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COVID-19 Response & Basic Needs Resources

Community Advocates' priority is the health and well-being of our staff, clients, community partners, and volunteers during the coronavirus public health emergency. Here, we're collecting resources to help our community members meet their basic needs, like energy assistance, rent, food access, and more. Submit your resource to

Community Advocates

Community Advocates’ sites are closed to the public during the Coronavirus public health emergency, but we are still providing services by phone and email, and our supportive housing and emergency shelter are still operating 24/7 with appropriate safety precautions. Some ways you can contact us:

Call: 414-270-2992

Email: Contact Us

Click: Details on How We're Providing Services

Click: Public Policy Institute's COVID-19 Health, Mental Health & Policy Resources

Click: COVID-19 Resources for Youth & Family Wellness

After Hours and On Weekends: Contact Impact 211

Domestic Violence Services

Services for those who have experienced domestic violence are still available around the clock:

Milwaukee Women’s Center’s 24/7 Crisis Line: 414-671-6140

In an Emergency Situation: 911

Sojourner Family Peace Center 24-Hour Hotline: 414-933-2722

Sojourner Family Peace Center: Guidance on Filing Electronic TROs

Emergency Shelter

You can get a place in an emergency shelter and other resources by contacting Impact 2-1-1. Impact has temporarily suspended face-to-face appointments but they are conducting appointment by phone at the designated appointment time.

Click: Impact 2-1-1 or Impact’s Contact Information during COVID-19 Emergency

Call: 2-1-1 or 866-211-3380

Text: Text your zip code to 898-211

Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program

The 2021-2022 Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Benefit Season begins October 1, 2022, and runs through May 15, 2023. During the benefit season, eligible county residents can apply for a one-time payment to help cover a portion of their energy bills. The amount of the benefit varies depending on a number of factors, including household income and size, as well as their heating bills. Residents may also qualify for other benefits as well to reduce their utility costs.

Due to coronavirus, all of Milwaukee County Energy Assistance sites are temporarily closed. You may apply via phone, mail, or online. Please schedule your appointment by calling 414-270-4653 or going to At the time of your scheduled appointment, you will receive a call to start your application. If you prefer to apply online, you can access the link to apply online at

For heat emergency on holidays, evenings or weekends, dial 2-1-1.

Schedule your appointment:

Call: 414-270-4653


Community Advocates Help for Renters

Community Advocates is providing temporary rent assistance to Milwaukee County and Waukesha County tenants who have lost income in the past 60 days or whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to start the application process online right now or check on a rent assistance application status if you are a tenant. 

If you have questions on an application status or need to pick up or drop off documents, we are here to help. The Emergency Rent Assistance Program is open to the public 9 am-4 pm Monday-Friday at our downtown offices, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, for those who prefer to come in-person.

Call: 414-270-4646


Community Advocates Help for Landlords

Your tenants may be going through a hard time during the COVID-19 public health emergency, so it’s important to stay in contact with them to prevent problems from developing. Here’s how you can do it:

Call: Rent HelpLine 414-270-4646


Employment & Unemployment Resources

The CARES Act expands unemployment insurance to help Wisconsin workers that have been furloughed or laid off. This federal rescue package has expanded eligibility to cover more workers and increased the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for every American through July 31, which will provide most workers with their full paycheck. The legislation also makes unemployment insurance available for 13 additional weeks for a total of 39 weeks in Wisconsin. Unemployment insurance will also now be available for workers who are unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This support ensures that workers are protected whether they work for businesses small, medium or large, along with self-employed and workers in the gig economy. You can apply for unemployment insurance at this link.

Other helpful resources:

FSET @ Community Advocates: 414-290-7700

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development COVID-19 information

Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information

Employment and Training COVID-19 Public Information

Worker’s Compensation COVID-19 Public Information

Vocational Rehabilitation COVID-19 Public Information

Update on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Equal Rights COVID-19 Public Information

Food, School, Health Care, Utilities and Internet, and Childcare Assistance

Covering Wisconsin: COVID-19 and Health Insurance Information

Health Watch Wisconsin COVID-19 Page

Hunger Task Force: COVID-19 Resource Page

Hunger Task Force: Milwaukee County Emergency Food Sites Map

Milwaukee Public Schools: COVID-19 Updates

Public Service of Wisconsin: COVID-19 Emergency Internet Resources, Utility Service Help for Consumers, and FAQs for Utilities

Wisconsin Department on Children and Families: COVID-19 Child Care Request for Essential Workforce Families

State of Wisconsin ACCESS: to connect with health care coverage, paying for groceries or child care costs, finding a job, or building your career skills

MCTS Transit System: COVID-19 Page

UW-Madison Extension: Financial Resources to Help Get through COVID-19

UW-Madison Extension: Recursos financieros que le pueden ayudar durante la pandemia de COVID-19

COVID-19 Testing

Milwaukee Community Health Centers are offering testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus) for individuals who do not have a doctor and who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance, income, or immigration restrictions. Call 211 or your nearest community health center to be screened for an appointment.

COVID-19 Health Resources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC COVID Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Page

Milwaukee County: COVID-19 Dashboard

City of Milwaukee Health Department: COVID-19 Page

Mental Health Resources

Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division 24-Hour Crisis Line: 414-257-7222

Mental Health America: Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources

Mental Health America: Crisis Text Line: Text MHA to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor 24/7.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) For military veterans, their friends and family, and clinicians seeking mental health information and resources

Disaster Distress Helpline:

  • English: 1-800-985-5990
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Text TalkWithUs to 66746; use your preferred relay services to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990; TTY 1-800-846-8517
  • Spanish: Call 1-800-985-5990 and press “2”; from the 50 States, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663; from Puerto Rico, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663; click here for more information

The Trevor Project: Helpline for LGBTQ+ Youth: 1-866-488-7386