For a lot of people in our community, the disruptions we are experiencing because of COVID-19 are more than inconveniences. Many people are especially vulnerable right now, including people without paid sick leave or without the option to work from home, people who are low-income, people who are food insecure, people who are older or who have weakened immune systems, people who are unsafe in their homes, and more. The Pittsburgh community is rallying to offer immediate support for those who need it most.
We have compiled many of the resources that are available and ways to give back below. We hope this will help you find the support you may need during this time and find ways to give back to your community.
Make a donation:
- Pittsburgh Emergency Action Fund: The Pittsburgh Foundation has teamed up with other regional foundations, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and civic government partners to establish an Emergency Action Fund. It will serve as a hub for accepting donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses and distributing those funds rapidly to nonprofits on the front lines of COVID-19 response.
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
- Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar: Support service industry workers who have lost income due to bars and restaurants closing
- Emergency Fund for Artists
- North Side Common Ministries Pleasant Valley Men’s Homeless Shelter: The shelter is in need of the following donations, which can be dropped off at the door to the shelter or ordered through their Amazon Wish List:
- Small size bars of soap
- Disposable razors
- Small deodorants
- Mixed size underwear
- Bethlehem Haven: Bethlehem Haven is asking for donations of meals from local restaurants to help feed shelter residents. Contact Amber Jackson (Development & Volunteer Coordinator) by phone at 412-391-1348 ext. 224 to coordinate a donation.
- Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh: WC&S is seeking donations of supplies – view the list and learn how to donate here.
- Blood Donation Drives with the Jewish Community Center: There is a critical need for blood donations. Make an appointment with the JCC in Squirrel Hill or South Hills to give blood in a safe and controlled environment following CDC and Allegheny County guidelines.
Where to access meals:
- Pittsburgh Public Schools Offering Grab & Go Meals for Students During Closures (KDKA Pittsburgh)
- Chef Claudy Pierre and Arnold’s Tea providing meals after school (Pittsburgh Magazine)
- Four City Centers to Offer Meals for City Schoolchildren
Other support services available + ways to help:
- Free Food Distribution Map from the Allegheny County Department of Health
- COVID-19 Resources for Allegheny County – Information, updates, and resources compiled by the Allegheny Conference and updated frequently.
- Contact United Way Southwestern PA’s 2-1-1 line for help with immediate needs.
- Financial resources available to all Allegheny County residents
- Information for Pennsylvania employees impacted by COVID-19 from the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation
- Resources for families affected by COVID-19
- Neighbors in Need Crisis Fund (Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation)
- Covid-19 Resources (Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation)
- Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Resources
- COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Communities
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority approved the Housing Stabilization Fund to help with utility and mortgage payments for low- and moderate-income Pittsburghers affected financially by COVID-19.
- A compilation of support programs & resources from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Staying Safe During COVID-19
- COVID-19 Buddy System – Pittsburgh Cares is helping to connect older adults with volunteers who can check on and help care for them. You can sign up to be a buddy or to receive a buddy.
- Pittsburgh Mutual Aid Spreadsheet – If you have resources to spare, are able to run errands for people, or are otherwise able to offer support, you can add information to this spreadsheet.
- Abram’s Nation and Radiant Hall invite crafters to help make face masks
Mental health resources:
- City of Pittsburgh mental health resources
- Steel Smiling launches free virtual mental health program during COVID-19 outbreak – Visit Steel Smiling on Facebook every Wednesday for the weekly program.
Support local businesses:
- Bigham Tavern – one of PUMP’s Hometown Hotspots – is offering curbside pickup from 4 PM-10 PM
- A list of Pittsburgh restaurants offering takeout, curbside pickup, and special menus (Pittsburgh City Paper)
- Pittsburgh Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery (Pittsburgh Magazine)
- Downtown Delivers: Pittsburgh Restaurants Offering Delivery and Takeout (Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership)
- Supporting Downtown Pittsburgh’s Small Businesses (Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership)
- Support local stores that have had to close to the public by ordering from them online or purchasing gift cards that will help them pay the bills now, and that you can use at a later date.
Ways to take action and stay engaged:
- Read the statement from the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations on discrimination targeting Asian populations:
- “You can support our international community through the following actions: buy food, supplies, or a gift card from a locally-owned Asian business; volunteer with a local non-profit serving vulnerable groups; reach out virtually to ensure the well-being of neighbors, friends, and colleagues; speak out when you hear racist and xenophobic comments; encourage reporting of discriminatory and hateful actions- even if PghCHR is not able to investigate these claims, we will always provide resources for agencies that may be able to help.”
- Volunteer virtually with 412 Food Rescue
- Vote by mail in Pennsylvania’s Primary Election – Rather than heading to the polls in person, apply for a mail-in ballot
- Sign up for action alerts from the Family Care Act campaign, which advocates for paid family and medical leave for all workers in Pennsylvania
- Confronting Local Inequities During a Global Pandemic: Virtual Town Hall on 3/20 at 2 PM
- BurghMeetsWorld: How do we build community in a time of social distancing? on 3/25 at 4 PM
Check out our other COVID-19 resources: