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


Public Health information:

Test Iowa

TestIowa is an initiative in partnership with state leaders and private corporations. The goal is to dramatically increase the rate of COVID-19 testing so Iowans can have better access to testing and help stem the spread of COVID-19.

CDC Fact Sheets

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

Iowa COVID-19 information

Iowa Department of Public Health - resources for underserved populations


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:

Many Story County child care programs are now reopening after extended closures due to COVID-19. If you are still in need of child care, United Way of Story County is working collaboratively to figure out childcare for emergency personnel (medical staff, first responders, and other essential staff). If you need care but are not considered an "essential" service, please 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, will be posting tons of educational opportunities for families. Check back soon for ideas to keep your kids minds going!

School Supply Assistance

Nevada schools- Contact Jodi Heeren at jheeren@nevadacubs.org. Please indicate how many in your family need supplies and which grades they are in. More details to come.

Ames schools- A "Drive and Go" event will be held on August 19th at the Ames Middle School from 12-4pm. There is no registration this year, it will be first come first serve and supplies will be limited. If you have questions or concerns, including transportation concerns, please contact Amber Franzeen at amber.franzeen@ames.k12.ia.us or Candice Collins at candice.collins@ames.k12.ia.us.

 

Virtual Learning Support Programs

ACPC

ACPC has opened eight classrooms for full-day school-age programming to support families in this unique school year. Full-day programming will be available to children while school districts are in a hybrid instructional model and during full online learning. Teachers will provide additional activities each day and regular screen breaks. Visit www.acpc-childcare.org for info on updated policies and procedures related to the pandemic. To enroll, email Allison Brennan at allison@acpc-childcare.org or call 515-233-2901.

Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm Grades: K - 5th grade  Cost: $50 per day, sliding fee scales available to families who qualify. ACPC accepts Childcare Assistance through the State of Iowa as well as Child Care Aware assistance for military families.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Story County 

BGCSC Day Club - operating beginning Monday, August 31 to provide affordable youth development programming and to assist children with access to and support with online school instruction. This will be offered while Ames Community School District operates in a hybrid instructional model and while at least an average of 40 children attend daily. Program policies and procedures are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation is fluid. Please visit https://www.bgcstorycounty.org/ames for more information.

Monday-Friday 7:30am-6:00pm - Grades: Priority given to age 6 - 5th grade, 6th grade and up as space is available  Cost: $100 per week per member, non-refundable (lunch and snack included, discounts available, contact ramundson@bgcstorycounty.org)

Ames After School program - begins Monday, September 28 with transportation provided by school bus. After School program is included if you are registered for Day Club (above). Visit https://www.bgcstorycounty.org/school-year-nevada for information on After School Club in Nevada.

Monday-Friday 3:00pm-6:00pm  Grades: Priority given to age 6 - 5th grade, 6th grade and up as space is available  Cost: $25/week (snacks included, partial scholarships available)

Campfire - S.O.S. (Students Out of School) 

Supplemental educational programs for students learning virtually. Parents will drop off at Camp Canwita and youth will be transported to Camp Hantesa. Highly trained staff will lead youth in all of their favorite games, crafts, and activities while balancing time spent on schoolwork and homework help.

Drop-off: 7:00-8:30am Pick-up: 4:30-5:30pm - Grades: K - 5th grade (snacks provided, bring non-refrigerated lunch) Cost: $50 per day per child (partial scholarships available, call (515) 274-1501) Register at https://www.campfireiowa.org/covid/sos/.

SUCCESS Gymnastics - Hybrid Learning Support Program

Program to SUCCESSfully support students in the following areas: Virtual learning and hybrid model approaches to instruction; Socialization and interaction with others of the same age group, and Health and well-being through physical activities, including gymnastics instruction, creativity with crafts and games.

Drop-off: 7:15am Pick-up: 5:15pm - Mondays only for September and October. You do not need to be a member of SUCCESS gymnastics to access this program. Cost: $55 per day per child  Register at https://www.successgymnastics.net/

Iowa Workforce Development - temporary job openings

Iowa Workforce Development has partnered with Coursera to offer free online learning opportunities to Iowans during the pandemic. Coursera is an online learning platform with over 4,300 courses available from a variety of academic institutions and organizations worldwide. The online classes and certificate programs are available to Iowans at no cost if they register for and enroll in any of the courses by Sept. 20, 2020, and complete their courses by Dec. 31, 2020.

Click here for a printable list of these resources.

Rent/evictions

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.

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) 1-800-332-0419
  3. Financial assistance providers listed below for help with rent payments.
  4. See if you are eligible for the state of Iowa's Eviction and Foreclosure Program:
    Governor Kim Reynolds launched a new program that will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to a documented COVID-19 related loss of income. The COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program is administered by the Iowa Finance Authority. To apply and for more information on eligibility, visit:  https://www.iowafinance.com/covid-19-iowa-eviction-and-foreclosure-prevention-program/

Legal Aid of Iowa's COVID-19 resources

 

Utilities

Alliant Energy is temporarily suspending disconnections and waiving late fees. If you or someone you know if having difficulty paying utility bills, visit alliantenergy.com/myaccount to set up a payment plan based on your abilities.

 

Emergency Financial Assistance

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

Stimulus Payment Deadline for Non-Filers is October 15

The IRS reminds Americans who don't earn enough to have a tax filing requirement to sign up online with the IRS to request an Economic Impact Payment. If you're a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or "qualifying resident alien", you may be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. Even if you don't normally file taxes or are experiencing homelessness, you may still qualify for a payment. You may also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child. To get this $1,200 payment, sign up at IRS.gov by October 15, 2020. No income is required and registering won't result in you owing taxes.For eligibility requirements, required documents, and more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here (website available in multiple languages).

 

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 available. Good Neighbor has made a decision to move applications for assistance from in person to phone and email applications at this time.  They prefer people call or email on Mondays and Thursdays, but will be monitoring email and taking calls any time they can. Food vouchers are being distributed for emergency use only at this time. Again, a phone or email application informs their decisions and pick up of the vouchers will be from a medically safe and secure location.\

 

NEW! MICA CARES Direct Assistance Program:

515-956-3333 - This program is accepting applications over the phone for rent, mortgage, utility, and food assistance (direct payments to providers). No SSN necessary.

MICA- LiHEAP Program

MICA will start accepting new applications for households that have someone elderly or disabled in them on October 1. Please call 515-956-3333. All other households can apply starting November 1.

 

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. All County services will remain operational and available to the public either online or via phone or email. The Community Services office at 126 South Kellogg Ste 001 in Ames is closed to the public as of noon on March 18.

 

The Salvation Army

515-233-3567 / cari.mcpartland@USC.salvationarmy.org - Rent/utility/other emergency assistance. All assistance is by appointment only. Starting Monday, March 30 clients can call to schedule phone interviews for homelessness prevention dollars.

 

St. Thomas' "Love Your Neighbor" program

515-292-3810 / tom@staparish.net - Rent/utility assistance. Their office will be open Monday-Friday, 9:30-12pm. They will try to continue to serve "Love Your Neighbor" clients by phone, email, or mail. If a client does not have internet access to email documents, they have agreed to accept verbal documentation rather than hard copy documentation. Other than that, they are business as "unusual". Clients seeking rental assistance cannot be evicted by order of the Governor, but their overdue rent and any fees will continue to accumulate during the duration of the order. 

 
In addition to the usual providers of emergency basic services, the following organizations are offering financial support during this time:

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. The payee needs to be able to accept a credit card via phone or the internet. Contact Pr. Eileen Gebbie at either eileen@amesucc.org or 515-232-9323.

 

Financial Help for Immigrants

Please see below under International and Immigrant Help for resources and a link to apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Immigrants.

 

Iowa State student financial assistance

For any ISU students in need of assistance, the Student Services team would be happy to connect with you to discuss resources. Please email studentassistance@iastate.edu.

 

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.

 

Federal Student Loan Forbearance

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Click the link above to learn more.

 

Taxes

Iowa Updated Tax Deadlines

Story County food resources

Story County has historically been one of the most food insecure counties in all of Iowa. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we know our local food insecurity will grow. 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.

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted another federal waiver to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to ensure continued expanded access to food. This federal waiver allows for continued increased benefits for current and newly eligible applicants. DHS will increase June Food Assistance benefits to the maximum allowable amount per household. If a household is not already receiving the maximum amount for June, those additional benefits will be added to their EBT card with their normal monthly benefits.

Information on SNAP/Food Assistance Benefits

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted another federal waiver to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to ensure continued expanded access to food. This federal waiver allows for continued 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: https://dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance-COVID19.

DHS has increased SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount thru September 2020, suspended the food assistance work requirements, and added new online options at Amazon and Walmart for individuals using Food Assistance EBT cards.

Renewal deadlines have also been pushed back 6 months. All cases that were due for renewal between March and June were automatically given six more months of eligibility. New renewal forms will be mailed to you closer to your new renewal date.

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.

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

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!

Application for Financial Help

Community partners have come together to set up a COVID-19 emergency fund specifically for Immigrants. Funding will provide emergency assistance for rent, utilities, gas, and other necessities like prescriptions. Please note, rent dollars will be provided directly to the landlord and utility payments will be provided directly to the utility company. 

To be eligible, you must: Live in Story County, be an immigrant, have an immediate expense that is past-due, due now, or due within the next 7 days.

Paper applications in both spanish and english are available at St. Cecilia's Narthex or Rosita's Mexican Store. You can also apply online with the link above.

Solicitud de Asistencia Financiera

Socios de la comunidad se han juntado para establecer un Fondo de Emergencia de COVID-19 para Inmigrantes. Financiamiento provee ayuda de emergencia para alquilar, servicios públicos, gasolina, y otras necesidades (recetas médicas, etc). Pago de alquilar estará mandodo directamente al dueño del domicilio y pagos de servicios públicos estarán mandados directamente a las compañias de servicios.

Para calificar para ayuda, usted debe: Vivir en el Condado de Story, ser inmigrante, tener gastos inmediatos (alquilar, sevicios públicos, gasolina, u otras necesidades básicas) los cuales están vencidos, vencen ahora, o vencen en los próximos 7 días.

Se puede encontrar solicitudes en papel en español e inglés en Narthex de St. Cecelia o en la Tienda Mexicana Rosita's. O, haga su solicitud online en https://forms.gle/s3zG32cyx5bLs6Mf9.

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

Starting May 11, Legal Aid will provide virtual appointments for intakes from their waitlist. Rent/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.

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.

FamilyWize Prescription Savings

When calling in your prescriptions, ask that the FamilyWize discount be applied by providing them the following information:

BIN: 610194

Card ID: FW100

Group ID: FW100

PCN: FW

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

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

United Way staff will update this as often as possible. If you have an update from your agency, please email Anneke Mundel.

ACCESS

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 shelter is no longer doing walk in applications for rent or utility assistance. Please call 515-232-8075 to request help. 

YSS

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 is offering assistance with medication and grocery pick-up/delivery. To access this assistance, please call 515-233-2906.

For individuals under 60 who need assistance, please post in this Facebook group: Ames Area Community Support for COVID-19 or call United Way of Story County at 515-268-5142 to get connected with volunteers from local service clubs who are willing/ready to assist you.

Prescriptions

CVS is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions. Call 515-292-2990.

Hy-Vee Clinic pharmacy is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions in Ames for those who can't get out due to health concerns. Call 515-233-7315.

NuCara is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions through the end of May. Call your location to set up delivery.

Walgreens is offering FREE delivery of all prescriptions. Call 515-232-8284.

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 and masks are strongly encouraged. Buses will be cleaned daily and deep-cleaned over night. Buses are operating on reduced capacity, please social distance while riding.

Central Iowa RSVP Volunteer Driver Program

Iowa Workforce Development

Iowa Workforce Development announced two new unemployment benefit programs available to Iowans--Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and State Extended Benefits.  The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provides an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to Iowans who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits.  After their allotted weeks of regular state unemployment and the 13 weeks of PEUC are exhausted, unemployed workers will be eligible for State Extended Benefits.  For more information, visit IWD's website and press release.

Ames Chamber of Commerce

DONATE to our COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund

Want to help without leaving your house? Donate to our Response and Relief Fund. Select non-specified fund for general funding or LIVE UNITED Food Drive for pantry specific help.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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