Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Eviction Expungement Clinic
Tuesday, September 28 at 9:45 am
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have impacted low income Minnesotans in large numbers. Helping someone expunge an eviction from their records can make a big difference in their life, helping them find safe and affordable housing. The SMRLS Volunteer Attorney Program and Robins Kaplan will host a remote eviction expungement clinic on Tuesday, September 28 at 9:45 am on zoom. Volunteer lawyers will assist clients with their eviction expungement case preparation, including preparing the petition and discussing the process. Clients will represent themselves in court and SMRLS staff will file and serve petitions. Volunteers are only responsible for preparing clients’ documents. Eligible clients are comfortable representing themselves in court and
A) have an eviction case that was either settled or dismissed,
B) do not owe any money to the landlord on the case they wish to expunge, or
C) believe they were not properly served in the eviction process.
If you’d like to receive help through this clinic, please contact Emily Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org .
RentHelpMN is Now Open for Applications
RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply.
To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit renthelpmn.org or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program
The COVI D-19 Housing Assistance Program provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. Local administrators will review applications from individuals and families requesting assistance, verify eligibility, and process payments for eligible expenses on behalf of households. Click here to learn more.
Income and Rent/Utility Support Resources
Click here to learn about Income and Rent and the Utility Support Resources offered under the COVID-19 emergency.
EBT Approved for Select Online SNAP Purchases
Beginning May 28, 2020, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Minnesota can purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Currently, Walmart and Amazon are the only online retailers approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for SNAP purchases and available in Minnesota. Click here to learn more.
Low Income Tax Clinic
If you didn’t file a federal tax return or get federal benefits, you won’t automatically receive the Economic Impact ("Stimulus") Payment. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is offering a statewide Low Income Taxpayer Clinic to help you complete the necessary online IRS form so you can receive your stimulus payment. Click here or call 612-334-5970 or 1-800-292-4150 to learn more.
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan launched a Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 to report discrimination because of COVID-19. This toll-free helpline reinforces the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans. It allows those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the state. The helpline is staffed by investigators from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Translation/interpretation services are available.
Low and No Cost Internet Services
Access to internet is especially critical during this difficult time. As part of our continuing effort to care for our clients, SMRLS encourages you to consider the following information about low and no cost internet services that are available to low-income families.
Comcast Xfinity is currently offering its Internet Essentials program free for two months to new customers. The internet provider is also automatically increasing speeds for all Internet Essentials customers. Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots are also open and free to use by anyone.
Charter Spectrum is currently offering households with students K–12 or university a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.
Altice internet providers Suddenlink and Optimum are offering 60 days of free internet service for households with K–12 or college students. Internet speeds are up to 30 Mbps if you do not already have access to a home internet plan. To sign up, call 1-866-200-9522 if you live in an area with Optimum internet service, or call 1-888-633-0030 if you live in an area with Suddenlink internet service.
Please contact these providers directly or see their websites for more information about these offers.