How to get help during the coronavirus pandemic in Pittsburgh - SHIM

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How to get help during the coronavirus pandemic in Pittsburgh

Food resource during pandemic

The Incline – 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 will be updated.

Food assistance

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

Assistance for small businesses

  • Low-interest loans are available to small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
  • Relief loans of up to $50,000 are available through local crowdfunding investor platform Honeycomb Credit.
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is halting all loan payments for URA small business borrowers for the month of April. The URA is also offering Emergency Extended Credit to existing borrowers.
  • Attention everyone else: The URA is also streamlining its Micro-Enterprise Loan Program to offer 0% loans for up to 30 small businesses that are not currently URA borrowers.
  • Financing is available to small Pennsylvania businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak via the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.
  • Businesses and nonprofits who need help covering payroll costs can apply now for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Self-employed and independent contractors can apply starting April 10.
  • For 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.
  • Access resources and promotional assistance through the new Allegheny Together Open for Business Map and Economic Impact Survey.
  • Small, Black Led Organizations (BLOs) can apply for operating support through the POISE Foundation’s Critical Community Needs Fund.
  • Facebook is awarding $175,000 to help 44 small businesses in Allegheny County affected by COVID-19. Applications are open until May 7.


Support for families


  • 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

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.

To read the full story and see the latest list click here.

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