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.