Support

Zora’s House will be offering free half-day licensed childcare 3x/week through April 3

The Garden Columbus has free emergency contraception

If you are sick at home and need an AA meeting, Pause a While will host free conference calls every day at 2pm. Dial-In number: (425) 436-6360. Access Code 422932#. Email pauldart@pauseawhile.org

Zora’s House is offering short term emergency housing for up to one week for local WOC students whose campuses are closing and can’t get home right away.  Please email heygirlhey@zorashouse.com with the subject line “emergency housing” for more information.

LSS CHOICES has a 24/7 domestic violence hotline and other resources for victims of abuse. Reach them at 614-224-HOME (4663)

Southwest Ohio

Mutual Aid Forms

This form is to build a network of people who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Dayton and the Miami Valley.

Food Options

Dayton Public Schools will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to children under the age of 18 every Monday – Friday, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, during each week of the state-mandated closure.

Cincinnati Public Schools to assist with meals & health services

Until April 17, Picnk is offering meals to those in need, age 60 or older, who live within a 30-mile radius of Dayton. Review the meal options using the link and place your order by 6pm on Fridays for a maximum of three (3) meals per week.

Financial Support

Duke Energy announced that because customers may be facing unusual financial hardship, the company has immediately suspended disconnections for non-payment. This applies to all home and business accounts in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana as well as other states.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works is canceling water shutoffs and restoring water service. Questions? Call 513-591-7700.

Dayton Power & Light suspends utility disconnections for nonpayment until further notice or at least 30 days for nonpayment by business and residential customers:

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says water shutoffs are suspended.

The Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati may answer questions about unemployment through their intake line at 513.241.9400 or 1.800.582-2682
Monday – Friday 8:45 AM to 4:30 PM.


University of Cincinnati info on coronavirus for students, faculty, employees

Northwest Ohio

Mutual Aid Forms

This form is to build a network of people who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Toledo and the surrounding areas.

Food Options

Free Toledo meal and delivery options

Equality Toledo has a community food pantry available to anyone who lives in Toledo. They are also in need of volunteers and donations.


Financial Support

Comcast offers free broadband to low-income households, boosts speeds amid coronavirus crisis

Spectrum to offer free internet access for students due to coronavirus

AT&T, Sprint, T Mobile, and Comcast will not terminate services for the next 60 days.

Aldi and Costco are currently hiring those in need of temporary work during this time. Those who apply can begin working in 1 – 2 days.

An aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

HAUL offering 30 days free storage to students due to coronavirus outbreak

KeyBank has issued a moratorium on foreclosures and will defer mortgage, student loan, and auto loan payments for 90 days.

As of March 31st, a temporary halt of water shutoffs has been implemented statewide. If you need to restore services, contact your water provider.

Buckeye Vodka is offering cash prizes to 5 different bartenders who have been affected by COVID-19 in a social media contest

The Professional Beauty Association is offering relief in the form of $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are no longer working

Educational Resources

Metropolitan Opera is offering free virtual shows this week

List of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings

Over 30 Virtual Field Trips with Links

A list of anti-racist and anti-oppressive home school resources

Renzo Gracie Online Academy is completely free for (at least) 30 days. 

Cleveland Playhouse is offering free online educational programming through Zoom.

Health Services

Riverscape Counseling is offering free support group sessions on Thursdays from 2 – 3pm, starting April 2nd.

Gov. Mike DeWine filing emergency rules for complete mental health telehealth coverage

CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are doing free medication delivery. 

Planned Parenthood is giving out free condoms and morning-after pills.


If you are placed at an increased risk of domestic violence due to COVID-19, call BRAVO hotline for support: 1-866-862-7286
or email: report@bravo-ohio.org