Dutchess Co Regional Chamber of Commerce Donates Face Masks

May 19th, 2020

Complimentary reusable cloth face coverings were made available to essential businesses and nonprofit organizations located in Dutchess County by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. We arranged a pickup on May 15.

Thanks again for this donation of critical personal protective equipment!

Donated masks and hand sanitizer DCRCOC members distributing face masks to essential businesses

HVCS’ Home Test Kit for HIV Program: News Coverage

May 15th, 2020

This week, HVCS unveiled its new policy regarding HIV testing: we will mail an oral swab HIV test kit to your home! Watch the details as our Senior Program Manager, Naomi Kabalkin, explains things to Spectrum News reporter Dominic McKensie:


To receive a free home test kit for HIV, call or text (845) 704-7624 or visit this page.

Emergency HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) Info

April 27th, 2020

The HEAP program is extended until June 30, 2020 and there is a 3rd Emergency HEAP benefit available to those who qualify.

“We especially want to reach people who are newly out of work and may not be aware of the HEAP program at all.  The Regular HEAP income eligibility is based on gross income received by a household in the past 30 days.  Remember that you do not have to be facing shutoff to receive a Regular HEAP benefit.  Even with unemployment you could still be eligible for the Regular HEAP benefit.  And anyone receiving Regular HEAP will get Low Income HEAP credits from Orange & Rockland for the next 12 months.  This will continue to help you even when you are back to work and trying to catch up with other bills.

Clients can apply for Regular HEAP online at www.MyBenefits.ny.gov. Clients can fax information to us at 845-364-3130 or email RocklandHEAP@dfa.state.ny.us.  They can leave a voicemail message at 845-364-3480 if you have any questions.

Many are not aware of the HEAP program because they have not faced a situation like this before.  Please help us reach out in whatever way you can.

Any client looking to apply for an Emergency HEAP benefit can fax or email their termination notice to us.  They must include a daytime phone number (that will accept calls from a restricted line) and their case number.  Our department is mostly working from home but we have access to our computers and are processing cases.  Our voicemail boxes are checked several times a day and we are calling everyone back as soon as possible.  Please note: whenever leaving a phone number be sure the number will accept calls from a restricted line.  We are working from home so the return call may show up as a restricted number.”

–Rockland County HEAP, Department of Social Services


“Face Mask Friends” Group Donates Homemade Masks

April 27th, 2020

donated cloth face masksSpecial thanks to Christina Paliotta-Southwell, a Prevention Specialist in our Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) for her hard work last week looking for cloth face mask donations for our SEP clients. Christina was able to collect 165 Face Mask donations from “Face Mask Friends,” a Facebook group in the Mid-Hudson Region. Her hard work does not end there. Christina has decided to continue looking for additional face masks donations and has even contacted her local Councilman for assistance. We are so proud of her hard work and dedication to our SEP clients during a time where many of our clients are not able to afford these essential items during the COVID-19 crisis.

Sexual Health In The Age of Coronavirus: Video Message

April 6th, 2020

Staying safe doesn’t end with social distancing: we still need to keep our sexual health in mind during the COVID-19 crisis. HVCS is here for you.

Andy Reid is one of our Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testers.

View his other video message here.

Social Services in City of Newburgh

March 27th, 2020

Social Services Resources in Newburgh

New York State continues to monitor and respond to developments related to coronavirus. Many of our nonprofits and human service agencies continue to provide services to people in need. Here is a list of nonprofits in operation and changes they have made to business operations due to coronavirus. This page was last updated 3/24/20 at 3:30pm.


Orange County’s designated anti-poverty organization offering resources for low-income residents. Office is closed to visitors but services available via phone. Facebook page offers a demo on how to complete a Census 2020 questionnaire.
Phone: 845-568-3445
Website: www.recap.org/programs/newburghservices
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RegionalEconomicCommunityActionProgram


Cornerstone Family Healthcare

A non-profit community healthcare dedicated to seeing patients regardless of their ability to pay. Remains open for services. If you think you have been exposed to coronavirus and are experiencing symptoms call 845-563-8000 before visiting a facility.
Website: www.cornerstonefamilyhealthcare.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cornerstonefamilyhealthcare
Phone: 845-563-8000


Catholic Charities
Services continue for substance abuse and mental health treatment. Office is closed to visitors but services available via phone. Offering an online corona-theme workout.
Phone: 845-562-8255
Website: www.cccsos.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Catholic-Charities-of-Orange-Sullivan-and-Ulster-NY-132465336842873/


2-1-1 Hudson Valley Region

United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline is a free, confidential, multilingual service to assist the public with health and human services related questions. It is open 365 days a year.
Website: www.hudson211.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedWay211HV
Phone: 2-1-1


Newburgh Armory Unity Center
Enrichment activities for youth are available online and include Healthy Scholars, lending library of e-books, online chess club, and more.
Website: www.newburgharmory.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NAUCenter


Orange County Department of Social Services
Financial assistance, referrals for APS and CPS, foster care, medical assistance, Medicaid, and SNAP (food stamps).
Website: www.orangecountygov.com/841/Social-Services
Location: 141 Broadway
Phone: 845-568-5151


Newburgh Ministry
Winterhaven and Warming Station shelters will continue to house those most vulnerable. Non-essential programming is suspended including the Hospitality Center, Thrift Store, and Hygiene Closet.
Warming Station location: 104 S. Lander Street

Phone: 845-561-0070
Website: www.newburghministry.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewburghMinistry


MISN (Maternal Infant Services Network)
Help with enrollment into state funded health programs (Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus), teen pregnancy prevention programs and perinatal health education and referral services. Services available via phone. Online breastfeeding class series.
Website: https://misn-ny.org/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MISN.NY
Phone: 845-561-3575

Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh
Closed for visitors. Visit website for a schedule of online activities, classes, social media challenges.
Website: www.bgcnny.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BGCNNY


Fearless! Hudson Valley (FKA Safe Homes of Orange County)
Locations are closed to visitors and staff are working remotely. Non-residential services including safety planning, crisis counseling, therapeutic services, legal support, and information and referrals are being handled remotely via 24 hour hotline. Court accompaniment is still being provided for family offenses petitions and our confidential emergency shelter and 24 hotline are always operational.
Phone: 24-hour hotline 845-562-5340, business office 845-562-5365
Website: https://fearlesshv.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fearlesshv


Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh 
Continue to serve existing clients and a waiting list is available. Call 211 for more food resources.
Phone: 845-562-3490
Website: www.mealsonwheelsnewburgh.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoWNewburgh


United Way 
Connections to volunteer opportunities during coronavirus including meal preparation and delivery and letter writing for homebound seniors. Lists of food pantries and soup kitchens, resources for phone and video conferencing, employment opportunities throughout the community, and military support.
Phone: 845-471-1900
Community Resources webpage: www.uwdor.org/covid19-communityresources
Facebook: www.facebook.com/uwdor
Helpers Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/docommunitystrongresources/members


Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens List
Food pantries and soup kitchens in Newburgh are implementing health recommendations as they serve people in need. Indicated below are lists for local resources. These will be updated to reflect changes in operations. Before reporting to a center for food, please call ahead to learn about operational changes.

HVCS is also offering emergency food bags by appointment pickup only. Please call (845) 522-5753 for more information.

COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline

March 26th, 2020

New York State has set up a hotline for residents to talk to someone about mental and emotional health issues during the coronavirus outbreak/pandemic.

Call 1-844-863-9314 any day of the week between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm.

Consumer Advisory Board Meeting Postponed

March 24th, 2020

Our Consumer Advisory Board (HCAB) meeting has been postponed to an undecided date in the summer due to our office closure at this time. We will post more announcements when the meeting is officially rescheduled. HCAB is open to all current and former clients and we welcome them to provide us with feedback on our programs, direction and areas of potential growth.

Due to the current health crisis, the CAB will not have their usual April meeting. As the CAB meetings are very important, and we value your input, HVCS is hoping to hold the next meeting in the summer. We will evaluate the health climate and take the appropriate course at that time.

Syringe Exchange Program Still Open Despite COVID-19

March 23rd, 2020

HVCS’ syringe exchange programs (SEPs) will be operating on special schedules during the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

In Rockland County, we will be offering special arrangement SEP. Call us and we will arrange for a special individual exchange. Please call (845) 356-4400.

Effective Tuesday 3-24-2020 we will use the below schedule (reduced hours) to meet the needs of our clients through SEP services in the other counties where we run the program.

Tuesdays:    Newburgh 10 – 3:30 p.m.

Kingston 1 – 3 p.m.

Thursdays: Poughkeepsie 10:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Monticello 11 – 12 p.m.

If you have questions please call us at (845) 234-5225.

Sex and COVID-19

March 23rd, 2020

We thought it important to share a letter from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

All New Yorkers should stay home and minimize contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But can you have sex?
Here are some tips for how to enjoy sex and to avoid spreading COVID-19.

1. Know how COVID-19 spreads.
You can get COVID-19 from a person who has it.
The virus can spread to people who are within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 when that person coughs or sneezes.
The virus can spread through direct contact with their saliva or mucus.
We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex.
COVID-19 has been found in feces of people who are infected with the virus.
COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid.
We know that other coronaviruses do not efficiently transmit through sex.

2. Have sex with people close to you.
You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19.
You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.
If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.

3. Take care during sex.
Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.
Rimming (mouth on anus) might spread COVID-19. Virus in feces may enter your mouth.
Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral or anal sex.
Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The NYC Health Department may change recommendations as the situation evolves. 3.21.20
Wash sex toys with soap and warm water.
Disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others (for video chat, for watching pornography or for anything else).

4. Skip sex if you or your partner is not feeling well.
If you or a partner may have COVID-19, avoid sex and especially kissing.
If you start to feel unwell, you may be about to develop symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
If you or your partner has a medical condition that can lead to more severe COVID-19, you may also want to skip sex.
Medical conditions include lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV and a low CD4 count).

5. Prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy.
HIV: Condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health and search HIV.
Other STIs: Condoms help prevent other STIs. Visit nyc.gov/health and search STIs.
Pregnancy: Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks. Visit nyc.gov/health and search birth control.

For more information about COVID-19, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus.