Refugees and Navigating COVID-19
The Refugee Services Office is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, under the direction of the Governor’s Office. Below you will find information and resources, including translated materials, to assist refugees. Please check back regularly as this information will be continually updated.
Refugee Education and Training Center
- The Refugee Education and Training Center is open with limited walk-in access and services until further notice for the safety of our staff and customers. We are limiting staff on site, so we ask that you contact us by phone as much as possible. If you come to the Center, send us a text message upon arrival and we will assess your needs over the phone.
- Staff are available remotely to help answer questions and navigate services.
- For refugee-related assistance, please call or text at 801-618-5096 or 717-385-0100, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Leave your name, number and language.
- Find Center updates and resources at facebook.com/UTRefugeeServices
Health and Wellness
Learn about the Governor’s directive to Stay Safe, Stay Home at coronavirus.utah.gov.
- Questions about COVID-19? Call the Utah COVID-19 Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.
- Call the University of Utah COVID-19 hotline before you travel to a clinic. The hotline can be reached at 801-578-0712; an interpreter will be available.
- The Utah Health Department has resources to help you understand and prevent COVID-19. Most are translated into several languages.
- Wash your hands often. See World Health Organization advice about proper handwashing.
- Learn how to stop the spread of germs from the CDC. More information, including translated materials, is at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html.
- For myths and facts about COVID-19, visit the World Health Organization.
- Visit the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force YouTube page.
- Find COVID-19 informational resources from the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE)
If your job has been impacted by COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 page for assistance. The page includes information about unemployment insurance, temporary layoff virtual workshops, childcare and more.
- File for unemployment benefits online at jobs.utah.gov/ui/home.
- For language assistance to complete an unemployment claim:
- Call 801-526-4400
- Select option 1
- Enter the last 5 digits of your social security number
- Or the # sign
- Select option 5
- Wait for UI representative and tell them your language
- Be prepared for longer wait times as staff assist with a record number of claims.
- Through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, individuals eligible for unemployment insurance benefits will now receive an additional $600 from the federal government as part of their weekly benefits payments through the last week of July 2020. If a person has filed for or is receiving unemployment benefits, there is no additional action needed to receive the $600 stimulus payment beyond filing weekly claims.
For additional information about unemployment insurance and COVID-19, find an FAQ at jobs.utah.gov/covid19/uifaqemployees.pdf.
Stimulus Payments Without Tax Returns
The IRS released a non-filers application for people to get the stimulus who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and do not receive Social Security or SSI payments. This will be helpful for newer arrivals who have never filed a tax return. More info is at https://www.irs.gov/
- You may be eligible for SNAP if your employment was disrupted due to COVID-19
- Submit an application online to determine eligibility at jobs.utah.gov/index.html.
- A COVID-19 and SNAP Benefits FAQ is at jobs.utah.gov/covid19/snapfaq.pdf.
- Be Cautious of fraud related to benefits. Translated information is available in Arabic, Burmese, English, Farsi, French, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Nepali, Refugee, Somali, Spanish and Swahili.
- TANF Family Housing
- Available for households with dependent children under age 18
- Adults must be able and willing to work
- Contact Azhar Yousif at 615-200-2239 or AzharY@aau-slc.org to determine eligibility.
- SL Housing
- Available for any individual facing a temporary crisis and living in Salt Lake City proper
- Contact Azhar Yousif at 615-200-2239 or AzharY@aau-slc.org to determine eligibility.
- Utah Community Action
- Utah Community Action provides deposit and emergency rental assistance, landlord-tenant mediation and case management.
- Call 1-800-359-2444 for assistance
- More information is at utahca.org/housing-case-management/
- Learn about Governor Herbert’s executive order protecting residential renters affected by COVID-19 against eviction through May 15, 2020, at jobs.utah.gov/covid19/evictioneofacts.pdf. Translated information is available in Arabic and Spanish.
Food and Basic Needs
- Visit the nearest school for free meals for all children, ages 0 to 18.
- Utah Community Action Head Start Programs
- Free curbside pick-up meals for all children, ages 18 and younger, at 10 Head Start locations in Salt Lake and Tooele Counties.
- For more information, visit utahca.org/head-start/.
- Utah Food Bank
- Find your local food pantry by looking up your address on this site: utahfoodbank.org/covidresponse/.
- Utahns Against Hunger
- Information about emergency food resources is available at uah.org/covid19.
Call or text 211 for assistance locating essential services to meet basic needs. More information is at uw.org/211/covid19-resources/?.
More information about childcare can be found at careaboutchildcare.utah.gov/.
- Check with your provider; there are recent income limit changes to help parents with child care assistance.
- To determine eligibility, submit an application for childcare assistance at jobs.utah.gov/customereducation/services/childcare/index.html.
COVID-19 & Childcare, an FAQ for Parents, is at jobs.utah.gov/covid19/ccfaqparents.pdf.
Utah schools are dismissed until May 1 in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. School officials will continue to work closely with state leaders to determine when it is safe for students to return.
- Emergency Food Boxes and free meals for students (including all children 0-18) are available through the school systems. Contact your school district for locations and times.
- Information about Salt Lake School District is at slcschools.org/news/2019-20/coronavirus-information/.
- Information about Granite School District is at graniteschools.org.
- Information about Canyons School District is at web.canyonsdistrict.org/covid-19/.
The state of Utah has undergone an enormous translation project to make COVID-19 resources and information available in many languages.
- Find translated resources about COVID-19 symptoms and prevention at coronavirus.utah.gov/multilingual-resources.
- Languages include:
English versions of the translated resources can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov/community-resources. Topics covered include:
- What is social distancing?
- What is quarantine?
- What is self-isolation?
- Social distancing for business
- Stay safe, stay home directive
- What is COVID-19, how it’s spread, how to protect yourself?
- What is coronavirus?
- Feel sick? Call first
- Feel sick? Stay home from church
- Feel sick? Call first before going to hospital
- Feel sick? Stay home
- Precautionary recommendations for the state of Utah to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
- If you have symptoms and have traveled
- Utah coronavirus information line
- No handshake zone sign
- Reduce your risk of coronavirus
- The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is offering a bridge loan to Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Be wary of predatory organizations seeking to capitalize on small businesses, particularly ethnic businesses, during this time of distress. There are no fees associated with applying for the COVID-19 small business federal relief programs - including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief
- Salt Lake County created the Salt Lake County Together Plan, detailing guidelines for reopening business including:
- Restaurants and Food Services
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
- Events and Entertainment
- Personal Services
- The plan is available in Spanish (Descargar), simplified Chinese (下载), Vietnamese (Tải), Samoan (Sii mai), Portuguese (Baixar).
- Required employee and public signage is available at Salt Lake County Health Department.
- There is a new resource for underserved and underbanked small businesses. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is committing $5 million for loans to small businesses and nonprofits in Utah through a partnership with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), the largest non-profit, non-bank SBA 7(a) lender in the country.
- Loans will be made to small businesses and nonprofits pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. This program provides urgent cash flow assistance to small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. These loans can be partially or wholly forgiven for businesses that maintain or rehire their workforce and can be used for:
- Payroll costs
- Interest on mortgages
- No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government, nor lenders, will charge small businesses any fees. Apply at crfusa.com/ppp/utah-ppp-application/. For assistance applying, contact Agnes Lomu, Refugee Employer Coordinator/WDS, at 801-414-5848 or email@example.com.
Resettlement Agency Resources
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has helpful COVID-19 information, including multilingual resources.
The Salt Lake City International Rescue Committee has COVID-19 materials. Translated materials are available in Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari/Farsi, English, French, Kinyarwanda, Nepali, Oromo, Russian, Swahili, Tigrinya.