How to get help during the coronavirus pandemic in Pittsburgh

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(Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

(Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

It’s hard to overstate the impacts of the novel coronavirus on American life. Lots of people are hurting. Lots of people need help. But it’s often hard to know just where to find that help — or even what’s available.

So, after listing ways you can help others during the pandemic, we decided to compile this guide to finding help for yourself.

This article will be updated.

Food assistance
Housing help
  • Students who need to move due to outbreak precautions can get 30 days of free storage from U-Haul.
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority Housing Opportunity Fund is offering help to those struggling with rent payments due to COVID-19-related losses in work and wages.
  • Know your rights. Eviction proceedings have been temporarily halted. Also, shutoffs of utilities like gas, water and electric have been halted until further notice.
  • Allegheny County Housing Authority says it’s working with residents who may have their working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • One-time assistance grants of up to $500 are available through the Dollar Energy Fund, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that provides utility assistance to limited-income households. Call 1-800-683-7036 for more info. Utility shutoffs aren’t allowed during the pandemic, but Dollar Energy Fund suggests reaching out now if you find yourself falling behind.
Financial assistance for workers and creatives
Financial assistance for small business owners
Health
Pets
  • Hello Bully, a nonprofit Pit Bull rescue, has a month’s supply of food (enough for 20 dogs and 20 cats) and is offering no-contact delivery to pet owners in need of help.
Stay connected

Other

  • To assist small to midsize nonprofits, tHRive is offering HR-related services and information sharing, including weekly webinars covering everything from handling layoffs and paid leaves of absence to navigating the new regulations and benefits. Webinars will be recorded and available for viewing.
  • If you’re an essential worker in need of child care, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has a tool to help you find it.
  • Small, Black Led Organizations (BLOs) can apply for operating support through the POISE Foundation’s Critical Community Needs Fund.
  • Need help accessing essential resources like food, medical supplies, baby supplies and more? The Community Delivery Hotline of Allegheny County is there to help bridge the transportation gap.
  • To minimize the impact of the “COVID slide,” which experts predict may result in up to a year of learning loss for students, Carnegie Learning has created free at-home learning resources, lessons and videos that are available for the rest of the school year for teachers and students grades 6-12.
  • The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh's Resource Center remains open in a remote capacity, offering emergency and empowerment grants and critical services. They've teamed with United Way, Allegheny County and local food pantries to fill the need for emergency food deliveries to people who cannot leave home.
  • Pennsylvania Women Work's New Choices program is offering free virtual skill-building classes open to all job seekers. Sessions will cover resume writing, practicing online interviews, job applications, current job opportunities and stress management.
  • Benefits Data Trust has created a free hotline (844-876-5996) to help residents of Armstrong, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland and Washington counties receive one-on-one support and submit applications for public benefits, such as SNAP, PACE and Medicaid.

Something not covered here? Check out this list of COVID-19 resources for Pittsburghers or this Pittsburgh Mutual Aid Resources Library. Email cdeppen@theincline.com with suggested additions to this list. This list was last updated May 27, 2020.

The Incline, NEXTpittsburgh, Pittsburgh City Paper, Kidsburgh and PublicSource collaborated to build this resource.

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