PITTSBURGH — A lot has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some people are working from home, others lost their jobs, schools shifted to remote learning and business are closed or have modified services.
We understand the importance of knowing where to turn when you need help. That’s why we put together this Resources Guide with a list of important resources available during the pandemic.
Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.
CLICK HERE to access PA’s assistance program online
Mental Health Resources
If you, someone in your family or someone you know is affected by mental illness, there are many supports, services, and treatment options available.
DHS’ mental health support & referral helpline, Persevere PA, is available 24/7 and is a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions. The helpline caseworkers can refer callers to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. Pennsylvanians can contact Persevere PA at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
If you or someone you love is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by calling 1-800-273-8255. The hotline is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can offer free, confidential support. Spanish speakers who need immediate assistance can call 1-888-628-9454. Help can also be accessed through the Crisis Text Line by texting “PA” to 741-741.
A Plain Communities Helpline is also available through WellSpan at Philhaven at 717-989-8661. The Plain Communities Outpatient Clinic provides high quality mental health care that is sensitive to the values of the plain sect community.
Here’s a list of some other mental health resources in our area:
An online tool to help essential workers find childcare providers with approved waivers has been created by the Department of Human Services.
CLICK HERE to use the tool.
“While many Pennsylvanians are responsibly heeding guidance from the Department of Health to stay home, there are still many thousands of essential workers whose jobs require that they go out into the world and do work that makes it possible for the rest of us to stay safe and healthy. For many of these workers, safe and stable child care is an essential need,” DHS Secretary Teresa Miller said in a statement.
Substance Abuse Disorder
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs also maintains a toll-free helpline that connects callers looking for treatment options for themselves or a loved one to resources in their community. You can reach the Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The helpline is available 24/7 – including on holidays. An anonymous chat service offering the same information to individuals who may not be comfortable speaking on the phone is also available at www.ddap.pa.gov.
Naloxone is still available to all Pennsylvanians through Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s standing order, and carrying this on-hand at all times can be a life-saving action. The Wolf Administration encourages all Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the standing order to obtain Naloxone over the holidays. Learn more about how to obtain naloxone at www.pa.gov/opioids.
Emotional & Spiritual Care
The Salvation Army is offering a hotline for anyone needing emotional or spiritual care. It’s staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is available for anyone across the country.
Salvation Army officers and employees will be available to talk to anyone needing help, advice or prayer. The number is 844-458-4673.
Pennsylvania offers a Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741.
The Veteran Crisis Line is available toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Free testing at Allegheny County health clinics
COVID-19 testing is available at federally qualified health centers in Allegheny County and through Pittsburgh Mercy.
The tests will be offered at no charge, and patients do not need a doctor’s referral.
To schedule an appointment, click here or call the clinic nearest you.
Participating health clinics include:
- Alma Illery Medical Center (Homewood) 7227 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh 15208 -- 412-244-4700
- Braddock Family Health Center 404 Braddock Avenue, Braddock 15104 -- 412-351-6300
- East End Family Health Center 117 North Negley Avenue, Pittsburgh 15206 -- 412-404-4000
- East Liberty Family Health Care Center 6023 Harvard Street, Pittsburgh 15206 -- 412-661-2802
- Hazelwood Family Health Center 4918 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh 15207 -- 412-422-9520
- Hill House Health Center 1835 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh 15219 -- 412-392-4400
- McKeesport Family Health Center 627 Lysle Boulevard, McKeesport 15132 -- 412-664-4112
- Metro Community Health Center 1789 South Braddock Avenue, Suite 410 Swissvale 15218 -- 412-247-2310
- North Side Christian Health Center 816 Middle Street, Pittsburgh 15201 -- 412-321-4001
- Northview Heights Clinic 525 Mt. Pleasant Road, Pittsburgh 15212 -- 412-322-7500
- Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center (South Side) 249 South 9th Street, Pittsburgh 15203 -- 412-697-3260
- Squirrel Hill Health Center 4516 Browns Hill Road, Pittsburgh 15217 -- 412-422-7442
- Steel Valley Family Health Center 1800 West Street, Homestead 15120 -- 412-461-3863
- Sto-Rox Family Health Center 710 Thompson Avenue, McKees Rocks 15136 -- 412-771-6462
- West End Health Center 415 Neptune Street, Pittsburgh 15220 -- 412-921.7200
- Wilkinsburg Health Center 807 Wallace Street, Suite 203 Pittsburgh 15221 -- 412-247-5216
Free/Reduced Internet Access
Here is a list from a variety of internet providers if you need to sign up at a free or reduced cost:
- Comcast Internet Essentials:
- AT&T (Phone: 855-220-5211)
- How to turn your phone into a hotspot (be sure to check with your cell phone provider regarding possible charges)
- Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry: 412-323-1170
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: 412-460-3663
- North Hills Food Bank: 412-366-7477
- CHS Food Pantry: 412-246-1688
- Swissvale Community Food Pantry: 412-452-2792
- Fishes and Loaves Cooperative Ministries: 412-414-3125
- Inter-Church Food Bank: 412-771-4088
- JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry: 412-421-2708
- Rosedale Food Pantry: 412-302-2509
- East End Cooperative Ministry: 412-361-5549
- Plum Food Pantry: 724-327-0367
- Feeding Pennsylvania
- Hunger-Free Pennsylvania
- Greater Washington County Food Bank
Personal protective equipment donations
There's now a website that allows you to notify the state if you have any medical supplies available for donation.
State officials say the supplies needed the most are masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, gloves and gowns.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Highmark, AHN and Gateway Health launch online tool
An online social care network called Aunt Bertha is now available to connect people to resources they may need during the pandemic.
The resources are for needs like food, housing and transportation and any Highmark, Allegheny Health Network and Gateway Health members.
“At this critical time, we understood the importance of fast-tracking our implementation of the Aunt Bertha tool,” said Dan Onorato, executive vice president, Highmark Health. “Connecting those in need of food, housing and other resources to social service agencies that can address those needs is a priority for Highmark.”
You can learn more about the program HERE.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, a Pittsburgh law firm that represents employees, is offering freea Pittsburgh Coronavirus Response Employee Hotline and Resource Center along with a roundtable (which will be done by telephone) that explains employees’ rights in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania during the coronavirus pandemic. All these services will be offered free of charge. For more information you can visit their website at https://hkm.com/pittsburgh/coronavirus. To access their hotline, employees can call 412-534-3896 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pennsylvania Public Assistance Programs
Public assistance programs remain available to Pennsylvanian families throughout the COVID-19 public-health emergency.
Pennsylvanians who have lost health coverage or are currently uninsured and need coverage for themselves or their children may qualify for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
SNAP helps people expand purchasing power by providing money each month to spend on groceries, helping households have resources to purchase enough food to avoid going hungry.
Other Temporary Programs in Response to COVID-19
DHS also established the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help low-income families who lost wages experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LIHEAP provides assistance for home energy bills for both low-income renters and homeowners, helping ensure continuity of utility and other energy services. The LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program.
The CARES Rent Relief Program provides assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. Click here for more information on how to apply.
Pittsburgh-Area Utility Companies
- Armstrong Cable 724-776-4200
- AT&T Broadband 412-741-1840
- Comcast Cable 800-824-2290
- Sprint 800-829-8009
- Verizon 800-660-2215
- Verizon Fios 855-326-9185
Water & Sewer Companies:
- Alcosan 412-766-6696
- Cranberry Water 724-776-4806
- Deer Creek Drainage 724-265-5315
- Hampton Water 412-486-4867
- MTSA 412-366-8481
- Oakmont Water 412-828-3388
- Pennsylvania American Water 800-474-7292
- Pittsburgh Water & Sewage 412-255-2423
- Richland Sewer Authority 724-443-5921
- Shaler Water Authority 412-486-9700
- West View Water 412-931-3292
- Wilkinsburg-Penn Water 412-243-6200
Trash & Hauling:
Allegheny County has started a website that aims to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.
You can visit the website HERE.
Survey looking to help W. Pa. families during COVID-19 pandemic
A survey is asking families for their input to help improve COVID-19 response efforts.
The Family Strengths Survey was started because community groups wanted to get a sense of what the unmet needs are in western Pennsylvania.
After the first week of the online survey, respondents said they need help with financial, mental and emotional stress.
“Families are reporting both, in part, that they haven't been able to support their kids in those areas but, even more, they themselves need more,” Dr. Kristin Ray, a pediatrician at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said.
Ray said families also need more help with food, childcare, education, mental health and unemployment.
CLICK HERE for the survey, which can be taken weekly online or over the phone.
- Samaritan Counseling Guidance, Consulting is offering video and telephone therapy during the coronavirus outbreak. Visit samaritancounseling.net or call 412-741-7430 for more information
- Steel Valley Wellness Group LLC is offering telehealth to patients. Click here to visit their website or you can call 412-368-3535 for more information.
- Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services is offering tele-therapy to people during the COVID-19 outbreak. VISIT THEIR WEBSITE HERE or call the Crisis Hotline at 724-437-1003 for more details.
- Support and Referral Helpline is a statewide resource for people struggling with anxiety. Call toll-free 855-284-2494 or for TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Workers that are unable to work because of COVID-19 may be eligible for UC benefits or WC benefits. The following information is now available on the state’s website
You may be eligible if:
- Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
- Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
- You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
- You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts
- Online – it’s the fastest and easiest way to get started
- If you are eligible for UC, you will receive two approval letters and a four-digit PIN
- Your PIN will arrive in the U.S. mail – keep it in a safe, easy to remember place
- If approved, your first benefit payment should arrive within four weeks of filing for UC
Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank
Much like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, diapers can be hard to come by during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank is trying to keep up with the need for families it regularly serves, plus many more new families.
“There’s growing need the longer people are out of work. The longer this pandemic goes on, the longer we’re going to see a need,” Cathy Battle, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, said.
Serving 28 partner agencies, the diaper bank is the only one of its kind in western Pennsylvania.
Who is hiring?
Pennsylvania has launched a COVID-19 job hiring portal for people looking for work. People seeking employment can visit www.PAcareerlink.pa.gov and select the green “PA COVID-19 Jobs – Hiring Immediately” job portal banner to see active job openings. Selecting the “Apply Now” button for a listed position will redirect individuals to the employer’s website or email where they can apply directly with the employer and speed up the hiring process.
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