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Find ways to address neighborhood issues and build community.
Here are some local resources that may be helpful:
- Plan a neighborhood block party with this DC guide, street blocking petition, and virtual presentation.
- Find your ANC Commissioner and their contact information.
- Interactive map of Ward 4 featuring SMD and ANC boundaries, schools, and farmers markets.
Food Insecurity and Mental Health
Many DC residents struggle with food insecurity and their mental health.
Here are some additional resources for you and your family:
- Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Food Resource Map for free meals and free groceries across DC
- Food Assistance Programs for students, seniors, pregnant women, and mothers with young children
- Slow Food DC helps grow, educate, and provide healthy and fair food
- Ward 4 Mutual Aid is helping provide food, water, and supplies to neighbors across Ward 4.
- Department of Behavior Health Community Response Team to support adults who are experiencing emotional, psychiatric or substance use vulnerabilities: 202-673-6495
- DC’s Mental Health 24-hour hotline staffed by behavioral health professionals: 1-888-793-4357
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available to anyone in distress: 988
Housing and Utilities
DC has a wide range of housing resources available for residents.
Here are some key places to seek housing assistance:
- Apply for emergency rental assistance through the DC ERAP program.
- You can also get support from utility providers to pay your gas bill, water bill, or electric bill
- Keep up with Washington Gas’ pipeline replacement project and work happening in your neighborhood through the PROJECTPipes website
- Contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate at 202-719-6560 for advice on your rights as a tenant
- Contact the Office of the People’s Counsel at 202-727-3071 or email@example.com for advice on utilities
- Here is a list of low-barrier emergency shelters across the District
- DC’s Emergency Shelter Hotline for transportation to a shelter is 202-399-7093
- Search for housing opportunities in the District through DC Housing Search
- Apply to buy an affordable home through DCHD’s Inclusionary Zoning Program
- Contact DCRA to request a housing code inspection by calling 202-442-9557, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or filing a complaint online
- The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP) provides grants for roof repairs and modifications to eliminate barriers to accessibility for persons
- The Department of Aging and Community Living’s Safe at Home provides safety adaptations in and around the homes of qualifying Seniors and adults with disabilities
- DHCD’s Home Purchase Assistance Program provides financial assistance to eligible residents purchasing their first home.
- DHCD’s Employer-Assisted Housing Program provides DC government employees with affordable financing and funding for their first-time home purchase
Worker Rights and Unemployment
Valuable resources for unemployment benefits and worker rights in the District:
- Starting filing an unemployment claim through the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES)
- Check the status of your unemployment claim through this DOES portal or call 202-724-7000
- DC Unemployment: the American Rescue Plan, a factsheet from DOES
- Q&A: The American Rescue Plan and DC Workers, an explainer from the DC Council’s Labor Committee
- DOES also allows you to file a wage theft claim or a workers compensation claim
- Washington Lawyers Committee has a Workers’ Rights Clinic offering free legal support to workers
- Apply for DC Paid Family Leave: 8 weeks for a new child, 6 weeks to care for a sick family member, and 2 weeks for personal medical leave for any private sector employee in the District
- First Shift Justice provides legal aid to pregnant women and new parents on work and family issues
- Know Your Rights DC, a website in English and Spanish with information on your right to paid sick leave, preventing wage theft, and your right to not have a criminal record count against you as a job applicant
- DC Jobs with Justice helps empower workers in the District. Contact them at email@example.com
- Start the process of forming a union in your workplace
A number of organizations provide free or low-cost legal advice and representation to DC residents.
- Pro Bono Center Legal Helpline: Contact the DC Bar Pro Bono Helpline at 202-626-3499 anytime for an automated system in Amharic, English, French, or Spanish to find information on legal resources in DC
- Legal Aid Society: Free legal advice for low-income DC residents with little or no income on housing, family law, domestic violence, public benefits, debt, and consumer issues.
- Bread for the City: No cost legal advice and representation for low-income DC residents on housing issues, family law, immigration, and public benefits.
- Worker Rights: Contact the Washington Lawyers Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic at 202-319-1000 ext. 118 (or 202-319-1000 ext. 123 for Spanish) to schedule a telephonic intake appointment.
- Debt and Consumer Issues: Tzedek DC can support you with debt and other consumer issues like fraud, scams, and predatory loans. Contact them online or by calling 202-274-7386
- Landlord-Tenant Legal Assistance Network: Free legal support for tenants and unrepresented small housing providers on residential housing disputes in DC
- Landlord-Tenant Court: Information and resources for in-person hearings at Landlord-Tenant Court.
- Immigration: Some of the DC-based organizations providing immigration legal services include Ayuda, Catholic Charities, CARECEN-DC, CAIR Coalition, DC Affordable Law Firm, and DC Bar Pro Bono Center.
- Seniors: DC seniors can call the AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly Legal Hotline at 202-434-2120 in English or Spanish for advice, assistance or referrals
- Unhoused Residents: the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless offers legal assistance to unhoused DC residents or residents at risk of losing their home. Call them at 202-328-5500 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Children: Children’s Law Center provides legal services on civil matters to children, low-income parents, and caregivers. Call them at 202-467-4900 or fill out their online form
- DC Attorney General: Find out more about your consumer rights, tenant rights, and worker rights — or file a complaint with the Office of the DC Attorney General
Resources, information, and programs to help our incredible local businesses:
- Main Street Associations: Main Streets are nonprofits dedicated to rehabilitation and development in specific business corridors. They help support small businesses within their corridors. Ward 4 has Petworth Main Street (Upshur Street and Middle Georgia Avenue) Uptown Main Street (Upper 14th St. and Kennedy St. NW), Upper Georgia Avenue (Eastern Ave to Missouri Ave NW), The Parks Main Street (Riggs Park and Manor Park), The Parks at Walter Reed (Historic Walter Reed), and Main Street Takoma (Takoma, DC and Takoma Park, MD).
- The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) has a wealth of information for District small businesses as well as grant and certification programs to tap into.
- The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has resources to support job creation and economic growth in DC. Keep an eye on their grant opportunities.
- DHCD offers Small Business Technical Assistance through nonprofits with expert small business advisors and coaches that help District residents start and grow their businesses.
- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers high one-on-one consulting, training, and information resources to empower new and existing businesses in the District.
- The Women Business Center (WBC) provides training and counseling to women entrepreneurs in the DC region, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged.
- The Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) offers DC-based small businesses personalized resources to help them navigate the government contracting process successfully.
- The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a set of experienced executives who volunteer their experience to help small businesses and nonprofits start, develop, and grow businesses in the DMV.
DC Department of Motor Vehicles
Useful information on accessing DMV services during the pandemic:
- Nearly 60 DMV services are now available online.
- Private Sale Vehicle Registration can now be done online too.
- If you already have a DC REAL ID or a DC Limited Purpose License, you can renew it online.
Office of Unified Communications
The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) manages both 311 and 911 calls in the District:
- 311 Requests: You can make a direct request for DC government non-emergency services by visiting the 311 website, calling 311, texting 32311, or downloading the DC311 app for iPhone or Android.
- 911 Emergencies: calling or texting 911 helps you connect to police, fire, and emergency services. Learn about the different ways to connect to 911.
DC Office of Tax and Revenue
- MyTax.DC.gov is the Office of Tax and Revenue’s (OTR) online tax system. The system houses individual income, business, and real property taxes and fees administered by OTR.
- Online property tax portal to research whether properties in your neighborhood are being assessed by DCRA and taxed by OTR as vacant or blighted
- Free Tax Preparation Assistance for DC residents. Assistance is available from 8:15 am to 5:30 pm on Monday through Friday with no appointment needed.
- Points of Contact and Useful Information in the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, including how to sign up for MyTax.DC.gov, responding to a verification letter, and following up on a missing return
Are we missing a valuable resource on this list? Email us at email@example.com to let us know.