Connecting Youth Initiative Provides Resources for Youth and Their Families

Editor's note:

For the latest updates visit the Connecting Youth Initiative (CYI) COVID-19 Resources page.

Henry Danner
May 06, 2020

The Connecting Youth Initiative (CYI) continues to monitor the everyday events of COVID-19 and how it is affecting our youth. Daily living has been altered, creating new obstacles for young people. CYI has created the following resource list for youth and their families. These resources include food banks, shelters, educational and job resources, and more. We hope these resources can be of assistance. The Connecting Youth Initiative encourages everyone to prioritize their health and safety by following state and city guidelines on social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions. In addition, we invite you to find more helpful resources on the Columbia Neighbors COVID-19 site.

Health Care
Food Assistance


Free WIFI, Low Income Homes
Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access  for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll in the service you can call 1-844-488-8395, the company says it will waive installation fees for student households.

NYC Department of Education: Remote Learning Device Request 
To help students stay connected during emergencies, the DOE is lending internet-enabled iPads to support remote learning for students.

Scholastic Free Learn at Home
Scholastic Learn at Home provides daily, curated Pre-K–9+ lessons spanning literacy, math, science, and social studies content areas.

Free Broadband
For Optimum and Suddenlink customers, Altice is providing free broadband until June 30 to households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access.

Grow with Google OnAir: Virtual Workshops
Google is offering free tools to help you grow your digital skills, no matter where you’re located. Through online workshops and virtual one-on-one coaching sessions, you can learn skills that can help you stay connected and productive while working or managing a business remotely.

General Assembly: Introduction to Teaching and Learning Online
General Assembly has made this 2.5-hour training available for free for anyone with an .edu or .org email address.

Usher's New Look Virtual Summer Academy
This free program will engage, challenge, and push students to keep working hard to achieve their goals through a variety of virtual workshops that focus on talent and career exploration.

Local Civics Youth Virtual Workshops
Local Civics Youth is offering ongoing workshops aimed at youth leadership development and career exploration. Their organization's mission is to equip young people and educators with the skills and opportunities to participate meaningfully in all dimensions of civic life, ultimately preparing them for thoughtful and active citizenship in their communities.


Helps New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City's five boroughs and in every sector of the economy. The Virtual Workforce1 Career Center system connects New Yorkers, via web or phone, to one-on-one help from professionals.

NYC Access Training
Get the education and experience you need to land a job or advance within your career.

Nontraditional Employment for Women
NEW is now conducting information sessions online: every Tuesday at 10 am and Wednesday at 6 pm. Requirements include: eligible to work in the US; HS Diploma or GED; interested in hands-on training to join a career path in the construction field. Register for an info session.

NY State Contact Tracing Initiative
New York State is hiring Contact Tracers, Team Supervisors and Community Support Specialists to work remotely making phone calls offering support to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and their friends and family members who may have contracted the disease after coming into contact with them. Salary ranges from $28-$50 per hour. Must be 18 years and older to apply. Must have a HS diploma or equivalent. 

    Health Care

    NYC Health and Hospitals 
    A network of hospitals in New York City that provide care despite insurance status and assist in connecting patients to insurance providers. Call for an appointment 1-844-NYC-4NYC

    NYC Human Resources Administration
    Apply for Medicaid, cash assistance, SNAP, and childcare assistance at these HRA sites that also help individuals to securejobs.

    NY Health: Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF)
    Get answers to the most frequently asked questions.


    Youth Drop-In Centers (Ages 16-21)


    CMCS Sunrise Drop-In
    Address: 333 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10451
    Contact: 718-993-5495
    Drop-in hours: 24/7
    Hours for new client intake: 9am – 8pm (7 days/week)


    SCO Family of Services
    Address: 398 Grant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11208
    Contact: 718-277-6403
    Drop-in hours: 24/7
    Hours for new client intake: 24/7


    Ali Forney Center
    Address: 321 W 125th St, New York NY 10027
    Contact: 212-206-0574
    Drop-in hours: 24/7
    Hours for new client intake: Varies; call for details

    The Door
    Address: 555 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
    Contact: 212-941-9090
    Drop-in hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri); 11am – 10pm (Wed) & 11am – 7pm (Sat)
    Hours for new client intake: 2 – 5pm (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) & 2 – 7pm (Wed)

    Safe Horizon Streetwork
    Address: 209 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
    Contact: 212-695-2220
    Drop-in hours: 12 – 5pm (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) & 12 – 3pm (Sat & Sun)
    Hours for new client intake: 10am – 12pm (Mon – Tues & Thurs – Sun)


    Sheltering Arms – Jamaica
    Address: 89-74 162nd St, 3rd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11432
    Contact: 718-526-2400 ext. 2080
    Drop-in hours: 24/7
    Hours for new client intake: 24/7

    Sheltering Arms – Far Rockaway
    Address: 1600 Central Ave, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
    Contact: 718-471-6818 ext. 2123
    Drop-in hours: 10 am – 8pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 7pm ( Fri) & 12 -8pm (Sat)
    Hours for new client intake: Same as drop-in hours

    Staten Island

    Project Hospitality
    Address: 27 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302
    Contact: 718-876-4752
    Drop-in hours: 24/7
    Hours for new client intake: 24/7

    Food Assistance

    FoodHelp NYC
    To find a location near your home distributing meals for free, including food pantries and Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools, available for all children or adults in need.

    NYC Schools Free Meals


    • Catholic Charities Rusty Staub Mobile Food Pantry at Highbridge Community Life Center 1527 Jesup Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452 (212) 371-1011 Mobile Food Pantry Hours: Fridays, 10:00am-2:30pm
    • Door of Salvation Ministries 460 E 134th Street, Bronx, NY 10454 (718) 993-5532 Pantry Hours: Monday - Friday, 2:00pm-5:00pm
    • Highbridge Advisory Council 880 River Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452 (718) 992-8539 Pantry Hours: Monday - Friday, 2:00pm-5:00pm
    • Missionaries of Charity 335 E 145th Street, Bronx, NY 10451 (718) 292-0019 Pantry Hours: Shelter | Soup Kitchen, 9:30am
    • Missionary Church of Christ 937 Teller Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451 (718) 588-4545 Pantry Hours: 2nd & 4th Wednesday of the month: 9:00am-11:00am


    • Salem United Methodist Church Fee Meals - Takes place each week from Tuesday through Saturday from 11AM to 3PM at SUMC on West 129th St. & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.  This program will continue for a two-month period through June 7th and longer if needed.
    • Free vegan lunches will be available between 12pm-2pm at Honeybee’s & Mother of Pearl - 95 Avenue A, New York, NY
    • Free vegan lunches will be available between 12pm-2pm Avant Garden - 130 E 7th Street, New York, NY
    • Free vegan lunches will be available between 12pm-2pm Ladybird & Night Music - 111 E 7th Street, New York, NY


    Remote Life Resources: Your Guide to the New Normal
    This is a public, collaborative list of helpful links for anyone working (and living) remotely and looking for great ideas and accessible resources for staying happy, healthy, and safe during this crazy time. Whether you’re home alone, working alongside a roommate, a spouse, or your kids – we’ve got something for you.