It's about to get really cold in Pittsburgh - here's where area homeless people (and pets) can find shelter | Blogh

Monday, January 28, 2019

It's about to get really cold in Pittsburgh - here's where area homeless people (and pets) can find shelter

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 5:07 PM

click to enlarge Free hats, gloves, and scarves hang outside the Catholic Charities' Winter Warming Station on Liberty Avenue. - CP PHOTOS: KEVIN SHEPHERD
CP photos: Kevin Shepherd
Free hats, gloves, and scarves hang outside the Catholic Charities' Winter Warming Station on Liberty Avenue.
With the National Weather Service predicting record low temperatures this week in Pittsburgh, questions arise about what kinds of services are available to those experiencing homelessness. CP put together a list of places where vulnerable populations can escape the extreme cold.

In partnership with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net, a medical and social service outreach program in Allegheny County, operates the Winter Shelter at the Smithfield United Church of Christ. The Downtown location is open every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., including weekends and holidays, regardless of the temperature. The shelter’s services include beds, hot meals, access to showers and laundry facilities, and other resources.

“The individuals who come to the Winter Shelter for services are often those who are the most in need of services,” stated Brian Matous, homeless services supervisor at Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net, in a press release. “In fact, many of the individuals we serve at the Winter Shelter have multiple, complex needs.”


Last year, Operation Safety Net estimates that the Winter Shelter assisted 904 people, including 723 men and 181 women, between November 15, 2017 and March 31, 2018. (The current Winter Shelter runs through March 15, 2019.)

Light of Life on the North Side runs a warming station, as well as an emergency shelter that is open every day of the year.

Light of Life Assistant Director of Development, Kate Wadsworth, says the rescue mission’s warming station will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There, those in need will find hot chocolate and snacks, as well as winter items and hand/feet warmers. Light of Life also serves breakfast and dinner daily.

The Catholic Charities' Winter Warming Station is now open daily through March from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Susan Zubik Welcome Center located Downtown. All are welcome, regardless of religious affiliation. (Please note that the warming station will close on Sundays if the temperature hits or exceeds 40 degrees.)


The Salvation Army/Worship & Service Center in Homestead (104 East Ninth Ave.) will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are currently experiencing homelessness, call the Allegheny Link crisis hotline (866-730-2368) for help.

United Way's 2-1-1 helpline is also available to link people to resources, such as cold weather shelters. Simply dial 2-1-1, text 898-211, or visit pa211sw.org. Resource navigators are available 24/7 to assist.

See below for other warming centers, including animal-friendly ones, in the area.

City of Pittsburgh warming centers:
Aspinwall, Leetsdale and Verona:
  • Greenfield Healthy Acting Living Center (745 Greenfield Ave., 412-422-6551)
  • Homewood Healthy Active Living Center (7321 Frankstown Ave., 412-244-4190)
  • Allegheny Center Healthy Active Living Center, Northside (Allegheny Square, 412-323-7239)
  • Sheraden Healthy Active Living Center (720 Sherwood Ave., 412-777-5012)
  • South Side Healthy Active Living Center (12th and Bingham Streets, 412-488-8404)

Allegheny County warming shelters:


  • Bethel Park Community Center (5151 Park Ave.)
  • Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department (370 Commercial St.)
  • Clairton municipal building (551 Ravensburg Blvd.)
  • Collier municipal building (2418 Hilltop Rd, Suite 100)
  • Heidelberg Community Center (1639 E. Railroad St.)
  • Ingram municipal building (W. Prospect Ave.)
  • Leetsdale Community Center (373 Beaver St.)
  • McKeesport Palisades/Café (501 Water St.)
  • Pittsburgh Technical Institute (1111 McKee Rd., Oakdale)
  • Shaler North Hills Library (1822 Mt. Royal Blvd.)
  • Verona Police Department (736 E. Railroad Ave.)
  • West Deer Fire Department No. 3 (4372 Gibsonia Rd., Gibsonia)
  • West Mifflin municipal building (3000 Lebanon Church Rd.)
  • Munhall Fire Station 200 (13th and Martha Streets)
  • Munhall Fire Station 201 (1900 West St.)
  • Munhall Fire Station 203 (3401 Main St.)
  • Munhall Fire Station 204 (1817 Whitaker Way)

Animal-friendly:

  • Carnegie borough building (1 Veterans Way)
  • West Deer Township Dog Shelter - animals only (109 East Union Rd., Cheswick)

Update: In addition to those announced by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County provided a list of municipal warming stations. Please follow their Twitter account (@allegheny_co) for further updates.

  • Turtle Creek Borough Building (125 Monroeville Ave.) - Open Wed. and Thu.,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Scott Glendale Hose Co # 1 (541 Carothers Ave., Carnegie. 412-276-4611) - Open Wed., 8 a.m.
  • Duquesne Council Chambers (12 South Second St., 2nd Floor) - After-hours access through Police Department.
  • Clairton Borough Building (551 Ravensburg Blvd.) - Open now through Friday 4 p.m. Clairton Police Can provide transportation for residents.
  • Pittsburgh Technical College (1111 McKee Rd., North Fayette) - Open 24 hours
  • Port Vue Borough Building (1191 Romine Ave.) - Open Jan. 30 and 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Richland Township Building (4019 Dickey Rd.) - Open Jan. 30 and 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Aspinwall, Leetsdale, and Verona are prepared to set up warming stations if residents experience any heating-related issues over the next few days. Please call 911 if you are in need of or lose heating.

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