A comprehensive list of resources and information to support survivors, families, and individuals in St. Joseph County during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
The Family Justice Center is committed to providing safety-focused, victim-centered services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Keeping this in mind, we are aware of the presence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and the risks it may pose to the health of individuals and the well-being of society as a whole. Additionally, we recognize that circumstances like these may put an additional strain on families.
FJC advocates have compiled a list of resources for families and individuals in St. Joseph County, along with helpful information for survivors during this time. If you are a client of the FJC, please feel free to also contact your advocate for other assistance with food, hygiene, and baby products.
Navigate to Appropriate Resources Below
- Safety Planning Specific to a Time of Quarantine
- Safe Shelters
- Online and Phone Support and Services
Self-Care During Quarantine:
- For Adults
- Suggestions for adults who may be anxious about COVID-19
- For Children
- Talking to your children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Safety Planning Specific to a Time of Quarantine
- Safety plans are especially important during this stressful time; review your safety plan and talk to an advocate about it, if needed. If you have not made a safety plan, you can reach out the Family Justice Center at 574-234-6900 to talk to an advocate.
- If it is safe for you to have a physical copy of your safety plan, make sure it is easily accessible. However, at this time, offenders may be in the home with you more frequently. If so, consider keeping a copy on your phone or safest place for you.
- Consider using keywords to remember the most essential parts of your plan.
- Talk to a friend or family member about establishing a code word that you can use if you need to call them (one that would let them know you need them to call the police or come over.)
- If you are unable to call 911, you can send a text message. Try to include the 5 W’s;
- WHERE are you located? (address)
- WHAT happened?
- WHO did what?
- WHEN did it occur?
- WEAPONS -are there any?
- Leaving a dangerous situation to stay in a shelter may be an option. If shelters in the area are full or not accepting new residents, consider alternatives such as staying with family, friends, or at a hotel if possible.
- If an argument does ensue, identify the safest room in the home and try to move towards that room, if possible. Try to stay as far as you can from areas where there may be weapons or sharp/hard surfaces or items, and identify exits closest to you.
- Make sure you are prepared with essential home supplies, food, and medication. If there are financial barriers, check with local community organizations. If possible, keep your medication in an easily accessible place in case you needed to leave quickly in an emergency.
- During quarantine and social distancing, one might feel especially isolated, and offenders may use this to further exert power and control. Identify trusted friends, relatives, or an online support group you can connect with virtually and safely.
- If you are at home for an extended amount of time with an abusive partner, try to identify and create a “peaceful space,” if possible. This space can be a simple as a cozy chair in a corner where you can sit and take a few deep breaths. You could include things that center or calm you, like books, coloring pages, or a journal.
- Especially if you do find yourself seeking safety elsewhere, be extra mindful of your hygiene. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, and minimize contact with surfaces that other people commonly have contact with.
- YWCA is St. Joseph County’s shelter for individuals fleeing domestic violence. They remain open 24/7 at this time. Call them at 1-800-YES-YWCA to find out if they have room available and/or if they are accepting new residents.
- Center for the Homeless is not conducting new intakes at this time.
- HOPE Ministries is continuing overnight weather amnesty services.
Online and Phone Supports and Services for Survivors
- Local resources
- The Family Justice Center remains open, and dedicated to providing services including safety planning, advocacy, legal services, and referrals to other community-based services. The best way to contact us is to call 574-234-6900 (Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm)
- The FJC is offering a free, anonymous, confidential online DV support group weekly on Mondays from 8:00-9:00 pm EDT. You can access the group page here.
- S-O-S of The Family Justice Center will continue to provide free, confidential crisis intervention 24/7 via phone support. You can reach an advocate by calling 574-289-HELP (4357)
- Beacon Suicide Text Line can be reached by texting 741741
- National resources
- RAINN is the national sexual assault hotline and can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or online chat. They have options for Spanish speakers and individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-799- SAFE (7233) or online chat. They have options for Spanish speakers and individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 or online chat. They have options for Spanish speakers and individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing.
- St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Forensic Department is still providing full medical care to those that have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, and/or strangulation. Please access care through the Emergency Department entrance.
- If you have questions about your options and rights in seeking medical care after an incident, you can speak with an SOS Advocate by calling 574-289-HELP(4357) 24/7.
- Please note that St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Memorial Hospital both have visitation restrictions at this time. For up-to-date information regarding contact information, locations, visitation guidelines, and response to COVID-19, visit the following links for the appropriate health systems: St. Joseph Health System and Beacon Health System
- COVID-19 Specific: If you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of the virus, please call your primary care provider or 211 for further information and instructions. You can visit the county’s health department website here for more information.
Community Resources for Food during Quarantine
- Food Bank of Northern Indiana (702 Chapin St, South Bend, IN 46601) remains open with a limit of 5 shoppers at a time. Monday and Friday 9am-2pm, Wednesday 11am-5pm
- La Casa de Amistad (746 S. Meade Street, South Bend, IN 46619) pantry remains open; Wednesday 2pm-4:45pm
- St. Margaret’s House (117 N Lafayette Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601) will serve sack lunches from the parking lot Monday-Friday 12pm-1:30pm
- HOPE Ministries (432 S Lafayette Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601) will continue serving lunch and dinner to anyone in need everyday.
- Keller Park Church (1003 W Bryan St. South Bend) will serve hot to-go meals to families with children (children must be present at pick-up). Snack and breakfast bags will also be given to all children 18 and under. Wednesdays 5-6pm, Saturdays 12-1pm, Sundays 10-11am
- Wings Over South Bend (1124 E Angela Blvd #101, South Bend, IN 46617) is providing free kids meals to any child in grades K-12 Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Each meal includes two chicken tenders and a side of fries
- South Bend Community School Corporation will have grab & go meals for children under 18 available from 11am-1pm Monday-Friday at the following locations:
- Brown Community Learning Center and Coquillard, Darden, Madison, Marquette, Muessel, Monroe, Nuner, Harrison, Lincoln and Tarkington elementary schools; 11am-1pm, Monday-Friday
- School City Mishawaka will have packaged meals that can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following schools:
- Battell, Beiger, Emmons, LaSalle, Liberty and Twin Branch elementary schools, John Young Middle School and Mishawaka High School.
- Students who attend Hums Elementary School and Bethel University kindergarten can also pick up meals at any of these sites.
- Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
- To-go breakfast sack meals will be provided from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday at Bittersweet, Elm Road, Elsie Rogers, Horizon, Madison, Mary Frank, Meadow’s Edge, Moran and Walt Disney elementary schools, Grissom and Schmucker middle schools and Penn High School. Families can get meals at any school.
- Lunches will be available for pick-up at all 15 school sites from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also, breakfast meals for the next day can be picked up during the lunch pick-up period.
- Starting Thursday, a late meal can be picked up from 5 to 7 p.m. at Walt Disney Elementary School. This is available to any and all P-H-M students.
- Students don’t have to be present with an adult to pick up the meals. The adult just has to be able to show that they have at least one P-H-M student that they are picking up food for. They can show a student ID card as proof.
- John Glenn School Corporation
- All meals will be free to students, preschool through 12th grade, and will be provided from 12 to 12:30 p.m. at North Liberty and Walkerton elementary schools. Meals will also be delivered at a number of bus stop locations. A full list of times and locations can be found here.
- Career Academy
- Grab-and-go lunches will be served at Success Academy for all students under 18 years old from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursdays. Families are asked to enter the building through Door B.
- Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
- Our Lady of Hungary Parish and Marian High School are host sites for daily lunches. Families can receive grab-and-go meals from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. outside of the schools.
- Anyone, regardless of income or school affiliation, under the age of 18 is eligible for this program.
- Starting Thursday, Saint Joseph High School students, along with any of their school-aged siblings, can pick up free lunches at the school’s loading dock on Cedar Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For other needs specific to South Bend, the city has set up a website with information and resources.
Self-Care During Quarantine
For kids and adults alike, it can be helpful to keep to a set schedule and to “get ready” as if you were going to leave the house. Sit down with children and plan out how the days will flow. Set up specific times for reading/homework, chores, independent free time, mealtimes, family time and bedtime. Like every teacher, write it down and post the schedule.
- Hobbies – knit, crafts, read, journal, make puzzles, play board games, adult coloring pages, watch TV and movies (in moderation)
- Call a friend, family, love one
- Go for a walk or do a free exercise video inside
- Play with pets
- Attend to household tasks that have been on hold for a while (cleaning out closets or the basement)
- Take a virtual museum tour; some museums such as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim are offering online tours of their facilities
- Learn a new language with free software such as Duolingo
- Find new recipes to cook or bake
Suggestions for adults who may be anxious about COVID-19 – Provided by Jenifer Hill (LCSW)
(Taken from an online article by Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD., LCSW with added suggestions.
- Limit your news and updates to ONE verified, trusted source – CDC, WHO, Indiana.gov, etc.
- Limit how often and how long you spend looking at the trusted source. Focus on the FACTS rather than emotions you and others may be feeling about them.
- Avoid searching online, media sourcing or having conversations throughout the day around the virus. This will increase anxiety and can lead to panic.
- Establish a basic safety plan based on recommendations of trusted health organizations—do not add to it.
- Disinfect surfaces once a day. (Read directions on the label of the cleaning wipes, sprays and solutions.)
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after being outside or in public, before eating and after you’ve coughed/sneezed/blown your nose. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Engage in quarantine if recommended by a credible source due to your level of exposure.
- Stick to healthy habits – exercise, good nutrition and quality sleep.
- Take breaks and allow yourself to do things you enjoy.
- Maintain your daily routines as much as possible.
- Avoid the temptation to learn “everything” about COVID-19.
- Do not ignore the guidelines from trusted health sources.
- Do not excessively wash your hands, as this may lead to injuring your skin and making it less protective against infection. Keep it to 20 seconds.
- Don’t let “social distancing” rob you of your support networks—come up with a strategy to stay connected to others even if you can’t see them in person – phone calls and videoconferencing (Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout) allow for more personal connection that texting and emailing don’t, which are also options.
- Go outside for walks. Talk with people from across the street.
- Plan activities in your home such as reading, movies, games, catching up on household tasks such as cleaning out closets, rearranging furniture, cleaning out the basement, going through Christmas decorations, organizing, listening and dancing to favorite music, exercising, trying new recipes, etc.
- Get outside – use chalk, go for a walk or bike ride, do a nature scavenger hunt
- Hide and seek
- Helping with chores
- Have children help with cooking and baking; here are some age-appropriate ways for them to help
- Writing a letter/card to send to someone
- Puzzles and board games
- Have an indoor picnic
- Plan a “movie night” at home with popcorn. Have kids make their own “tickets” for a fun addition.
- Set up an Easter Egg Hunt in or outside
- Watch the webcam of the Beluga Whales at the Georgia Aquarium
- Watch livestream of Cincinnati Zoo animals on Facebook daily at 3 pm
- Check out the Mars Cam
- Participate in Storytime From Space. NASA astronauts read children’s books while floating in space!
- Take a virtual tour of a farm.
- Watch the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Animal Cam
- Watch African Wildlife Cam
- Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy and do experiments along with him
- Connect with Scholastic, they have at-home learning materials for a variety of grade levels.
- Check out Mystery Science. This site has free science lesson plans for kids kindergarten through 5th grade.
- Virtual kid-friendly interface of the MET. Lets them explore the museum with different writing/thinking/making prompts.
- Check out the New York Department of Education’s website. They have lesson plans and learning materials in multiple grade levels and subjects to keep kids learning.
- Lots of teachers have made wonderful videos and resources for students. Mrs. Quantz is a local teacher and she has started a storytime series with her dogs. She is reading through a chapterbook (each video is one chapter.) First video here.
Talking to Your Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Check in with yourself and attend to your own needs. It’s important for you to care for yourself first, in order to be able to care for your children!
- Here is a helpful video for parents from the Child Mind Institute.
- This is a guide for parents from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
- This Curious George video provides an understandable explanation of germs and how they spread.
- Elmo and Rosita explain the right way to sneeze in this video
- Step-by-step handwashing guide with Elmo
- Reins of Life has created a storybook that can be used to talk to kids about the coronavirus.
The information on this page will be updated regularly. If any information is incorrect, or if you would like to request that information be added, please contact us.