Below is a list of links to help you through these trying times. If you have a credible item to add to this list, please email us. Thank you!
Columbia Gas Winter Bill Assistance
Worried about paying the gas bill? Payment assistance grants are available for income-eligible customers. And there are several payment plans open to all customers. Visit ColumbiaGasOhio.com/WinterHelp or call the customer care team at 1-800-344-4077 to learn more about Winter Crisis, HEAP, PIPP Plus and other programs. You can also connect on Facebook, Twitter or Nextdoor. If you know someone who is struggling to pay or falling behind on their bill, please encourage them to reach out to Columbia Gas today. One phone call can help connect them with the services and assistance they need.
Utility Help Programs Continue
Lorain County Community Action Agency currently offers multiple programs that help low-income Lorain County residents keep their heat on, reconnect them to heat or help pay their heating bill. Beginning January 4, Columbia Gas Fuel Funds were added to the available assistance programs. Make your appointment today by calling 440-538-6999 to learn what benefits you can receive.
2021 CARES Rent Assistance Applications
Lorain County Community Action Agency is reopening applications for its 2021 CARES Rent Assistance on January 25, 2021, at 8:00 a.m.
Help is available for renters who are past due or facing eviction. The funding is limited to three consecutive months of past due rent. Eligibility begins at 80 percent of the Area Median Income, or $60,800 a year for a family of four.
Additional information and applications can be found on their website. A limited number of applications will be taken. The next application date is February 16, 2021.
FDA’s Urges Consumers Not to Use Certain Hand Sanitizer Products
The following bulleted points outlines the information on hand sanitizer labels for consumers to use to identify a product:
- That has been tested by FDA and found to contain methanol.
- That is labeled to contain methanol.
- That is being recalled by the manufacturer or distributor.
- That is purportedly made at the same facility as products that have been tested by FDA and found to contain methanol.
FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizers from these companies, or products with these names or NDC numbers.
FDA is aware of reports of adverse events associated with hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (please provide the agency with as much information as possible to identify the product):
- Complete and submit the report online; or
- Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.
Lorain County Community Action Agency’s Summer Crisis Program
Beginning July 1st Summer Crisis offers help staying cool for low-income residents who also meet one of the other eligibility requirements. The primary qualification for the program is a gross annual income at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Line ($45,850 for a family of four in 2020). Residents at that poverty level qualify for help if they are also age 60 or over OR have a documented medical condition worsened by extreme heat. New this year, residents at the 175% poverty level can also receive help if one of the following applies to them:
- Their electric service has been disconnected or they have received a disconnect notice.
- They are trying to establish new service.
- They have been diagnosed with coronavirus in 2020.
- They are enrolling in PIPP Plus for the first time.
- They are an existing PIPP customer in default.
Click here to sign-up to receive emails of job openings in Avon Lake.
Avon Lake Restaurants
To keep up-to-date on the services that our restaurants are offering, please click on the links below. Another way to help support our local restaurants is to consider purchasing gift certificates, where applicable. If your restaurant qualifies and isn't listed, please email the information to email@example.com.
Local Food Assistance
Community Resource Services New procedures in place including a temporary grocery delivery option. Call 440-933-5639 to place your grocery order from home or from your car. Groceries will be placed into a reusable bag. When you arrive at CRS, stay in your car. Call 440-933-5639 and your groceries will be brought to you.
Lorain County Office of Aging Meals on Wheels among other services for Lorain County residents.
Second Harvest All Second Harvest and Partner Charity distributions have moved to a DRIVE-THRU model and will only be distributing FREE boxes of assorted shelf-stable food.
Businesses with Special Offerings for the Elderly and Vulnerable
Aldi's They have reserved time for vulnerable shoppers on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30.
Costco On Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., U.S. and Canada Costco locations will temporarily implement special operating hours for members who are 60 and older. The pharmacy will also be open during this hour.
Dollar General Dollar General will dedicate the first hour of every business day to senior shoppers and will close an hour early for cleaning and restocking.
Giant Eagle Starting March 23, doors will open at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to accommodate shoppers over 60 years old, have disabilities or who are immune-compromised.
Heinen's The grocery store chain has created a special window between 8 and 9 a.m. every day for seniors or those who may be immunocompromised to shop first.
Target The first hour of shopping every Wednesday will be reserved for “vulnerable guests,” according to a press release from the retail giant. Target stores will also be closing early, at 9 p.m. local time, so employees can clean and restock the stores.
Walmart From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time.
Whole Foods Whole Foods Market will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the public.
United Way United Way Worldwide has launched a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to help with bills, rent and food.
Office of Small Business Relief There is a lot of information out there about the resources available to you during this crisis. Last week, Ohio opened its Office of Small Business Relief, it's website is simple and user-friendly.
Ohio Edison/First Energy still has the suspended disconnect for non-payments until further notice. If customers have trouble paying their bill, they are willing to work with them. Various payment options are available, including:
- Budget billing, a program that averages usage over 12 months to offer the same bill amount each month.
- Energy assistance programs or other payment arrangements for eligible customers, based on their situation and state of residence.
Reliable Government Updates
COVID-19 Information and Update Guide Ninth District of Ohio Representative, Marcy Kaptur has published this helpful resource.
Avon Lake Community Television: ALC-TV Weekly Cable Access Program Lineup Schedule - Current and Past Shows Online
Library of Congress the Library of Congress is collaborating with Captain Underpants, Dog Breath, and Kat Kong (just to name a few of his characters) author and illustrator, Dav Pilkey, to create weekly videos for kids (and adults!) who might want to try their hand at drawing while we’re social distancing at home.
National WWII Museum The Museum is committed to serving students and teachers who are now conducting school online.
Open Culture Free cultural and educational media on the internet.
Travel and Leisure 12 famous museums offer virtual tours you can take from your couch.