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Here’s where your family can find help in Pittsburgh during the coronavirus pandemic

Kidsburgh
May04/ 2020

By Pittsburgh news partners

It’s hard to overstate the impact 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 Pittsburgh guide to finding help for yourself. 

This article will be updated. 

Food assistance

Apply to The Emergency Food Assistance Program if you’re out of work or have lost hours or income due to the pandemic. 

Pick up free prepared meals every day from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fishes and Loaves Cooperative Ministries (131 E. Elizabeth Street).

Get grab-and-go meals for school kids at multiple city recreation centers and Salvation Army sites around Pittsburgh. 

The Warren Bar and Burrow and Penn Cove Eatery Downtown are offering meals to service industry workers who’ve lost work due to coronavirus. 

Need formula and food for your family? The Urban League of Pittsburgh can help. Call 886-395-3663. 

Pregnant women, dependent children and caregivers can get help through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. 

Seniors registered with the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging program can get free take-out meals at one of six City Healthy Active Living (Senior) Centers between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

A map of free food distribution sites across Allegheny County is now available. Many of the sites have eligibility requirements, so call ahead to confirm you’re eligible. 

Call the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania at 2-1-1 for help finding food, housing or financial 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 electricity 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. 

Financial assistance for workers and creatives

If you lose your job because of coronavirus, you may be eligible for unemployment. 

Apply for interest-free Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loans of up to $5,000. Loans must be cosigned.

A $2 trillion federal stimulus package includes checks of $1,200 for many single Americans, $2,400 for many married couples, and an additional $500 to parents for each child under the age of 17. Check amounts depend on your income and likely won’t arrive before May.

The Emergency Fund for Artists provides up to $500 in assistance to western Pennsylvania artists experiencing a loss of income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center is offering free financial counseling remotely. Call 1-800-298-0237 to schedule a session. 

Financial assistance for small business owners

Low-interest loans are available to small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.

Relief loans of up to $50,000 are available through local crowdfunding investor platform Honeycomb Credit. 

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is halting all loan payments for URA small business borrowers for the month of April. The URA is also offering Emergency Extended Credit to existing borrowers. 

Attention everyone else: The URA is also streamlining its Micro-Enterprise Loan Program to offer 0% loans for up to 30 small businesses that are not currently URA borrowers.

Financing is available to small Pennsylvania businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak via the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. 

Health 

Here’s guidance on when and how to get tested for COVID-19.

Here’s a list of testing sites in the Pittsburgh area. 

Visit UPMC, AHN and Central Outreach Wellness Center for more information on their testing sites and policies. 

For people in recovery: Alcoholics Anonymous is offering virtual meetings online. Narcotics Anonymous is doing the same. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a hotline — 1-800-662-HELP (4357) — for anyone who needs it. Pennsylvania has a number of hotline options as well.

Pittsburgh’s Steel Smiling organization has launched a free virtual mental health program for those in need.

Frontline workers can find mental health support for COVID-19 with this listing of local therapists offering free appointments. Providers can email to have their name added to list.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, there are resources to help, such as resolve Crisis Services and the Peer Support & Advocacy Network.

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

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are available for free to all users. 

If you have coronavirus questions, the county has a hotline. 

Allegheny County is urging residents to join its electronic notification system for updates. 

Need help understanding all the medical terms you’re hearing and seeing? Let this handy glossary help. 

Find coronavirus information in different languages, via Casa San Jose and Jewish Community Center.

Something not covered here? Check out this list of COVID-19 resources for Pittsburghers or this Pittsburgh Mutual Aid Resources Library. Email [email protected] with suggested additions to this list.

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

Kidsburgh

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