College of the Desert Community Resources


In light of COVID-19, we want to provide our College of the Desert community with links and information to available public resources and Student Support Services to help those in need during these on-going uncertain times.

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eBook Access at No-Cost

Spend less and study smarter with digital textbooks. For information on available eBooks and textbook resources, visit the College of the Desert’s Virtual Library and Student Resource Guide.

Charter Communications

Charter Communications announced on May 12, 2021, its participation in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help close the digital divide. Millions of households across Charter’s 41-state operating area are eligible for a credit up to $50 per month (up to $75 for households on Tribal Lands) toward qualifying Spectrum Internet plans for the duration of the program.

Charter is offering a variety of broadband options under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and all Spectrum Internet plans available have no modem fees, data caps or contracts and include free self-installation. Interested consumers who are not currently Spectrum customers should visit the Spectrum Website  or call 1-855-662-9946. Current Spectrum customers can learn more on the Charter Website.

Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials from Comcast brings affordable, high-speed internet to your home so you can have greater access to homework, job opportunities, healthcare and benefits, education resources and more. When you’re connected, you’re ready for anything.

College of the Desert Library Resources

View the College of the Desert Virtual Library and Student Resource Guide for additional Free or Low-Cost Internet Access.

Employment Development Division

The CA Employment Development Division provides a variety of support services to employees affected by COVID-19 in California. For the most up-to-date information, visit CA EDD’s resource page.

Labor and Workforce Development Agency

View the summary of State benefits for impacted workers

Reduced Work Hours

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.

Partial claims are for employees whose employers want to keep them but have temporarily laid them off or reduced their hours. A partial Unemployment Insurance claim can be used for any claimant who works less than their normal full-time hours, and whose employers want to keep them. For more information, visit Partial Claims.

Sick or Quarantined Workers

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.


If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments.

Health Care Coverage

Employers are required to maintain health care benefits if you take leave to care for yourself or your dependents under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA). You should consult with your employer or union representative regarding health care coverage during a period of work reduction to see what additional benefits are available to you along with your existing coverage.

For those experiencing job loss, federal law generally requires employers to offer employees and their families temporary extension of health care coverage, also known as COBRA. You may consult with your employer regarding COBRA enrollment. Job loss may be a qualifying life event for enrollment in Covered California, which provides health care coverage to California residents at affordable and subsidized rates.

Seeking Employment

For those seeking employment please learn more about current job opportunities and resources available from Riverside County Workforce Development.

Food Banks

FIND Food Bank’s Free Mobile Market community food distributions and FIND’s network of partner agency Food Pantries and community Feeding Sites will remain open.


You can reach FIND at 760-775-FOOD (3663) or visit their website for more information.

Food Pantries

There are several food pantry distributions available in the Coachella Valley, for more information visit the link below.


Local School District Student Meal Information


C4Yourself is an online application system that allows you to apply for benefits such as cash assistance, food and nutrition as well as medical benefits. To learn more and apply online, visit C4Yourself.

CalFresh / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAPS)

The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods in many markets and food stores. The CalFresh Program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs.

  • For more information and to apply online, visit You may also request a CalFresh application by calling 661-631-6000.

Ordering Groceries

The following are several grocery services that offer grocery delivery (costs may vary).

Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

It is important to remember that you need to care for your own physical and mental health at times like this – and that support and resources are available if you feel a need for help or talk to someone. Riverside University Health System has put together a guide for maintaining mental health and well-being.

Riverside University Health System Hotlines

  • Behavioral Health CARES Line: 800-706-7500

  • Substance Use CARES Line: 800-499-3008

  • 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care: Palm Springs 442-268-7000

At Home Physical Wellness

Following are links to several low and no-cost resources for staying active during the pandemic.

Help is available 24/7 for students or others dealing with emotional distress. Resources include:

  • National Crisis Text Line

    • The Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

    • Phone: Text 741741

  • HELPLine

    • HELPLine is a free, confidential Crisis/Suicide Intervention service. Operated by highly trained volunteers, the line is open 24/7.

    • Phone: 951-686-HELP (4357)

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    • By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

    • Phone: 800-273-TALK (8255)

    • Spanish line: 888-628-9454

    • TTY: 800-799-4TTY (4889)

  • CA Youth Crisis Hotline

    • The California Youth Crisis Line (CYCL) operates 24/7 as the statewide emergency response system for youth (ages 12-24) and families in crisis.

    • Phone: 800-843-5200

Safety Plan

Having a plan in place that can help guide you through difficult moments can help you cope and keep you safe. Through this app, you can customize your own warning signs that a crisis may be developing; coping strategies for dealing with suicidal urges; places for distraction; friends and family members you can reach out to; professionals you can call; methods of making your environment safe; and you own important reasons for living.


Sanvello is a popular app for stress, anxiety, and depression. Use the app to manage daily mental health with tools like mood and health tracking, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive behavior therapy.


PsyberGuide is a non-profit project that aims to help people to use technology to live a mentally healthier life. The organization provides accurate and reliable information about digital products designed to address depression and anxiety disorders, as well as other mental health issues. To discover helpful apps and digital health resources, visit PsyberGuide.

What’s Up?

What’s Up is a free app that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy methods to help you cope with depression, anxiety, stress, and more. The app features a beautiful, modern design, simple headings and easy-to-follow methods to help you navigate to what helps you the most.

SAM (Self-help App for the Mind)

SAM will help you to understand what causes your anxiety, monitor your anxious thoughts and behaviors over time and manage your anxiety through self-help exercises and private reflection.

Utility Assistance

Imperial Irrigation District and Southern California Edison

Energy payment assistance is available in Riverside County for IID and So Cal Edison customers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Please visit each agency’s website for more information.

Coachella Valley Water District and Indio Water Authority

CVWD has partnered with United Way of the Desert to create the Help2Others Customer Assistance Program to help eligible customers who are having trouble paying their water bill.

Applications are available for IWA’s Help 2 Others COVID-19 Water Bill Assistance program. Visit the Help 2 Others Site for additional program details and to fill out the digital application form. Those who do not have access to a computer can call 760-766-2603 during normal business hours.

United Way of the Desert

United Way of the Desert seeks to maintain household stability among Coachella Valley residents financially impacted by COVID-19 through providing up to $500 in funds. For more information, visit the United Way of the Desert Website.

Library Resources

College of the Desert’s Library offers a variety of online resources, including information related to:

  • Canvas and ConferZoom tutorials
  • Online learning tutorials
  • Free Microsoft and other important Apps
  • Off-campus access to library resources
  • Free and reduced textbook information and more

For more information, visit the College’s Virtual Library and Student Resource Guide.

United Lift

United Lift, a joint effort by Lift to Rise, Inland SoCal United Way, and the County of Riverside, provides rental assistance to help keep Riverside County families housed.

FEMA Funeral Assistance Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering a funeral assistance program to provide financial aid for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19. If you are eligible for funeral assistance, you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance. For more information, as well as eligibility details, visit FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

(Last Updated October 19, 2023)