Economic hardship assistance available

The Community Organizations Active in a Disaster has created a point of entry to assist Charlotte County residents with the economic hardships they may experience as a result of COVID-19. Funding will be available for rent/mortgage, transportation, utilities, childcare, food, and other needs once an initial screening has been completed.

Visit www.COADFL.org to fill out a pre-screen application today or call 2-1-1 (or 941-205-2161 for TTY, Englewood, and out-of-area cell phone callers) for information on available community resources.

Charlotte Behavioral encourages telehealth

Charlotte Behavioral Health Care is encouraging new and existing patients to use telehealth for assessments, medication management and therapy. If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth appointment, or if you want to change an existing appointment to a telehealth appointment, call 941-639-8300 and press option 4. Let the staff know you would like to opt for telehealth services. 

College scholarship opportunity for women

Each year, Punta Gorda Charter Chapter of ABWA provides Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Scholarships (SBMEF) to female students who will be attending accredited U.S colleges, universities. Applicants must be citizens of the United States; residents of Charlotte County, who will be at least a college freshman in August of 2020 and who maintain at least a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Chapter is offering three scholarships worth $2,000 each funded through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund. Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact alexia@whitcoinsurance.com or 941-421-2977. Applications must be completed by April 30. A minimum of three eligible completed applications are required in order for the scholarship to be awarded.

Beware of coronavirus scams

Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert about new scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scams run the gambit from text messages and phone calls to imposters posing as health workers offering free COVID-19 tests. The bottom line is Floridians need to be on the lookout for scams and never give out personal or financial information to solicitors. The Attorney General stated that "reports emerged of text messages asking people to click on a link to claim a $1,000 payment, apparently connected to a COVID-19 federal stimulus package. The link most likely contained malware. Never click on any links in unsolicited messages."

Other scams reported include:

Several South Florida law enforcement agencies are issuing alerts about people dressed in white lab coats and masks impersonating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers. The imposters are reportedly knocking on doors and offering free COVID-19 tests. The CDC is not sending people door-to-door to test for COVID-19. If a CDC impersonator shows up at your door, do not let them in. Close the door and call 911.

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is reporting a scam involving fraudsters calling older Americans and offering to mail them free COVID-19 test kits. The scammers claim all they need from the senior to send the free kit is the target’s Medicare number. Never provide health information, or any other personal information, in response to an unsolicited phone call

Anyone encountering a scam should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General's Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

Home Fun Hotline now open

Charlotte County Parks and Recreation is offering a Home Fun Hotline. Recreation staff will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The number parents should call is 941-743-1510. The Home Fun Hotline will allow parents to call and speak to someone at one of the county's recreation centers and get a list of activities parents can do with their children. The activities will range from games that can be played at home or ways to use open spaces in Charlotte County.

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