Resource Guide for Culture Workers

Resource Guide for Culture Workers

This resource guide was initiated and compiled by IndieSpace. We are deeply grateful to our colleagues within the organization for the time and energy they invested to make this valuable information available to a wider community.


Housing and Home Utilities

The following resources are for those facing housing insecurity, including the threat of eviction and/or inability to pay rent and utilities. We have also included resources to learn more about affordable housing options.

HUD Rent Relief
Government resources to request access to funds for rent payment, or to seek help if facing eviction. Directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

HUD Resources for New York Residents
Information and government resources local to New York State / New York City related to housing insecurity, rent relief, help with utilities, homelessness, and other topics.

HUD Evictions Guidance
Brief descriptions of federal policies, laws, programs, and resources for preventing eviction for nonpayment of rent. 

NYC Affordable Housing Resources
New York City government resources for affordable housing, as well as for legal assistance and rent supplementation. 

Law Help NY – Housing
Free and low-cost legal assistance on issues related to housing insecurity, including eviction, rent relief, and many other topics. 

Legal Services NYC
Access to free legal assistance for New Yorkers with low income. Here are shortcuts to their resources on housing and tenants’ rights and for those facing foreclosure.

Entertainment Community Fund – Housing
Affordable housing resources and options specifically for performing artists. 

Low Income Senior Housing
A national resource list for affordable senior housing options available for older Americans with a low income.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program
A government program that provides access to funds for home energy bills.

A government program that provides access to funds for phone and internet service.

Food Insecurity

The following resources pertain to free and low-cost meals and groceries, for those facing food insecurity. 

USDA National Hunger Hotline
In addition to the information on the site, you can call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (English) and 1-877-8-HAMBRE (Spanish) to learn about meal sites, food banks, and other resources in your area.

Community Food Connection Program
A map of City-funded food pantries and community kitchens. You can also dial 311 and ask an agent to help you find a Community Food Connection location near you.

Commonly known as “food stamps,” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a government-funded benefit that helps individuals with low income buy food. 

Foodbank NYC
Maps, lists, and other information on local food distribution sites. 

Catholic Charity for Food Insecurity
A list of regional community centers for free food services. 

Farmers Market Nutrition Program
A City program to provide nutritious food to older adults facing food insecurity, in partnership with local farmers markets. 

Food Help NYC
An application that shows a map to find locations for free food in NYC, provided by the City government. 

The Actor’s Pantry
A food pantry specifically created for people working in the performing arts. 

City Meals on Wheels
Meals delivered directly to houses for those who are unable to leave their house to get food.

Feed NYC – Emergency Food and Shelter Program
Grant and funding opportunities for food and shelter.

Healthcare, Dental, and Vision

The following resources are for affordable healthcare, dental, and vision, as well as assistance with health insurance. For resources specific to sexual and reproductive health, please refer to the next section. 

Entertainment Community Fund – Artists Health Insurance
Information and individual counseling for performing arts professionals who need to enroll in health insurance. They also provide additional resources on low-cost health services. 

A New York City Government program to help New Yorkers enroll in health insurance. Fill out a form in order to be contacted by a specialist who can help you in your language. 

NYC Care
A health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance.

Free Clinics – New York
A comprehensive list of free and sliding-scale medical clinics in New York State. 

Free Dental – New York
A comprehensive list of free and sliding-scale dental clinics in New York State. 

Oral Health from NYC Health
City government resource for oral and dental health, including a list of low-cost dental providers in NYC.

Kress Vision Program
Part of the Weill Cornell Medicine Community Clinic, this program aims to provide free comprehensive vision care for those who lack health insurance.

National Eye Institute
National resources for free or low-cost eye care from the National Institutes of Health. 

The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts
In partnership with the Entertainment Community Fund, the Friedman Health Center provides primary and specialist care to those in the performing arts. 

Weill Cornell Medicine Center for the Performing Artist
A comprehensive clinic geared towards performing artists, from one of the top medical institutions in NYC. In addition to more general services, they provide treatment for conditions that may specifically affect performing artists, such as vocal or movement disorders and injuries. 

Law Help NY – Health
Free and low-cost legal assistance on health topics, including insurance coverage, Medicare/Medicaid, immigrant health, and many other topics. 

Sexual and Reproductive Health

The following resources are for sexual and reproductive health. This includes free STI screenings, access to birth control and abortion services, and related topics. 

NYC Sexual Health Clinics
Government-funded health clinics providing free or low-cost testing/treatment for STIs, as well as services related to medication abortion. 

NYC Sexual Health Express Clinics
Fast and free testing for common STIs, only for those currency experiencing no symptoms.

New York State Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program
A network of government-funded clinics that provide birth control, emergency contraception, free condoms, STI screening and treatment, and referrals at a variety of cost structures.

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
The local chapter of Planned Parenthood, providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services at a variety of cost structures, as well as gender-affirming care. 

GMHC provides free testing for common STIs, with a special focus on testing and care for those living with HIV/AIDS. Though originally founded to support gay men, GMHC fully welcomes people of all genders and identities. 

New York State Abortion Providers
A list of abortion providers in New York State, from the New York State Department of Health.

Law Help NY – Abortion and Contraception
Free and low-cost legal assistance on reproductive topics, including on the legality of abortion and birth control, and the legal rights of pregnant people in New York State.

Legal Assistance – Multiple Topics

The following organizations provide free or low-cost legal assistance to individuals dealing with a range of issues, including most of the ones listed in this resource guide. If you need legal help with any sort of problem, these sites are a great place to start. 

Mutual Aid Groups

Mutual aid groups are grassroots organizations that offer assistance to members of a very particular community, often run by volunteers from within that community. Many mutual aid organizations prefer not to publicize their work directly, and instead rely on word-of-mouth within their communities – especially those that serve marginalized groups, such as undocumented individuals. 

However many aid groups do have an online presence, particularly those that have a broad neighborhood focus (such as food pantries and donation centers), or those that are affiliated with formal nonprofits.

Mutual Aid NYC is a great central resource for mutual aid activities throughout NYC, and their site offers a database of local mutual aid organizations in all five boroughs

Mental Health

The following resources provide information and assistance with a variety of mental health issues, including suicide prevention and crisis intervention, treatment for specific mental health concerns, and low-cost therapy. 

988 (fka NYC Well)
988 is New York City’s mental health hotline covering everything from immediate suicide prevention and crisis counseling, to referrals to further resources. You can call the hotline, text, or chat with an operator via the website. Operators are available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. You can also call 988 to request a Mobile Crisis Team for yourself or another person. 

Thrive NYC 
A comprehensive guide to New York City mental health initiatives and resources, including avenues of support. 

SAMHSA National Helpline
Information and treatment referral for those experiencing mental health or substance misuse disorders, as well as their families and loved ones. 

Mental Health Resources for New Yorkers in the LGBTQI+ Community
A list of wide-ranging mental health resources for queer and transgender individuals in NYC. The list is published by ThriveNYC, but primarily consists of organizations and nonprofits that are not directly affiliated with the government. 

Mental Health Resources for LGBTQIA+ Artists (from IndieSpace)
A previously published IndieSpace post with resources, spaces, and therapists that have been personally recommended to us by LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals and/or researched and vetted by the IndieSpace team.

Mental Health Resources for Black Theatre Artists (from IndieSpace)
A previously-published IndieSpace post with mental health resources for Black theater artists. This shares healing resources, therapist and counseling directories, and Black mental health podcasts.

National Eating Disorders Association
Information and treatment referrals for those struggling with eating disorders. 

Creatives Care
A New York City nonprofit that provides free, personalized guidance and referrals for artists and creatives seeking mental health treatment. 

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
A nonprofit that provides low-cost therapy services to those who do not have health insurance, or whose insurance lacks adequate mental health coverage. 

Low Cost Therapy NYC
A comprehensive guide to different kinds of low-cost therapy services in New York City. 

Assistance for Those Experiencing Violence and Abuse

The following resources are for those experiencing interpersonal violence and abuse, including intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Support
Government resources and a 24-hour hotline for those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, and victims of human trafficking. Includes information on shelters and temporary housing options.

Safe Horizon
A victim assistance association providing comprehensive services for those experiencing abuse, including domestic violence and sexual assault. They offer everything from counseling and support, to shelters. 

New Destiny Housing
Shelters and housing options for survivors of domestic violence and their children. 

Urban Resource Institute
Domestic violence help, including pet-friendly shelters, for individuals of all identities who are impacted by violence and abuse. 

NYC Anti-Violence Project
Wide-ranging support for LGBTQ & HIV-affected survivors of all forms of violence, including intimate partner violence and sexual violence, as well as hate crimes. They also offer legal services for survivors. 

New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
An extremely comprehensive resource guide for survivors of sexual violence and abuse, ranging from helplines to legal aid to healthcare.

Legal Services NYC
Access to free legal assistance for New Yorkers with low income. Here is a shortcut to their resources on family law & domestic violence.

Safe and Affordable Transportation

Public transportation for eligible customers who have health conditions that prevent them from accessing subway or bus services.

Fair Fairs
An NYC government program to provide low-income individuals with a discounted MetroCard, based on eligibility. 

Fare-Capping with OMNY
OMNY offers a program that caps weekly MetroCard expenditures at $34 per week / $17 per week for reduced-fare customers. If you reach the capped amount within a one-week period, you ride free for the rest of the week. 

Immigrants and Undocumented Individuals

The following resources are for immigrants and undocumented individuals on subjects such as work and visas, healthcare, education, immigrant rights, and services for those facing deportation. 

The New York Immigration Coalition
Broad-based services for immigrants and their families, including health, education, legal resources, advocacy, and legal aid for those at risk of deportation. 

Legal Aid Society – Immigration and Deportation
Legal resources and emergency assistance for individuals who need help with family reunification, obtaining lawful status, or who are facing deportation.

Law Help NY – Immigration
Free and low-cost legal assistance on issues related to immigration, including citizenship, employment, deportation and many other topics. 

Legal Services NYC
Access to free legal assistance for New Yorkers with low income. Here is a shortcut to their resources on immigration and immigrants’ rights.

NYC Care
A health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance, including undocumented immigrants. 

Health Insurance Link for Immigrants
Information about New York City health insurance options, as well as low cost-care, for people of various immigration status. Includes links to resources in multiple languages.

Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs 
New York City government programs and resources for immigrants, such as access to city services, legal services, healthcare, language services, and so forth. 

Make the Road New York
A nonprofit that assists immigrants with many of the challenges they face – including legal issues, discrimination, violence and exploitation, and access to healthcare and education. Services are open to immigrants of all identities, backgrounds, and legal statuses. 

Riissettlement – Immigrant Services
A nonprofit that offers programs for immigrants in the Queens area, such as language classes, citizenship preparation classes, and legal services.