Helping People….Changing Lives
Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. is doing our very best to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus and at the same time, be able to continue to help those individuals who are in need.  We are following state and federal guidelines to maintain the health of the children, customers, and staff at COI.

This page is dedicated to providing up-to-date information involving our many programs and services, as well as useful tips to help you stay safe and healthy.

Some of our services are considered essential services and we will be continuing to offer them. These services include the ability to provide basic necessities to those in need and child care. Other services that are not considered essential will be offered via phone.  

You are encouraged to call in to conduct business over the phone at (716) 366-8176 or (716) 661-9430.

Drop boxes are available at the Laughlin Community Action Center,  420 Chandler St., Jamestown and at Connections North, 10825 Bennett Rd., Dunkirk for customers needing to drop off documents.

Rent will still be received at the Michael G. Yerico building, 17 W. Courtney St, Dunkirk.


Is it a cold? Allergies? The flu?  With the heightened awareness of the Coronavirus, how can you tell the difference? These images from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website,  give a very good guide to the differences and similarities in symptoms of respiratory illness.

(click on the image to enlarge.)

(click on the image to enlarge. Spanish version available here.)

If you are a Chautauqua County resident who has lost all or part of your household income due to COVID-19 and you are struggling to pay bills, we may be able to help! COI has a Hardship Fund to provide up to $650 per household to help pay for necessary items such as: food, prescriptions, car payments, diapers, formula, child care necessary for work, health care, school supplies, technology for remote school access, and more.  This Hardship Fund does not include assistance for rent, mortgage, or utility payments but you may be eligible for other programs at COI that can help you with housing issues.  To apply, please call (716) 366-8176 or (716) 661-9430, or begin the intake process by using our website portal.

Housing Information

The New York State’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act has been extended until January 1st, 2021. 

The CDC has also issued a Notice and Order to temporarily halt residential evictions until January 1st, 2021.  

These orders do not relieve the tenants’ obligation to pay rent and the tenants must continue to comply with terms under the lease.

However, tenants qualifying as “Covered Persons” under the CDC Order cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent in violation of the lease if the CDC eviction protections are invoked. Under the Order, public housing and Section 8 tenants are “Covered Persons” with eviction protection if they complete and provide the required Declaration referenced in the Order to their PHA or landlord. A tenant cannot be required to complete the Declaration. However, without it, tenants will not have the CDC eviction protection.

We highly encourage tenants to continue to pay their rent and/or work with their landlord(s) if problems arise. If you need help with your rent, mortgage, or utilities, please call (716) 661-9430 and speak with one of our Housing Specialists to get you the help you need. 



If you are experiencing higher than normal levels of stress, anxiety, or depression during these chaotic times, please know that you are not alone. Studies show that there is a substantial rise in the number of individuals experiencing anxiety and/or depression, most prominently in those that are 18-24 years old.  (CDC: National Center for Health Statistics).


If you feel you need the help of a Mental Health professional, or just someone to listen,  you can call the local Crisis Hotline at 1(800) 724-0461, which is manned 24/7. COI’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team is available for response during evenings and weekends.


Our Home Care team is actively working during the pandemic to continue providing in-home services that enable individuals to live safely at home and avoid institutional care.  We are licensed to provide Home Care services by the NY State Department of Health. Procedures are in place to ensure the health and safety of patients and staff, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), social distancing, increased cleaning/disinfecting, and regular monitoring of temperatures.

If you are interested in receiving Home Care Services or are interested in becoming a Personal Care Aide (PCA), please reach out to us at (716) 366-3335.

Child Care Information

CARES 3 Essential Worker Scholarship is open to any eligible essential worker that uses a regulated child care provider. For more information, or to apply for the scholarship, please click on the CARES 3 Child Care Scholarship button. 

Early Education