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COVID-19 Updates Relevant to the VSN / Timeline

US Centrers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

*** 3/12 "Missoula Aging Services support groups, workshops and classes have been canceled for the time being (through May)

*** 3/16 Missoula Housing Authority is open by appointment only Our staff listing is on our website: https://missoulahousing.org/staff

​*** 3/16 Job Service Missoula - 2020 Career Fair CANCELED per Career Fair Team VOTE in MARCH:

​*** The DVOP & VSN would like to thank the following VSP that RSVP'd to table outside of the Career Fair in the "Veteran Services" area of the lobby:

  • Canine Companions for Independence

  • Dogs on Deployment

  • Humana / MarketPoint (Veteran Health options outside of the VA)

  • Job Service DVOP (Disabled Veterans Outreach Program)

  • Military OneSource

  • Missoula Vet Center (Mobile Vet Center in parking lot)

  • MonTECH, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities

  • Mountain View Center of Hope (Veteran family program, “center of influence ministry”)

  • Team Rubicon

  • Three Rangers Foundation

  • Troops to Teachers

  • U.S. Senator Daines Office, Veterans Casework Liaison


  • VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E, Fort Harrison)

  • Veteran Directed Care (VDC) at Missoula Aging Services

  • Veterans Upward Bound (VUB)

  • Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOANR)

Career Fair Questions: Sarah, Supervisor, SWimmer@mt.gov

Or, Job Service – Missoula, (406) 728-7060, MissoulaJSC@mt.gov

*** 3/16 Pathways – community updates, “Salvation Army is open & giving out food boxes and hygiene products as long as they have them.

  • The Poverello is still serving meals but are not allowing any volunteers in the building except in the kitchen. 

​*** 3/17 “Summit Independent Living offices and locations are closed to public in-person contact until further notice

​*** 3/17 Homeword, “Our office is closed to the public and employees will work remotely until further notice. Classes and counseling are taking place virtually."

​*** 3/18 Nonprofit Newsletter, “Bloomerang has compiled a library of crisis fundraising advice, articles, opinions, webinars, videos and resources in the wake of the new coronavirus and its impact on the nonprofit sector" (https://bloomerang.co/resources/covid19/).

​​*** 3/18 Missoula Public Library, “The library is closed to the public until further notice.” (Crystal, Reference Librarian, (406) 721-2665)

​​*** 3/18 State of Montana ~ Joint Information Center: https://covid19.mt.gov/joint-information-center

State of Montana COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19-faq

*** 3/18 VA News, “Veterans: Call before visiting your VA facility: Got a fever, cold, cough or flu-like symptoms? VA can make it easier and safer to get back to health with virtual care through My HealtheVet and the VA Video Connect app on your smartphone, tablet or computer: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72447/veterans-sick-stay-home-phone-safe-convenient-option/?fbclid=IwAR2PrI7I0LjFToKWv0QGMHnuWRduoQTKE3T7iHA-3Gw06ELlx8dkbFzNesA

VA’s Response COVID-19: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/?utm_source=Homepage&utm_campaign=Coronavirus

​​*** 3/19 University of Montana, “steps the University is taking to prepare for and slow the spread of the pandemic: https://www.umt.edu/coronavirus/default.php Currently, all classes will move to online and remote-only instruction. Questions: alumni@umontana.edu

​*** 3/19 Montana DPHHS, Office of Public Assistance, “closed to the public until further notice ..Services are available to Montana residents on-line through apply.mt.gov or by telephone through the Public Assistance Help Line at 1-888-706-1535. Set up an online account to apply for SNAP food assistance, TANF cash assistance, or health coverage. Clients can also check SNAP and TANF balances, upload required documents, and report changes in household circumstances, such as Income or, shelter costs. Montana Department of Public Health https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt OPA office emails: https://dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/OfficeofPublicAssistance

​​*** ​​3/23 Job Service Missoula is OPEN via PHONE (406) 728-7060 & EMAIL (Unemployment, job search, resume reviews, interviewing tips, etc.). Phones will be very busy - please utilize email when you can. For Missoula and surrounding counties, please use: missoulajsc@mt.gov
*** COVID-19 FAQ for employers and workers: https://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19-faq
*** REGISTER & SEARCH JOBS and/or OR START an Unemployment Insurance CLAIM: https://montanaworks.gov/

*** YOUTUBE: How to register in Montanaworks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJYn5v0ETu8
*** YOUTUBE: How to start an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYaWXATES4

*** 3/23 Senta  Costco, “opening on Tuesdays and Thursday’s from 8-9 for 60 and older and for compromised people.”

*** 3/24 VHA "partnerships support the social determinants of health that Veterans need during times of crisis" https://www.va.gov/healthpartnerships/updates/impact/03242020.asp

*** 3/24 American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program, "TFA application procedures with the coronavirus" https://www.legion.org/financialassistance/248595/tfa-application-procedures-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR0DHEaKEr1KCQgMzZkRiwiSI92tdRdWXDFqEq8_uUl36A5zcR22iK94SGo

*** 3/25 VA Newsletter, “Veterans have multiple resources available for the latest COVID-19 or coronavirus information, from the overall Federal government response to VA resources, rumor control, CDC information, state resource listings and more” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72856/veterans-multiple-resources-covid-19-information/

​*** 3/26 Montana Dept of Labor & Industry, "We have launched a new webpage with weekly UI claims, layoffs & job postings, and other LMI data" http://lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking

​*** 3/26 SBA, “Administrator Carranza Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020" https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/carranza-implements-automatic-deferment-existing-sba-disaster-loans-through-end-2020 (Questions: Mark Williams, Boots to Business Program Manager, Office of Veterans Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, (202) 205-6157, C (202) 365-7461, mark.williams@sba.gov)

​*** 3/27 U.S. Department of Labor, “Small and midsize employers will benefit from two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to immediately and fully reimburse them for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related family and medical leave and sick leave to their employees: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320; The Wage and Hour Division has issued three new opinion letters providing compliance assistance regarding the recent final rule that updated regular rate requirements for overtime pay: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200326-0; Approximately $22 million in Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program grants will provide services to reintegrate homeless veterans into meaningful employment: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/vets/vets20200327; The Wage and Hour Division published additional guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act including two new posters, information on posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing the agency’s 30-day non-enforcement policy" https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200326

*** 3/27 Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services, “The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created a page to address questions about ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and the COVID-19 virus: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/wysk_ada_rehabilitaion_act_coronavirus.cfm; In addition, the Job Accommodation Network has a web page with information and links to other sites helping with possible accommodations needed: https://askjan.org/topics/COVID-19.cfm (Questions: VRBS Business Services Team Members Jeanne (Missoula) jstone2@mt.gov; Hamilton: Julie.ochoa@mt.gov)

​*** 3/29/20 Union Gospel Mission dba Hope Rescue Mission (https://www.hopemontana.org/), “we have closed the Hope Thrift Boutique temporarily. The Outreach Team has continued to visit and care for the basic needs of those who are homeless. The 549-HOPE coordinators are taking calls from home and organizing deliveries for those who need food and medications but are unable to pick them up. Our community meal that was scheduled for April 9th has been moved to May 14th "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."  Psalm 23:4

​*** 3/30 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, “Please note that the FAQ’S from UI are being constantly updated" http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/employee-FAQ.pdf

​*** 3/30/20 Salvation Army, “They are still open  Monday through Thursday 9am-3pm for food boxes, hygiene kits, and they have a little bit of rental assistance left. Additionally, they have a computer set up for those who need to get online for anything.”

​*** 3/31/20 Montana Guard Kids, "Military Families with Younger Kids: Sesame Street and Military OneSource just released "Caring for Each Other" as a way to help your youngest through Covid-19." Join us Monday through Friday at noon for updates (Facebook videos): https://www.facebook.com/military.1source/videos/211535480098858/

Sesame Workshop" https://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-room/press-releases/sesame-workshop-expands-caring-each-other-initiative-help-parents-and?fbclid=IwAR3V6zbfJ62707sEpq-s6SG0xnHGPtFsRpse-y-A4dUPCFzJnQisuiHAabE

*** 4/1 Learning Center at Red Willow, "As of April 1st, the Administrative office for The Learning Center is at 700 South Avenue West, Suite C in Missoula. We will be continuing to work from home and updating our website and social media with new class information and other general updates. We're pleased to be able to offer more classes online that you can access from home and still stay connected with our instructors and resources. You'll be able to find this information on Facebook and website: www.redwillowlearning.org

Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program INFO / WAIVER: https://www.redwillowlearning.org/sliding-fees-scholarships/

New phone (406) 530-7175, info@redwillowlearning.org

*** 4/1 Sharon, Senator Daines Office, "I know many veterans receive or have family members who receive social security or social security disability. Senator Daines worked to be certain folks who receive Social Security or SDDI and are not required to file federal income tax returns. They will receive their Economic Impact check without having to file a federal income tax return: https://www.daines.senate.gov/news/press-releases/daines-secures-action-from-trump-administration-to-remove-barriers-lower-costs-of-coronavirus-testing-and-treatment (Sharon Parks-Banda, Veterans Casework Liaison, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, (406) 549-8198, Sharon_Parks-Banda@daines.senate.gov)

*** 4/2 Rocky Mountain Museum of Military Hisory, Fort Missoula, and Heritage Hall ~ News from the CV front, "The ability to hold the Fort Missoula July 4 event will be under constant reassessment, with a final decision likely in early June.

*** Again, all of the above is subject to reassessment as the national situation develops; please continue checking RMMMH Facebook and the local media for the latest information.

*** Civil War Reenactments ~ we are working on a model of a six-pounder ARW field gun as a companion to the SAR Brown Bess musket during the CV hiatus. RMMMH suggests parents during social distancing encourage their kids to take up scale modeling - helps them learn life lessons about deferred gratification and dealing with multiple frustrations! :)

Questions: Tate Jones, Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History (RMMMH), (406) 549-5346,  militarymuseu45@hotmail.com

Heritage Hall (406) 396-4750, info@nrhc.org

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula (406) 728-3476, ftmslamuseum@montana.com

​​3334, kahilaem@gmail.com

*** 4/7 Western Montana Mental Health Clinic, “The Behavioral Urgent Care Clinic in Missoula opens tomorrow (Wednesday). The clinic is located at 1201 Wyoming Street – previously Recovery Center Missoula.  We had to adjust our hours a bit.. we’ll be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday. This clinic is set to have same day care for anyone needing urgent behavioral health services. We’ll adjust and/or expand our hours to meet community needs.” (Kari Auclair, Area Director – WMMHC, Missoula, Ravalli, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Beaverhead Counties, kauclair@wmmhc.org).

*** 4/9 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, "New for today is a new page for self-employed, independent contractors and others:" http://dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractor

*** 4/9 MT DLI Veteran Program Manager, “If you have Veterans that have already registered with WWP they may be eligible for this relief program.” Wounded Warrior Project ~ COVID-19 Relief Program ~ The nonprofit started reaching out to its members — more than 100,000 veterans — to identify who might be in financial distress. Members in need will be able to apply for $1,000 grants, intended to go toward groceries, utilities or housing. Story: https://www.stripes.com/wounded-warrior-project-donating-10-million-to-veterans-affected-by-pandemic-1.625444?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Stars+and+Stripes+Emails&utm_campaign=Weekly+Update

The application process opens today, Thursday, April 9 at 12 pm ET. Grants will be paid to those who meet the criteria, as they come in, until funds are gone.
HOW TO APPLY: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/covid-relief
You will receive a separate email from covidgrantapp@woundedwarriorproject.org
with a link to a grant application (sent to the same email address as this email). If you do not see the email, please look to your spam, junk or Promotions (Gmail) folder(s). Follow the directions in that email to apply. Registered warriors are being asked to only apply for assistance if they absolutely need it due to financial hardships from COVID-19. This will enable us to help as many of those with urgent and significant needs as possible. In times like these, we are reminded of how much we all depend on each other. We are honored and humbled to stand alongside you on your journey and thank you for all that you have sacrificed for our great nation. To honor and empower, Wounded Warrior Project

​​*** 4/9 AARP Tele-Townhall Recordings: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/tele-town-hall-coronavirus.html

Questions: Steve Reiter, AARP Montana (406) 457-4702, sreiter@aarp.org

Or, Jim Higgins (406) 291-0356, higginsjw.1@gmail.com

​*** 4/14 DAV from Sharon, Senator Daines Office in Missoula, “In case you haven’t heard, the DAV has decided to suspend its van service until June. The VA Veteran Transportation Service is still operating and feels confident they can handle the extra duty, since patient appointments are way down right now.  DAV made this decision to protect their drivers, who are in the high risk category for COVID-19.”

*** 4/15 Dena, “Also as for DAV-  we do have a directive from DAV to not transport until June 01 2020 and I have been referring our Veterans in the Bitterroot and Missoula areas who need transport to VTS - Veteran Transportation Service 447-6270 however I did get permission that if VTS is not able to transport our Veterans in our area due to not having a driver available etc DAV can transport in those situations- as long as the Veterans meet DAV guidelines and if I can find a volunteer driver who is available.”

(DAV website / COVID info – may not have been updated yet: https://www.dav.org/covid-19-veterans-information/).

*** 4/14 UM Alumni – Emergency Student Support Fund, “Our UM family is persevering through this challenge together. However, our most vulnerable students need your generous support. We invite you to partner with us in our collective effort to help students as they confront the great hurdles of this pandemic while working to excel in their coursework and learning experiences. Thank you for considering how you can help students now by visiting the UM Foundation website here: https://supportum.org/givingopportunities/campusinitiatives/emergency-student-support-fund.php#makegift

*** 4/14 Monte Turner (The VSN's Mineral County Liaison), “If you need a road trip, this might be the time to finally visit the Miracle of America Museum in Polson on Highway 93 that you've driven by for years, as they are open 9-5 every day! How, I don't know, but I received their newsletter the other day ... If you have visited it before, I'm certain you'll agree with me that this is the perfect example of 'Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover' as what you'll discover in there is phenomenal! 10+ years ago I finally made myself stop and devoted an hour of my unscheduled time to cruise through. 4 hours later I left wanting more time but have always been in a rush from Point A to Point B. The vehicles inside that you've never seen, let alone heard of and their war memorabilia alone will fascinate you! The history of the timber industry is nothing I've seen before. Just a thought for getting out of the house” (Monte replied afterwards, "I just returned as I went to do a story on it. Again, I became overwhelmed after 3 hours and had to leave. 4.5 acres and 43 buildings of unbelievable stuff! - Questions: Monte, monteloie@montana.com).

*** 4/15 Salvation Army Tech Hub Volunteers Needed (provided by the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative)

TECH HUB at the Salvation Army, 355 S. Russell St., Missoula (549-0710), OPEN until approx 4/30 Monday - Thursday, 10am - 11:30am: Access the internet to find resources, job search, apply for employment, housing, check email, connect w/family & friends! THREE individuals will be able to use a laptop or iPad at a time for up to 30 minutes. Individuals and volunteers will be spaced 6 feet apart and will be required to wear masks and gloves. Thank you for your cooperation! Bathroom facilities will NOT be available.

We are looking for volunteers to staff this space! If you are healthy and low-risk please consider signing up for a shift or referring to friends and family who are able. The shifts are Monday-Thursday, 10-11:30am 

Sign Up Genius page: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4bafaf23abfe3-salvation

Missoula County VOLUNTEER response site: http://www.volunteermissoula.org/need/detail/?need_id=513564&blm_aid=102462

Not able to go out and volunteer? We are currently collecting masks to donate to the Poverello Center and the Hope Rescue Mission who are doing outreach at the homeless encampments. They are in huge need of masks for their staff and clients. Let us know if you are interested and available to make masks or know of other individuals and groups making them!

Every act of your generosity helps us to further our mission. Thank you for making the world a better place. Love from Family Promise, Housing Advocate Network, MIC, Missoula Works, and Recycling Works” Missoula Interfaith Collaborative, (406) 207-8228, www.micmt.org [micmt.org]

Questions: Katie Galang, “MIC's Amazing BSW Practicum Student” (406) 285-1795, kategalang834@gmail.com  

*** 4/16 VFW’s Unmet Needs Program provides grant funds, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program offers grants up to $1,500 to eligible Veterans, service members and military families. VA BLOG: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/70365/vfws-unmet-needs-program/

APPLY: https://app.wizehive.com/apps/vfwunmetneeds

The process can take up to 20 business days while a caseworker reviews the application and supporting documents. Include the most recent bills due and the assigned caseworker will reach out to the creditor to verify all expenses. Payments will be mailed directly to the creditor after research is complete.

Questions: Unmet Needs at 1-866-789-6333

***​ 4/16 VSN Events CMTE, "The Heroes at Home BBQ & VSAP has been rescheduled for September 20, 2020! Unfortunately, we couldn't get a permit for May, and FMRP provided us w/a list of dates the pavilion is free in Aug / Sept. 9/20 was the only date that was feasible for VSN Leadership. Clcik on "More" at the top of this page, and go the "Heroes BBQ & VSAP" page or the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/483415689026245/ for more info. Hope to see you there!

Sincerely,  VSN Leadership: Anton​ (406) 396-8390; Erick, kahilaem@gmail.com; John (406) 544-2583; Rebecca​, rstancil@missoulahousing.org; Shannon​, snoble@mt.gov

*** If you would like to DONATE to one of our VSN Leadership ORGS:

  • Extreme Sports for Veterans: http://xsports4vets.org/

  • United Veterans Council (UVC) of Missoula & Ravalli Counties, Veterans Relief Fund (Emergency gas, etc.): EIN# 81-6016498; Mail: American Legion Post 27, 825 Ronan St., Missoula, MT 59801; Questions: John Angwin, American Legion Commander, C 544-2583, johnsangwin@hotmail.com

  • Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP): https://runsignup.com/vsap

​*** 4/20 HOPE Rescue Mission formerly Union Gospel Mission of Missoula, “People here in our Missoula are reeling from the effects of COVID-19, affecting our communities and neighborhoods.  We've never had a more urgent need to get food to families quickly. So please take a moment right now and give generously because every dollar you can spare provides a meal to a neighbor in need. And after you do, spread the word by using #GiveFromHomeDay on your social media networks, so others can join the movement today.” https://www.hopemontana.org/

*** 4/22 Montana DLI, “Starting Wednesday, April 22nd, individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits (e.g. self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, COVID-19-impacted workers) can file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). FILE PUA Claim: https://mtpua.mt.gov/_/

Montanans can call (406) 444-3382 or email puaclaims@mt.gov for help.

*** 4/22 VA, “The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department to ensure delivery of ‘Economic Impact Payments’ to Veterans and survivors who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA without additional paperwork or IRS filings. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5423

*** 4/22 Missoula Economic Partnership, "Relevant data and information on the reopening of businesses and the economy (Bryce War presentation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VL8ZjqwyBg&feature=youtu.be

ATTENTION: Business Feedback for the Chamber of Commerce (Coronavirus Relief Survey): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSOChamberC19Survey

Governor, MEP – Reopening the Big Sky: https://covid19.mt.gov/Portals/223/Documents/Reopening%20Montana%20Phased%20Approach.pdf?ver=2020-04-22-115707-770

Questions: Julie Lacey, Missoula Economic Partnership, Economic Development Director, (406) 541-6461, Cell (406) 546-1183, jlacey@missoulapartnership.com

*** 4/23 VBA Fort Harrison, Regarding Veterans preparing disability claims appeals (needing more time to prepare because of COVID-19 restrictions): Clarissa Caunday at VBA Fort Harrison Regional Benefits Office "confirmed VBA is granting extensions on the deadline by which to file an appeal. The Veteran can call 1-800-827-1000 and let them know they need an extension “Due to COVID-19,” and VBA is automatically granting the extension."

*** 4/24 Montana Housing, within the Department of Commerce, “we are closely monitoring the impacts of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. We will communicate with statewide housing partners any relevant information about COVID-19 and how it affects affordable homes in Montana. A coronavirus (COVID-19) information phone line at 1-888-333-0461 has been launched and Montanans can also email questions to covid19info@mt.gov. The Montana Housing customer service window is currently closed to public visitors to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Montana Housing borrowers needing to make a mortgage payment can do so online, by phone, ACH or sending it by mail. Montana Housing will waive phone and online payment fees through the month of May. For questions about Montana Housing’s programs, please call 406.841.2840” or visit https://covid19.mt.gov/

*** 4/24 U.S Small Business Administration, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

Questions: Brent E. Donnelly, District Director – Montana, U.S. Small Business Administration, Desk: 406-441-1083, Mobile: 406-439-7613, . Brent.Donnelly@sba.gov

*** 4/26 US Military Campgrounds and RV Parks Newsletter, “Last month, I started a list of known military campgrounds that are temporarily closing. This list has grown to over 60% of the military campgrounds being reported as closed. This is only the ones "I" know about. It's probably a safe bet to think that at least 25% more are also temporarily closed. You can access the campground closure list, and add to it here: https://www.militarycampgrounds.us/kunena/4-general-military-campgrounds-topics/14231-corona-virus-campground-closures

If you need to travel, I suggest you call the campground in advance to see if they are open and if your reservation is still valid.”

*** 4/27 Job Service Missoula – Marilyn, “All Opening Doors to Your Success Workshops, both on and off-site cancellations has been extended through the month of May"

  • Job Service Missoula has been OPEN via PHONE & EMAIL. Job seekers are still able to get one on one assistance with unemployment, seeking employment, resume reviews (via email), interviewing tips, etc. There is still programs available for retraining or supportive employment! Phones will be very busy - please utilize email when you can: (406) 728-7060 or missoulajsc@mt.gov for Missoula and surrounding counties.

*** 4/27 Forest Service Hiring Firefighters (Hungry Horse News): https://hungryhorsenews.com/news/2020/apr/27/forest-service-hiring-firefighters-10/?fbclid=IwAR0-5akneOjRKb92WFJnubqJbJZHw7b51IkL7anzeTbUt32GCM6i60a25-s [hungryhorsenews.com]

*** 4/27 AARP Montana (aarp.org/veterans), “TIME RUNNING OUT FOR MAY 5 ACTION ITEM: VA Beneficiaries with Children Must Register with IRS for Extra $500 Stimulus Payment by May 5: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2020/beneficiaries-stimulus-checks.html?intcmp=AE-HF-VC-VET-BB [aarp.org]

Questions: Steve Reiter, AARP Montana (406) 457-4702, sreiter@aarp.org

Or, Jim Higgins (406) 291-0356, higginsjw.1@gmail.com

*** 4/28 Emergency Housing Assistance Program: https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist

*** 4/30 Job Corps, “Hello Community partners, I wanted to send an update on Job Corps status. IF you have interested parties, please don’t hesitate to have them contact me via email or phone. I am interviewing  students  via online docu- sign application and phone. I am getting their files to the centers, so when they open again, they will bring  current students back and set up arrival for new students. OF COURSE this is all contingent on the powers that be to decide when to open up educational settings…I suspect not an easy task with all the unknowns. We are moving forward with what we know at this point. Be Safe and Thank you.” (Questions: Rick Whitmore, C (406) 396-2793, Whitmore.Richard@jobcorps.org)

*** 5/2 RMMMH -News from the CV front: RMMMH remains closed to public visitation.

• Heroes at Home BBQ moved to Sept. 20.

• As of this week state and local guidance allows retail-type operations and gatherings of up to ten, but that’s only part of the equation. Consultation with other members of the Museums Association of Mt. has determined that it will be a long road to resuming full museum services, sanitizing and keeping an eye out for any uptick in CV spread are part of it, and other institutions are looking at a very gradual reopening to full service through July. We will evaluate weekly.

• At NRHC, Greg Smith’s May 19 presentation, “An Inconvenient Grizzly,” has been moved to Sept. 1.

• Memorial Day weekend plans at RMMMH still TBD.

• Still on track for now is June 21’s “Morning Calm Shattered: The 70th Anniversary of the Korean War’s Opening.” Stay tuned for updates.

Stay healthy, and deliver the curve another blow this coming week.

*** 5/4 Minutes from "4/30 Lunch & Learn (Mark Upton, MD) – Urgent Care Briefing" VA Mission Act – Urgent Care & Same Day Services: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/docs/programs/MISSION-ACT_Urgent-Care_FLYER.pdf# [va.gov]

Veteran Community Care – Urgent Care YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk-eg4N29w0&feature=youtu.be [youtube.com]

VA Blog – Urgent Care: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/62632/mission-act-urgent-care/ [blogs.va.gov]

  • To check your eligibility, call 844-698-2311 (select 1, then 3)

  • To locate an urgent care provider, Veterans can use VA's Provider Locator https://www.va.gov/find-locations [va.gov] (To find an urgent care location, select the "Urgent care" VA facility type and then "Community urgent care providers” in VA's network from the service type drop-down (Or, contact your local VA or call 1-877-881-7618 which is the OCC National Contact Center).

Prescriptions: There is no Rx card needed to identify the Veteran. There are downloadable Urgent Care Assistance Cards available on the VA.gov Veteran urgent care webpage (https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/Urgent_Care.asp [va.gov] ) that have the BIN, PCN, etc., for filling urgent care prescriptions that Veterans can give to the pharmacist if needed.

Questions: Mark Upton, MD - Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care, Veterans Health Administration, mark.upton@va.gov

The next Lunch & Learn will be May 14th – VHA Office of Connected Care, Agenda TBA - If you would like to see additional topics covered in the Lunch N Learn series please email: vet-friendlycommunities@va.gov

Questions: Bob Mortenson, Veterans Experience Office (VACO), Veterans, Family and Community Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs, (360) 568-4592, C (206) 554-1491, robert.mortenson@va.gov

*** 5/5 State of Montana, “Beginning Thursday, May 7, Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

*** 5/6 Nonprofit Newsletter - “Downtown Missoula Business Support Fund,” Small, locally-owned businesses and organizations are the heart of Missoula and the first ones to support community initiatives, non-profit organizations, and individuals in need. This pandemic has been particularly impactful on small downtown businesses. Businesses within the Business Improvement District can receive up to $1,000 in support and MDA members in good standing can receive up to $1,500” APPLY: https://www.missouladowntown.com/missoula-downtown-foundation/downtown-missoula-business-support-fund/

*** Individual and businesses interested in contributing to the Downtown Missoula Business Support Fund can send a check, payable to the Missoula Downtown Foundation 218 E. Main St. Missoula, MT 59802 or go to (The Foundation is a qualified charitable organization and all donations are deductible to the full extent allowed by law): https://www.gofundme.com/f/downtown-missoula-business-support-fund

*** 5/6 VA News (Multiple Lunch & Learns / WEBINARS added to May events) and, “Military bands offer free online performances. Watch the Digital Drumline Project with 900+ drummers playing in unison from all over the world. See videos and schedules of free performances from all 5 military bands, plus a VA music therapy video.” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74350/military-bands-offer-free-online-performances/

*** 5/13 Blackstone Launchpad, “The Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) Program is a collaboration between Accelerate Montana at UM, UM’s College of Business and Missoula Economic Partnership. The BEAR Program is providing a "single point of entry" to sole proprietors and small businesses requesting assistance or guidance in responding to the COIVD-19 crisis.  

Whether you or someone you know owns a small business, we want our alumni to know that this program exists to help. When an individual makes an assistance request, the BEAR team is able to: Review any CARES Act questions; Review any unemployment questions; Review Montana Business Recovery questions; Connect individuals to resources or organizations that will best answer their questions; Coach to reboot business models in a new era of conducting business or managing teams.

So far, the BEAR program has served over 40 businesses and individuals, and we look forward to connecting with other businesses seeking help. In addition, we plan to launch some new online courses for business owners during this unprecedented time that focus on rebooting your business model.”

REQUEST BUSINESS ASSISTANCE: http://acceleratemontana.umt.edu/covid-resource/default.php

Questions: Paul Gladen, Director of Accelerate Montana and Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, University of Montana, (406) 243-5723, paul.gladen@mso.umt.edu

Or, Morgan, Blackstone LaunchPad, morgan.slemberger@mso.umt.edu

*** 5/13 VA News, “VA has expanded support services enabled by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to make available immediate relief for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5442

*** And, “On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law to help Americans economically impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help homeowners avoid home foreclosure, including VA Home Loans.” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74704/cares-act-extends-va-home-loan-pre-foreclosure-options/

*** 5/14 National Cemetery Administration (NCA), "Since we’re not able to observe our traditional ceremonies, NCA will commemorate Memorial Day this year with solemn wreath-laying ceremonies. All VA national cemeteries will be open Memorial Day weekend from dawn to dusk for public visitation. Each VA national cemetery will conduct a brief wreath laying ceremony, accompanied by a moment of silence and the playing of Taps (NOT open to the public).

*** Americans are encouraged to pay tribute to deceased Veterans by utilizing the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM): https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/?utm_source=Veterans%20Legacy%20Memorial&utm_campaign=cem

There’s a memorial page for each Veteran interred in a VA national cemetery, and starting May 14, VLM offers online visitors a chance to leave a “tribute” text.

VLM URL: www.va.gov/remember

VA BLOG: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/roll-of-honor/

Questions: Danny Devine, VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA), daniel.devine@va.gov

*** 5/14 VA VEO Lunch & Learn, “Protect Yourself from COVID-19 with VA Virtual Tools” https://connectedcare.va.gov/whats-new/technology/protect-yourself-covid-19-va-virtual-tools

Addressing the Needs of Veterans During COVID-19 ~ VBA Contact Information: https://covid19militarysupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VBA-Slide.pdf

For a recording of today's webinar and to access all of our resources for the COVID-19 crisis, please visit: https://covid19militarysupport.org/
Please send your questions, comments and feedback to: info@defensecommunities.org

*** 5/18 National Center for Appropriate Technology, “$16 Billion Available to Help Farmers - Funds are from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides assistance to farmers and ranchers financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The USDA has yet to open the applications for this money, but they have said to begin the process ASAP if you are a farmer who has experienced a loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. You must make a phone call to your FSA Office to start the process: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=us&agency=fsa For more information on how to prepare for this application, including a list of all the forms you need, head to: 
https://www.ncat.org/coronavirus-food-assistance-program/ [out02.thedatabank.com] ATTRA helpline (U.S. only): 800-346-9140 (English) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Central Time, Ask online, using the green chat box at the bottom of the ATTRA website [out02.thedatabank.com] ; Or, Send an email to askanag@ncat.org 

*** 5/20 VA News, “The just released VA coronavirus chatbot [lnks.gd] is available 24/7 to quickly triage COVID-19 symptoms and answer your questions on testing options, stimulus payments and telehealth, and  even how to reschedule VA appointments.” https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-chatbot/

*** 5/21 Montana DPHHS, “Telework Assistance Grants of up to $1,000 per individual now available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division. This funding will go towards purchasing assistive technology equipment to assist Montanans with disabilities maintain telework opportunities. DET will assess and support assistive technology telework needs for individuals with disabilities during COVID-19. This assistance will ensure people with disabilities have the equipment needed to adapt to the change in working environment due to COVID-19 and will support Montana’s workforce.” If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity please call 1 (877) 296-1197 or email vrinfo@mt.gov  https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd

*** 5/21 Montana DLI, “Safety Health Recording – Employer Town Hall” https://soundcloud.com/user-863864992/employer-q-a-may-13-2020


*** 5/21 Montana State Relief Funds: https://www.covidreliefmt.org/submit (LIST) Click on any one of them and it takes you to a description and gives option to create and account and apply.

*** 5/26 Missoula Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD ) Behavioral Health Task Force, “This link is a list of mental health professionals who are accepting new patients, provide telehealth services and who accept Medicaid or offer a sliding fee scale for payment. The document also lists their credentials and their areas of expertise.” https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K5fIU15WvcbuwIuiKODYjRhVL1Cp-VWx/view

Missoula City and County Joint Information page of resources for wide range of needs. http://covid19.missoula.co/ [covid19.missoula.co]

*** 5/26 UM, “While all the details are not quite finalized, we will start the fall semester Wednesday, Aug. 19. Final exams – and the last day of the semester – will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving – eliminating the need for students, faculty and staff travel between the Thanksgiving holiday and the conclusion of the semester. Winter break will last until Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, the start of spring semester. Consistent with past semesters, there will be a limited set of exceptions to meet clinical and other programmatic needs that are not directly tied to the traditional academic calendar.

.. We continue to communicate with our students, faculty and staff directly and will post all information on our COVID-19 website: https://www.umt.edu/coronavirus/fall2020.php

*** 5/27 Montana DLI WSD Job Service, “The Missoula Job Service Opening Doors to Your Success Workshops for the months of June and July, will not be held in person or on site, however we will offer all services related to the workshops via email, video conference or phone whenever possible. Our phone line 406-728-7060 is open between 8am-5pm Monday -Friday, except 9am on Tuesdays or email missoulajsc@mt.gov anytime to inquire about one-on-one email workshop assistance.  Thanks in advance and appreciate your understanding during this changing environment.”

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