List of Madison Resources

for Impacts of COVID-19

Link to mobile version:

Link to desktop + editable version:

This document was created by volunteers to collect resources for alleviating primarily non-medical problems caused by the public emergency surrounding COVID-19. These issues include financial, logistical, and emotional challenges. Resources have been collected from news articles, local Facebook groups, and grassroots organizations. Expired resources have been moved to a private archive document.

Please see the next 2 pages for the Table of Contents.

Note that the document is easier to read if you go here: on a computer or tablet. This link also allows you to add information; your edits will show up as comments until approved by the document owners, typically within 24-48 hours. Please include sources when possible.

24/7 Hotlines:

  • 211-Wisconsin, general hotline for resources and information: Dial 2-1-1.
  • Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Crisis Hotline: 608-251-4445.
  • Journey Mental Health Suicide Prevention Hotline: 608-280-2600.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Other Phone Numbers for Support:

  • UW-Health COVID Information hotline: 608-720-5300. Available to anyone regardless of insurance coverage, Mon-Sun, 8am-11pm.
  • Restorative Justice hotline: 1-866-758-7887, Mon-Sun, 4pm-8pm.
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center: 608-240-7400.
  • Greater Madison Resource Center (GMRC), provides referrals and general resources: (608) 770-1174. You can also email

The primary owner of this document, Natalie Wheeler, did not create or update this document on behalf of any organizations with which she is affiliated. She is acting as a community member collecting resources from others.

📑 Table of Contents

Each title is a link; click it to be taken to that part of the document.

📰 Current State of Affairs (last updated 10/10/2020)

Closures of Schools & Public Services

National News That Affects Your Finances (Last Updated: 10/10/2020)

🤝 Support from Community Members

Mutual Aid

Urban Triage

Volunteering & Donating

Petitions, Rent Strikes, and Collective Advocacy

🏠 Rent Support and Housing

Current Eviction Bans, etc. (Last Update: 10/10/2020)

Eviction Prevention Resources

Resources for Finding Housing

Homeless Services & Updates

Voluntary COVID-19 Isolation Options

💧 Utility & Bill-Paying Resources

Water, Electric, & Gas

Internet Service Updates & Offers

Cell Phone Service Updates & Offers

🍎 Food Security

Pantries with Free Groceries (Last Updated: 10/10/2020)

Free Hot Meals for Pick Up/Delivery

Food for UW-Madison students

Food for Seniors

Cooking on a Budget

SNAP/FoodShare and WIC Information

Grocery Store Updates

Local Farm Options

🍼 Baby, Pet, Hygiene, and Home Care Resources

Diapers and Baby Supplies

Hygiene Products

Child Care Updates

Pet Care Resources

Bike Repair Shops

💲 Misc. Financial Resources

WI Unemployment Information

Misc. Job Hunting Resources

Funds for Students & University Employees

Support for Food and Beverage Industry

Funds for Small Business Owners & Self-Employed Workers

Other Emergency Funds

🧠 Mental Health Support

Local Telehealth/Online Counseling

Online Self-Help Resources

Home Fitness for Adults

📚 Enrichment for School Age Children Staying at Home

Kid-Friendly Activities About COVID-19

Kid-Friendly Art Classes / Project Ideas

Kid-Friendly Fitness Ideas

📰 Current State of Affairs (last updated 10/12/2020)

Madison 365 has a landing page for all Coronavirus updates.

Check here for the latest news.

The Capital Times has a landing page for all Coronavirus updates.

Check here for the latest news.

There is a state-wide mask order until November 21st at the earliest. Masks are required in all indoor spaces except homes. A “Safer at Home” order is ongoing in Dane County. There is currently a Phase plan for gradually reopening Dane County.

  • Face masks are required in Dane County in all buildings except private homes, for all people above age 5.
  • Restaurants can serve at 25% capacity, indoor seating at bars is not permitted.
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, and outdoor to 25 people.
  • Many social services are still choosing to keep their office locations closed and are serving people remotely.

Free Coronavirus testing is available in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center. Tests are done with a swab up the nose. You can walk in, drive through, or bike through.

  • No insurance or ID is needed.
  • They will call you 3-10 days afterwards with results
  • This test only checks if you actively have the virus, and will not indicate if you had it in the past.
  • If you have good health insurance, please try to contact your primary care provider for a test before using the community option.
  • Click here for information.

If you received over $100 per week in unemployment during ANY of the following weeks, you are eligible for an extra $300-400 per week in back-pay. This applies to weeks ending in 8/8/20; 8/15/20; 8/22/20; 8/29/29; 9/5/20. This back-pay is called the “Lost Wage Allowance” or “LWA.” To receive it, you must find the button on your unemployment page that reads, “Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) not answered. Enter Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) answer” and opt-in to it. Anticipated pay-out date is late October.

Utilities temporarily can’t be disconnected through November 1st. After November 1st, Wisconsin enters the winter moratorium period; gas and electricity cannot be disconnected through April 15th. Water may be disconnected after November 1st unless it is required for heating or new emergency regulations are passed.

Closures of Schools & Public Services

(last updated: 10/10/2020)

Schools updates for Fall:

  • UW-Madison has resumed in-person classes and plans to transition to online after Thanksgiving break.
  • Madison College’s updates are here and follow a similar plan.
  • Edgewood College is posting updates here.

Madison Metro has new rules for bus riders: masks must be worn and there is a maximum capacity of 20 riders per bus. Buses operate on a limited Saturday schedule. All riders must enter and exit through the rear door and there is no more fare collection (buses are free to ride). Read more here.

All Madison Public Library locations are offering some computer access (except Monroe), and curbside pick-up and returns for books and other library media. Instructions for curbside pick-up here. Updates on all library services here.

Many neighborhood centers have chosen to close. Warner Park Community Recreation Center is closed until further notice, except for the NewBridge senior lunch program. Goodman Center’s space is closed, but they are still providing food pantry and other meal services. See individual center websites for updates.

In-person jail visitation rules have changed. See this page for information.

Dane County Human Services offices are remaining closed. Essential services are available online or by phone. Check here for details.

Joining Forces for Families (JFF) offices are closed but all workers are available by cell phone and email.  Refer to this document for JFF worker contact information. JFF staff are working with community partners to help coordinate resources, identify needs, consult with other agency staff, and of course, respond to calls from families.

The Southern Regional Center of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs is open, but staff are working remotely.  You may call 608-265-8610 or 800-532-3321 and leave a message. If you could spell out your email address in your message, that will help us to follow up with you more quickly.  When we call back, we may call from a number that shows as blocked. If you cannot wait and have a more immediate need for health information and referral, you could call the Well Badger Resource Center at 800-642-7837.

National News That Affects Your Finances (Last Updated: 10/10/2020)

The federal government has banned evictions for nonpayment of rent through December. This applies to people who make less than $99,000 per year and sign documentation showing that they are unable to afford rent due to COVID-19. See Current Eviction Bans, Etc. for more information.

Most Americans qualified for a $1200 federal stimulus check around April/May. Here is the IRS’ webpage about this payment. Haven’t received your Spring stimulus check? Here is the IRS tool to troubleshoot.

Another national stimulus package is expected to get passed this year but has been interrupted by Supreme Court-related and election-related activities.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is still active until the end of the year -- it provides a maximum of 39 weeks of assistance.

Due to a new national executive order, if you received over $100 per week in Wisconsin unemployment benefits during the following weeks, you are eligible for an extra $300-400 in back-pay for each week that you received the benefit. This applies to weeks ending in 8/8/20; 8/15/20; 8/22/20; 8/29/29; 9/5/20. This back-pay is called the “Lost Wage Allowance” or “LWA.” To receive it, you must find the button on your unemployment page that reads, “Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) not answered. Enter Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) answer” and opt-in to it. Anticipated pay-out date is late October.

Federal student loan payments are suspended through the end of 2020. This does not include private student loans or FFEL Loans. Here’s what you need to know.

Click here for a large document by a local PhD with information about COVID-19 itself, and resources for finding reliable news about the virus.

🤝 Support from Community Members

Mutual Aid

(Offering + seeking support directly with neighbors)

COVID19 Mutual Aid Madison Facebook Group: Provides local news, updates from service providers, and coordination of collective resources and actions.

Madison, WI - COVID-19 - Groceries/Errands/Help for those at Higher Risk: group for immuno-compromised, elderly, or otherwise at risk individuals who need help with groceries or other needs.

The Dane County TimeBank is an existing organization and online tool for offering and receiving skills and services from members of the community. Requests and Offers can be sorted by location, category,  type, side of town, city, etc. People can join and then go through an online orientation to learn more about the timebank and timebanking. There are three orientation options to learn how to navigate the website: how to videos, group zooms, or phone orientations. The TimeBank is committed to facilitating exchanges and coordinating projects through a racial and restorative justice lens moving forward.

The TimeBank is launching a restorative justice hotline starting 3/25 that is available Mon-Sun from 4-8pm. Trained restorative justice practitioners and the TimeBank’s Transformative Action Network will facilitate restorative conversations to minimize the need for police contact as much as possible. This is not a crisis line, but callers can get pointed towards resources they need. The number is 1-866-RJustUs. Contact to get involved.

The TimeBank also has a transportation project currently organizing and recruiting drivers to help with coordinating rides for people with difficulty accessing groceries, supplies, or medication.  For questions, email

Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Facebook group created for people to request and provide favors, such as transportation and grocery delivery, from community members during COVID-19.

MSN Community Fridges: This innovative project is setting up fridges at several locations in Madison that are stocked by community members with cooked meals and foods. Take what you need and leave what you can! There is a fridge on the 1000 block of E Johnson, near the intersection with Brearly St.

Urban Triage

Urban Triage, INC. empowers Black families to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in their lives, their families and communities, with hope, education, and action. By way of crisis response, advocacy, psycho-education, community support services, intervention, leadership development, and systems training. After earning grant funding through the Boys and Girls Club, Urban Triage is currently offering:

  • Rides to doctor’s appointments and to pick up prescriptions
  • Delivery of non-perishable food items on Wednesdays
  • Gas cards
  • Grocery cards
  • Food cart on Saturdays on the Northside, 3x/month, alternating locations
  • Fill out this form for assistance.
  • Follow Urban Triage on facebook for updates:

Volunteering & Donating

United Way is posting nearly all COVID-19-related volunteer opportunities to as they become available. If you know of any organizations or grassroots efforts recruiting volunteers, they can contact Morghan Vélez ( to see about getting added to this list.

All of the pantries in the Food Security section need additional financial support due to increased usage during the COVID-19 crisis! Please check out your local pantry’s website if you can afford to donate. Some pantries are reporting that the number of families utilizing their resources has tripled or quadrupled.

Madison Community Fridge (1000 block of E Johnson) and Willy Street Food Pantry (at the Social Justice Center) are both unstaffed community projects where you can leave food for others at any time!

Madison Virtual Tip Jar was started for people in the service industry who are out of work or have significantly reduced hours. You can find your favorite bartenders and servers to donate.

Latinx Consortium for Action Relief Fund (via Centro Hispano): Accepting donations for a fund that provides direct financial assistance for undocumented individuals who have lost their jobs or who run small businesses. Application process will run through Centro Hispano. (608) 255-3018.

Voces de La Frontera is an organization based in Milwaukee that also does work in Madison supporting the rights of immigrants who are documented and undocumented. They are collecting relief funds and you can click here to donate.

Madison Tenant Resource Center has an eviction prevention fund! You can donate here to help your fellow Madison folks avoid eviction.

Greater Madison Resource Center is taking donations via paypal. Click here for the donation link and include a note that it’s for COVID-19 community measures. You can also donate through Facebook.

  • You can also drop off supplies at GMRC, 14 N 6th Street, Madison WI 53704. They will be collecting sanitizer, soap, laundry soap, toilet paper and paper towels, cleaning wipes (Clorox etc.), food, baby wipes, diapers, menstrual hygiene products, and OTC meds such as tylenol, cold medicine, etc. as well as Kwik Trip gas cards.

If you have PPE to donate (properly stored and not homemade), there is a protective equipment drop-off area outside of Brooks Street (Meriter clinic) for Meriter and UW Hospital staff; you can also sell or donate at

If you have at least 5 medical-grade, unopened N95 masks in particular, you can find a place to donate them at They take N95, P95, R95 and surgical masks. Health care workers can also put in a request there.

UW-Health has expressed by email that they cannot utilize volunteers to make new masks to help with the medical mask shortage.

Petitions, Rent Strikes, and Collective Advocacy

Madison Tenant Power can help you ask for a jury trial if you’re facing eviction. Doing so may grant you more time to get funds situated, etc.

Check out Cancel Rent Wisconsin for more info/ideas on actions you can take.

COVID19 Mutual Aid Madison Facebook Group: Provides local news, updates from service providers, and coordination of mutual aid, peer-to-peer support, and collective actions to address the systemic issues that have been highlighted by the crisis. Areas the group is concerned about include: Tenant Rights & Housing for All, Decarceration & Bail Support, Healthcare for All, Living Wages, Workplace Safety, Mutual Aid, and more! Petition to Congress to Cancel Student Debt to Stimulate the Economy.

Madison DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) is organizing restaurant workers, starting with an anonymous poll.

🏠 Rent Support and Housing

Current Eviction Bans, etc. (Last Update: 10/10/2020)

Federal eviction moratorium: there is a new federal pause on evictions!

  • It is in effect on September 4th through December 31st.
  • It applies to all tenants who present a signed declaration to their landlords. The declaration requires the tenant to state that:
  1. Your annual income is less than $99,000, OR you were not required to report income tax in 2019, OR you received a stimulus check;
  2. You are unable to pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  3. You would become homeless or need to double-up if evicted;
  4. You will still make partial payments ("using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses”).
  • Unpaid rent still accumulates during this time and will be owed to your landlord even after the eviction ban ends.
  • It applies wherever there is not a more protective state moratorium in effect, i.e. it acts as a bare minimum protection.
  • It applies to evictions for nonpayment of rent, not other types of evictions.
  • There are criminal penalties for violations.
  • Click here to view the order itself.
  • The Tenant Resource Center made this tool so that you can make your own declaration to your landlord.

Eviction Prevention Resources

(see also: Emergency Financial Resources for places to apply for help paying rent/bills; Petitions, Rent Strikes, and Collective Advocacy to check for groups organizing rent strikes and petitions)

For rent and eviction prevention support, call the Tenant Resource Center at 608-257-0006 x7. They run Dane Coordinated Entry for Eviction Prevention and the new Dane County CARES funds. They can help you understand current rules around evictions and sign you up for eviction prevention programs.

  • The TRC is currently closed for walk-ins and is serving people over the phone.
  • All tenants and landlords in Dane County are welcome to call TRC at 608-257-0006 or email us at or in Spanish or English. Please leave a detailed message with us and we will return your communication as soon as possible. Consider saving the number to your phone so that you know when they’re calling you back.
  • To connect with Eviction Prevention Coordinated Entry, participants should leave a message on the eviction prevention line (608) 257-0006 Ext. 7.
  • All tenants in Dane County are welcome to access our Eviction Prevention Clinic, and all tenants and landlords alike may request mediation support from our new Upstream Mediation Program.

There is also FREE legal aid for eviction hearings, called the Dane County Eviction Defense Project through Legal Action Wisconsin. They can provide some legal advice, help with documents, and help you access Zoom call court hearings. They recommend contacting them as soon as you receive an eviction notice. They need to see you at least an hour before your court hearing.

  • Office hours are Mondays 9am-1pm and Tuesdays 8:30am-4:30pm
  • They’ll also be open at 9am-1pm on a few Fridays: July 17, August 14, August 28
  • During COVID-19, their office is located in the lower level of the building at 744 Williamson St (same building as Ground Zero coffee). Take the elevator by the bathrooms on the first floor, or the stairs in the rear entrance of the building, to find the office. They don’t have signage up yet, as they just moved.
  • Legal Action’s intake phone number is 855-947-2529 and they recommend calling ahead to make an appointment if possible.
  • You should bring: Proof of income, court papers, notices, rental agreements to your appointment.

Madison Tenant Power can give you information about requesting a jury trial if you’re facing eviction. Doing so may grant you more time to get funds situated before the eviction takes place.

The Community Action Coalition of Southern Wisconsin has limited emergency funds available to prevent evictions (not specific to COVID-19). You must meet eligibility criteria and you must have received an eviction notice.

  • Call their Housing Crisis Hotline at 855-510-2323 from 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday to complete a Housing Intake.

The Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (*NEW*) will provide direct financial assistance for owed rent, security deposits and wrap-around services, using federal CARES act money. The program is being administered by the Community Action for South Central Wisconsin, Inc. (608-237-1255,

  • Wisconsin adults with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of the application date are eligible for the program.
  • Once approved, eligible individuals can receive assistance of up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments and/or security deposits. These payments will be paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
  • CAP Agencies will begin taking applications for W.R.A.P. on or before June 8th, 2020.
  • WHERE TO APPLY IN DANE COUNTY: You can complete a pre-application here. If you need help completing the pre-application, call the W.R.A.P. hotline at 608-237-1255.
  • Living outside of Dane County? See info here for how to apply in other counties.
  • Click here for additional program information.

Dane County Emergency Assistance Grants:  Emergency Assistance is a one-time payment that can help low-income parents pay an emergency housing or utility-related expense.

Porchlight DIGS Prevention Program: provides housing-related emergency assistance to individuals and families in Dane County who are facing eviction and therefore at risk of becoming homeless. Additionally, DIGS offers financial support to those who have secured affordable housing but need assistance with first month’s rent and security deposit.

  • Individuals and families seeking eviction/homelessness prevention funds should call the Tenant Resource Center at (608) 257-0006, option 7.
  • Each household will be assessed and placed on a coordinated priority list, then will be contacted by the program for which the household is eligible.
  • Rent assistance: Call (608) 252-8522 on Tuesdays between 8:30am – 9:00am.  
  • First month’s rent assistance, apartment application fees: Call (608) 252-8522 on Thursdays between 8:30am – 9:00am.

Middleton Outreach Ministry Stable Housing Program:  Case Managers provide housing assistance and budget counseling to help prevent eviction and maintain long term stable housing.  Receiving assistance with rent, security deposit and utilities can make the difference in a crisis.  Email and someone will respond to your request.

Home Mission Fund: helps with emergency eviction prevention or utilities.  

  • Contact Tashell Jackson at (608) 257-2534 ext.37. 
  • Requirements: (1) must have sufficient income to pay rent/utilities. (2) must have a 5-day notice or utility bill. (3) assistance is provided for rent or utilities once every twelve months, and preference is given to first time fund users. (4) average grant is up to $300.
  • The Home Mission Fund does NOT assist with the following: motel/hotel, camping fees, pet related expenses, cable bill, phone bill, credit/loan payments, food, diapers, furniture, clothing, prescriptions, medical bills, car or other insurance, etc.

For residents of the DeForest Area School District:  The DeForest Area Needs Network may be able to provide rent assistance. Call 608-287-9516.  

For Veterans:  Dane County Veterans Services Office: 608-266-4158,

General Housing Assistance & Additional Referrals:

Resources for Finding Housing

Housing Vacancy List (updated weekly): List of housing vacancies in Dane County. Organized according to unit size, rent and location.  For additional assistance, contact Housing Navigation Services | (608) 826-8093 |

List of Subsidized and Public Housing Options: See also Housing Navigation Services’ Tips When Applying for Low Income Housing, available here.

Homeless Services & Updates

The Salvation Army has diversion assistance for people who are currently doubled up. This could be rent assistance, gas and grocery cards or utility payments for people to be able to stay in the residence they are currently staying in. Clients should call 608-250-2298 or 608-250-2203.  

Housing Navigation Services is operating 100% remotely at this until further notice.  They can be reached 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday – Friday, at (608) 826-8093 or emailing  

Briar Patch Youth Services is still open for homeless youth (ages 12-17) who have nowhere else to go.  Their 24-hour phone line for referrals and help is operational.        608-251-1126.  

The Beacon:  To connect with homeless services staff who are normally at the beacon, call (608) 826-8019 or complete the contact form on the HSC website (  Calls are returned within 24 business hours. VI-SPDAT assessment will be conducted over the phone.  

The Salvation Army: Women and Families who are accessing emergency shelter will be contacted by staff to schedule a time to complete the VI-SPDAT assessment over the phone.  

Porchlight: Men who are accessing emergency shelter can meet with staff at Grace Men’s drop-in shelter in the evening to complete the VI-SPDAT assessment. Porchlight center has been temporarily relocated to Warner Park Community Recreation Center at 1625 Northport Dr. They have a new intake number - (608) 243-0232

Porchlight DIGS Program: Bus tickets, gas vouchers, travel expenses: Call (608) 252-8522 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:30am.

The MadCity Homeless Resource Guide is a comprehensive listing of community resources that are non-specific to the Coronavirus. This includes: shelter, bus passes, day centers, laundry, housing referrals, phones, narcan & needle exchange, and survival gear.

Voluntary COVID-19 Isolation Options

The state opened the Lowell Center as a space for voluntary isolation for up to 137 people with Covid-19 who are experiencing homelessness or who live in communal settings. Individuals must be referred by a healthcare provider. (source)

💧 Utility & Bill-Paying Resources

Water, Electric, & Gas

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) directed water, electric, and natural gas utilities to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment until November 1st (link). From November 1st to April 15th, heat and gas can’t be disconnected if you need them to heat your house. Water may be disconnected unless it’s required for heat.

Electric: MG&E is willing to negotiate payment plans for utilities.

  • Call MG&E at (608) 252-7144,
  • or Budget Payment Plan line: (608) 252-7080. 
  • Their physical office is currently closed.

Water: Madison Water Utility is exempting late payment fees until further notice (link).

General Utility Assistance: The PSCW homepage has information about free/reduced utility services across WI.

  • Households making less than 60% of the state median income in the last month (e.g., $3,859.83 for a family of 3) are eligible for utility payment assistance through WHEAP (Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program).
  • 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947).

Internet Service Updates & Offers

Madison Public Library WiFi is still ON at every location (even though all branches are now closed). Anyone can access free wifi from outside of the building and parking lot. Madison Public Schools also has information on public hotspots for students here.

Spectrum has an internet program for lower income families. It should cost around $15 per month for those who qualify. The link includes eligibility information and the application.

Comcast has an “internet essentials” option for lower income families. The service is $10 plus tax per month for eligible households. You cannot have debt to Comcast from the last year, and you cannot have been a Comcast customer in the last 90 days. 

  • Comcast also stated in March that if you call them and inform them of your financial situation due to COVID-19, they will not charge late fees or disconnect you from service -- it is unclear whether this offer still stands.

AT&T Home has a low income internet option and income requirements have changed during COVID-19 to include more households. Application here. This program should cost around $5-10 per month. Data overage charges for all AT&T internet customers are also waived through September 30th.

Four Lakes Broadband will charge $25/month for 3 months, with 0 up-front cost. Service is best for people in Stoughton, McFarland, etc. (

TDS does not service downtown or Hill Farms Neighborhood (Sheboygan Ave).

Cell Phone Service Updates & Offers

Carrier name + link to their COVID-19 updates page

Cheap and/or COVID-19-related plans available

(last updated 8/1/2020)

Assurance / Lifeline

FREE minutes, texting, and data for people who are eligible for other assistance programs, such as SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, TANF 


Covid-related offers appear to have expired on June 30th.

Boost Mobile

No Covid-related offers; If you cannot make a payment, call 866-402-7366.

Google Voice

(set-up instructions here)

Google voice is a good temporary measure if you’re struggling with phone bills but have consistent internet/WiFi access.

  • It requires a gmail account and a working phone number to set up your account. Once you have a Google Voice number, it's yours forever and you do not need a phone number outside of Google to keep the account. So, if you are concerned your phone plan might be cancelled, set up Google Voice while your cell plan is still active, and then you can switch to Voice when the plan ends.
  • You can use it on any computer or phone that’s connected to the internet -- it allows texts, calls, and voicemails.
  • When you are not connected to the internet, people can still text and leave voicemails at the number and you can check them when you’re back online again.

Republic Wireless

- $15 unlimited talk/text

- No termination for economic hardship (open a ticket with Republic Wireless app)


Sprint allows payment arrangements to prevent your phone from shutting off when you’re past due. FAQ here.


“If you are past due you can set up a payment arrangement online, or dial 611 from your T-Mobile device to speak to your Team of Experts to find the best solution for you. If you've previously contacted us and obtained relief that is ending, contact us again if you need additional options.”

US Cellular

No late fee or termination (call 1-888-939-3900 and reference covid-19)


If you contacted us by June 30 to protect your account, you have been enrolled in a repayment program.” Otherwise, most covid-related offers expired in April or May.

🍎 Food Security

Pantries with Free Groceries (Last Updated: 10/10/2020)

This is a list of pantries that provide free bags or boxes of groceries for curbside or drive through pick up. Click the name of the pantry to be taken to their site for more info. If you are sick, please contact your food pantry to see if someone can pick up food on your behalf. Pantries that have a delivery option are marked with this emoji: 🚗

Name, address, hours

Eligibility Notes

Allied Food Pantry

At the Boys and Girls Club

4619 Jenewein Road

Wednesdays 10am-12pm, 6pm-7:30pm

  • Must live in 53711, 53713 or 53719 ZIP code;
  • can use pantry once per four weeks;
  • must bring identification for all family members in your household;

Badger Prairie Needs Network

1200 E. Verona Ave, 608-848-2499

Tuesday: 10am-12pm noon,

Thursday: 11:00am-6:30pm,

Friday: 10am-12pm noon,

Saturday: 10:00am-12:30pm.

  • All low-income Dane County residents during COVID-19
  • Once per month
  • Bring ID for all family members and proof of address (recent mail, bill preferred)
  • Come alone if possible
  • Please empty trunk in advance 

Catholic Multicultural Center

1862 Beld Street, 608-661-3512

Tuesday 2:00pm to 3:30pm (Registration starts at 1:00pm).

Thursday 10:30am to 12:00pm (Registration starts at 9:30am).

🚗 delivery available

  • Food pantry sign-up and distribution will happen in the parking lot.
  • You will be asked to provide your name, how many people live in your household, and your full address including zip code.
  • Can be used once per week per family.

🚗 CMC also offers delivery from their pantry for vulnerable families who can’t come on their own. Call 608-616-0769 for info.

East Madison Community Center

8 Straubel Court, (608) 249-0861

Tuesdays, 11:30pm-1:30pm

(Registration starts at 10am)

  • Must meet income eligibility requirements
  • Must bring ID
  • Must bring proof of Dane County residence

Goodman Center Fritz Food Pantry

149 Waubesa St, 608-241-1574

Tuesdays 9:30-noon;

Wednesdays 6-8pm;

Thursdays 12:30-3.

🚗 some delivery available

  • Can be picked up at the Ironworks parking lot, by car, bicycle, or on foot!
  • Masks are required (if you don’t have one, they can provide you with one).

🚗 They deliver groceries + meals to Darbo/Worthington and Brentwood neighborhoods, and the Carbon and Generations apartment homes at Union Corners. See info at bottom of this page.

Lussier Community Education Center

55 S Gammon Rd, 608-833-4979

Wed 7-8pm

Sat 12-1pm

Unlimited pantry visits for perishable and non-perishable food.

  • Bring photo ID + proof of address.
  • Shoppers should remain in their vehicles when they arrive as volunteers put their food together

Madison Community Fridge

1000 block of E. Johnson, near Brearly St

24/7 (unstaffed)

This bright green fridge is filled with misc. meals and food donated by community members. Take what you need and leave what you can.

Meadowood Neighborhood Center

5740 Raymond Rd, 608-467-8360

Tuesdays 3-6pm,

Saturdays 12pm-2pm

  • Pantry is intended to serve people in the Meadowood Neighborhood, but is flexible.
  • You will be asked to sign a waiver regarding COVID-19, and to fill out a form for the neighborhood center.
  • Indoor capacity is limited to 10 people at a time and masks must be worn.

Middleton Outreach Ministry

3502 Parmenter St, Middleton

Tue 12-1:30pm,

Thu 12-1:30pm,

Sat 10am-noon.

  • Serves mostly the Western side of Madison + Cross Plains; open to all during COVID!
  • Income restriction: must be at 300% or below the poverty line
  • ID required
  • They have a no-contact menu system for selecting groceries

Leopold Elementary Drive-Through

2602 Post Rd, Madison

Tuesdays, 11:00am - 1:00pm.

Pantry is run by YMCA and Second Harvest Food Bank. Drive-through is in the side parking lot of the elementary school.

Mt. Zion

2029 Fisher Street, 608-957-9081

1st & 3rd Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm.

2nd & 4th Tuesdays 4:00pm-6:00pm.

Please call for more information.

The River

2201 Darwin Road

Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 10am-3pm.

  • Serves Dane County
  • First time visitors must bring proof of address and IDs for each household member. List of acceptable IDs here.
  • They also offer take-home meals for families when you pick up your groceries!

St Vincent

2033 Fish Hatchery Road, 608-257-0919

Mon 10:30am-2:30pm,

Tue 10:30am-2:30pm,

Thu 2:30pm-6:30pm;

Fri 10:30am-2:30pm.

  • Can be used every 2 weeks;
  • must live in Dane County;
  • household income under 300% of federal poverty line;
  • must bring ID for all family members

The Willy Street Pantry

1202 Williamson Street

Open 24/7

This is a free pantry outside of the Social Justice Center. Volunteers keep it stocked with canned and boxed foods, and sometimes fresh produce and cooked foods. It’s open to anyone -- you can just take what you need at any time.

Volunteers are welcome to leave donation items at the pantry too.

Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center

953 Jenifer Street, (608) 257-4576

Packaged groceries on Wednesdays 11am-2pm

Packaged community meal on Saturdays at 11am-12:30pm

Guests should bring a photo ID and piece of mail if possible.

YMCA Drive-Through Pantry

Lussier Family East YMCA

711 Cottage Grove Rd

(608) 221-1571

Thursdays 3:30pm-4:30pm through October 29th.

They provide pantry food packed in boxes until they run out each week.

Additional food options may be available: call 2-1-1 for information.

List of Food Pantries in our area. Some may be closed or limited due to COVID-19. 

List of Madison food resources, organized by side of town. (Last updated 3/31/20)

Free Hot Meals for Pick Up/Delivery

Free breakfast and lunch for children are available for pick-up through the Madison School district at certain hours: 

  • Click here for MMSD food delivery sites with locations, map, and daily schedules. 
  • Click here for other Dane County school district meal information.

Goodman Center is delivering free meals (and groceries) to residents in Darbo/Worthington and Brentwood neighborhoods, and the Carbon and Generations apartment homes at Union Corners. See info at bottom of this page.

The River’s MUNCH Truck will still be running its normal route Monday-Saturday while school is out. MUNCH lunches are available for children AND parents.

  • Schedule and location of deliveries (north side locations) here.
  • They have added one last stop at Kennedy Heights from 2:05-2:20pm.

The River food pantry also provides some family meals for pick-up once per week, in addition to groceries. Info here.

FEED to Go is distributing hot dinners to families in need due to COVID-19 at many sites across Madison. See list of locations here; please check a specific location’s website for more details on how to pick up meals.

The Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St., has free meals weekdays 4 to 5pm and weekends 11:30am to 12pm.

Luke House, 310 S. Ingersoll St, is providing bagged meals that are distributed at the door. There are no forms or questions asked. Meal times: 

  • Monday through Thursday: 11:30am-12:30pm.
  • Sunday through Thursday: 5:45pm-6:30pm.

YMCA in Sun Prairie has 3 pick-up sites for free lunches and next-day-breakfasts for children. Children must be present to pick up their meals. Sites and hours: Walk up or drive through:

  • Vandenburg Heights Park  (Monday-Friday, 12:45-1:15 pm)
  • Rolling Prairie Apartments  (Monday-Friday, 11:15-11:45 am)
  • Element on Main Apartments  (Monday-Friday, 12:00-12:30 pm)

First United Methodist is offering delivered food/essentials to those in Dane County and those outside of Dane County who have an illness/medical condition.  Recipients must apply and meet the income guidelines. Call 608-251-4407 to request delivery.

NewBridge is coordinating meals for seniors (age 60+) at 5 sites around Madison. Please call 608-512-0000 for more information. (Source)


Snack Sack is fulfilling Amazon wishlists for healthy snacks for families with children, up to $50 per family: The Snack Sack /

Food for UW-Madison students

UW-Madison students can request 10-15 lb prepackaged grocery boxes. You must fill out a form to request a box in advance. Options vary weekly but various quantities of produce, dairy, and dry goods are typically available.

There are 3 pick-up locations and times; click the name to be taken to the request form:

Food for Seniors

NewBridge is coordinating meals for seniors (age 60+) at 5 sites around Madison. Please call 608-512-0000 for more information. (Source)

Seniors may also want to contact their local ADRC for additional information. 608-240-7400.

Cooking on a Budget

Reddit Thread: recipe + grocery list for feeding a family of 4 on a tight budget. 

Budget Bytes: Budget-friendly recipes and meal plans.

Cooking in a Time of Social Distancing - blog from Wisconsin library system with links to cookbooks that are available online.

SNAP/FoodShare and WIC Information

These programs provide benefits that can be spent like cash at grocery stores for people who are at 200% of the Federal Poverty Line or below.

FoodShare and grocery delivery during COVID-19: SNAP/FoodShare benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card cannot normally be processed online. The following grocers have confirmed that they provide options for FoodShare participants to use online delivery:

  • Fresh Madison Market
  • Metcalfe’s
  • Willy Street Co-op

FoodShare benefits cannot be used to pay for the delivery fees.

WIC benefits are not able to be used for delivered products at this time.

Assigning a proxy or secondary user to your FoodShare account:

Households that are unable to access grocery outlets to use their FoodShare benefits have the ability to have someone shop for them by adding an Authorized Buyer or Alternate Payee to their account. An Authorized Buyer is added to a Foodshare account and both parties receive EBT cards for the same account. An Alternate Payee receives a card on behalf of the account holder. FoodShare users can request an authorized buyer or alternate payee be added to their account by completing the following form:

  • Add or Remove an Authorized Buyer or Alternate Payee for FoodShare Benefits
  • Once the form is received and entered by DHS, the card issuing agency will send the card to the appropriate individuals. The card remains active until you fill out a form to remove the person and card.
  • This process may take 5-7 days.

Grocery Store Updates

Here is an updating list of grocery store hours and times set aside for vulnerable shoppers.

The following grocery stores offer online ordering and delivery. Call ahead or visit the store’s website to confirm availability of the service you are looking for:

Local Farm Options

Here is a list explaining how to buy from local farmers during this time: these farmers would have been at the Winter Farmers’ Market and/or selling to local restaurants.

FairShare CSA Coalition offers 50%, up to $300, towards fresh produce through their Partner Shares Program. Recipients can use multiple payment methods (SNAP, checks, credit) and will receive flexible payment plans. They can choose from over 40 local farms that deliver near them (some farms also offer home delivery.) 

Help from Restaurants

Liliana’s in Fitchburg is hosting regular “pay what you can” soup days. People can buy soup for themselves or “pay it forward” and buy servings for others. Then, the restaurant offers soup from $0-$5 for people in need to take home. Leftover funds are donated to local organizations. The owner has been posting updates about this on his personal facebook page. The number for the restaurant is (608) 442-4444; ask if they’re having a Pay What You Can soup event today. Multiple kinds of soups including gluten free options for those with Celiacs Disease are often available! 

Morris Ramen offers free meals and cleaning supplies to restaurant workers who are financially struggling due to COVID-19, on Wednesday nights (has not been verified in a few months).

🍼 Baby, Pet, Hygiene, and Home Care Resources

Diapers and Baby Supplies

WIC has closed its office. Services are still available via phone. New enrollments are being taken. Existing members and interested new participants can call 608-267-1111.

Project Babies is working on collecting diapers and other needed supplies at this time. This is their outreach number (you can call or text): 608-770-9588. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Here is their link for online referral and needs request:

If you are able to make a financial donation here is their secure link:

Dane County Diaper Drive is collecting diapers and will provide them at no cost to disadvantaged families:

The Pregnancy Helpline is closed, and they have distributed their items to St. Vinny’s. The telephone helpline is still open for support (608-222-0008), and they are able to drop off Baby Care Packages and Safe Sleep pack ‘n plays to newborns.

Reach Dane is enrolling children ages 0-5 years in Early Head Start and Head Start. Enrolled families get immediate access to diapers, formula, and meals distributed weekly. They can provide families with early childhood education, mental health, and family supports virtually. or 608-577-6934        

Hygiene Products

Atwood Pantry stocks house cleaning and personal care products. They are in need of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer and may not have these available.2401 Atwood Avenue, located in the Church. Hours as of 3/11, according to SASY neighborhood group:

  • Thursdays: 11:30am-3pm
  • Sundays: 12-2pm

The Catholic Multicultural Center has a personal essentials pantry, open on Tuedays from 1:00-3:30. You must register between 1:00 and 3:00pm.

The Menstruation Collective can drop off kits of pads and tampons. Email Frankie:

The Greater Madison Resource Center may be able to help with sanitizer, soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning wipes, pads, tampons, and over-the-counter medicines. (608) 770-1174 / /

Laundry Love is a church-based program aiming to “lead people in to a life-changing relationship with Jesus.” They provide free laundry services, first-come, first-serve on the second Wednesday of each month, 7:00-8:30 PM, at 2115 Fish Hatchery Road and 4921 Commercial Ave. Call or text: 608-301-5254

Child Care Updates

Given the need for social distancing, there is a great deal of uncertainty about fall programs. We encourage you to contact your out of school time child care provider to check the status of programming.

Families who are currently enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start can check the Reach Dane webpage for the latest information or email

  • Families wishing to enroll in Head Start/Early Head Start can do so online or call (608) 577-6934.

If you are looking for childcare:

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families offers childcare assistance to low income families through the Wisconsin Shares Program.

Families who are not eligible for Wisconsin Shares may be eligible for Madison’s child care tuition assistance program. Visit the Office of Community Services Childcare Assistance Program webpage or call (608) 267-4996.

The ParentChild+ program offers home visits to families with children between ages 2 and 4 to promote literacy. The program includes a free educational book or toy, and visits from a specialist 2 times per week for 2 years!

  • Children must be 2 years old on or before September 1st
  • Families must live in Dane County
  • Parent education and income restrictions may apply
  • Participation is not dependent on citizenship status or languages spoken
  • To learn more, call 608-729-1155.

Pet Care Resources

Click here for a spreadsheet with information about all nearby veterinary services. Includes hours during COVID-19, species of animals seen, contact info, etc.

The following Dane County food pantries distribute pet food (dry or canned) and cat litter (clumping or clay). Please check with each pantry for their hours of operation and participation requirements.

Wiscares provides medical supplies and food for companion animals, and free/low-cost boarding if an animal needs housing while someone is getting medical treatment. Website:; email:

UW Veterinary Hospital is now providing medically necessary appointments and on-going treatments to existing patients, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Emergency services are also available for any life-threatening emergencies. For more information visit

Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) provides temporary, confidential emergency shelter for up to 90 days for the pets of domestic abuse victims who are receiving services from Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). All intake for SAAV occurs through DAIS at (608) 251-4445. SAAV also provides animal care grants directly to victims to help with the financial costs of animal care for victims who are receiving services from any Dane County domestic abuse agency or nonprofit organization. For more information on grants,

Bike Repair Shops

Here is a map of bike repair shops and stations.

💲 Misc. Financial Resources

(see also: Political organizing / rent strikes / collective advocacy for groups organizing rent strikes and debt cancelation petitions)

For local financial aid resources, dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211. You can also use to find resources by zipcode and keyword. Another option is to call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code to get referred to local agencies.

Are you unable to travel to a new job due to vehicle issues? There is now a program in Dane County and several other WI counties that provides a no interest loan for repairing or buying a vehicle to get to work. Your household must be at or below 150% of the poverty line, you must have recently accepted a job, and you must need the vehicle to get to/from work. The loan repayment also has to fit in your monthly budget. Contact info here.

Dane County Human Services has a landing page for Emergency Assistance Grants, W2, FSET, and Unemployment with instructions on how to apply for each.

Humanity Forward has created a COVID-19 emergency relief fund at the national level. Click the link to request aid. “The initial target populations will primarily consist of Americans in lower income brackets who depend on wage work to support them and their families. Our first program will be launched in the Bronx, NY, and we aim to roll out similar initiatives in the coming weeks.” Disclaimer: this organization is related to Andrew Yang, a previous presidential candidate.

UW Credit Union is offering $2,500 emergency loans to members. You need to have been a member as of March 1st. No repayment or interest for the first 90 days, then a fixed rate of 1.90% APR for the first 3 years. Click here for information. 

Summit Credit Union is offering lines up credit up to $5,000 for checking account holders and $2500 for non-holders. No payments for 90 days, interest will accrue during that time. 5% APR for all credit scores. Call 800-236-5560 and ask for “Get-Me-Through Line of Credit.”

WI Unemployment Information

Application link:

Click here for an Instructional video on how to apply.

“DWD is experiencing an unprecedented call volume to our unemployment insurance and IT help lines. Unless you have received official notification from Unemployment Insurance that you must call our call center, please search for your answer at or in order to free up phone lines for folks who are required to call in.”

Who is eligible for unemployment now? (source)

  • If your workplace closed down or suspended operations due to Covid-19
  • If your hours have been reduced
  • If you are mandated to quarantine but healthy enough to work
  • Noncitizens who are authorized to work in the US
  • Wisconsin unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer must shut down operations and no work is available, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the monetary criteria and the weekly eligibility criteria even if their employer has not told them they are laid off.”

Who is NOT eligible for unemployment?

  • Self-employed workers. However, they have been added to the CARES Act and will be eligible for unemployment as soon as that is processing. The WI Department of Workforce Development has asked that you wait before filing.
  • Most people who choose to self-quarantine
  • Anyone who is too sick to work

Due to a new national executive order, if you received over $100 per week in Wisconsin unemployment benefits during the following weeks, you are eligible for an extra $300-400 in back-pay for each week that you received the benefit. This applies to weeks ending in 8/8/20; 8/15/20; 8/22/20; 8/29/29; 9/5/20.

This back-pay is called the “Lost Wage Allowance” or “LWA.” To receive it, you must find the button on your unemployment page that reads, “Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) not answered. Enter Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) answer” and opt-in to it. Anticipated pay-out date is late October.

Misc. Job Hunting Resources

Are you unable to travel to a new job due to vehicle issues? There is now a program in Dane County and several other WI counties that provides a no interest loan for repairing or buying a vehicle to get to work. Contact info here.

  • Your household must be at or below 150% of the poverty line
  • You must have recently accepted a job
  • You must need the vehicle to get to/from work.
  • The loan repayment also has to fit in your monthly budget.

Madison Urban League still has employment specialists that are working digitally with clients. They also have a list of jobs that are still hiring and online training classes.  

Phone number:  (608) 729-1234; Email:


Catholic Multicultural Center provides help with job searching. Help is available on Tuesdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm and Thursdays 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Call Lilliam at 608-441-3257 for more information. CMC can help with job hunting, filling out forms, and applying for unemployment.

Moonrise is a private/for-profit platform that helps workers find occasional shifts/hours from businesses and organizations who are on the network.

Funds for Students & University Employees

For Madison College/MATC students, there are new crisis funds available, in part paid for by the CARES act. This page has more information and the application.

For UW-Madison students:

  • For emergency fund support and questions, you can also call 608-262-3060 between 10am and 2pm Monday through Friday, or email (preferred)
  • For International UW-Madison students, the ISS (International Student Services) sometimes offer crisis loans as well. Normally students must present to the office in-person to get support; consider emailing here:

UW-Madison’s TAA (grad students' union) has a mutual aid fund set up for graduate students and their families to request up to $100 per semester, no strings attached. Application and details here:

For Edgewood students:

  • The school discusses COVID-19 relief funds here. It is not clear whether these are still available. Approved students are to receive up to $1500 in 3 installments of $500.

UW-Madison Employee Emergency Loan: UW–Madison has established an emergency loan program to provide assistance to those employees who are experiencing financial hardship because they have been placed on Position-Specific Furlough or are working reduced hours in a Work-Share program.

  • The loans are available at zero percent interest.
  • For employees paid biweekly, the maximum amount of the loan is equal to their take home pay for two pay periods. For employees paid monthly, the maximum amount of the loan is equal to their take home pay for one pay period.
  • Employees on voluntary leave without pay, voluntary reduction of hours, or Campus-Wide, Intermittent Furlough are not eligible for an emergency loan.
  • All aspects of the loan process can be completed online. Alternatively, employees can arrange to pick up a paper application, drop off a completed application, or pick up a check for the loan amount. Additional details and the application form are available at

There is a free grocery box program available to UW-Madison students. More info here.

Support for Food and Beverage Industry 

Madison Service Industry Support: Facebook group for keeping track of relevant updates in Madison’s service industry. People also share their experiences with unemployment applications, stimulus checks, etc. here to stay up to date.

For people in the Food and Beverage industry, Southern Smoke Foundation has an emergency relief fund (not specific to COVID-19).

CORE Grants exist for restaurant workers with families, who require emergency support for family bills or medical bills.

Madison DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) is organizing restaurant workers, starting with an anonymous poll.

Morris Ramen offers free meals and cleaning supplies to restaurant workers who are financially struggling due to COVID-19, on Wednesday nights. Note: As of August, it is unconfirmed whether these community meals are still happening.

Funds for Small Business Owners & Self-Employed Workers

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a $5 million program called Small Business 20/20. Businesses with no more than 20 employees can apply for grants up to $20,000 to pay for rent and payroll expenses. That includes sick, family and other leave related to the COVID-19 outbreak. News article here

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for businesses dealing with losses during the pandemic. Thanks to a concerted effort by the State of Wisconsin and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Wisconsin small businesses and private non-profits are now eligible for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

  • Loans are available for up to $2 million.
  • These loans can provide working capital to meet the needs of payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments until the situation improves.
  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • How can you apply?

Facebook has webpages with small business grants from the company.

Self Employed workers cannot apply for Unemployment (as of now) but may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.  Contact the Wi Department of Workforce Development at 608-266-3131.

Other Emergency Funds

Dane County Farmers’ Market has started an Emergency Farmers’ Relief Fund to raise money to support local farmers who have lost their major sources of income due to restaurant and farmers’ markets closing. Follow the link to donate; contact DCFM to apply for funds.

Arts Wisconsin has compiled a list of emergency funds and other financial resources for those in the creative economy, including the CARES Act, the Actors Fund, EqualSound relief fund for musicians, and several others. This list gets updated as more resources are added.

The Dane Arts Need Grant (DANG!) Program is offering up to $250 grants to artists for products that will help them develop an online presence to promote their art form or present a forum through a live feed. The funds can also be used to purchase supplies and further develop the artists’ skills. Read more here on how to apply.

Ho-Chunk Housing and Community Development Authority is offering one-time grants up to $700 towards rent for members of the Ho-Chunk Nation and other Native American Tribal Enrolled Members. (link to application)

For undocumented immigrants, Latinx Consortium for Action Relief Fund (via Centro Hispano) is collecting funds for small business owners and people who lost their employment. The phone number for Centro Hispano is (608) 255-3018.

Healthwell Foundation can put $250 towards costs “associated with delivered food, medication, diagnostics, transportation and telehealth as a result of COVID-19 risk or incidence.” See website for more information.  

🧠 Mental Health Support

You can request emotional support through the DCCD. request form and someone will call and check in on you (not a substitute for long-term mental health counseling). The Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook group also has people willing to make regular calls to those feeling isolated.

Crisis Text Line is helpful for panic attacks and other emotionally intense moments. Text HOME to 741741; a bot will provide you with their terms of service and put you on a waitlist to text with a real person. Wait times may be long due to current anxiety/panic about COVID-19. Regular messaging rates apply (the service itself is free).

AARP will match isolated seniors with a trained volunteer to call them regularly for a social check-in:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has created a website called Resilient Wisconsin. It has many resources on addressing toxic stress and trauma and specific resources relating to coping during COVID-19.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

For UW-Madison students, UHS crisis line (608-265-5600, option 9) and SilverCloud remain available 24/7. See updates about what other mental health services remain available here:

Free Online, Video, and Phone AA meetings with local Madison community members.  


Madison LGBTQ+ Outreach Center is offering LGBTQ+ group meetings online.

The Dane County TimeBank has launched a Restorative Justice Hotline that is available from 4-8pm Monday through Sunday. 1-866-RJustUs/1-866-758-7887. If you know youth who have received municipal tickets from the police or if people are having difficulties with friends, family members, neighbors or anyone else, we can help talk you through the situation.

Local Telehealth/Online Counseling

Mental health counseling via phone call or video meeting is available at the following local appointment-only services. This list includes smaller practices which are currently open to taking new clients. These services are not free, but they do take several insurances and offer limited spots at a sliding scale fee.

Journey Mental Health and Rogers Behavioral Health are still offering in-person services for psychiatric emergencies, inpatient treatment, and certain outpatient programs.

Golden Vibes Counseling Center:

Phone: 608-571-0558. Email:

Gifts of Emotion - Trauma Specialized Counseling:

Phone: 608-301-5708. Scheduling form here.

Abegglen Counseling, based in Fitchburg:

Phone: 608-709-9672.

Insight Counseling & Wellness:

        Phone: (608)-244-4859.

Elite Cognition, LLC:

        Phone: (608) 286-1132.

Anesis Marriage and Family Therapy:

Phone: (608) 268-6530. Email:

Clear Path Counseling & Wellness

Phone: (608) 800-7293 Email:

Lake Monona Psychotherapy and Recovery Center

Phone: (608) 256-5030, press 0.

Online Self-Help Resources

The Wellness Society has published a free full PDF workbook for anxiety during COVID-19.

Virus Anxiety is a toolkit for managing anxiety about the virus and the uncertainty we are all facing.

The Compassion and Resilience Toolkit has released a series of videos for staying Resilient During COVID-19.

Sesame Street has developed wellness videos and activities for the whole family. Visit for many resources.

Lived Wisdom on Panic, Worry, and Isolation: A document about the impacts of experiencing panic, worry, and isolation, and how people with mental health struggles have experienced and lived through these feelings.

7 Cups offers free self-help modules that you can complete at your own pace, free 24/7 online chat, and lower cost telehealth therapy options.

5 Ways to Self Care During Coronavirus and Self Care During Social Distancing

Coronavirus and Our Common Humanity- Message from the UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds with tips for coping during unprecedented times.

Healthy Minds Innovations is offering the Healthy Minds Program App for free to individuals. There is no subscription fee, and no requirements. Try an audio practice on exploring change or try the full program.

Home Fitness for Adults

Bender Fitness: Free workouts and regular fitness challenges.

Canvas Club Boxing: Doing free Facebook live workouts.

Harbor Athletic Club: posting at-home workouts on their facebook page.

MadFit: YouTube channel with free at home workouts.

Obe Fitness: 30 day free trial with code ONTHEGO.

Summit Strength and Fitness: offering virtual classes on Facebook and Instagram.

Virtual Fitness with Emma Rose: classes from a fitness coach via Zoom; link allows you to register for specific times.

30 Minute No Equipment Cardio and HIIT Workout

30 Days of Yoga with Adriene: Great 30 day yoga program on YouTube! Emphasis is on comfort/enjoyment rather than pure fitness; her yoga has been nicknamed “yoga for the people.” She also has a playlist of yoga for uncertain times.

📚 Enrichment for School Age Children Staying at Home

60 days of free internet may be available from Comcast and Spectrum, see Rent/Utility resource section in this document for more info.

MMSD is planning to transition to distance learning for K-12 starting on April 6th. This will include providing devices to families who need them. Update(s) here.

Madison Public Library has many free resources available online. Use your library card to access them. Don’t have a library card? Apply for a virtual library card here!

UW Extension 4-H has created a list of fun, hands-on learning projects to do at home for kids. Activities are listed by grade levels.

Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds and Activities

Milwaukee Brewers Summer Sluggers Reading Program - open early! Free to sign up! Summer Slugger is a continuous and engaging learning experience that uses the game of baseball to prepare students of all backgrounds to enter the next school year on track. 

General tips for supporting kids at home during this time.

Free Virtual Tutoring for Middle/High School Students in Madison - A small group of Madison neighbors have decided to donate their expertise to help families in need during COVID-19. In order to help as many students as possible, we ask that you sign up for tutoring on an as-needed basis when there is a specific problem or topic your student needs help with. Tutors are available for a variety of subjects.

Sample Daily Schedule for Learning At Home

MMSD Online Enrichment Resources - Available for MMSD students with internet access. All resources offer high-quality and free content. As a resource, students should start on their school’s library portal pages which are provided at the bottom of this document. Each school library portal will provide students access to databases and programs that they are currently using in their schools.

K-12 Teaching Possibilities in Pandemic Times: Facebook group with a community of people ready to problem solve at home learning issues who share many educational resources.

Preschool Homeschooling Schedule and Resources

Anti-Oppressive and Anti-Racist Home School Options During Quarantine

Break Packets for K-5 Students: Includes a variety of subjects for elementary ages children.

Big community list of Educational companies offering free subscriptions during COVID-19.

Scholastic Learn from Home - FREE pre-k-12 online resources to keep kids learning at home while schools are closed. is offering FREE streaming of books in multiple languages online for as long as schools are closed.

First Book Marketplace is a great place to order deeply discounted books for kids. Free shipping for orders over $25. Use promo code BOOKBANK15 for an additional 15% off orders.

Learn Online with Technology - List of online websites for home-based learning.

List of digital author resources - This is a website collecting events with read-alouds, face times, and other interactive online reading opportunities for families.

Home-based learning resources - Lots of ideas for how to engage kids with learning while at home. Also includes link to online museum tours of different museums across the world.

Giant List of Ideas for Things to Do While Home with Kids - Big list of easy to do activities while still keeping social distance from others.

16 Card Games that will Turn Your Children into Math Aces

Interview a Family Member - resource from TeachingTolerance.Org

List of at-home “science experiments” for kids with mostly common household items (each item on the list links to a page with more details).

Over 30 Virtual Field Trips - includes links to virtual tours to many places, like zoos, national parks, farms, outer space, and museums around the world (and universe!) 20

Virtual Field Trips - some overlap with the last resource and some new links.

Help with Homework - Facebook group with a community of parents and educators who are ready to help if you need help understanding your child’s school work or school-district issued enrichment packets.

Oceans Initiativ Free Marine Biology Camp: Free videos uploaded every week. (Article with more info)

NASA STEM Engagement: for grades K-4. Lots of resources and real-time videos!

Outdoor Learning Ideas (compiled by educators at Lake View Community School in Madison)

Beat the COVID-19 Blues With These Wildlife and Nature Livecams and Wild Bird Unlimited Barred Owl Cam

The Healthy Kids Collaborative has developed a Safe Outdoors 30 Day Challenge with activity ideas for being outside and staying active during COVID-19. Here is a video from the coordinator that demonstrates outdoor safety.

Free downloadable coloring pages from a UW-Madison art student, Will Santino.

Kid-Friendly Activities About COVID-19

A comic written for children about COVID-19; see also this interactive website with activities for kids to learn about COVID-19:

School’s Closing, Now What? - provides tips for how to support children and families while schools are closed and includes links to resources.

Social Story for Kids to Understand Why School is Closed - translated into seven languages. Includes directions for use. Audio book available on YouTube.

Kid-Friendly Art Classes / Project Ideas

Rustic Orchid Creative Workshop uploads free art lessons for children:

Lots of coloring pages to print at home. Includes color by numbers and pages that are more entertaining for older kids and adults:

“My Tree of Life” activity, good for middle school aged children, teens, and adults to reflect on their life and values. Promotes self-reflection and resiliency. PDF was written for facilitators (teachers, counselors, etc.) but is clear enough for parents to give it a try (requires large piece of paper and writing/drawing materials):

Short Art Project YouTube Videos by Art Room Glitter Fairy. Sarah Krajewski, art teacher at Cambridge Elementary and last year’s Wisconsin Art Educator of the Year, is uploading free art lessons for kids almost daily.

Kid-Friendly Fitness Ideas

GoNoodle: many different videos on YouTube to promote movement and work on gross motor skills.

PE with Joe: live daily 30 minute workout with British PE teacher on YouTube, aimed at kids. Workout requires little space and no equipment. Started Monday the 23rd.

PE at Home with Ben: free workouts from PE teacher, Ben Schenk, on YouTube

Teen Strong: Free for a limited time. Free HIIT workouts for a limited time

Down Dog App is offering free yoga classes online until April 1st; it’s meant for adults, but could be a fun family activity.