CONTACT Resources for those affected by COVID-19 - Dr. Christian Thurstone

I am based in Colorado, so this roundup of resources offering help during the COVID-19 outbreak is state-specific. However, I hope it provides some ideas for others compiling similar lists. Regardless of where you are, please contact me if you have a link to share.

Utility/Rental Assistance

The Denver County Sheriff’s Department has announced suspension of enforcement of evictions or writs of restitution until further notice. Visit here for more information.

Xcel Energy and Denver Water are not shutting off services. Clients may call customer service to make payment arrangements.

Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Visit its website here.

Property Tax & Rent Relief (for Denver residents age 65 and older, disabled or low-income). Visit here on the City and County of Denver’s website for more information.

Denver County TRUA Rental Assistance. Visit here the City and County of Denver’s website for more information.

FREE Internet Essentials Package from Comcast Comcast is providing 60 days of free Internet service, effective March 16, 2020. For more information, visit here.

The Salvation Army. This nonprofit organization’s Housing Now program is able to respond to new needs for rental assistance related to loss of employment or income. Please call the Connection Center at 855-768-7977 for a screening to determine your eligibility to receive assistance.

Employment/Unemployment Resources

The State of Colorado’s Labor Department. For information and resources, visit here on the department’s website.

Unemployment benefits. You can apply here.

Connecting Colorado. This state and county-run database supports job seekers and employers looking to find each other. Visit here to post your résumé, apply or advertise for a specific job or conduct a self-directed job search.

Virtual Job Fair. Visit here for more information.

Support Services for Job Seekers and Employers (multiple languages). Visit here on the City and County of Denver’s website for still more information about employment opportunities.

Food Resources

SNAP online (English & Spanish). Visit here to apply online.

WIC online (English & Spanish). Visit here to apply online.

Emergency Food Assistance/Food Pantries. Visit the Food Bank of the Rockies for a listing by Colorado county of locations where free food is available.

Hunger Free Colorado (English & Spanish). Visit here for assistance with identifying locations and opportunities to obtain food.

School meals (breakfast and lunch) for students under age 18. Visit here for information about the locations from which Denver Public Schools is distributing food to its students. Visit here to view a community map identifying locations in your area that are distributing children’s meals.

Tasty Food Program. Visit here on the City and County of Denver’s website for information about this program providing breakfast, lunch, dinner and nutritious snacks for youth ages 1-18 (multiple languages)

Meals on Wheels. Recipients of services from this nonprofit organization must be age 60 and older and assessed as homebound. Visit here for more information.

Addiction and Behavioral Health Support

Self-Help applications

Talking to children about COVID-19 Consider these ways to reframe COVID-19 to speak with youth and manage stress and anxiety.

National Association of School Psychologists

National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Visit here for information.

World Health Organization. Visit here for information.

Parenting Support

Colorado Family Life Center. Visit here for free help and supplies.

Gabriel House. Visit here to find search by location for these facilities focused on providing supplies to mothers and families with young children.

Educational Resources

Visit for children in grades K-12.

Visit here fo K-12 classroom activities related to the 2020 Census.

Free online college courses:

Visit here for a look at museums with virtual tours.

Visit here to watch the Metropolitan Opera’s encore performances of some of its most famed shows.

Visit here for a great list of things to do with children at home.

Medical Insurance

Connect for Health Colorado® announced a new Special Enrollment period from March 20 to April 3, 2020. Coloradans who are uninsured qualify to enroll in a health insurance plan for coverage beginning April 1, 2020. To sign up for coverage through the Marketplace — the only place where residents can qualify for financial help to lower costs — Coloradans can complete an application and select a health insurance plan at, or they can call (855) 752-6749. Please note: Applicants should select the enrollment reason as, “Will lose or lost health insurance and/or have no other health coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak” and input the application date as the qualifying life change event date. Residents who take these steps will not be asked by health insurance companies to provide documentation to verify their eligibility for the special enrollment period.

About Chris Thurstone

Dr. Christian Thurstone is one of only a few dozen physicians in the United States who are board-certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. He is Director of Behavioral Health Services at Denver Health and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, where he conducts research on youth substance use and addiction and serves as director of medical training for the university’s addiction psychiatry fellowship program. You can read more about him here.

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