We are committed to doing everything we can to help the residents in our communities that might be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). First and foremost, yours and your family’s health are our primary concern. We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are able to avoid the effects of this virus.
We believe in the power of community. Now more than ever, those in our community impacted by the Coronavirus need the help of us, their neighbors. We realize for many there’s an economic impact as well. We’ve compiled a list of resources to assist our community as we navigate through adjusting to life with Coronavirus.
What is the Allegheny Link?
The mission of the Allegheny Link is to simplify and streamline access to services and supports in an effort to help individuals and families maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life.
The Allegheny Link assists Allegheny County residents
with any disability – find needed services
over the age of 60 – remain safely in their community
who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness – find stable housing
who are pregnant, or parents and caregivers of children to six years of age – get referrals to home-visiting programs
Allegheny Link Service Coordinators are available my phone weekdays from 8:00a to 7:00p. Due to high call demand callers may experience extended hold times.
In order to best serve residents with questions and concerns about COVID-19, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has partnered with United Way 211 to offer a 24/7 hotline. Please call 888-856-2774 to speak with a representative.
The Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis for up to $5,000 to residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland, Washington, and Armstrong counties who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. These loans are intended to address:
Lost wages due to being unable to go to work
Childcare costs due to school closures
Small business losses
Canceled study abroad programs
Related medical costs
Loan applicants must provide written substantiation of these costs.
Applicants must have a family income lower than $115,000.
Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loans are repayable in monthly installments of $150–250 depending on the size of the loan. Repayments begin two months after the loan is received.
A cosigner is required for all loans, unless the borrower is a homeowner with a credit score of 670+. If the borrower or cosigner is married, both spouses must borrow/cosign together.
If you need to speak with an advocate or be connected to local services, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime day or night at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can also log onto www.thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522 if you’re unable to speak safely. For information about finding safe shelter, or to be referred to a shelter, call the Allegheny Link at 1-866-730-2368.
Food Pantries: Food pantries continue to operate throughout Pennsylvania, although some have updated hours and all are working on ways to connect people with food without risking contact.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: 412-460-FOOD (3663)
The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is offering home delivery for people who cannot leave their home to get to a food distribution site or pantry. For information on scheduling a delivery, call 412-460-3663, ext. 655, or visit https://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org.
Map of Food Distribution Sites in Allegheny County: Learn More
Meals for Students: The Pennsylvania Department of Education received approval from the federal government to allow K-12 schools in Pennsylvania closed due to COVID-19 to serve meals offsite to students.These meals will be available at no cost to low-income children and make it possible for kids to receive nutritious meals and snacks while schools are temporarily closed.
Grocery Help for Low-Income Individuals: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps families, older adults, and individuals pay for groceries. Benefits are loaded onto an EBT card, which can then be used to purchase food at grocery stores, supermarkets, some farmers markets, and other stores that accept SNAP. Emergency SNAP applications can be expedited and issued in five days. Pennsylvanians can apply for SNAP online.
Food Stamps (SNAP): Apply for Food Stamps and get answers about eligibility:
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: Call toll free 833-822-7627 or text SNAPPA to 555-888 or fill out the referral form online. Learn More + Apply
Food for Women, Children, and Families: WIC helps with nutrition for pregnant women, nursing women, postpartum women, and infants and children younger than 5. Benefits can be used for approved grocery items at stores that accept WIC. Apply by calling the toll-free hotline at 800-WIC-WINS, or start your WIC application online.
Meals for Older Adults: Area Agencies on Aging continue to provide meals for older adults throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and request that you be connected with meals.
Mental Health Services: Per Allegheny County, individuals who may be experiencing fear, anxiety, or stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to speak with someone to assist in emotional support:
Crisis Text Line: Text ‘PA’ to 741741 for help 24/7.
Peer Support and Advocacy Network (PSAN)
10:00 a.m. – Midnight
resolve Crisis Services
24 hours/7 days a week
Drug and Alcohol Abuse: If you need immediate help due to a drug-related crisis, contact the DDAP Crisis Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The hotline is staffed 24/7 by persons who provide screening and referrals immediately. If you need support or information because of a drug or alcohol crisis or concern, contact the resolve Crisis Response Network at 1-888-796-8226.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $200 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Remember: This is a grant and does not have to be repaid.
Applications are now being accepted for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a temporary emergency program to help low-income families pay overdue water bills. LIHWAP is a grant. You do not have to repay it.
LIHWAP crisis grants may be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your water service. You can receive one crisis grant for your drinking water service and one crisis grant for your wastewater service, up to $2,500 each. Crisis situations include:
Past-due water bills.
Termination of utility service.
Danger of having utility service terminated (received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days).