Schools, businesses, restaurants and more are closing their doors. The CDC is recommending social distancing, perhaps even isolation by the time this is published, yet we still have needs. Out of this unprecedented situation, there are rays of light showing how our community is finding ways to support one another.

NextDoor, a sort of neighborhood version of Facebook, is seeing posts from people willing to help their neighbors out.

Of greatest concern are senior neighbors. Checking in to make sure they have basic provisions – groceries, prescriptions, pet food,  prescriptions, essentials like toilet paper, laundry and body soap, as well as offering to help with yard work or other tasks that can be done while maintaining the recommended six foot distance may help ease the situation for them.

Neighborhood Associations are also working to bring neighbors together. Laurelhurst has created Laurelhurst Neighbor To Neighbor (LN2N) “to organize neighbors to help each other, starting with our neighbors who must shelter in place due to age or medical conditions.” (See more in LNA’s Neighborhood Notes).

PDX Covid-19 Mutual Aid Network has been established and those in need or those that can provide help can visit their website, linktr.ee/pdxmutualaid, or call 503.893.4833.

Those who need support can fill out the form to have food or other supplies delivered to them, keeping in mind that requests will be prioritized for people who are sick, unhoused, disabled, quarantined without pay, elderly, undocumented, queer, trans, people of color, refugees and immigrants.

Those who are able to help out can fill out their “offer support” volunteer form to make deliveries or other help. The option to donate money to the cause is also given for those that want to help out but cannot offer other forms of support.

Vulnerable and elderly populations still able to get out to pick up their own supplies are starting to see grocery stores setting aside certain hours or days for them. Often it is the first hour or two after opening. Check with your local store for more details.

Some restaurants, at least as long as they are allowed to be open, are offering free meals.

Laughing Planet Café was one of the first and they are offering a free kids meal to children who qualify for food assistance.

With their dining rooms closed, to-go orders can be placed in person, over the phone or through delivery service DoorDash. Locations and phone numbers can be found at laughingplanet.com/locations.