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.

 

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 LIVE! In Lawrenceville

Join us for 2019 LIVE! in Lawrenceville, Lawrenceville United’s annual party and fundraiser celebrating the neighbors, volunteers, and leaders that make Lawrenceville special. The evening happens at the Teamsters Local Union 249 in Lawrenceville on 9/7/2019 from 7-10 p.m.

Admission includes food and drinks from local businesses, fun games, and music spun by Arie Cole. Get tickets at http://bit.ly/LIVEinLV or contact 412-802-7220.

Interested in volunteering? We could use your help! Click the link on our Pittsburgh Cares site and learn about the different volunteer shifts available: https://buff.ly/2SuVY3x

2019 LIVE! In Lawrenceville

Join us for 2019 LIVE! in Lawrenceville, Lawrenceville United’s annual party and fundraiser celebrating the neighbors, volunteers, and leaders that make Lawrenceville special. The evening happens on 9/7/2019 from 7-10 p.m. at the Teamsters Local Union 249 in Lawrenceville.

Admission includes food and drinks from local businesses, fun games, and music spun by Arie Cole.  Tickets can be purchased through our Eventbrite page at http://bit.ly/LIVEinLV

Interested in volunteering? We could use your help! Click the link on our Pittsburgh Cares site and learn about the different volunteer shifts available: https://buff.ly/2SuVY3x

 

 

 

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

Inclusionary Zoning Explained

As Lawrenceville’s housing market has exploded, one of Lawrenceville United’s top priorities for the neighborhood is preserving affordable housing. One tool LU has advocated for is Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). For more information on Inclusionary Zoning, please see the brief on IZ below. To download as a printable document, please click here.

 

Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Explained

 

What is Inclusionary Zoning? The simplest explanation for inclusionary zoning programs is that they either incentivize or mandate developers to include affordable units as part of new housing developments of a certain size. For instance, if a developer were to build a housing project of 250 units, under IZ the developer might be required to sell or rent 15% of those units (37 units) to lower-income residents.

  • 886 jurisdictions have inclusionary housing programs across the U.S., reporting over 170,000 units created.
  • IZ programs are highly customizable to fit the particular needs of different communities. Some programs are required, some are voluntary. Some focus on creating low-income housing, others focus on more middle-income housing. Other key considerations include what unit size IZ becomes triggered, what percentage of affordable units are required, the duration of affordability, whether it’s applied to rental housing or for sale, and how to offset the cost of creating affordable units to developers so that new housing developments are still feasible.

 

What are the benefits? Inclusionary zoning is a proven tool for creating new affordable housing at a time when many communities desperately need it and public funding for housing has been declining for decades. By leveraging the private market, IZ is one of the few ways to create new housing for low-income families without significant public subsidy. It can also help prevent or mitigate gentrification and displacement when housing prices and land values increase in a community. Studies have also shown that it is an effective tool for locating affordable housing in higher-income neighborhoods and areas with better performing schools.

  • In Montgomery County, MD and Southern CA, half of all affordable housing production is created by IZ.

 

Why is it needed? In Lawrenceville, over 600 housing units have been created in the past couple years, yet almost none of them have been for the working class families that have been the roots of Lawrenceville for generations. At the same time, the appreciation of housing costs has led to displacement of low-income families. With large parcels still developable, IZ has the potential to harness development in the neighborhood to ensure that housing options are available for all income levels and so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood that residents have worked to make safer and less blighted, with improving schools and better access to transportation and local jobs.

  • Over half of Lawrenceville’s Housing Choice Voucher units (120 low-income families) were lost between 2011 and 2016.
  • An IZ policy would have created 84 new units of affordable housing with Lawrenceville’s recent development.

 

What’s being done about IZ locally? In May 2016, the Affordable Housing Task Force identified IZ as one of its key recommendations to address the gap of over 17,000 affordable units in Pittsburgh. Mayor Peduto issued an Executive Order in February 2017 to create an Exploratory Committee that would further assess the feasibility and structure of an IZ program. Specific recommendations were released in November 2017 to City Council and the Mayor, and suggested mandatory inclusion of 10% affordable units city-wide in projects over 20 unit, with a by-right tax abatement offered. Councilwoman Gross sponsored amendments to the zoning text for Urban Industrial in December 2017 that requires 30% affordability in projects over 20 units. LU is currently about to launch a community process in Lawrenceville to pilot IZ that could serve as a model for other neighborhoods or a city-wide policy.

 

 

Additional Resources

Free mini-consultations with architects at “Housing For All” event

Got a home project in mind? Want a personal consultation with an architect or landscape architect? FREE 15-minute mini-consultations with architects from the Design Center are available from 12-2 PM this Saturday 8/12 at the Lawrenceville “Housing For All” Event & Workshop sponsored by Allegheny Valley Bank / Standard Bank. Sign up using the Google Form HERE and bring your photos/drawings/plans with you!

The Lawrenceville “Housing for All” Event & Workshop starts promptly at 12 noon on Saturday 8/12 at the Persad Center (5301 Butler Street, Suite 100) and will last until 4 PM with a full day of presentations, discussions, and resources related to housing for renters, homeowners, and prospective homebuyers. Free lunch, childcare, and LED lighbulb & nightlight giveaways from Duquesne Light. Topics include renters rights, affordable homeownership programs in Lawrenceville, a legal panel, weatherization programs, abating lead in your home, and much more. Please see flyer and schedule below for more information.