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YWCA’s Resource Center is here for you!

If you need help, please email us at resourcecenter@ywcapgh.org

Keshia called United Way 2-1-1 in desperation: blind and struggling with several medical conditions, she had no family to support her and was unable to leave her apartment. Keshia's home health aide had suddenly stopped visiting. The Director of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh's Resource Center responded immediately. She bought two weeks worth of groceries and delivered them straight to Keshia, and ensured she was comfortable and could get what she needed. Keshia was astounded by the rapidness and kindness of the response to her call for help - she knows she can rely on YWCA and 2-1-1 to be there for her.
Name changed for privacy

At YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, we work every day to support the most vulnerable in our communities, and to serve the women and people of color who are most impacted by COVID-19 and its socioeconomic effects.

In these unpredictable times, we are working to act immediately in response to community need. Here are some of our new services and stories.

Food Pantry Delivery

YWCA is part of a collaborative of organizations providing food pantry delivery to people who cannot leave their homes – including seniors and people with compromised immune systems, mobility struggles, and viral symptoms. If you need food and are unable to visit a food pantry, please call 211 or visit www.pa211sw.org.

Financial Assistance & Housing Support

When businesses started closing, the number of phone calls our staff take from neighbors who are struggling leapt up to 430 during the month of April – all from people who had recently lost their jobs in the crisis. And we have been able to help every one of them with the assistance of Emergency Basic Needs Funding and support from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and United Way. Martha (name changed for privacy) is one of our satisfied customers:

Martha and her husband own a small business that usually brings in a decent income. Until the COVID emergency, it allowed them to buy health insurance – which Martha needs to cover the cost of medications for a chronic health issue. But they haven’t been able to run their business for over a month, and although Martha has been able to pay many of their bills, she couldn’t cover self-pay health insurance. On top of that, Martha’s condition puts her at great risk of becoming very ill if she was is exposed to COVID-19. When she called 2-1-1, Martha was afraid she would have to make an awful choice between health care for herself and food for her family. She was referred to YWCA, and we were able to pay not only her health insurance, but also her electric and gas bills. Martha was so relieved that she could rely on us – and that even in quarantine she didn’t have to feel alone.
Name changed for privacy

Following Governor Wolf’s directive, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s operations remain largely virtual.  As we adapt to our modified schedule, appointments are required.  Our Homewood-Brushton Early Child Development Center is open, with special precautions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Our Pre-K Counts classrooms in Homewood and Braddock Hills will open in the fall. Click here to view our family welcome packet for more information. Please check our website frequently for service updates and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter. For a list of local resources, please follow this link.

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact United Way’s PA 2-1-1 Southwest by texting your zip code to 898-211, visiting pa211sw.org or by dialing 2-1-1.

If you need immediate assistance through the Resource Center, please complete our online application by clicking the button below.

Get Help

For over 150 years, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has worked to improve quality of life for women and strengthen the fabric of our communities. In 1970, YWCA USA proclaimed its one imperative: “to thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.” 50 years later, eliminating racism and empowering women is more than a salient and timely mission. It is a revitalized call to collective action aimed at promoting racial justice, reducing race and gender disparities, and deliberately addressing the challenges and celebrating the triumphs of living at the intersection of race and gender.

The One Imperative: to thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.

Our strategic direction builds upon the strong legacy of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s previous leaders and members as we innovate and lead to secure a better future. We boldly embrace the YWCA mission and a renewed commitment to racial justice based on the following assumptions:

1) Eliminating racism and empowering women requires deliberate action.

We understand that moving forward in our imperative involves both legislative and systemic changes. As a community, we must also move beyond acknowledging disparities exist and towards dismantling the framework that perpetuates these disparities. YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s advocacy platform promotes specific policies and systemic change for gender equity and racial justice.

2) Promoting racial justice requires a collective approach.

We are committed to building strong, strategic partnerships to be deliberate in our efforts to eliminate racism and empower women. This is a multi-faceted and cross-sectoral strategy. YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is actively engaging with the corporate, nonprofit, civic, and academic sectors to ensure women and people of color are treated with dignity and respect and children, youth, and adults are provided with access to opportunities.

3) As long as racial and gender disparities persist, YWCA will work collaboratively to reduce disparities and address their impact.

While we work towards eliminating racism and empowering women (an “upstream” approach), we also recognize that existing disparities were birthed in historical injustices. Race-specific and or disparate impact policies that have negatively affected housing choice, wealth accumulation, and educational attainment, among others, have led to present day income and neighborhood disparities. YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is committed to ensuring women, children, and families can meet basic needs and move towards financial stability. Our services to support these efforts will continue and be made more accessible. Examples include:

4) Promoting racial justice and empowering women is not a “one and done” or “checklist” effort.

We are engaged in a movement that provides short-term and long-term strategies for achieving our collective goals.

We approach all of our programming through a racial justice lens and assist our partners to do the same. YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has an educational platform to address racial justice and move towards anti-racist practices. In addition to these offerings, we are also looking internally at our programs and services to bring a racial justice and women’s empowerment lens to everything we do. Our Center for Race and Gender Equity will lead these internal and external efforts.

5) Understanding the challenges and triumphs at the intersection of race and gender is paramount to fulfilling our mission.

We strive to amplify the voices of those committed to racial justice and gender empowerment. This includes ensuring that the voices of those with lived experiences are valued and are shaping decisions being made. YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will continue to build community partnerships to present a narrative of strong women who thrive in the face of challenges. We also remain committed to removing the obstacles that hinder advancement for women, particularly women of color. Specifically, our Center for Race and Gender Equity aims to be a premier resource for understanding and addressing disparities at the intersection of race and gender. The Center recently launched:

  • Monthly YWednesday Conversations on Race for 2020-2021.

These conversations highlight issues of race and gender intersectionality and offer concrete actions that can be taken to promote racial justice. (You can watch our June 5 and July 15 Conversations at our Media Center and register for upcoming Conversations here.)

  • Short issue pieces that inform on intersectional disparities from a historical and data perspective.

These provide short-term and long-term strategies to address these disparities.

Angela Reynolds, Ph.D.
CEO, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
July 9, 2020