Now more than ever, it’s important that we work together as a community to take care of all our neighbors. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, LU is communicating with partners in Lawrenceville and beyond to anticipate needs in the weeks ahead. Please know that we’re here for you and don’t hesitate to reach out with your needs during this uncertain time: 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org. For general guidance and information, follow the most recent updates from the CDC, the Allegheny County Health Department, and PA’s Department of Health. Residents can create an account at www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts to subscribe for COVID-19 alerts from ACHD under the categories of Health Department/Health & Environment. See below for a number of local resources. For additional ones, dial 2-1-1, check out Rep. Innamorato’s COVID-19 Resource Guide, and this Pittsburgh Mutual Aid Spreadsheet.
LU no longer has access to its office and our staff is working from home. We continue to be available by phone at 412-802-7220 and email at info@LUnited.org. All LU block watches and community meetings in March are cancelled. All LU committee meetings in March will be conducted via phone/video conference, or else postponed. Goodwill generously provided adjacent space for us to continue 412 Food Rescue donations. We’ll update the community with ongoing changes at www.LUnited.org/coronavirus, social media, the LU e-newsletter, and targeted robo-dials to older adults. Please assist us with sharing information/resources with hard-to-reach neighbors.
For older adults & others at higher risk
According to the CDC, older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, and are recommended to stay home and away from other people (at least 6 feet).
The CDC further encourages residents “to seek out a ‘buddy’ who will check on and help care for them if they get sick.” For residents who don’t know how to seek out a “buddy,” 100+ Lawrenceville residents have stepped up to support those who are at higher risk from COVID-19 by offering to do check-in phone calls, pick up and deliver groceries/prescriptions, prepare home-cooked meals, share relevant health information, provide pet care, take out the garbage, collect mail, and more. We encourage older adults and residents with serious chronic medical conditions to take the advice of the CDC and accept a “Buddy” to have a support system (or a back-up to your existing support system) in the days and weeks ahead. Sign up here or by calling 412-802-7220.
Locally, all known pharmacies in the neighborhood currently offer delivery services:
- Wilson’s Pharmacy (412.621.6471) offers free delivery typically between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Simply call ahead with your order. They can also include other items like drinks/candy, etc.
- Shop N Save Pharmacy (412.784.8600) offers free delivery during their regular hours (9 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekends). Just call ahead. They’re a separate entity than the grocery store and can’t include groceries, but can order over-the-counter medications that are out of stock and include that for delivery with a day’s notice.
- The Rite Aids in Lawrenceville (412.682.6970) and Bloomfield (412.621.9987) offer delivery of prescriptions on weekdays in the later afternoon if you call the day before. Depending on Rite Aid Wellness status, there may be a $3 delivery fee. Possible to add over-the-counter medicines for delivery with prescription.
For folks facing food, housing, & financial insecurity
- Registered members of the Lawrenceville Healthy Active Living (Senior) Center can now get pre-packaged meals given out 11 AM to 1 PM on M/W/F.
- The Lawrenceville Food Pantry is open Mondays & Tuesdays from 11 AM to 12:30 PM at St. Mary’s Lyceum. No eligibility documents are required for the first pick-up. Can do delivery, but call ahead to 412.682.3877.
- Piazza Talarico & Papa Joe’s Wine Cellar is collecting donations and packing food to feed Pittsburgh children.
- Call LU before noon on Fridays if you want to pick up food through our 412 Food Rescue donation program: 412-802-7220.
- There’s a moratorium on evictions in Allegheny County through April 14. You cannot be evicted during this time. “Self-help” evictions (changing locks, turning off utilities) are illegal and should be reported to the PA Office of Attorney General.
- COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Fund: 412.227.4163, ura.org/pages/covid-19
- LU also has some small funds for folks experiencing housing instability right now: 412.802.7220.
- All utility terminations are prohibited while PA is under a Proclamation of Disaster.
- The Dollar Energy Fund is accepting grant applications for utilities and customer assistance program applications by phone at 800-683-7036 and online at www.dollarenergy.org.
- Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essential customers (more info at https://www.internetessentials.com/ or call 855-846-8376).
- Hebrew Free Loan Association is offering up to $5,000 in interest-free loans to cover the financial impact of COVID-19. More information at http://hflapgh.org/hfl-unveils-loan-program-to-address-financial-impact-of-covid-19-pandemic/
- Unemployment compensation: check out this helpful guide to accessing unemployment compensation during COVID-19, written by one of LU’s Board members, Marlene van Nelson.
- Just Harvest: get support applying for public benefits like SNAP – 412.431.8960.
- Pittsburgh Presbyterian Lazarus: emergency assistance up to $250 – 412.323.1400.
- For artists: PGH Artists Emergency Fund
- For members of the service industry: Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar, Greater Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Mutual Aid, Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund, Children of Restaurant Employees.
- Re:Solve: crisis hotline, 24-hour service – 888-796-8226
- PSAN “Warmline”: mental health support by phone, 10am-midnight – 866-661-9276.
- Disaster Distress Hotline (SAMHSA): 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- PA Dept. of Health: text “PA” to 741-741
- Pittsburgh Public Schools is changing their “Grab & Go” meals starting 3/23. Starting then, meals will be distributed 11 AM to 1 PM Tuesday and Friday. Multiple meals will be distributed both days. PPS is also using these sites to distribute grade-level activity packets for students out of school. There will be 30 “Grab & Go” locations: none of them are in Lawrenceville/Bloomfield/Garfield. The nearest locations are Pittsburgh Obama (515 N Highland Ave), Pittsburgh Weil (2250 Centre Ave), and Pittsburgh Spring Hill (1351 Damas St).
- Multiple volunteers have offered to provide childcare and even education services for local families. Contact LU at 412-802-7220 for more information.
For the helpers
- The Lawrenceville Food Pantry needs volunteers to pack bags anytime between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. Call 412-704-5640 if you can help.
- Join over 100 Lawrenceville neighbors and sign up to become a “Buddy” to a higher risk neighbor by checking in with them by phone, sharing updates, delivering groceries/prescriptions/needed items, or sharing a meal. To sign up, please complete THIS FORM or call 412-802-7220.
Stop the stigma
Per the CDC, “Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include: persons of Asian descent, people who have traveled, and emergency responders or healthcare providers. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people. Stigmatized groups may be subjected to social avoidance or rejection; denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment; and physical violence.
Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and our entire community. Stopping stigma is important to making Lawrenceville resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with neighbors.”
Support our small business community
See Lawrenceville Corporation’s constantly updating list of what local businesses are currently open, with suggestions for how to support them right now.
The 2020 vendor application for the Lawrenceville Farmers Market is now available. Interested applicants can mail an application or send a completed digital copy via email. For questions, please reach out to our Sarah Cole, our Market Manager: market@LUnited.org.
For more information on the Lawrenceville Farmers Market, please click HERE or call us at 412-802-7220.
Want to get a street tree outside your home for FREE? Please fill out the tree request form HERE and submit the completed version to info@LUnited.org or email@example.com.
To open as a PDF, please click HERE.
Announcement of Open Position
Lawrenceville Farmers Market Manager
Part-Time (10-15 hours/week), Year Round
About Lawrenceville United
Lawrenceville United (LU) is an inclusive, resident-driven community-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the quality of life of all Lawrenceville residents. LU is an equal opportunity employer and qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives and represent marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply. For more information about LU, please visit www.LUnited.org.
About the Lawrenceville Farmers Market
The mission of the Lawrenceville Farmers Market is to provide access to fresh, locally-produced foods for all Lawrenceville residents and visitors in an inclusive, vibrant, and safe community space. The Market aims to lower barriers to fresh, healthy food especially for low-income families, older adults, and individuals with food insecurity or low food access and to support the development of a strong and sustainable local food system with farmers and small business owners. Originally created by a group of volunteer residents in 2011, the Lawrenceville Farmers Market now runs as an official LU program every Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. at Arsenal Park, June through October. In 2019, the Market saw considerable growth after a move from Saturday afternoons to Tuesday evenings, with an average of 21 vendors and 822 attendees on a given Market day. Moving into the 2020 season, our goals are to continue the momentum generated in 2019 towards building a sustainable and quality Market, improve the diversity of vendors and variety of products, and improve participation and programming for target populations.
Summary of Position
The Farmers Market Manager is the main staff person responsible for the day-to-day planning and operation of the Lawrenceville Farmers Market, with support from the full-time Community Engagement & Program Manager. The position averages approximately 10-15 hours per week, year-round, with opportunity for more. Key responsibilities include:
- Marketing and public relations: including creating and distributing all marketing materials (banners, flyers, postcards, etc.), managing press coverage, updating directories, editing website, operating multiple social media channels for the Farmers Market, and sending a weekly e-newsletter (via Mailchimp).
- Vendor recruitment: aggressively seeking out vendors consistent with the policies and targets of the Market, retaining past vendors, and managing collection of documentation/paperwork.
- Vendor management: serving as point person to all vendors, communicating with all vendors on a weekly basis, managing relationships and problem solving, supporting vendors to ensure a positive and profitable. experience, designing the Market layout, and organizing pre- and mid-season vendor orientations/check-ins.
- Programming: planning, marketing, and implementing programming for the Market, including live music, chef demos, and programming for target populations (families, older adults, and low-income populations).
- Administration: collection of vendor fees, weekly record-keeping and filing, completing weekly timesheets, and filling out relevant forms related to permits for the site.
- Volunteer recruitment and management.
- Fundraising: supporting recruitment of sponsorships, grant applications/reporting, fundraising events, and managing relationships with donors and sponsors.
The Farmers Market Manager reports to and works closely with the Community Engagement & Program Manager. Weekly check-ins are expected, as well as monthly all-staff meetings. Other than the Market days (Tuesdays), hours are flexible. A Lawrenceville Farmers Market Advisory Committee, comprised of volunteers, provides advisory guidance and support to the Market.
- Minimum 1 year experience working in food access, agriculture, or program/event coordination.
- Marketing/outreach experience preferred.
- Knowledge and command of Gmail, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor), Microsoft Office, Google Drive office suite, WordPress, Mailchimp, and Canva.
- Valid PA Driver’s License (and comfort with driving LU’s pick-up truck).
- Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and set-up and break-down Market supplies, including tents, tables, and a variety of supplies.
- Act 33, 34, and 73 clearances (LU can file for this if not already in hand).
- Passion for and dedication to food access and locally-sourced agriculture
- Strong ability to keep organized and prioritize a variety of tasks with limited hours
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with diverse populations and a multitude of stakeholders, including vendors, customers, sponsors, and partners
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Ability to work independently, take initiative, and handle a variety of activities concurrently in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to problem solve in the moment, handle complaints and disagreements that may arise
- Team-oriented, open-minded, and positive approach to all aspects of work
- Comfort with being the on-site point person for many vendors, patrons, and partners
Wages & Benefits
- 24 hours of paid sick leave per year
- Simple IRA offered with up to 3% matching funds from Lawrenceville United
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to HR@LUnited.org by April 3rd, 2020.
- Exceeding the maximum number of surface parking spaces (75 permitted and 520 requested)
- Exceeding the maximum number of parking between a building and the river (15 permitted and 96 requested)
Note: they are not seeking a variance to exceed the maximum number of parking spots allowed under the RIV zoning. The variances are for the way these parking spots are oriented (i.e. in a surface lot, as opposed to a structured parking facility, and the number between the building and the river).
- Revised site plan
- Tree plan for the site
- Renderings of the riverfront amenity space (which will be open to the public)
- Full zoning package
- Summary of improvements
- Traffic impact study
- Constructing a 1.7 acre green space along the river open to public with a 10′ wide riverfront trail for biking/walking, and 32 public bike parking spaces (and a public bike repair station).
- Addition of a Healthy Ride station on 51st Street.
- Planting 349 trees on site, including 60 trees of specific species requested by us that are shown to most reduce particulate matter air pollution, 1,550 shrubs and 3,000 perennials/grasses.
- Contributing a minimum of $75,000 towards community benefits, including a new bus shelter & pedestrian safety improvements at 51st & Butler.
- Commitment to hire Minority & Women Business Enterprises.
- Commitment to join the Pittsburgh 2030 District, which supports building owners to strive toward 50% reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 2030.
- As part of effort to reduce vehicle trips to the site: providing 150 bike parking spaces with showers and lockers, requiring future tenants to be JobPerks employers, providing carpool parking spaces in priority areas of the lot, and designating a Transportation Demand Management coordinator that will report on progress.
Lawrenceville United’s Board of Directors is recommending amendments to the organization’s By-Laws, which requires approval from our members. These amendments were recommended to improve Lawrenceville United’s Board Officer election process, improve the eligibility deadline to be a candidate for LU’s Board of Directors, and open up to 3 positions of the 15-member Board to “Legacy” residents — for people who lived in the Lawrenceville community but are no longer residents. The other 12 Board positions will still have a requirement to be a current resident. If you have any questions about these proposed changes, or wish to talk it through in person, please contact 412-802-7220.
You must be a current member of Lawrenceville United in order to vote. Not sure of your Membership status? Contact info@LUnited.org or call 412-802-7220. Want to become a member? Click here to join or renew today.
The deadline to vote is 2/29/2020. Thank you for your participation!
VIEW the proposed By-Laws amendments here.
VOTE on the proposed By-Laws amendments using form below, or clicking here.
The first Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting of 2020 was held on January 28th at 6 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Lawrenceville branch. There were approximately 40 people in attendance.
- State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl introduced himself as the state representative for 6th Ward (Lower Lawrenceville) and parts of 9th Ward (Central Lawrenceville). He noted Rep. Sara Innamorato covers the 10th Ward (Upper Lawrenceville). He noted he has been an advocate to help acquire funding for Arsenal Park’s master plan implementation, as well as the Lawrenceville community groups and affordable housing in Lawrenceville and beyond. He noted that budget season is coming around and he will be advocating for quality schools. He also noted that his office will be hosting a shredding event at Busy Beaver in the months ahead, and that his office is able to help residents get Senior Citizen ConnectCards to ride the Port Authority for free.
- PWSA presented on their lead line replacement program and noted that large portions of Lower and Upper Lawrenceville are on the schedule. They are seeking permissions to replace private lead lines for free at the same time that they replace the public lead lines. A list of streets is available here. Residents can check pgh2o.com/leadmap to see if their property is eligible, or call PWSA’s Lead Help Desk at 412.255.8987. See PWSA’s full presentation HERE.
- Dr. Heath Johnson, a crime analyst with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, provided a presentation on 2019 crime trends across Lawrenceville. Click HERE to view that presentation. Key takeaways were: citywide crime was down in 2019 and even more pronounced in Lawrenceville; the most sizeable decrease in Lawrenceville has been in Violent Crimes, down 56% over 5 year average; concentrations remain along Butler Street corridor (51st-55th and 40th-45th), which is expected in a busy commercial district; heroin overdoses dropped significantly between 2017 and 2018 with modest increases in 2019; there have been small increases in some “Nuisance” crimes, and large decreases in others.
- Zone 2 Police shared some safety tips for residents. Thefts from auto are down, but residents should continue to take belongings out of their cars, as criminals do not break into vehicles that are empty. Continue to watch out for unoccupied houses under construction, as these have been targeted for burglaries for tools and construction equipment when the contractors have gone home for the night.
Please let us know what content you would like to see for future Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meetings: info@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220.
As you likely heard or noticed, Pittsburgh-area air quality, particularly in Lawrenceville, was terrible in December. Air monitor readings at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Liberty monitor in Clairton were frequently at or near the worst in the country.
In Lawrenceville there were very high readings of PM 2.5 – hazardous particles (“particulate matter”) that are tiny enough to be absorbed into our bloodstream after being inhaled. It’s unclear if those readings were mainly due to what was spewing out of Clairton Coke Works.
What is certain is four things:
1) Clairton Coke Works is a primary source of air pollution in the county’s airshed. The plant has regularly violated pollution limits in its many decades of operation. It and nine other industrial sources comprise the Toxic Ten, which put out more than 70% of the air pollution from all industrial sources in the county. Two of the Toxic Ten, McConway & Torley and Pressure Chemical, are in Lawrenceville.
2) Our county’s air quality has repeatedly received poor ratings from the American Lung Association, and we were one of only 10 U.S. counties to get all Fs in ALA’s yearly evaluation in 2019. Allegheny County air pollution puts us in the top 2% for risk of cancer.
3) The smog that befell Pittsburgh and the county for six days was due to a temperature inversion. This change in weather allows a warm air mass to trap a cold air mass close to the ground along with all the air pollution that would otherwise blow away. Some say climate change will make temperature inversions much more frequent.
4) Lawrenceville and everyone in the county, particularly folks in Clairton and those most exposed to and vulnerable to toxic air, need more accountability and responsiveness from county government.
That’s why LCAN joined fellow members of the Breathe Collaborative on January 10 in calling out the ongoing inadequate response from County Exec. Rich Fitzgerald, County Council, and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to air pollution, and for a qualified permanent director of the ACHD. ACHD is the government agency that has the authority to regulate local air pollution in order to protect public health. All of our county officials must do much more to take this mandate seriously.
The following testimony was delivered at an ACHD Board meeting that day by Christine Brill, a 20-year resident of Lawrenceville and a founding member of Lawrenceville Clean Air Now (LCAN).
I live less than a mile from two of Allegheny County’s Toxic Ten polluters: Pressure Chemical and McConway & Torley. I am deeply concerned about pollution in our region and the health of my family. I signed up to speak in December, when Pittsburgh’s 2019 Toxic Christmas Smog was still thick in my memory.
Pittsburgh’s 2019 Toxic Christmas Smog reminds us how bad it can get when polluters conduct business as usual even when EXISTING technology and meteorological analysis predict temperature inversions for the region. Early Christmas week, informed people – notably, not the ACHD – accurately posted on social media sites a warning that local air quality would be disastrous for 5-6 days. It was.
I am grateful for Interim Director Ron Sugar’s announcement about taking action to limit emissions during weather-related events. But he implied that regulations and weather technology do not currently exist. This is an excuse for inaction and delay.
I will now read from a portion of the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Allegheny County Health Department, Article XXI, Part F, Regulation 2106.01, Air Pollution Episodes:
a. General. The purpose of this Part is to provide the Department with the authority to decrease the severity and duration of air pollution episodes by requiring staged reductions in the emission of air contaminants and general reductions in activities which place demands upon air pollution sources or which result in generation of air contaminants either directly or indirectly, in conjunction with air quality measurements and meteorological forecasts. The goal of these reductions is the avoidance of conditions which may result in significant harm to human health or
Effective Date: 10/20/1995
According to the EPA website, this has been ON THE BOOKS since 1995. What are we waiting for? I’m not a lawyer but it seems like the Health Department already has power and authority – it has simply chosen to do little to nothing.
Prioritize air quality regulation. It affects YOU! It affects everyone in our region. DO SOMETHING! Your INACTION speaks louder than words.
Want to be a part of LCAN’s efforts to make the air in our neighborhood and the county safe to breathe?
- Learn more on our page.
- Come to our next monthly meeting on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10am in the lower level of Lawrenceville Library.