COVID-19 Resources

Feel symptoms?

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of Breath

Call the McFarland nurse line at 515-500-6711 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. After hours call 211 (partnering with IDPH), or, if necessary, 911.

Multi-lingual Hotline - 1-877-558-2609


Local clinic information:

McFarland Clinic

Mary Greeley Medical Center

Primary Health Care

Story County Medical

Thielen Student Health Center (Iowa State University)


Public Health information:

TestIowa COVID-19 testing

CDC Fact Sheets

Iowa COVID-19 Information

Iowa Department of Public Health - COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Iowa Department of Public Health - Resources for Underserved Populations

COVID-19 Information in Other Languages (from the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa)

CDC vaccine information (available in many translations)

Vaccine Resources for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants

If you are uninsured and wish to apply for COVID-19 Testing medical coverage, complete an Application for COVID-19 Testing Coverage - (Solicitud de cobertura de la prueba para detectar el COVID-19). Only use this application if you do not have health coverage and wish to be tested for COVID-19. The health coverage you will get if you are found eligible using this application will only pay for medical tests for COVID-19. It will not help you pay for other medical costs, including doctor visits, hospital care, or prescriptions. To apply for full medical benefits, please visit dhsservices.iowa.gov.
 


Link to UWSC Partner Agencies

UWSC partner agencies provide critical support to Story County in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. Most are continuing to provide services to our neighbors. Please click the link above to view our list of partner agencies and their websites.

 

Resources in Story County:

If you are in need of childcare, we suggest you check in with Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral below. They also provide Child Care Guidance in Response to COVID-19 which provides child care vacancies and closings, information on child care assistance payments, and much more.

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R)

Child Care Assistance application- Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to the children of income-eligible parents. Click the link to apply.

Call the CCR&R hotline at 855-244-5301 for help finding a child care provider.

WiFi/Internet Access

Public WiFi is available outside of two locations in Ames- Ames Public Library and Furman Aquatic Center. Click here for details.

Collins Maxwell schools have funding available to help students with access to internet when remote learning is necessary, please contact your building principal if you are in need of a hotspot or, for those who qualify for free/reduced lunch, need increased bandwidth on your existing service.

Ames Public Library

The Ames Public Library has reopened. Please click the link above for guidelines. They have many online resources available as well.

How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19

Story County Reads

Our local Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Story County Reads,posts lots of educational opportunities for families. Follow their Facebook page!

School Supply Assistance

School supply distribution happens late summer every year. Check in with your guidance counselor or school social workers for more information or if you are in need of supplies during the school year.

After-School Care: 
Several partner agencies offering engaging after-school care programs. These include ACPC, Boys and Girls Clubs of Story County, and CampFire. For more information on enrollment and openings, as well as covid-19 protocols, please contact as follows:

Several resources exist to support you:

Ames Chamber of Commerce

IowaWorks office in Ames

903 Lincoln Way. Phone: 515-725-5495. Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

DMACC Workforce Training Academy

Contact Vonda Junck at DMACC (vfjunck@dmacc.edu) or Nikki Fischer at Ames Chamber (nikki@ameschamber.com) to learn of programs available in Story County. Training is free, with additional supports (transportation, childcare vouchers, etc.) available. 

YSS Youth Employment Program

420 South Kellogg Ave. Phone: 515-233-3141. See https://www.yss.org/program/youth-employment/ for more information.

Clothing That Works

130 S. Sheldon Ave. in Ames (in the Annex building behind Dunkin' Donuts). Free clothing closet. Obtain clothes for work and beyond. Open Wednesdays 2-5 pm. 

Click here for a printable list of these resources.

 

Emergency Financial Assistance

*Please note - several of our Story County emergency financial assistance providers are experiencing changes to their delivery.

**To access Unemployment information, please view more information here.**

 

Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program, Iowa Finance Authority

This program offers short-term relief to income-eligible renters who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure. Rental and utility assistance for multiple months. For more information, to sign up for updates, to do an eligibility pre-check, or to apply, go to: www.iowahousingrecovery.com.

 

Centralized Intake Form for Rent and Utility Assistance in Story County

Story County Community Services, Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance, and The Salvation Army now offer a centralized intake process for applications for rent and utility assistance. You can apply for their multiple programs with one application. To make an appointment, please call 515-663-2930.

 

ACCESS (Assault Care Center) Financial Assistance

ACCESS can provide help with rent and utilities. To be eligible, you must be a survivor of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or violent crime. Call ACCESS' housing helpline (se habla espanol): 1-855-696-2980

 

Ames United Church of Christ

Funding available to help pay the bills (rent, utilities, medical) for those experiencing income or job loss due to COVID-19 when funds are available. The payee needs to be able to accept a credit card via phone or the internet. Payments by check are also available but only on a monthly basis. Contact emergencyfund@amesucc.org.

 

The Bridge Home 

Continuum of care includes street outreach, homelessness prevention, emergency shelter for men, women, and families, supportive housing, rapid rehousing and active case management. Clients qualify by participating in a coordinated entry intake. Examples of assistance may include legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers. The Bridge Home also continues to offer assistance to those affected in any way by Covid. Call 515-232-8075, email tbh@thebridgehome.org or apply at their website, https://www.thebridgehome.org/ .

 

City of Ames

The City of Ames Housing Division will begin accepting applications on August 24 for a Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Relief Assistance Program. This program is for households of low-income impacted by loss of income due to COVID-19. For more details and to apply, visit www.cityofames.org/housing. To set up an appointment for assistance, email Andrea at andrea.buchele@cityofames.org or call 515-239-5380.

 

Christ Community Church

Rent and utility assistance when funds are available. Must be an Ames resident. Documents required: Rental assistance needs photo ID, lease/rental agreement with landlord's information. Utility assistance needs a utility bill. Call (515) 232-2765 or email info@ccames.org.

 

Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance 

515-296-1449 / assistance@gnea.org - Rent, utility, gas, food vouchers, CyRide tickets, phone cards, internet, phone bill help available. Good Neighbor takes appointments for assistance applications Monday – Thursday. Call 515-296-1449 or email assistance@gnea.org for more information or to make an appointment. You can also apply for assistance online, 24/7, at www.gnea.org/services.

*Good Neighbor does not have walk-in hours at this time.*

 

Iowa State student financial assistance

For currently enrolled Iowa State University students, the Office of Student Assistance helps students achieve academic success, personal growth, and well-being by providing direct support and connection to appropriate university resources. The Office of Student Assistance team would be happy to connect with you to discuss options for support and can be reached by calling 515-294-1020 or by email at studentassistance@iastate.edu. email studentassistance@iastate.edu.

 

MICA- LIHEAP & LIHWAP Program

MICA is accepting applications for utility and water assistance. If you are approved for LIHEAP, a one-time payment will be sent to your heating vendor. You also will be protected from shut-offs. LIHWAP is crisis water assistance for disconnects on your water bill. The Story County enrollment phone number is 515-956-3333.

 

St. Patrick's "Good Samaritan" Financial Assistance Program (Nevada, IA)

515-382-2974 - Rent/utility/gas assistance. This program is for residents of eastern Story County: Must live on east side of interstate (Cambridge, Collins, Colo, Fernald, Maxwell, McCallsburg, Nevada, Roland, Zearing). Provides rent and utility assistance every 6 months (up to $200). Provides gas assistance for work or medical appointments only every 3 months. Students are not eligible for the program. Assistance is currently by phone only, please call! Denials are not currently required; landlord and utility company information is still required for those requesting rent or utility assistance; driver's license is required for those requesting gas assistance.

 

Story County Community Services

515-663-2930 / communityservices@storycountyiowa.gov - Rent/utility assistance. Help can be accessed 1x in 6 month period or up to 3 consecutive months if there is a medical reason individual is unable to work. The general assistance application is on the SCCS website https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/345/General-Assistance. The Story County Community Services Office is open to the public. Hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Appointments to fill out applications are required. Please call 515-663-2930 to schedule an appointment.

 

The Salvation Army

515-233-3567 / cari.mcpartland@USC.salvationarmy.org - Rent/utility/other emergency assistance. All assistance is by appointment only. Call to schedule phone interviews for homelessness prevention dollars.

 

St. Thomas Aquinas "Love Your Neighbor" program (Ames)

515-292-3810 / lyn@staparish.net - Rent/utility assistance. Tuesday or Thursdays, 9am - noon, call 515-292-3810 or email lyn@staparish.net for questions concerning needed documentation. Please read the link for detailed information: www.staparish.net/social-justice/love-your-neighbor-emergency-assistance

 

Legal Assistance for Evictions

If you are facing eviction, please contact:

  1. Legal Aid Society of Story County, housed in Nevada (eviction and related landlord-tenant cases are being treated as "crisis" cases and will receive prompt assistance) 515-382-2471
  2. Iowa Legal Aid Hotline (free legal advice, Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm) 1-800-332-041. Please also refer to their website https://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/2020-coronavirus-outbreak-what-you-need-to-know for information. 

 

Money Management

America Saves - resources on taxes, student loans, SNAP benefits, and more

Concerned about how you are going to pay your bills? The best step you can take is to communicate soon with those you will be owing money to in the coming weeks. This would include landlords, and mortgage, utility, loan, and/or credit companies along with others you may owe money to. You may be able to work out a plan with each of them giving you the ability to make a partial payment or perhaps temporarily suspend payments with the promise of making them up later.

The key is to make sure to communicate with those expecting a payment before the payments are due in order to show good faith but also to find out what your options are for partial or delayed payments. In all cases do not make promises you can not keep. Document the agreements you have reached so that you don’t have to count on your memory at a later date. Finally, follow through on your promises.

Check the other resources on this page to see if there is a program that will either help with a critical bill or free up money so you can pay the critical bill such as utilizing a food pantry.

 

ISU Extension Family Finance Specialists

Family finance program specialists are providing free, one-on-one financial conversations. Financial educators are available to talk about options for revising a budget, prioritizing bills, paying down debt and connecting Iowans with community resources to stretch reduced incomes. Iowans can connect with a family finance specialist by phone or email. The conversations are free and confidential. Click the link above for more info.

 

Taxes

*NEW* Tax Tool to claim child tax payments

Iowa Updated Tax Deadlines

View available local tax assistance here

 

 

 

Story County food resources - Spanish Chinese Arabic Korean

Story County has historically been one of the most food insecure counties in all of Iowa. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our local food insecurity. In the link above you can find information on a variety of food resources, including food pantries county-wide (and their changes during this time), school district food resources during COVID-19, and other food resources available to you. If you have any resources to add, updates, or questions, please contact Anneke Mundel, Community Impact Director at UWSC.

 

Story County School Pantries - Spanish Korean Arabic

Food options available for students and their families. Please view the link to see what your student could qualify for.

 

Information on SNAP/Food Assistance Benefits (please check DHS website for newest information)

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted multiple federal waivers to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to ensure continued expanded access to food. This federal waiver allows for continued and increased benefits for current and newly eligible applicants. For more information on what that means for you, please view these FAQs on the DHS website.

DHS has increased SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount, suspended the food assistance work requirements, and added new online options at ALDI, Amazon, Hy-Vee and Walmart for individuals using Food Assistance EBT cards.

Note: “when the federal and state public health emergency declarations end, extra SNAP benefits, that have been issued since April 2020, will also end the month after the declarations end. 

DHS has increased SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount per household each month from April 2020 through January 2022.” 

Apply for WIC

Struggling to provide healthy food for your young child during the COVID-19 crisis? The WIC Program aims to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. Most WIC programs are enrolling people by phone or online. Use the zip code locator linked above to find a phone number to call.

 

Apply for the Senior Supplemental Food Program - Commodity Boxes

The Senior Supplemental Food Program serves persons 60 years of age or older. This does not include disabled people under 60 years of age. A person must reside within the geographical boundaries of Polk, Warren, Jasper, Dallas, Story and Boone Counties. A person must meet the following income eligibility guidelines established by the USDA. Foods received monthly: shelf stable milk, non-fat dry milk, rice or pasta, ready-to-eat cereal, farina, or oatmeal, peanut butter or dry beans, canned meat or fish, bottled juices, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and cheese. Click here for the Story County delivery schedule.

Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?

You may qualify if:

  1. You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
  2. The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.

Who cannot apply?

  • A minor child cannot apply on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
  • There are several categories of aliens lawfully present in the U.S. who are not eligible for FEMA’s Individual and Households Program assistance, including funeral assistance. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Temporary tourist visa holders
    • Foreign students
    • Temporary work visa holders
    • Habitual residents such as citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

How do I apply?

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time

Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

No online applications will be accepted.

When you call, it should take about 20 minutes to apply. We will not rush through calls because we intend to make sure every applicant gets their questions answered and receives the help they need to apply.

It is important to gather all necessary information and documentation before applying for assistance. This will help us take the application and process it in a timely manner.

Once you have applied and are given an application number, you may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:

  • Upload to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
  • Fax documents: 855-261-3452.
  • Mail documents: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782

For more information visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.

Multi-lingual Hotline - 1-877-558-2609

Vaccine Resources for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants

Resources for Immigrants and Internationals

This list of resources for immigrants and other internationals provides resources (financial, ELL classes, COVID-19 information) in Story County, Iowa, and beyond. If you know of resources that should be included, please email Anneke Mundel. Please also be sure to check above under the Financial Assistance resources listed above.

Recursos para Inmigrantes y Personas Internacionales

Esta lista incluye recursos para inmigrantes y otras personas internacionales en el condado de Story, en Iowa, y en los alrededores. Si usted conoce recursos que debemos incluir o si tiene preguntas, favor de mandar un email a Anneke Mundel. ¡Se habla español!

Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Story County Immigrants

This fund operated from March 2020 thru December 8, 2021. It has now been discontinued. Immigrants in need of financial assistance are encouraged to contact community providers. Please see UWSC’s updated list of providers. For immigrants who need interpretive help, please reach out to Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance: Assistance Good Neighbor assistance@gnea.org OR 515-296-1449.

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The FCC is rolling out a benefit program to assist households struggling to pay for Internet services during the pandemic. The program is now live, please view more general information here. Locally, Mediacom is participating in the EBB program, if you are a Mediacom customer, you could be eligible for up to $50 off your monthly bill, view more here.

Keep America Connected Pledge

AT&T, CenturyLink, Mediacom, Sprint, T-Mobile, TracFone, Windstream, and more have each signed on to the FCC pledge to not terminate internet service due to inability to pay caused by the Coronavirus, to waive late fees, and to open up their WiFi hotspots if they have any. Click here for a full list of providers.

In addition:

T-Mobile: Suspending mobile data caps for 60 days, providing an extra 20GB of data for hotspot tethering, providing Lifeline customers with 5GB additional data, and providing additional data allowance to educational institutions.

Verizon: Tripling data limits for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools, donating $10 million to educational nonprofits, waiving late fees for residential and small business customers.

Mediacom

Mediacom offers a simple, affordable way to help students get quality home internet if one child in the household qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunch. Mediacom is currently offering free installation and free connections for two months, as well as temporarily removing data caps, for qualifying families who sign up by May 15. If plans are continued into the summer, it will go back to $10/month plus tax. You can find more information about this program at https://mediacomc2c.com/.

Public WiFi spots available in Ames

Public WiFi is available at two locations in Ames, Furman Aquatic Center and the Ames Public Library, for students and others who need an Internet connection in the community. Click above for more details.

Free Iowa Hotline - 1-800-332-0419

Iowa Legal Aid, in partnership with the Iowa State Bar Association and Polk County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project, has set up a free hotline for Iowans who may be facing legal issues during the COVID-19 outbreak, including eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues, identity theft and more. To reach the hotline, call 1-800-332-0419 and leave a message. A representative will call you back to obtain more information and get you connected with an attorney. View information from Iowa Legal Aid here.

Legal Aid Society of Story County

Legal Aid provides in-person and virtual appointments for intakes from their waitlist. Eviction cases will be given priority as these cases are on the rise due to the economic impact of COVID-19. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance regarding their rent payment, contact Legal Aid at (515) 382-2471. (Office is in Nevada.)

Medicaid

DHS is waiving all co-pays, premiums, and contributions for Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP), Medicaid for Employed People with Disabilities (MEPD), Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (Hawki), and Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) members until the emergency declaration is lifted.

SingleCare Prescription Savings Card

The SingleCare prescription savings card can help everyone save up to 80% on prescriptions, including the uninsured, the underinsured, and those with limited prescription benefits on their insurance plans. When calling in your prescriptions, ask that the SingleCare discount be applied by providing them the following information:

BIN: 610194

Group ID: FW200

PCN: FW

Registration is not required for this program so anyone can use it!

Info flyer in English  -  Folleto Informativo

Statewide Resources

Statewide Crisis Line 24 hour services

Toll-free Crisis Line phone number: 855-581-8111

Live, online chat counseling, available at: yourlifeiowa.org

Text support available by texting to: 855-895-8398

 

Iowa DHS launches COVID Recovery Iowa, free virtual counseling sessions for Iowans

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering free counseling to any Iowan who has been affected, in any way, by the COVID-19 public health emergency through COVID Recovery Iowa.

Counseling will take place via virtual sessions, chat or phone call.

Iowans can access services through the following options:

  • Call 800-447-1985 to connect with a counselor specializing in rural issues and agriculture 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Call the Iowa Warm Line, 844-775-9276, to connect with a peer counselor or request to get in touch with a COVID Recovery Iowa counselor.
  • Visit www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org and complete a contact form and a counselor will get back to you.

 

Mental Health resource guide from National Alliance on Mental Health

 

Story County Mental Health Services

For a comprehensive list of providers, please see Central Iowa Community Services’ “Mental Health Services for Adults” document (click here) or “Mental Health Services for Children” (click here). For additional information, please visit the CICS website at: https://www.cicsmhds.org/accessing-services/ 

ACCESS (Assault Care Center)

24/7 Help Lines: 

Sexual Abuse Helpline: 1-800-203-3488

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 1-855-983-4641

Emergency Housing Helpline: 1-855-696-2980

The Bridge Home (formerly ERP)

The Bridge Home is devoted to bridging the gap between homelessness and housing by providing shelter, support, and inspiring a pathway forward to individuals and families experiencing or on the verge of homelessness. Please call 515-232-8075 to request help. 

YSS

Youth in crisis can find safety, support and services at any YSS emergency service and shelter:

  • Rosedale Shelter (703 Burnett Avenue, Ames) can be reached 24/7 at 515-233-2330.  
  • All adolescent residential addiction treatment facilities in Ames are open and operating. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment, please contact Mark at 515-233-4930.

Need help getting supplies to your home?

For individuals 60+, Heartland Senior Services and Central Iowa RSVP are offering assistance with medication and grocery pick-up/delivery. To access this assistance, please visit this webpage: https://www.heartlandseniorservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Store-Options-and-Policies.pdf OR call the following:

  • Story City RSVP: 515-733-4917
  • Ames RSVP: 515-292-8890

HIRTA also now has a grocery shuttle with round-trips to Fareway and Lincoln Center Hy-Vee. Learn more at https://www.ridehirta.com/groceryshuttlehere OR call 1-877-686-0029 / email erides@ridehirta.com.

CyRide

Beginning July 15, fares will be charged and front doors can be utilized. Please wear a mask, limit conversations, and wash your hands. 

HIRTA

HIRTA is charging standard rates. Effective 2/1/2021, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires proper wearing of face masks, per federal law, for those riding HIRTA vehicles. Face masks are to be worn at all times. Failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and may result in penalties. Buses are cleaned daily and deep-cleaned over-night. Buses are operating on reduced capacity, please social distance while riding.

Central Iowa RSVP Volunteer Driver Program

View local volunteer opportunities here:

https://www.givepulse.com/search?SearchForm%5Blocation%5D=Ames%2C+IA

or click volunteer at the top of our website.