Updated at 5:17 p.m. on March 31.
After Temple University announced its decision to transition to online classes and evacuate on-campus housing for the rest of the semester over COVID-19 concerns on March 11, several Temple and Philadelphia community members, organizations and companies have organized mutual aid resources to assist students.
The Dean of Students Office is continuing to offer an emergency financial aid fund for students through Student Affairs. Students can request short-term financial aid through an online application.
A collaboration between three student assistance organizations, Believe in Students, Edquity and the Rise Education Fund, is offering financial assistance to students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Student Relief Fund. Students may request help through a form on their website. If they cannot provide financial assistance, the organizations will help students identify resources and solutions, their website states.
The Cherry Pantry, Temple’s food pantry, is moving to the Temple Police substation in Morgan Hall South on Broad Street near Oxford, The Temple News reported. It will be open twice a week on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m, and students will be given a bag of food after showing their ID.
PhillyFoodFinder offers a map of food resources in the city for students and residents who need help finding other food pantries in the city outside of Temple.
PhilAbundance, a nonprofit organization on Galloway Street near Pattison Avenue, has a similar food map on their site.
Share Food Program, a nonprofit on Hunting Park Avenue near Henry, offers food programming to community distribution sites around Philadelphia, and is expanding food delivery to the sites during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to their website. People can look at a map of host sites on the nonprofit’s website.
Bebashi Transition to Hope, a nonprofit social services organization about a mile south of Main Campus on Spring Garden Street near 13th, has food pantry hours on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2-4 p.m. and Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to their Facebook account.
Sean Welch, a junior political science major, and Jessica Harrington, a senior media studies and production major, organized the Temple Students Group for the COVID Situation Facebook group. They want the group to grow into a network for student leaders and student organizations to share resources, they said.
As a part of the group, Welch set up a public spreadsheet for Temple students who can house displaced students, drive students to the airport or help move items.
The Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown on 17th near Race Street is offering a displaced student rate of $59 per night or $399 per week with a reduced-price student meal plan, according to a press release from the hotel. Rooms are available immediately for students and they should email jose.sanchez@SheratonPhillyDT.com for the offer.
Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia City Center on Race Street near 12th, is offering weekly student rates of $350 for a room, Director of Sales Sarah Mahony wrote in an email to The Temple News. The rate includes breakfast and housekeeping.
The Collective Success Network, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit on Chestnut Street near 12th that supports low-income and first-generation college students, started a Google Form students can fill out if they have a need for temporary housing, among transportation, technology or storage needs.
For students having to move out of university housing due to COVID-19 concerns, U-HAUL, a moving company, is offering free 30-day self-storage at company-owned and operated facilities. Students must have their college ID and should contact their closest store in person or over the phone, according to a press release by the company.
Additionally, MakeSpace, another storage company, is offering discounted storage to students affected by school closings, according to a tweet from the company. Students should call the company to coordinate the offer.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car car rental company has reduced the age minimum for car rentals and is waiving their rental fees for college students ages 18-24 until May 31, according to their website. Standard driver and credit requirements apply and students must present their college ID at the time of rental.
T-Mobile announced that all current customers’ plans will be expanded to unlimited data and given 20GB of mobile hotspots for the next 60 days, according to a press release from the telecommunication company. The company is also offering free international calling to countries designated as Level 3 for travel restrictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Comcast also announced it will be opening up Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots for free for everyone for the next 60 days and low-income families can sign up to receive free internet for the next 60 days, according to the company’s website. Those eligible can sign up for the service online or call the company.
Xfinity is also now offering two months of free internet service to students living in service areas. Students must live in households that are not already customers and can sign up on their website through June 1 to receive a self-installation kit and a $150 Visa prepaid card worth about two months of service.
CVSHealth, Target and Walgreens are offering free home delivery of prescriptions, according to company press releases.
CITY MUTUAL AID
Tamara Baldwin created the Neighbors helping Neighbors: Request for Aid – Philly Mutual Aid for Folks affected by COVID-19 Google Form for city residents to request food delivery, prescription delivery and transportation assistance. Residents who want to offer services can fill out a separate Google Form.
People’s Poor Economic Human Rights Campaign, a campaign organization, has also set up a Google Form for Philadelphia residents to offer mutual aid of food, meal prep and transportation, among other services. People who need these services can call or email their organization for access.