Several working groups and task forces, made up of City personnel, social service agencies and members of the faith-based and business sectors, have been established to help address the varied needs of our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Caring for the public in time of crisis requires partnership and collaboration to ensure the necessary resources and assistance is delivered to those in need, especially those in our most vulnerable populations. Working groups include:
Due to the historic Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium ordered by Governor Baker on April 20, 2020, and expired as of October 17, 2020, the City is aware that many residents and families in Worcester have struggled to keep up with rent and other financial obligations. On September 4, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an order titled Temporarily Halt in Residential Evictions Due to the Spread of COVID-19. This order prohibits evictions for tenants meeting certain requirements until after December 31, 2020.
As part of the CDC eviction moratorium, tenants are required to provide their landlords with a declaration form that they are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These forms can be found below.
State & Local Housing Resources
On October 12, 2020, Governor Baker announced that $100 million in RAFT funding is being made available for tenants struggling to pay rent. Locally, two agencies administer these funds - Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) and RCAP Solutions, Inc. Additional information about RAFT and other program and how to apply for funding can be found on their websites:
Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your actvities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The City of Worcester NEEDS YOU! Do you want to contribute to the Worcester Together Program? If the answer is yes please help us!
We understand that these are unprecedented times in all of our lives, which can lead to stress and pressure at home. Below are some important resources for when you need someone to talk to:
To file a new Unemployment Insurance claim or reopen an established claim online:
More information can be found on the How to File a Claim for Unemployment Pamphlet.
UI Online is available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. The call center phone line is 877-626-6800.
Employers in Central Massachusetts Need You: Apply Today! If you’re in good health and not considered high risk* for COVID-19, please make a difference by filling any of these critical jobs. In some cases, you can apply today and start tomorrow!
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
As essential businesses, utility companies will continue to provide services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, including emergency response and customer-requested service. Customers are encouraged to manage accounts online. Call-in service is still available but wait times may be longer. Those who are struggling to pay their bill should contact their utility company as soon as possible for assistance.
The Worcester community, like the rest of the world, are just beginning to feel the impacts of COVID-19.
To help arts workers and cultural institutions find information and support, the WCC has created a database of resources. The lists of grants, low-interest loans, surveys, tools and additional reading are being updated regularly as new information becomes available.
Entertainment, connection and culture have a significant role on our wellbeing. The WCC is compiling the wealth of content being created everyday by Worcester-area museums, musicians, theatres, poets, artists, makers and teachers, to name a few. Take a virtual tour, learn about our rich history, explore science, listen to a story, gain inspiration through crafts and tutorials or discover something new about our city!
Every other Wednesday from 2 - 3 p.m., the Worcester Cultural Task Force hosts an opportunity for artists, creatives and cultural workers to hear the latest on the local, state and federal responses to COVID-19 and its impacts on the local cultural community, and share their own experiences and concerns. Additional topics to be determined based on current events and interests, RSVP to the Facebook event for the latest announcements.