Welcome to Charleston United COVID-19 Response team, we are so happy that you are here- it wouldn’t be the same without you!
The purpose of this group is to coordinate efforts to meet the needs of all of our neighbors during the current health crisis of COVID-19. Together, we can and will serve our community to the best of our abilities. This is a volunteer led group and is not tied to any organization. A note that although this is a robust effort led by and for the community, we still have limited financial and physical capabilities when it comes to fulfilling all of the needs of our people. This is grassroots organizing at it’s finest!
- 1 Getting Started
- 2 COVID-19 and Your Rights
What to do first:
- Join our Facebook group: Charleston United COVID Response. This group is used to utilize social media to uplift the resources available, recruit volunteers to help with distribution, and serve as an overall communication medium.
- Join our Slack group: Charleston United COVID Response. Slack is an app (used both on computers and on your smartphone), that we are using to coordinate efforts. It allows us to flow information through our intake system.* Channels allow us to post announcements about incoming requests, assign them to locations, and coordinate different organization's efforts! Please watch this video for a brief tutorial, pay special attention to the section on “channels,” beginning at 2:54.
What channels you should join and why
If you've not already, please find the channel(s) for the geographic areas you're willing to serve. You do this by typing your county (we're tri-county) in the search field (upper left on a computer) and you'll see all the channels in that county by area. You can join as many as you want. As we have specific requests in those areas we will post in the channel. We also have dedicated channels for CofC connected people (type "CofC") to find it, and a specific channel for "#medical-worker-support". If you serve a specific community and want a dedicated channel let me know and we'll set you up.
Please click on the push-pin icon under the title of the channel at the very top of the page. This will take you to “pinned” posts, with basic information about the purpose of the channel and any other need to know information. See the red rectangle in the screen shot to the right.
#Welcome-Start-collaborating-to-meet-the-needs-of-all-your-neighbors An introduction page to our effort, please introduce yourself and begin to join other, more specific channels!
#dispatch-mission-control Proceed here if you want to be a case manager and are willing to work in Asana also. We have limited slots available. See the pinned post within that channel for more info. #organization-coordination If you represent an organization that does outreach or you have access to significant quantities of essential supplies please join our channel or If you run a business that can provide food. Various geographic locations If you've not already, please find the channel(s) for the geographic areas you're willing to serve. You do this by typing your county (we're tri-county) in the search field (upper left on a computer) and you'll see all the channels in that county by area. You can join as many as you want. As we have specific requests in those areas we will post in the channel.We also have dedicated channels for CofC connected people (type "CofC") to find it, and a specific channel for "#medical-worker-support". If you serve a specific community and want a dedicated channel let me know and we'll set you up. #incoming-requests IGNORE THIS CHANNEL please unless you are a dispatch mission control case manager. #medical-worker-support Join this channel if you want to help with... [need edit]
*This process has and will shift and change along with the needs of our community and increased organizational collaboration.
- Folks who need help are directed to our Google Form.
- A majority of food requests in certain areas are funneled to the Shifa Clinic’s form. CUCR is still fulfilling requests for food outside of their areas, urgent needs for transportation, medicine, pet food, and housing assistance.
- When a Request for Assistance is submitted a task is created in Asana, a task manager tool, and a message is sent with a link the the task in the #incoming-requests channel.
- There is a Dispatch volunteer team. Volunteers take on 3-hour shifts to monitor incoming requests. Those incoming requests are then populated onto the relevant geographic channels (use the "@channel" tag to ensure everyone in the channel is notified).
- Think of a Dispatch volunteer as a case manager, during their shift they take responsibility for making contact with people of new incoming requests, clearly defining the needs of that request, and recruiting volunteers from that geographic area to fulfill that request.
- There is a limited number of Dispatch volunteers, if there is a need for more someone will reach out on the #general channel. Otherwise, nothing to worry about!
- Volunteer opportunities are primarily posted on geographic channels and the #general channel. Opportunities with the Shifa Clinic to deliver food are linked here.
- Volunteers who take on cases should update the Dispatch volunteer during each step so that they can accurately update Asana with the progress.
- Once the need is met by a volunteer (food/medicine is delivered, transportation provided, etc), the Dispatch volunteer should be updated and they will update Asana with the details and close the case.
See the Volunteering section below for more information on what to do before, during, and after you complete a task.
Volunteering in Action
How to fill a request
- How to find them
Click on the geographical area you are willing to serve. Dispatch/mission control case managers will state a specific need here while asking for volunteers.
- How to assign yourself
Reply to a specific need post and communicate with dispatch in the same thread. Direct messages should be avoided unless highly sensitive information is being communicated because of the need for multiple dispatch shifts to follow up. Dispatch will give you phone numbers, addresses, reimbursement directions if they apply, etc.
We must all assume we are carrying the virus and act accordingly, taking only risks that are warranted. Masks, scarves and home-made coverings may not help you avoid infection (though they can help you avoid touching your nose and mouth) but they are somewhat effective at preventing you from infecting others. We know this virus is transmitted before symptoms begin, so waiting until you're ill to take measures is not responsible. Social distancing is our civic duty. If you're asked to do anything in your volunteer role through this platform that you believe is unsafe, please let us know.
- Emergency contact
- How to report a completed task
After completing, please post in the original thread, following this format so all case managers will be notified. “DISPATCH, last name of client, UPDATE: give details.”
Additional Volunteer Opportunities
- Sign-up to volunteer with the Shifa Clinic, they are providing to a majority of our food requests. Sign-up here.
- Donate to Destiny Community Cafe. Text Ragina 48-24 hours in advance at 843-640-1045.
- Follow the #general-announcements channel where other organizations and grassroots leaders will post last-minute needs.
We would welcome your financial support if you're able. Donations are tax deductible eligible. All funds go to supplies.
- Charleston United Covid Response: This is our Paypal donation link.
- Please support our fundraiser Connecting Local Farmers to Families in Need!
- Donate to the Shifa Clinic. They are taking on the majority of food requests at this time and need donations to continue this important work!
- Donate to Destiny Community Cafe. This is the only pay-as-you-can cafe in North Charleston, they are delivering meals throughout the week to those in need.
- Donate food to Lowcountry Blessing Box. With over 100 locations, Lowcountry Blessing Box project builds, places, maintains and stocks anonymous donation sites for non-perishable food items throughout the Lowcountry region of South Carolina in an effort to fight food insecurity. Leave what you can, take what you need.
COVID-19 and Your Rights
- COVID-19 and Your Rights
- COVID-19 Recommendations for Prisons and Jails
- What to do if you’re stopped by the police
- What to do if you’re stopped by Immigration Enforcement
The SC Supreme Court has halted all eviction proceedings until at least May 1st. That means your landlord CANNOT try to evict you before May 1st. We don't know what will happen after that, but don't let your landlord spread false information!
Refer to this letter by Representative Marvin Pendarvis detailing the protections from both the state and federal level against evictions and housing foreclosures. Here is the SC Supreme Court Order re: statewide evictions and foreclosures issued March 18, 2020
Are you facing housing insecurity, threat of eviction, harassment by your landlord, or have rent you can't pay because of the Covid-19 epidemic? You're not alone!
Fill out this form to let us know your needs. This is a mutual aid effort organized by fellow neighbors and residents of South Carolina. We'll do what we can to support you in staying in your home, but can't guarantee anything. At the very least, we're gathering this information because we know we're more powerful together and this could help us organize for tenant protections, a temporary rent freeze and eviction moratorium, and to ensure that shady landlords don't take advantage of folks at this scary and uncertain moment. https://forms.gle/62mo4VxTDEJeKzq5A
LEGAL RESOURCES: SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center - https://www.scjustice.org/brochure/landlord-tenant-law-south-carolina/ Charleston Pro Bono - https://charlestonprobono.org/