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. Existing inequities, including racial disparaties, have been exposed and exacerbated during this time. 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.
- Critical Community Needs Fund (Poise Foundation): The purpose of the CCNF is to provide support to small, Black Led Organizations (BLOs) responding to critical needs in the Black community resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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. They can also always use donations of wrapped snacks and single-serve drinks. 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.
- Refugee Assistance Fund: Help Hello Neighbor provide direct cash assistance to refugee families in need.
- Pittsburgh COVID-19 LGBTQIA Emergency Relief Fund organized by SisTers PGH
- Foster Love Project: Their mission is providing love in action to foster children as well as support to the families who are providing care for them. You can donate to their COVID-19 fund to help them meet requests for things like diapers, formula, wipes, feminine products, cleaning supplies and more.
- Donate to the Double Play project: Support local restuarants and people facing hunger with a single donation.
- Volunteer virtually with 412 Food Rescue
- Volunteer with United Way Southwestern PA – Find virtual and in-person opportunities to provide help during COVID-19.
- Pittsburgh Cares 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.
- Northside Buddy System – Northside Leadership Conference and The Northside Chronicle have partnered to create a buddy system for Northsiders who want to give back or who need help.
- 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
- Write notes to senior residents at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network
Ways to take action and stay engaged:
- Read the statement from the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations on discrimination targeting Asian populations for ways to help combat racism:
- “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.”
- Learn more about the disproportionate racial impacts of COVID-19 (EmbraceRace)
- Vote by mail in Pennsylvania’s Primary Election on June 2 – Rather than heading to the polls in person, apply for a mail-in ballot by May 26
- Sign up for action alerts from the Family Care Act campaign, which advocates for paid family and medical leave for all workers in Pennsylvania
- Take action with Start Strong PA to advocate for emergency funding for child care programs in Pennsylvania
- What Black Pittsburgh Needs to Know About COVID-19: Virtual town halls with 1Hood Media and UrbanKind Institute livestreamed every Tuesday at 2 PM
Support Small Businesses:
- PGH Open for Business (During the COVID-19 Crisis) Map – Find out what businesses are open in Pittsburgh via this map created by Allegheny Together
- Gift Card Give Back – The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Strip District Neighbors are teaming up to provide funds for the Gift Card Give Back Initiative. For a limited time, for every gift card you purchase through this site, they will add an extra 25% bonus, with revenue going right to your favorite businesses
- A list of Pittsburgh restaurants offering takeout, curbside pickup, and special menus (Pittsburgh City Paper)
- Pittsburgh Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery (Pittsburgh Magazine)
- 25 of the best Asian restaurants in Pittsburgh – and many deliver (NextPittsburgh)
- Supporting Downtown Pittsburgh’s Small Businesses (Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership)
- 5 Ways to Support Local Small Businesses (Pittsburgh Magazine)
- Bigham Tavern, one of PUMP’s Hometown Hot Spots, is offering home delivery and pick up options
Where to access meals:
- Free Food Distribution Map from the Allegheny County Department of Health
- Pittsburgh Public Schools Offering Grab & Go Meals for Students During Closures (KDKA Pittsburgh)
- Four City Centers to Offer Meals for City Schoolchildren
Other support services available:
- Guide to Help and Financial Breaks During the Pandemic – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has released this guide to unemployment rights and resources during this time.
- 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
- Mayor William Peduto Announces COVID-19 Funding for Residents and Small Businesses (4/28/20)
- Resources for families affected by COVID-19
- Neighbors in Need Crisis Fund (Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation)
- Covid-19 Resources (Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation)
- Community Delivery Hotline for Allegheny County – Call or text for a neighbor to deliver your groceries, medical supplies, and care packages during COVID-19
- Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Resources
- COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Communities
- Hebrew Free Loan Association Pittsburgh
- Employment support from PA Women Work
- 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
- Know your rights to paid leave and paid sick time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Family Values at Work)
- Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs During COVID-19 (Protecting Immigrant Families)
- COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations (National Endowment for the Arts)
- Allegheny County launches website to match people looking for work in health and human services with jobs (Next Pittsburgh)
- Ready Pittsburgh: Resources to help businesses re-open safely (Allegheny Conference)
- Allegheny County Child Care Tool: Search available child care spots at Allegheny County early learning programs in real-time
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.
Check out our other COVID-19 resources: