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 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.
Here’s a link to a CDC video of the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams himself demonstrating how to make an easy, no-sew mask using a t-shirt and rubber bands. And here’s another graphic tutorial for how to make a mask out of a t-shirt (cotton is recommended by the CDC.)
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.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.