GECAC is here and ready to help. Together, we will get our community through this hard time. GECAC offices are closed to the public. The staff is serving clients via the phone, email and virtual. Go to our COVID-19 Guidance page for information on how to receive services.

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COVID-19 Resources & Guidance

GECAC is here and ready to help.
Together, we will get our community through this hard time.

Call GECAC at (814) 459-4581.
GECAC offices are closed to the public but our dedicated staff is serving clients via the phone, email and virtual. 

The wellbeing of our customers and our employees continues to be our paramount concern. As the situation continues to evolve we will be posting new information to keep you updated. 

Click here to view a  message from our CEO

Media Release

GECAC Essential Programs that are Open: (updated April 6, 2020)

  • Area Agency on Aging is serving clients via the phone. Call the Senior Helpline at 814-459-4581 ext. 400. Be sure to leave your phone number so the staff can return your call.  All home visits are currently suspended, but wellness checks via phone will continue. GECAC is working to identify clients who are facing isolation due to the health emergency to ensure that they have the food, supplies, and necessary support.

  • Please continue to call the Older Adult Protective Services (APS) to report elder abuse. Call 814-451-1520 (24/7). Responding to emergencies to support vulnerable older adults requires the work of many GECAC employees.

  • GECAC Meals on Wheels is delivering meals to over 400 low-income seniors throughout Erie County. As the virus spreads, GECAC Meals on Wheels is becoming more in demand and we are having to adapt to keep the vulnerable populations we serve safe.

  • Due to the state mandate, all seven of GECAC's Senior Center dining sites have been temporarily closed. GECAC rapidly transitioned to home-delivered meals for all clients requesting food to continue meeting the needs of the seniors who rely on meals as a primary source of nutrition. Isolation is always a problem and a deep concern. Our outreach staff is calling their Senior Center members to conduct wellness checks.

  • Ombudsman staff and volunteers are currently restricted from entering any long-term care facilities. The staff and volunteers are communicating with residents and family members via phone to help resolve complaints and ensure the quality of care.

  • Weatherization is accepting crisis calls only. If you are without heat, please contact the County Assistance Office at 814-461-2002 to determine if you are eligible for immediate assistance through the GECAC Weatherization Assistance Program.

  • Erie County Re-Entry Services and Support Alliance (ECRSSA) staff is assisting individuals released from federal, state or county prison. Call (814) 870-5408 to leave a message for a Re-Entry staff member.

  • Housing--although evictions have been suspended by the courts and our office is closed to walk-in services, the housing staff will be completing Coordinated Entry referrals via telephone for homeless or near-homeless individuals and families. Call 814SHELTER (814-743-5837) if you are currently homeless or received an eviction notice from your landlord to be placed on the Coordinated Entry referral list.  Staff will notify you when they receive your referral.

  • Utility Assistance—if you are having difficulties paying your heat bill call (814) 459-4581 ext. 466 or ext. 410 to inquire if you are eligible for Neighbor-for-Neighbor Heat Fund.

Status of all GECAC Programs:

Area Agency on Aging:

  • Area Agency on Aging is serving clients via the phone. Call the Senior Helpline at 814-459-4581 ext. 400. Be sure to leave your phone number so the staff can return your call. All home visits are currently suspended, but wellness checks via phone will continue. GECAC is working to identify clients who are facing isolation due to the health emergency to ensure that they have the food, supplies, and necessary support.
  • Please continue to call the Older Adult Protective Services (APS) to report elder abuse. Call 814-451-1520 (24/7). Responding to emergencies to support vulnerable older adults requires the work of many GECAC employees.
  • Due to the state mandate, all seven of GECAC's Senior Center dining sites have been temporarily closed. GECAC rapidly transitioned to home-delivered meals for all clients requesting food to continue meeting the needs of the seniors who rely on meals as a primary source of nutrition. Isolation is always a problem and a deep concern. Our outreach staff is calling their Senior Center members to conduct wellness checks.
  • To ensure the safety of our seniors, the Retired and Senior Volunteers Program (RSVP) is suspended unless the members are volunteering for an essential service. 
  • To ensure the safety of our seniors, the Foster Grandparents program is suspended.
  • The Caregiver Support program is serving customers. Caregivers fill a special place in the world, particularly during the current difficulty battling COVID-19. Caregivers must be vigilant not only for themselves but for the ones they care for as well. Please contact the Caregiver Support program via email at elondon@gecac.org.
  • APPRISE Medicare Insurance Counseling is being conducted via phone and email.
  • GECAC Meals on Wheels is delivering meals to over 400 low-income seniors throughout Erie County. As the virus spreads, GECAC Meals on Wheels is becoming more in demand and we are having to adapt to keep the vulnerable populations we serve safe.
  • Ombudsman staff and volunteers are currently restricted from entering any long-term care facilities. The staff and volunteers are communicating with residents and family members via phone to help resolve complaints and ensure the quality of care.

 Education:

  • GED Testing is suspended. Keep up the hard work of preparing for your test. More information can be found at https://ged.com/coronavirus-covid-19/
  • GED Classes/Adult Education classes are being held online for all current students.
  • Upward Bound is suspended due to school closings.
  • PAsmart is offering the Injection Molding class with Penn State online. Work Certified is being offered live through virtual classes. 
  • The deadline for the K-12 Tuition Scholarships has been extended to May 15, 2020. 

 Employment & Income:

  • All VITA free tax sites are closed until further notice—no walk-ins or drop-offs. The deadlines to file and pay federal and state income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020. If you have access to a computer and are willing to do your own taxes, H&R Block offers a free site for every household with a  simple return to file your federal and state taxes. https://www.myfreetaxes.com/
  • Work Ready program is being conducted via the phone.
  • Financial literacy is suspended.
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program participants will continue training during the stay at home order if their host agency remained open or if participants have additional training they can complete virtually.
  • Erie Summer Jobs and More (JAM) staff are working to ensure this program will be open in the summer. Employers interested in having a Summer JAM student at their business can contact (814) 459-4581 ext. 418 or slavor@gecac.org. Student applications will be accepted at a later date.

 Housing and Utilities:

  • Housing--although evictions have been suspended by the courts and our office is closed to walk-in services, the housing staff will be completing Coordinated Entry referrals via telephone for homeless or near-homeless individuals and families. Call 814SHELTER (814-743-5837) if you are currently homeless or received an eviction notice from your landlord to be placed on the Coordinated Entry referral list.  Staff will notify you when they receive your referral.
  • Rent Rebate—staff will not be seeing clients in the office.  The application deadline is extended to December 31, 2020. You can submit your Rent Rebate application by downloading the forms at PA Rent Rebate Resources.
  • Weatherization is accepting crisis calls only. If you are without heat, please contact the County Assistance Office at 814-461-2002 to determine if you are eligible for immediate assistance through the GECAC Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • Utility Assistance—if you are having difficulties paying your heat bill call (814) 459-4581 ext. 466 or ext. 410 to inquire if you are eligible for Neighbor-for-Neighbor Heat Fund.
  • HomePLUS is providing on-site services to residents at Schmid Towers and Friendship Apartments.

 Other Initiatives:

  • Erie County Re-Entry Services and Support Alliance (ECRSSA) staff are assisting individuals released from federal, state or county prison. Call (814) 870-5408 to leave a message for a Re-Entry staff member.
  • Getting Ahead mentorships are continuing via phone and email. Virtual training is being planned. The Getting Ahead classes are suspended.

Information and Resources about COVID-19:

Erie County Government

Pennsylvania State Government

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization


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