Community Resilience & COVID-19

Representative Pam Marsh

April 2020

Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 crisis has changed everything about the way we work, do business, shop for groceries, maintain our health and find emotional solace. We are all learning new ways to undertake ordinary daily tasks and engage with friends and family. 

For those of you who are looking for assistance, this newsletter provides a list of local resources for basic needs, including food and financial supports. As critical as it is, social and physical distancing are hard and often isolating. If you or a family member experience severe anxiety or emotional struggles, please seek out help from one of the sources below. 

If you find yourself in a position to help others during this time, there are also a variety of ways to give and volunteer included here. Together, our community will get through this.

Strict adherence to physical distancing will help us to flatten the curve, stabilize the medical response, and get us back to regular life as soon as possible. Though we face extraordinary challenges, these are temporary. Please – stay home to save lives.



Representative Pam Marsh

State Representative
Oregon House District 5 - Southern Jackson County

In this Issue - Quick Links

A Bipartisan Statement from State Legislators in Jackson County on COVID-19

This statement was issued by the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center on March 24 in the Mail Tribune. 

Oregon Grape

Blooming Oregon Grape, Oregon's state flower, is a sure sign that Spring has sprung in the Rogue Valley.

Regional Community Resources & Assistance

During these difficult times, finding the resources you need to support yourself, your family and your business are vital. My staff and I have created this list as a starting point, though the situation is evolving rapidly and many organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals are providing a wide variety of support and safety nets. Please feel free to contact me to share additional resources and services.

Do you need help providing food & nutrition for you and your family?

Are you feeling extreme anxiety or emotional distress, or suffering from abuse?

Have you recently lost your health insurance?


Do you have questions about your insurance and coverage?

  • The Division of Financial Regulation has created FAQ sheets for health insurance, telehealth services and prescription drug coverage, business insurance, travel insurance, mortgages and loans, and information on the recent temporary emergency grace period order on all lines of insurance. FAQ in English; FAQ in Spanish

Have you lost your job or work hours due to COVID-19?

Do you need childcare? Can you provide emergency childcare?


Are you a foster parent or foster family in need of support?

Do you need rent assistance? Are you at risk of homelessness?

  • Governor Kate Brown has banned residential and commercial evictions for 90 days. The new ban ensures that landlords cannot initiate eviction proceedings or charge late fees if a tenant is unable to pay due to COVID-19 (OPB article).
  • Access – Rental assistance for low income households. Learn more here.
  • Community Alliance of Tenants – Tenants rights groups for low-income renters. Contact the Renters Rights Hotline, at 503-288-0130, MWF 1-5PM; Tue 6-8PM; Sat 1-5PM.
  • Maslow Project – Help for homeless youth and their families, including resource navigation, case management and crisis counseling.
  • Options for Helping Residents of Ashland – Provides counseling for people who are homeless or at risk of losing housing.
  • United Way – COVID-19 Social Services Application for Individuals is here.


Are you, or is someone you know, an immigrant in need of support?

  • Unite OregonCOVID-19 resource page
  • OHA COVID-19 FAQ – Testing and treatment for COVID-19 are not subject to a Public Charge determination. Do not hesitate to seek medical services if needed.
  • Here are Mental Health & Social Support Resources for non-English speaking families.

Do you have concerns about workplace compliance with social/physical distancing requirements?

Do you own a small business impacted by COVID-19?

What’s the latest on tax relief?

Are utilities secure during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The following utilities in Southern Oregon have announced temporary suspension of disconnects and/or late fees to support Oregonians during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Do you need an internet connection for education?

  • Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) and its partner provider Ashland Home Net (AHN) are offering free broadband internet service to students and educators. Contact AFN here or call 541-552-2222; contact AHN here or call 541-488-9207.
  • Spectrum (Charter Communications) is offering discounts to households with students and educators. To sign up, contact Spectrum here or call 855-243-8892.
  • is expanding data caps and prioritizing educational services.

Are you seeking governmental COVID-19 resource pages?

Do's & Don'ts

Following these guidelines protects yourself, your loved ones, the most vulnerable in our community, essential workers and health care professionals.

Ways You Can Help, Give, and Volunteer

Many of us are looking for ways to offer what we can to others in need. Here is a list of some opportunities to share resources and volunteer your time.

What to do if you're sick

If you are sick, please follow these recommendations.

Caring for Our Homeless Community Members

Directives to stay at home are deeply disorienting for those with a brick and mortar home, but trying to navigate the epidemic without a safe and secure place to live creates exceptional challenges. Community partners, including the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center, United Way, the Cities of Medford and Ashland, Coordinated Care Organizations, ACCESS, and a host of faith and nonprofit organizations are working to figure out how to keep our vulnerable homeless residents safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Strategies underway include the delivery of meals and services on the Bear Creek Greenway and throughout Ashland; engagement of our medical community to identify and care for symptomatic individuals; deployment of sanitation stations including toilets and hand washing at key community sites; suspension of sweeps, allowing campers to stay in place; and designation of safe areas for car parking. 

Physical distancing standards have required our shelters to reduce occupancy or look for strategies to otherwise house residents. Shelter providers should soon receive flexible funding to allow our most at-risk individuals and families to stay in local motels or other overnight accommodations during this crisis. 

We know that many needs are likely to emerge in the days to come, but it is imperative that we get some services on the ground as quickly as possible, and with confidence that we can deal with other issues as they arise. I am deeply grateful to the extraordinary partners who are stepping up. 

As this crisis unfolds, we must continue to identify solutions and find funding for the Rogue Valley’s most vulnerable residents.

COVID-19 Illuminates the Need for Rural Broadband

Over the past two weeks, nearly everyone’s need for the Internet has increased, from teachers and students creating online curricula for distance learning, to health care professionals adopting telehealth to treat patients from afar. Workers of all stripes are learning how to have virtual meetings with their colleagues, and online shopping has grown exponentially as people stay home to save lives.

This technology is as fundamental to modern life as electricity, yet many communities, representing hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, lack internet access. The onset of COVID-19 has demonstrated that broadband is a critical component of our emergency response system. Our digital divide presents profound social, economic and health care implications.

Without fanfare and at their own expense, small and large internet service providers across the state are stepping up during this crisis. Project A is working with southern Oregon school districts to expedite student/teacher internet needs. Charter Communications opened its WiFi hotspots for public use. Ashland Fiber Network is offering free service to students. These ISPs are absorbing the burden of missed payments, waived late fees and free installation, but that can’t go on forever. Many are small businesses trying to pay bills like the rest of us.

When we get to recovery—and we will—the telecommunications industry will be a vital player in rebuilding our economy and our society. Based on the COVID-19 experience we will design new ways to operate our businesses, visit doctors and acquire new skills. We will need a robust telecommunications industry to help us create a sustainable future.

Full internet deployment will require a robust commitment by our state government along with whatever we can get from the federal government. For starters, we must fund and empower our Oregon Broadband Office to identify gaps and help communities build services. We need investment dollars to ensure that every town, even the smallest, has the necessary infrastructure. Then we need to make make sure that every Oregonian can afford to plug in.

The current crisis is a test. Now we understand, if we didn't before, that our digital age can leave no one behind.

Stay Home. Save Lives.

Click this image to download Stay Homes Save Lives graphics and help spread the word. Available in several languages.

Contact Rep. Pam Marsh

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1405
District Phone: 541-282-4516
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-375, Salem, Oregon 97301
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