Joint Statement from LU and LC

Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation stand in solidarity with protests calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others, and demanding change to the continued realities of structural racism, oppression, and violence against Black Americans across  our nation and in our backyard. 

 

Right here in Lawrenceville, we see these disparities reflected in our neighborhood’s legacy as a redlined neighborhood and through ongoing displacement that disproportionately affects our Black neighbors. We see racial disparities in our public schools, where the large opportunity gap results in an achievement gap that persists at over 30 points, and where Black girls are referred to police more often than 99% of similar cities. We see it in our criminal justice system, where nearly 84% of youth who are arrested are Black, despite only accounting for 25% of the City’s population.  

 

Our local economy is riddled with these same racial disparities. While Black men in Pittsburgh attain higher levels of education than those in 60% of comparable cities, the concentration of Black men in lower paying jobs is higher in Pittsburgh than 99% of other cities. Given the gap between White and Black employment rates, Pittsburgh’s low Black employment is not due to the local economy, but the failure and refusal of local employers to hire Black workers seeking jobs. The Pittsburgh Metro Area has one of the lowest rates of black homeownership in the country, evidence of Black applicants for all types of loans being rejected at more than double the rate of White applicants. And most recently, it was estimated that 90% of businesses of color stood no chance at all of receiving funds from the Small Business Administration to support business operations in the wake of COVID-19.  

 

We can’t call ourselves an inclusive or safe neighborhood while these realities persist for our Black and Brown neighbors. 

 

These inequities are systemic, and we all have responsibility in addressing them. At LU, we’ll continue to strive to live up to our mission of improving quality of life for all, while championing equity and inclusion as core values of our organization and our community. Some of the ways we’re continuing to address these issues include: advocating for housing and education justice, working to address disparities in public safety by co-facilitating implicit bias and bystander intervention trainings, providing full scholarships to vendors representing Black and other underrepresented identities at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market, budgeting funds in 2020 for anti-racism and anti-oppression trainings for our organization and the community, and recently changing our by-laws to allow former residents–including those who have been displaced–to be able to vote and run for our Board of Directors. At LC, we are also investing in training for our organization and working to build organizational leadership and committees that are more inclusive and diverse, while also developing new programs focused on protecting and supporting minority and women owned businesses and entrepreneurs.  We are committed to advancing fairness, justice, and equity through our work and will demand dignity, respect, and opportunity for all from all community planning and development projects.  

 

We recognize there is more work to do, and as ever, we invite your input on how we’re doing and how we can do better. 

 

In a spirit of unity and urgency, we’re encouraging residents and other stakeholders who are able to make a contribution to local Black-led organizations that are on the front lines of racial justice in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re encouraging our neighbors to give to 1Hood Media, “a collective of socially conscious artists and activists who utilize art to raise awareness about social justice matters,” providing platforms for youth to tell their own stories and inspiring the activists of tomorrow. You can donate to their organization here, or by stopping by the “Info Booth” at Opening Day at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market (Tuesday, June 2nd from 4-7 p.m. at Arsenal Park).

Recap from Virtual Community Meeting on 4/28

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:

Virtual Public Safety Meeting about COVID-19 and Resources for Resilience

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.

After staff updates on the Buddy system, supports for families with children, the farmers market, and ways we can help keep each other safer, guest speakers will include:
  • 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.
To participate by phone or by Zoom, please register at bit.ly/COVID-15201 or RSVP to info@lunited.org or to 412-802-7220 and we will provide the meeting details & password. You can join by computer or by phone.
We will also broadcast via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/LawrencevilleUnited.
 
For interpretation, accessibility needs, or tech support, please contact 412-802-7220.

 

The COVID-19 Corner: Information and local resources to protect and care for each other

Updated 4/17/2020

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 notices

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

Food:

Please share this constantly updated Free Resource Distribution Sites map for food and other needed resources. Here’s a few of our Lawrenceville neighborhood food distribution sites:

  • 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:

 

 

 

 

 

Housing/Utilities:

  • 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.

Utilities:

Financial:

Mental/Emotional Support

  • 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

 

For families

  • 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.edu/family-strengths-survey

  • 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.

 

Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting Recap: 1/28/2020

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.

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

JOIN US! Lawrenceville United Fall Membership Meeting

October 9, 2019

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania

118 52nd Street, PGH PA 15201 | 6:30p

 

We would like to invite you to attend our General Membership meeting on Wednesday October 9th at 6:30p.  Each year, Lawrenceville United hosts two (2) General Membership meetings, in the spring and fall to report on the work that has been completed, the work that is planned, and to engage the membership around priorities for moving forward.  LU is a resident-driven organization and we hope that you will join us to discuss those important issues facing our community now and how we can all work together to address them.  These meetings are also a great time to come to get caught up on development projects, or other community happenings and updates.

If you are not a member in current standing, you can renew, or sign-up for a new membership, at the meeting.  It is $5.00 for an annual membership, or $35.00 for a lifetime membership.

Your priorities are our work-plan so please join us so that we can move forward with a shared vision in protecting and improving the quality of life in Lawrenceville for all residents and stakeholders.

 

 

2019 Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

Help Lawrenceville take home the prize at this year’s Garbage Olympics!

On September 21st, meet our team in the parking lot of Goodwill Indistries (118 52nd Street Pgh PA 15201) from 9am – 11am for a morning of cleaning up our neighborhood.

LU will provide gloves, trash bags, and other tools to ensure we gather as much garbage as possible.  We will be roving across the 6th, 9th, and 10th Wards to clean up Butler Street and litter hot spots across the neighborhood.

Neighborhoods all across the city will have competing clean-ups to see who can pick up the most trash. The competition will be judged by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission – there will be prizes for most trash collected as well as weirdest item found and other surprises.

 

Recap: Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting – July 2019

Thank you to Bike Pittsburgh, Better Streets Lawrenceville, City of Pittsburgh Zone 2, Councilwoman Deb Gross’ Office and the City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure for presenting to our residents at the most recent Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting.  The Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting is a great opportunity to discuss larger issues affecting the neighborhood.

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) led an activity that allowed residents to mark and provide feedback about “hot spots’ in the neighborhood on large maps.  Ideally these suggestions will help to provide suggestions to where DOMI can install traffic calming solutions that make the neighborhood safer for all.  Our friends at Bike Pgh and Better Streets Lawrenceville also shared information about the Pittsburgh Bike Plan.  The City of Pittsburgh Bike Plan is taking suggestions and submissions from City of Pittsburgh residents to help inform best ways for pedestrians and cyclist to navigate the neighborhood.

 

Click the links below to see the the presentations from each feature presenter.

 

DOMI Traffic Calming Toolbox

 

Better Streets Lawrenceville

 

BikePGH Presentation – Lawrenceville Public Safety Meeting