Social services during the COVID-19 pandemic
It can be a stressful time for your family during the pandemic, especially with a new baby. Below are social service resources to support your family if you are in need.
For all programs, please call first to check on hours and if you need an appointment. Wait times on the phone may be long as more people need help and there may be fewer people to answer calls.
An easy first step to take when you need support is to call United Way 211. Dial 651-291-0211. (You can dial 2-1-1 if you're calling from the metro Twin Cities.)
The 211 operator can help with:
- Baby clothing
- Energy assistance (heat and electricity October- April)
- Food shelves closest to you
- Other needs
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is available to all pregnant and breastfeeding women and all children birth to five, regardless of legal status. Appointments can be scheduled by phone.
- Hennepin County, 612-348-6100
- Ramsey County, 651-266-3800
- Anoka County, 763-324-4230
- Dakota County, 651-554-5611
- Food shelves can help with food. And often diapers, personal care items, and cleaning supplies.
- For your school aged children, please check with your child’s school how they can help with food.
- To apply for benefits like food support/SNAP/EBT and cash assistance you need to apply with your county. Visit this website or contact the county you live in:
- Hennepin County 612-596-1300
- Ramsey County 651-266-3800
- Anoka County 763-422-7200
- Dakota County. 651-554-5611
Note, when you call for SNAP/EBT, there might be a long wait time.
Baby clothing and diapers
- Diaper banks can give you part of what your baby will need during the month. Usually there is limited supply and you may need an appointment. Please check with the 211 operator for diaper banks closest to you.
- Tandem offers diapers, baby clothing and items that you can get every three months. They also offer some baby care items at a reduced price.
- You must call in advance, 612-823-0301.
- Birthright offers a package of baby clothing.
- You must call in advance for an appointment, 612-338-2353.
- United Way, 651-291-0211
Some programs allow you to earn points toward baby items and clothing, by being part of a program or learning:
- Northside Pregnancy Options. Please call for more details, 612-522-6589.
- Please call for more details at the location nearest you.
- Minneapolis, 612-522-6589.
- Richfield, 612-866-7643
- Paul, 651-730-4342
For more or other places to get baby clothing and clothing for the family, call United Way 2-1-1.
For pack and plays or portable cribs, please ask your provider.
If you have been assigned to a Medical Assistance Plan (Hennepin Health, Ucare, Health Partners, Blue Cross/Blue Shield), you can get a free child car seat. Please ask your provider about this.
This is a good reason to apply for Medical Assistance.
If you live in Dakota County and don’t have insurance or are not assigned to a MA plan, you can call 952-891-7523.
- Housinglink provides a listing for lower cost housing. You can check the website or download an app for alerts.
- Family shelters. Both Hennepin County and Ramsey County have family shelters. You must have your benefits – such as Medical Assistance – from the county where you ask for shelter.
- Hennepin County
A pregnant woman is considered a “family.” If you don’t have an older child living with you, you will need to have a proof of pregnancy that you can get from your clinic.
Call the Family Shelter Team, 612-348-9410.
- Hennepin County
- Ramsey County
You must have an older child living with you, or you must be at least 38 weeks pregnant to qualify for family shelter.
For shelter options if you have a child living with you or are not yet 38 weeks pregnant, call 651-291-0211.
- Ramsey County
- Home Line can help if you are having difficulties with your landlord or you are being evicted. Please call 612-728-5770.
When you first get on Medical Assistance you will use MN NET (866-467-1724) to schedule a ride. After picking a Medical Assistance plan, you must call your plan to arrange for rides to appointments:
- Medica, 952-992-2322
- Hennepin Health, 1-800-647-0550 or 1-888-859-0202
- HealthPartners, 952-883-7400
- BlueCross/BlueShield, 1-866-340-8648
- UCare, 1-800-203-7225
Your Medical Assistance plan will provide transportation to medical appointments
- You must make arrangements for your transportation 3 days in advance.
- You must set up the ride for yourself. There can be a long wait time to do this.
- If you want a ride home from your medical appointment, you need to use the same transportation service provided by your plan that took you to the appointment.
For bus information please call 612-373-3333.