How to get help during the coronavirus pandemic in Pittsburgh | Coronavirus | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

How to get help during the coronavirus pandemic in Pittsburgh

Photo: Ryan Loew/PublicSource

It’s hard to overstate the impacts of the novel coronavirus on American life. Lots of people are hurting. Lots of people need help. But it’s often hard to know just where to find that help — or even what’s available.

So, after listing ways you can help others during the pandemic, we decided to compile this guide to finding help for yourself.

This article was last updated 1:35 p.m. Fri., April 24.

Food assistance

  • Apply to The Emergency Food Assistance Program if you’re out of work or have lost hours or income due to the pandemic.

  • Pick up free prepared meals every day from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fishes and Loaves Cooperative Ministries (131 E. Elizabeth Street).

  • Get grab-and-go meals for school kids at multiple city recreation centers and Salvation Army sites around Pittsburgh.

  • The Warren Bar and Burrow and Penn Cove Eatery Downtown are offering meals to service industry workers who’ve lost work due to coronavirus.

  • Need formula and food for your family? The Urban League of Pittsburgh can help. Call 886-395-3663.

  • Pregnant women, dependent children, and caregivers can get help through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

  • Seniors registered with the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging program can get free take-out meals at one of six City Healthy Active Living (Senior) Centers between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

  • A map of free food distribution sites across Allegheny County is now available. Many of the sites have eligibility requirements, so call ahead to confirm you’re eligible.

  • Call the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania at 2-1-1 for help finding food, housing or financial assistance.
    Grab-and-go meals and hygiene products are being delivered to bus stops around Pittsburgh this week by 412 Food Rescue.

Housing help

  • Students who need to move due to outbreak precautions can get 30 days of free storage from U-Haul.

  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority Housing Opportunity Fund is offering help to those struggling with rent payments due to COVID-19-related losses in work and wages.

  • Know your rights. Eviction proceedings have been temporarily halted. Also, shutoffs of utilities like gas, water, and electric have been halted until further notice.

  • Allegheny County Housing Authority says it’s working with residents who may have their working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis.
    One-time assistance grants of up to $500 are available through the Dollar Energy Fund, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that provides utility assistance to limited-income households. Call 1-800-683-7036 for more info. Utility shutoffs aren’t allowed during the pandemic, but Dollar Energy Fund suggests reaching out now if you find yourself falling behind.

Financial assistance for workers and creatives

Financial assistance for small business owners



  • Hello Bully, a nonprofit Pit Bull rescue, has a month’s supply of food (enough for 20 dogs and 20 cats) and is offering no-contact delivery to pet owners in need of help.

Stay connected

  • Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are available for free to all users.

  • If you have coronavirus questions, the county has a hotline.

  • Allegheny County is urging residents to join its electronic notification system for updates.

  • Need help understanding all the medical terms you’re hearing and seeing? Let this handy glossary help.

  • Find coronavirus information in different languages, via Casa San Jose and Jewish Community Center.
    Seniors who are feeling lonely and isolated can stay connected with weekly, confidential phone calls through the South Hills Interfaith Movement’s CheckMates program. Call 412-854-9120, ext. 116, to enroll or for more info.


    To assist small to midsize nonprofits, tHRive is offering HR-related services and information sharing, including weekly webinars covering everything from handling layoffs and paid leaves of absence to navigating the new regulations and benefits. Webinars will be recorded and available for viewing.

    • If you’re an essential worker in need of child care, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has a tool to help you find it.

    • Small, Black Led Organizations (BLOs) can apply for operating support through the POISE Foundation’s Critical Community Needs Fund.

    • Need help accessing essential resources like food, medical supplies, baby supplies, and more? The Community Delivery Hotline of Allegheny County is there to help bridge the transportation gap.

    • To minimize the impact of the “COVID slide,” which experts predict may result in up to a year of learning loss for students, Carnegie Learning has created free at-home learning resources, lessons, and videos that are available for the rest of the school year for teachers and students (grades 6-12) as well as for families.

    The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh's Resource Center remains open in a remote capacity, offering emergency and empowerment grants and critical services. They've teamed with United Way, Allegheny County, and local food pantries to fill the need for emergency food deliveries to homebound people.

Something not covered here? Check out this list of COVID-19 resources for Pittsburghers or this Pittsburgh Mutual Aid Resources Library. Email with suggested additions to this list.

The Incline, NEXTpittsburgh, Pittsburgh City Paper, Kidsburgh, and PublicSource collaborated to build this resource.

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