Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program.  The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.  The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below: 

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opens on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application.  Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at  www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week. The program will end when either all funds are expended or six months after U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares the end of the pandemic, whichever occurs first.

Pick Up Italian Chicken and Pasta Dinner

Join Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired for a PICK UP ITALIAN Chicken and Pasta Dinner Fundraiser hosted by DeVinci’s Delicatessen and Catering. Cost is $15.00 per ticket and MUST be purchased in ADVANCE. Each meal includes your choice of pasta, chicken, salad and focaccia bread.

Take your tickets to any DeVinci’s location--Stockton, Linden, Lodi, Valley Springs--May 15-29, 2021.For more information or to purchase tickets please call (209) 466-3836 ext. 200 or send an e-mail to info@communitycenterfortheblind.org Join Us For Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s Fundraiser  PICK UP ITALIAN  Chicken and Pasta Dinner  Hosted by DeVinci’s Delicatessen and Catering  $15.00 Per Ticket  Tickets MUST be purchased in ADVANCE  Each meal includes your choice of pasta, chicken, salad and focaccia bread.  Take your tickets to any DeVinci’s location May 15-29, 2021 All locations – Stockton, Linden, Lodi, Valley Springs  For more information or to purchase tickets please call (209) 466-3836 ext. 200 or info@communitycenterfortheblind.org

One in three adults in the U.S. are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, and one in five are experiencing mental illness. Together with NAMIWalks participants across the country, Northern California, and San Joaquin County, support National Alliance on Mental Illness and join us virtually in the 2021 NAMIWalks Northern California.

Why do we fundraise?
• Provide free, quality educational classes & support groups to both individuals with mental health conditions and their families.
• Provide free educational programs to care providers.
• Advocacy to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness.
• Support research/understanding of brain disorders.
• Sponsor community speakers on mental health-related topics.
What is a virtual walk?
You have the creativity to choose your own activity such as walking your dog, exercising, meditating, gardening, golfing, and cooking and to share online with friends and families. How do we register or donate? Go to the website to register as a team captain or team member. http://namiwalks.org/northerncalifornia To donate, first enter the individual’s or team name on the fundraiser search on top right-hand corner of the page. For mail-in donations, write the name of the person you are sponsoring on the check’s memo, mail to NAMI Sacramento, P.O. Box 277147, Sacramento, CA 95827, and request a receipt.

How do we start or join a team?
To register as a team captain, choose your team’s name and your individual and team fundraising goals. Then customize your fundraising page and invite your friends and families to join. To register as a team member, choose a team and ask others to support you. Those registered individuals who raise or self-donate $100 will receive a T-shirt.
Click here for You tube video of 2020 NAMIWalks. https://youtu.be/dXc-00G32zE

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) is excited to continue its ongoing partnership with healthcare provider Kaiser Permanante by providing free rides to the Stockton Arena in support of the mass vaccination site that opened April 7. To reach the general public within a 50-mile area, the mass clinic will be open seven days a week and be able to administer 5,400 doses per day.

The Stockton Arena site is part of a joint effort aimed at expanding access to COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state, especially in communities that have been hard-hit by the pandemic. The Arena was chosen because surrounding communities have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in the state and yet are among the lowest in vaccination rates.

“This vaccination site is critical for the health and safety of our whole community,” says Corwin Harper, Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Kaiser Permanente Central Valley Area. “Kaiser Permanente appreciates RTD’s efforts to provide transportation to those in need, expanding opportunities for vaccine access in the region that will help move us forward in our collective fight to curb this pandemic.”

“This is a great location because the Arena is very accessible,” said Board Chair Michael Restuccia. “We are committed to removing transportation barriers for the residents of San Joaquin County because the health and safety of our community is RTD’s top priority.”

The Stockton Arena is located along Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Route 40, which is accessible by any RTD route. As RTD’s most frequent route, it runs on weekdays every 15 minutes at peak time, every 20 minutes off peak, and every 30 minutes on weekends. To ride free, book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment at https://myturn.ca.gov then show your appointment confirmation on a print out or on your phone to the operator when boarding.

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.

What You’ll Gain

NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, but you'll also find out that you're not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope.

The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact—experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. Sharing your own experience may help others in your class. In the program, you'll learn about:

  • How to solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
  • Supporting your loved one with compassion
  • Finding and using local supports and services
  • Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
  • How to handle a crisis
  • Current treatments and therapies
  • The impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

What People Are Saying

"The course gave me hope that it will be okay, that I am not alone and reduced a lot of shame, guilt and hopelessness."

"I wish I'd known about this seven years ago when the problem began. I felt safe in this class. I was able to talk about things I haven't been comfortable expressing elsewhere."

"Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things I am and have learned about many resources that I never knew existed."

"I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there is to know about the system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong. Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none."

Register for the FREE Family-to-Family Sessions

Call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). In a crisis? Text "NAMI" to 741741.

Even with increased vaccine supply, vaccination of willing Californians will take several months

State supporting trusted providers and counties for non-traditional outreach in hard-to-reach communities

SACRAMENTO – With supply of vaccines expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. Starting April 1, individuals aged 50+ will be eligible to make an appointment, and individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15.

“With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” said Governor Newsom. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those 50 and over starting April 1, and those 16 and older starting April 15. This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.”

Based on the current estimates, California expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of April. California currently receives about 1.8 million doses per week. These estimates may be adjusted as time goes on. The state has the capacity to administer more than 3 million vaccines per week, and is building the capacity to administer 4 million vaccines weekly by the end of April.

“We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “However, we are not there yet. It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance.”

In addition to increased allocations of vaccines to providers serving the hardest hit communities, the state has embarked on a series of initiatives to vaccinate those populations that have faced the highest rates of COVID infections before vaccines become available to the entire 16+ population. These efforts include:

  • Provider funding for programs to reach and vaccinate communities facing the biggest health disparities
  • Working with organized labor to reach essential workers
  • Partnering with agricultural organizations and community-based organizations to vaccinate agricultural workers
  • Allowing providers to target by ZIP code via My Turn with single-use codes (scheduled to launch at the end of March)
  • Supporting a subset of community-based organizations currently partnering with the state on COVID-19 education to provide direct vaccination appointment assistance
  • Prioritizing currently eligible populations and allowing providers the discretion to vaccinate those who live in high-impact areas (County Healthy Places Index Quartiles 1 and 2), including families

Even with expanded vaccine supplies, it is expected to take several months for willing Californians to be vaccinated. Based on public information shared by vaccine manufacturers and the federal government, California expects to receive several million vaccine doses per week starting sometime in April.

Along with the expanded eligibility and to align with upcoming federal guidance, California will update its vaccine allocation methodology. This will transition over four weeks, beginning with the March 22 allocation (delivered to providers the following week), from one based on the distribution of the 65+ population, workers in the agriculture and food, education and child care, and emergency services sectors to one based on the distribution of the 16+ population across California. This will be done in conjunction with completion of the shift to the state directly allocating vaccines to providers. The state will continue to double the amount of vaccine allocated to the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) quartile as announced on March 4.

Forty percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the HPI, developed by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, which provides overall scores and data that predict life expectancy and compares community conditions that shape health across the state. The rate of infections for households making less than $40,000 per year (5.7) is 84 percent higher than that of households with an income of $120,000 or more (3.1). At the same time, California’s wealthiest populations have received 50 percent more vaccinations when compared to the rate of our most vulnerable populations. This approach recognizes that the pandemic did not affect California communities equally and that the state is committed to doing better.

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The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) announced that its CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program website is now live to accept applications.

It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million California renters are behind on rent and at risk of eviction because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will be a lifeline to renters and landlords. It clears accumulated rental debt, keeps the hardest-hit families in their homes, and will lead to a more equitable economic recovery. 

California tenants or landlords can visit the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief webpage through the Housing Is Key website, or they can call toll-free 833-430-2122.

 To assist renters and landlords with the application process, BCSH has also  established a Local Partner Network consisting of community based organizations across the state in the hardest hit areas to provide in-person assistance to individuals who may not know about the program or who may need help filling out their applications. Our goal is to make sure that everyone who needs rent relief gets it.

We are encouraging our CoC and local community partners to join this Local Partner Network and assist with promoting the rent relief program. You can apply to the network by clicking here.

We are also are launching a statewide education and awareness campaign including social media and local public service announcements. Follow the program on Twitter: @CAbcsh, @HousingIsKey, and @CA_HCFC. 

 Please help us push out information about CA COVID-19 Rent Relief. BCSH has created a toolkit you can use for social media messages, reaching out to your clients, and including in your newsletters.  
 
I believe this program to be critical in helping Californians stay in their homes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent many of our most vulnerable neighbors from losing their homes and slipping into homelessness. With CA COVID-19 Rent Relief, more Californians can have confidence that they will get through this pandemic and participate in California's post-pandemic economic recovery.

 Thank you for all the very hard work you do and for supporting this important initiative. 

 In partnership,

Ali Sutton  
(Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Deputy Secretary for Homelessness
Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council

Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

HCFC Logo   

In partnership with SJReady, San Joaquin County’s Office of Emergency Services, San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will be providing free rides beginning Tuesday, March 16, to passengers on all fixed-route buses traveling to SJReady COVID-19 vaccine sites.

“This is another great opportunity to break down a barrier for our community in getting access to the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Health Officer.  “As we stand up more fixed vaccination locations, we hope our residents can take advantage of this service to get to their vaccination appointment and help end this pandemic soon.” 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with and support San Joaquin County’s Office of Emergency Services to provide transportation for this essential effort,” said RTD Board Chair Michael Restuccia.

“Fixed-route buses can take you directly to the Delta College, Manteca Transit Center, and Lodi Grape Festival Grounds site,” said Transportation Superintendent Cameron Isaacson.  “RTD is providing a special shuttle service from the Union Transfer Station to the Robert Cabral Agricultural Center from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.”    

To ride free, book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment at https://myturn.ca.gov or www.SJReady.org, then show your appointment confirmation on a print out or on your phone to the operator when boarding.

Site 

Dates and Times 

San Joaquin Delta College—Shima Parking Lot 

5151 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95207 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Lodi Grape Festival Grounds 

413 E. Lockeford St., Lodi, CA 95240 

Monday – Friday 

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  

Robert Cabral Agriculture Center 

2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton, CA 95206 

Tuesday – Friday 

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Manteca Transit Center 

220 Moffat Blvd, Manteca, CA 95336 

Monday – Friday 

12 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

For more information about SJReady and vaccine events, visit www.SJReady.org.

On March 15, people with certain significant, high-risk medical conditions or disabilities will become eligible for vaccines statewide, to help save the lives of people who are at high-risk of death and severe complications from COVID-19. The national supply of the vaccine remains limited, so appointments for the estimated 4.4 million Californians with these conditions or disabilities will not immediately be available to all who are eligible.  As supply increases throughout the spring, more appointments for vaccines will become available.

What high-risk conditions or disabilities make a person under 65 eligible for a vaccine after March 15?

People ages 16-64 can be eligible if they are deemed to be at the very highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19  

EITHER because they have one or more of the following severe health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

OR if, as a result of a developmental or other significant, high-risk disability, one or more of the following criteria applies:

  • A COVID-19 infection is likely to result in severe life-threatening illness or death; OR
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival; OR
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability.

These three criteria include people with a range of physical and behavioral disabilities.  Examples include: all enrolled consumers of Regional Centers, Independent Living Centers, In Home Supportive Services, Community Based Adult Services/Adult Day Health Centers, Medi-Cal HIV/AIDS Waiver, Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver, Medi-Cal Assisted Living Waiver, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, California Children’s Services Program (if the child is 16-21 years old), and California Genetically Handicapped Persons Program.

See CDPH’s Provider Bulletin from February 12 for details on the eligibility policy.

How do people with these high-risk conditions or disabilities get a vaccine?  

There are five primary ways you may be able to find an appointment after March 15.  Vaccine supply remains limited nationwide.

1.   Your Health Care Provider:   We strongly recommend individuals with these conditions seek vaccination with a primary health care provider or system, or in an alternate clinical setting.  Check first with your usual health care provider to see if they have vaccines and available appointments.  Health care providers who have vaccines may also begin reaching out to you, as a patient with a significant, high-risk medical condition or disability known to the provider, to schedule your vaccine appointment.

2.  Pharmacies:  You can check your local pharmacies to see if they have vaccines and available appointments.  For the month of March, federal direction is that all school and child care staff are prioritized for pharmacy vaccines, so supply for other populations remains limited.

3.  Your Local Health Department:  Your local health department’s website will continue to have information about how to find available vaccine appointments, even as national supply remains limited.  

4.  Community Pop-Up Clinics:  Community pop-up clinics for people with high-risk medical conditions and disabilities will roll out in mid-March and will be targeted for equity to those living in communities with the lowest Healthy Place Index scores.  Community partners will outreach to people eligible for the pop up clinics.

5.  MyTurn:  Throughout the spring, as vaccine supply increases and the statewide vaccinator network grows, you will be able to schedule an appointment through California’s MyTurn, in two ways:

  • On-line at www.myturn.ca.gov.  The MyTurn website is accessible to people with disabilities and in eight languages:  English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese.
  • Calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 or 1-833-4CA-4ALL (M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa-Su 8AM-5PM).  The Hotline is accessible to people with disabilities and offers services in English and Spanish, with connections to interpretive services in more than 250 languages.     

You will be asked to state that you have a high-risk medical condition or disability, either to book an available appointment or to register for notice of future appointments made available as supply increases.  You will be able to request an accommodation at your vaccine site through MyTurn.  

Will I need to verify I have a high-risk medical condition or disability when I go to my appointment?

To protect confidentiality, verification documentation of the diagnosis or type of disability is not required but instead anyone meeting the eligibility requirements will be asked to sign a self-attestation that they meet the criteria for high-risk medical conditions or disabilities. 

Will vaccine sites be accessible?

All vaccine clinics in California are required to ensure sites and services are accessible in accordance with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.

How do I get a vaccine at home, if I am unable to travel to a vaccine site?

For current options, check with your health care provider, local health department, or local pharmacy.  

How do I get transportation to a vaccine site?

For current options, check with your health care provider, local health department, or local pharmacy.

If you receive Medi-Cal through a managed care plan, contact your plan’s member service department to request assistance for transportation to received covered benefits. If you receive Medi-Cal through Fee-for-Service (FFS), you can access a list of Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) providers in your county and you can contact them directly to arrange transportation to your appointments. If there is not a provider in your area, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) can assist if you email them DHCSNMT@dhcs.ca.gov. Please do NOT include personal information in your first email. DHCS staff will reply with a secure email asking for your information about the appointment.  If you have a need for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, please inform your medical provider who can prescribe this service and put you in touch with a transportation provider to coordinate your ride to and from your appointment(s).

Scammers are calling people and using the names of two companies everyone knows, Apple and Amazon, in an effort to defraud people. Here is what you need to know about these calls:

In one version of the scam, you receive a recorded message stating that it is Amazon. The message advises there is something wrong with your account. It could be a suspicious purchase, a lost package, or an order they cannot fulfill.

In another twist on the scam, you may receive a recorded message that indicates there has been suspicious activity on your Apple iCloud account. In fact, they state your account may have been breached.

In both scenarios, the scammers indicate you can conveniently press 1 to speak with someone, or they provide you a phone number to call. Do not do either, it is a scam! They are attempting to steal your personal information, such as your account password or your credit card number.

If you receive an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts, hang up.

These scams also may be received via email, requesting you click a link to access your account. DO NOT click any link in an unknown email. If you are concerned about your account, log directly into your Apple or Amazon account via their verified website.

• Do not press 1 to speak with customer support

• Do not call a phone number they gave you

• Do not give out your personal information

• If you think there may actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real

• Do not click any link sent in an email

• If you do get a call you think is a scam, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov