Info & local resources for COVID-19: Lawrenceville

Updated 3/22/2020

 

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 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

Food:

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

 

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

Presentations from Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting 4/16/2019

The April Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting was held on 4/16/2019 at the Lawrenceville branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Please see below for the presentations:

  1. Presentation from Pittsburgh Police Sex Assault & Family Crisis Unit
  2. Responding to Trauma – Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
  3. Crime Report for Q1 of 2019 – Zone 2 Police
  4. Butler Street Design Guidelines – Studio for Spatial Practice

Block watches will resume in May and June and the next Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting will be held on 7/16/2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrenceville branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, focusing on traffic calming and mobility safety.

 

Recap from Community Meeting with the FBI

On Monday, January 28th, Lawrenceville United hosted the FBI units working on hate crimes and domestic terrorism for a presentation on hate crimes and hate incidents. Over 80 people attended. The full presentation is available HERE. Special thanks to the FBI, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Zone 2, and all those who attended.

Some key takeaways:

  • Federal hate crime laws protect the following groups: race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.
  • Hate crimes and hate incidents are on the rise nationally. Lawrenceville has seen about a dozen hate crimes or hate incidents in the past 6 months, which has been a disturbing new trend.
  • We all must be PROACTIVE and PREVENTIVE in addressing hate. We can’t prosecute our way out of the problem. Recognizing the behavioral indicators of extremist and hate-based violence, and DOING something, is key to preventing violence.
  • While the First Amendment protects many displays of offensive and hateful speech, a “hate incident,” while not a crime, is still useful to the FBI as it can be an important piece of the puzzle for their intelligence, intervention, and prevention. Hate incidents should be reported. The First Amendment is not extended to criminal acts based on intolerance, purposefully intimidating speech, actions which can be interpreted by a reasonable person to be a serious intent to cause harm, or the planning/preparation/commission/facilitation of violence. A true threat puts the recipient in fear of bodily harm.
  • The FBI can’t “surf” for offensive or hateful speech or materials, but if they receive a tip from the community about it, they have the ability to look into it, which is another reason why tips are important.
  • Residents can report to the FBI through 412-432-4000 or www.fbi.gov/tips. The FBI also encourages residents to use resources like Lawrenceville United (412.802.7220 or info@LUnited.org) to relay information to the FBI if you wish to remain anonymous or don’t want to contact the FBI directly.
  • All of the white supremacist flyers seen around the neighborhood haven’t had permission of the property owners to be hung there, in violation of city ordinance. If you come across these flyers, please document it and report to Lawrenceville United.

If you have any questions or suggestions for other ways that LU can address this trend, please contact us at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.

Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting 1/15/2019

LU hosted our first Lawrenceville-wide Public Safety Meeting on Tuesday 1/15/2019 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Lawrenceville branch. Big thanks to the library for hosting, Dr. Heath Johnson from Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Zone 2 Police’s Commander Zett, Officer Davis, and Det. Malloy, Public Safety Director Hissrich and Dan Shak, as well as the offices of Councilwoman Gross, Rep. Innamorato, and Rep. Ravenstahl.

In case you missed the meeting, please see the materials below:

Meeting Notes

Pittsburgh Police Presentation on 2018 Crime Trends

Dept. of Public Safety Presentation on Security Cameras

Your TL;DR version….

The bad news: total crimes are up from last year, driven largely by an increase in property crimes — mainly thefts from auto and burglaries.

The good news: violent crimes continued to decrease, 5 year averages for total crimes are down, Lawrenceville remains safe compared to Zone 2 and the City of Pittsburgh, and 12 public safety cameras are going up around Lawrenceville in the next couple weeks to deter and solve crime.

Regularly scheduled block watches will resume in February and March. Our next quarterly public safety meeting will be held in April. Please input on what content you’d like to see the April meeting cover to info@LUnited.org or call 412-802-7220.