Dear Community Members:
The members of the Lawrenceville Fireworks Committee hope this message finds everyone safe and healthy. It is with a great deal of sadness that we must inform you that this year’s July 4th Celebration scheduled for June 27, 2020 at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville is canceled. This was a very difficult decision that the Committee struggled with for quite some time. Some of the issues we have been dealing with included: will we be permitted to have an event and if so what limitations will be placed on the type of celebration we will be permitted to have; the loss of the ability to raise contributions from the business community; the need to consider early cancelation dates that would allow us to cancel event activities without a financial penalty; and most importantly the safety of event attendees and volunteers. The Committee is 100% committed to bringing the event back next year. As a matter of fact, we will be planning a bigger event to celebrate the comeback. The Committee would like to thank you the members of the community for your patience and understanding. Please stay safe and stay healthy.
– The Lawrenceville Fireworks Committee
The Virtual Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting on COVID-19 was held on Tuesday, April 28th at 6 p.m through Zoom, by phone, and through Facebook Live. Huge thanks to our partners at Lawrenceville Corporation, State Rep. Ravenstahl’s office, State Rep. Innamorato’s office, Department of Public Safety, Regional Housing Legal Services, and Just Harvest for attending. For those who missed the meeting, you can watch the video HERE through Zoom or HERE through Facebook Live
For the presentations from the meeting, please see below:
- Housing resources for tenants & homeowners – Regional Housing Legal Services
- Updates & unemployment compensation – Rep. Sara Innamorato
- How to apply for public benefit programs – Just Harvest
For our monthly Public Safety Meeting, we can’t safely meet in person – so please join us for a virtual meeting by Zoom to discuss COVID-19 and local resources for resilience on Tuesday, April 28th from 6-7:30pm.
- Bob Damewood of Regional Housing Legal Services, who will share housing resources and information about the moratoriums on evictions;
- One of our PA State Representatives, Sara Innamorato, who will share information on unemployment compensation;
- Ann Sanders, Just Harvest Public Policy Advocate, who will talk about how to sign up for benefits such as SNAP.
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 has limited access to its office and our staff is mainly 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 UPDATES ON NEIGHBORHOOD COVID-19 TEST RESULTS
For up to date information and neighborhood-level data on COVID-19 testing results, visit this Allegheny County Health Department website. It’s very important to remember that testing has been limited and many people who have contracted COVID-19 don’t show symptoms even as they unknowingly carry the bug far and wide. Please stay safe, stay home, and keep AT LEAST six feet of distance from others.
CLOTH MASKS TO SLOW THE SPREAD: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), Governor Wolf, and the Department of Health are stressing that “it is important that as many people as possible wear a nonmedical or homemade mask when leaving their homes.” Please check out the CDC’s updated guidance on making and wearing masks to help protect each other since many of us don’t show symptoms for days, even weeks, and can unwittingly spread the bug even when we’re feeling perfectly healthy.
For older adults & others at higher risk and need.
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,” 250+ 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.
Working with our organizational partners Lawrenceville United, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Bloomfield Development Corporation, Polish Hill Neighbors Group, and Operation Better Block, we now have such an abundance of ready helpers that we have now expanded the program and are signing up not only seniors, but folks of all ages with medical conditions, families with children, and folks of all ages that find it difficult or more risky to travel outside the home due to disabilities or other physical challenges. People who need assistance can sign up HERE up or by calling 412-802-7220. If you want to volunteers please fill out THIS FORM. And please pass on the word to your neighbors!
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
- Call LU before Fridays if you want to pick up food through our 412 Food Rescue donation program: 412-802-7220.
- Registered members of the Lawrenceville Healthy Active Living (Senior) Center can get pre-packaged meals given out 11 AM to 1 PM on M/W/F. Need a delivery? Call us at 412-802-7220. Members can also request a monthly food box through the Food Bank with the Senior Center at 412-622-6918.
- 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.
- Apply for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps) with the help of Just Harvest. Call (412) 431-8960 x602, leave your name and contact info and the best time to reach you Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at or by filling out the form on this page.
- Pittsburgh Public Schools added a “Grab & Go” location in Lawrenceville at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church at 237 37th Street (church building shown below.) Meals will be distributed between 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
- Other nearby Grab & Go locations are:
- 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).
- Neighbors in Need Crisis Fund
- 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 is continuing to provide help with SNAP/food stamps, Medicaid, and TANF/cash assistance applications as well as case advocacy and eligibility screenings.
- 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
FAMILY STRENGTHS SURVEY DURING COVID-19
COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) has challenged all of us. Parents and adult caregivers are vital for ensuring children continue to thrive during these tough times. Sharing your experience can help ensure resources are accessible, especially where they will do the most good. Please take the Family Strengths Survey and help improve COVID-19 response efforts. We want to learn about what has been helpful.
- How are you and your family doing this week?
- Are there resources we should share with others?
- What resources do families need the most right now?
Let us know by completing this anonymous survey – your name is not connected to your responses. The survey is available here: https://www.pediatrics.pitt.
- Multiple volunteers have offered to provide childcare and even education services for local families. Contact LU at 412-802-7220 for more information.
- Pittsburgh Public Schools added a “Grab & Go” location in Lawrenceville at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church at 237 37th Street (church building shown above in the food resources section of this page.) Meals will be distributed between 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Other nearby Grab & Go locations are Pittsburgh Obama (515 N Highland Ave), Pittsburgh Weil (2250 Centre Ave), and Pittsburgh Spring Hill (1351 Damas St.) PPS is also using these sites to distribute grade-level activity packets for students out of school.
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.
Calling all volunteers!
LU, Tree Pittsburgh: Lawrenceville Tree Tenders, and the neighbors of Duncan Park are organizing a BIG WORK DAY. This work day will help push the park to completion and provide a brand new natural play-space in the neighborhood.
Stay for the entire day or pick a shift to stop by and lend a hand. Dress in work clothes, bring a pair of gloves, and please wear closed toed shoes. This work day will involve physical labor, the usage of basic hand tools, and team work. All students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Please contact Lawrenceville United firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Water, light snacks, and lunch will be provided to all volunteers.
8am – 10am
10am – 1pm
1pm – 4pm
4pm – 6pm
Task will include:
Lawrenceville United is seeking a highly passionate, productive, strategic individual to join our team of dedicated community advocates and professionals to staff the PEP Rally program, which works with families and community partners to strengthen and support Lawrenceville’s neighborhood public schools.
About Lawrenceville United
Lawrenceville United (LU) is an inclusive, resident-driven community-based non-profit organization that works to improve and protect the quality of life of all Lawrenceville residents and stakeholders. LU envisions a safe, clean, green, healthy and diverse community where residents work together to shape the neighborhood’s future, while honoring Lawrenceville’s past. For more information on LU, please visit www.LUnited.org.
Summary of Position
The community organizer position is responsible for leading all aspects of the PEP Rally program, which began in 2013 as a pilot program and has since grown to be a key program of Lawrenceville United, in collaboration with school leaders and other community partners. PEP Rally aims to support and strengthen target neighborhood public schools by engaging parents as agents of positive change within the schools and community, and by facilitating partnerships to fuel community-supported initiatives that address student, school, family, and community needs. Goals of the program include:
- Build meaningful parent engagement at target schools.
- Create conditions within schools and the community to retain and attract families by fostering community-supported initiatives.
- Educate families on the school choices and resources available, guiding parents through the navigation process, and building collective trust in the neighborhood schools.
- Develop leadership of families to share in decision making and affect positive change in Pittsburgh Public Schools and in the community.
This position requires a learning mindset, outstanding relationship-building abilities, and a strong generalist skill set. The ideal candidate has high energy, time management skills, patience, listening skills, and experience working with diverse communities and managing partnerships. To achieve program outcomes, the community organizer works closely with LU staff, school staff, community organizations and partners, and families.
The community organizer reports to and is evaluated by the Executive Director of Lawrenceville United.
- Building and managing an engaged base of parent and community stakeholders and members by building relationships with individuals in the community, engaging and recruiting parents and community members to serve as leaders, and to participate in events, projects, and campaigns.
- Initiating and leading project: strategic thinking and planning, issue identification, coalition building, building mobilization plan with community contacts and leaders, mobilizing parents and community members, identifying recommendations for moving forward
- Delivering information to the community that is accurate, grounded in data, and easy to understand
- Being familiar and able to discuss current community and educational issues
- Recruiting community members to participate in projects in meaningful ways
- Facilitating conversations with, and presenting to, community groups and families
- Developing and maintaining community relationships and partnerships to achieve outcomes
- Engaging with school staff and administrators to build meaningful engagement with the community and supporting school initiatives
- Completing monthly reports and timesheets
- Updating contacts and records regularly in LU database
- Participating in the development and execution of other complimentary community programs
- Managing budgets
- Reporting on outcomes and completing grant updates
- Other duties as required to support LU’s mission
- Managing and coaching three part-time parents to lead campaign focused on improving school climate and educational equity
- Program management of specific projects (e.g. after school and community programs)
- Overseeing interns and volunteers
- A bachelor’s degree or at least three years of relevant experience
- Track record of leadership
- Experience working with diverse populations and underserved groups
- A passion for educational equity and social justice
- Successful experience working with groups through processes such as facilitation and consensus building
- A comfort level with being in the spotlight, but not having the spotlight be about them; rather it being about the larger education issues and relevant concerns
- A respect for and comfort level with rigorous and healthy debate about issues
- A desire to continually learn, and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to work flexible schedule
- Demonstrated organizational skills with project management
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with diverse populations
- Analysis and synthesis skills, including the ability to collect information, determine key objectives, and act strategically and decisively
- Excellent communication skills, including verbal, written and public speaking
- Coalition building skills, including the ability to motivate, negotiate, and persuade stakeholders into a course of action
- Demonstrated skills in community organizing such as identifying actionable issues within a larger problem, building the leadership of others, mobilizing groups of people and choosing when to follow
- Experience working with (or ability to learn) Microsoft Office suite, social media, SalesForce, Google Drive.
- Foreign language skills and knowledge of Pittsburgh educational landscape preferred
A starting salary of $40,000-45,000 (commensurate with experience) and full benefits package will be provided. LU is an equal opportunity employer, committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives and represent marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Dave Breingan at HR@LUnited.org by December 29, 2017. Please use your cover letter to describe what aspects of the job interest you most.