DHS Home Page
Department of Human Services    Follow DHS on Facebook Follow DHS on Twitter Watch DHS Videos on Vimeo Connect with DHS on LinkedIn

Help in Hard Times

Help in Hard Times 

There are programs in place to help you get through these difficult times. These programs, in many cases, are paid for by your taxpayer dollars and are available without charge to any Allegheny County resident who is income eligible.

Play it Forward Gift GiveawayPlay it Forward Gift Giveaway, December 13, 9:00 a.m. till toys are gone or 3:00 p.m. which ever comes first, Century III Mall
Gently used toys accepted for donation (donation times and locations are on the Play it Forward website) and provided free to families in need.

Assistance by Category

 Basic Needs
Education
  • Allegheny County Library Association
  • Career Training for Dislocated Workers 
  • Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council 
Employment
Financial Support
  • Financial Assistance
  • Financial Counseling 
  • Tax Preparation Information 
Health
Legal Assistance

Basic Needs
  • Computers and Cell Phones 
    • Allegheny County Library Association 
      Offers free computer use, including internet access and word processing software at area libraires.  Many libraries also offer classes.
    • Goodwill Computer Store
      Sells refurbished computers, monitors, keyboards and accessories at a low cost, including PCs and iMacs.
    • SafeLink Wireless
      Provides free cell phone and service for those who meet eligibility requirements.
  • Domestic Violence 
    • Supports for victims of domestic violence and their children through advocacy, crisis intervention, 24-hour crisis hotline, temporary shelter, on-going individual counseling and support groups. Learn more 
  • Food 
    • Food Assistance
      Contains links and lists to find emergency food, food pantries, food stamps, out-of-school meals, meals for older adults and WIC.
  • Parenting Support 
    • Discounted Admission to Carnegie Museums
      Provides information about the program that encourages any Pennsylvania resident with either a green or yellow ACCESS/ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to visit the four Carnegie Museums at a significant discount (Andy Warhol, Art, Natural Hisory are $1 admission fee. The Science Center is $3 admission fee). 
    • $1 Admission to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
      Provides details about the program that encourages any Pennsylvania resident with a green ACCESS/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to visit the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh for $1. (See last row in table)
    • Family Resources’ confidential WARMLINE 
      412-641-4546 or 1-800-WARMLYN
      Provides information about the WARMLINE, a free, confidential resources where a trained person--another parent or child caregiver--will listen and help with simple questions or complex situations.  There's no question too small. No problem too big.
    • Family Support Centers 
      Provides locations and information about community-based centers devoted to providing parents and neighborhoods with the resources and supports they need to raise healthy and happy children.

Back to Top 


Education

Back to Top 


Employment
  • Job Training, Preparation and Search 
    • Allegheny County Employment Services
      Includes information about local job opportunities, job training, job search assistance, CareerLink and EARN program.
    • Department of Labor, Job and Training Information
      Provides information for job-seekers and those who are unemployed. 
    • Imagine my new job
      Scans job postings in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties and matches them to the desired keyword. These are the high-tech, high-paying careers in engineering, research and development, architecture, information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, accounting, life sciences, and more.
    • Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board
      Responsible for overseeing the CareerLink and youth employment services previously available through the DHS Bureau of Employment and Training.
    • Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
      412-227-5021
      Reviews programs that help unemployed individuals with employment counseling and placement.
    • VETS Resource Connection 
      Provides information about employment, reemployment, training, education and benefits for veterans.

Back to Top 


Financial Support

Back to Top 


Health
  • Eyeglasses 
    • American Optometric Association Vision USA Program 
      1-800-766-4466
      Provides eligibility guidelines and an application to receive a free eye exam by a doctor of optometry through the Vision USA program.
    • New Eyes for the Needy
      Provides details about the program that gives free new eyeglasses and vision care to uninsured persons who qualify. 
    • One Sight
      1-888-935-4589
      Provides details about the program that gives free new eyeglasses and vision care to uninsured persons who qualify. 
  • Health Care 
    • Allegheny County Health Department Primary Care Centers
      Provides contact information for three ACHD Primary Care Centers which offer routine health supervision, prevention services and care during illness for all family members. In-home visiting nurses are available for high-risk pregnant women and families with young children.
    • American Optometric Association Vision USA Program 
      1-800-766-4466
      Provides eligibility guidelines and an application to receive a free eye exam by a doctor of optometry through the Vision USA program.
    • Squirrel Hill Health Center
      Provides information about the center's full range of free or reduced rate high quality medical care, behavioral health care, case management and translations services offered regardless of an individual's income level or health insurance status. The SHHC added a mobile health center to its service offerings in November 2010 and a dental clinic in February 2011.
    • Text4baby 
      Text4baby sends pregnant women and new mothers helpful mom and baby health information for FREE to their phones as a text message.
       
    • Under/Uninsured Resource Guide by the Allegheny County Health Department
      Contains contact information for health care resouces for Allegheny County residents who are un/underinsured. View the most current edition on the ACHD homepage.
    • Veterans' Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System 
  • Low-cost Prescriptions 
    • Allegheny County Rx Program 
      Provides information about the free county prescription discount program that is available to any Allegheny County resident regardless of age, income, or existing health coverage. The plan is honored at more than 300 participating pharmacies in Allegheny County. A national network of more than 60,000 participating retail pharmacies also will honor the NACo prescription discount card. The program is sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo).  
    • pdf.gif Mental Health Rx Pharmacy Benefit Program 
      Provides information about the prescription plan for eligible individuals that pays for psychiatric prescription medications. Eligibility is based on income.
    • Pa. Prescription Assistance 
      1-800-225-7223
      Provides information about PACE, PACENET and PACE Plus Medicare -- Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents age 65 years and older. Apply for PACE online 
    • Pa. Prescription Price Finder
      Gives users a list of local pharmacies with price comparisons of the prescribed medicine when a ZIP code and the name of the prescribed medicine is entered into the online tool.
  • Mental Health Support 
    • re:solve Crisis Network 1-888-7 YOU CAN (1-888-796-8226)
      Answered by a mental health professional who assists callers avoid a mental health crisis.
    • Allegheny County Mental Health Services 
      Provides an overview of services available to county residents who are concerned about their mental health.
    • Anonymous Mental Health Screening for In/Active Members of the Military
      Designed specifically for member of the armed forces, these free, self-administered, online screenings can help determine if behaviors related to mood or anxiety levels might be related to a mental health concern and/or indicate that a professional consultation could be helpful. Other helpful resources are also available on this site.
    • Birmingham Free Clinic
      Patients with insurance, including Medical Assistance, will be referred to community health centers. No appointments are needed, but staff may limit the number of patients accepted depending upon patient volume. Basic primary care, blood pressure and blood glucose screening, smoking cessation, physicals for jobs, housing, driver’s licenses are provided. Mental health assessment and counseling by appointment only for existing patients. Provides free health care to uninsured Latino patients on Saturdays.
    • NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program
      A free 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses that discusses the clinical treatment of these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.
      NAMI De Familia a Familia, Contact Alby 412-244-3142 or Jorge 412-788-4582.
    • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
      PAAR offers Spanish language counseling for victims of sexual violence. Additional services offered in Spanish include preventative education and mental health counseling for both adults and children. Offices are on the South Side at 81 S. 19th Street. Contact Teresa Otoya-McAdams 412-431-5665 or teresao@paar.net.  
    • Pa. Department of Human Services Mental Health Services 
    • Psychology Clinic
      Duquesne University has a free clinic that requires no insurance or personal documentation. There is no limit to the number of sessions a person can have. Family members are welcome. It does not have drug and alcohol services.
    • Websites of Interest for Military Personnel with Mental Health Concerns 

Back to Top 


Legal Assistance
  • Get Help Now, Pennsylvania
    888-799-4557
    Help from lawyers, banking and mortgage professionals and financial analysts with expertise in finance, credit and bankruptcy.
  • Pa. Law Help
    An on-line guide to legal information and legal services in Pennsylvania.  
  • Stateside Legal
    Provides legal assistance to active military members, veterans and their families.

 Back to Top 
  



Additional Allegheny County Resources

  • Military.com
    Provides a wide range of information for veterans and current service members of every branch of the U.S. military. Buddy search, pay charts, discount center and various newsletters are a few of the many features.
  • National Resource Directory
    Provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families and those who support them.
  • Pennsylvania Health and Human Services HelpinPA Facebook page 
    Provides current information and updates about a variety of Pennsylvania’s health and human service programs, events and resources. Citizens and community-based organizations are able to learn more about health insurance programs, services for children and adults with special health care needs, prenatal services, breastfeeding support, and services for older Pennsylvanians.
  • Provides current information and updates about a variety of Pennsylvania’s health and human service programs, events and resources. Citizens and community-based organizations are able to learn more about health insurance programs, services for children and adults with special health care needs, prenatal services, breastfeeding support, and services for older Pennsylvanians.
  • Pennsylvania Health and Human Services resource guides (2010)  
  • Pennsylvania's Here to Help 
    From meeting basic needs for food and shelter to upgrading professional skills to find a new job in a high-demand industry, the commonwealth has a wide variety of programs to help people get through the tough times. 
  • Resource Guides
    Basic needs are met in Allegheny County by many agencies. Printable booklets that list the names and contact information for some of these agencies are available. The United Way offers additional guides.

Back to Top
 



Places to Go for Help

  • Allegheny County Assistance Office
    Helps people apply for benefits made available through the Pa. Department of Public Welfare.  Assistance includes food, cash, medical insurance and utility bills.
     
  • Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)
    Serves the comprehensive needs of income-eligible families and individuals across their life span through tangible aid and a full continuum of services including information exchange, prevention, early intervention, case management, crisis intervention and after care through a variety of services including: child welfare services, drug and alcohol services, early childhood education, employment services, family support services, food, housing,  information and referral, mental health services, services for seniors and people with physical and cognitive disabilities, transportation, and utility assistance.
     
  • Allegheny County Department of Veteran's Services
    Supports both active and retired U.S. military and National Guard personnel.
     
  • Allegheny County Health Department
    Provides information about free health, dental and tuberculosis clinics; an uninsured/underinsured resource guide; news releases about local health risks; safety alerts about area restaurants and other information to support wellness.
     
  • The Salvation Army
    Provides a comprehensive array of services including housing (short term and transitional), home furnishings, emergency food, assistance for those with substance abuse disorders and employment.
     
  • United Way of Allegheny County 
    Provides guides, directories and the searchable HelpConnections database to assist users find needed services.
     
  • Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
    Provides housing assistance, food, and employment to anyone in need. 

PA211SWlogo

 
 Back to Top

 



How You Can Help

  • Neighbor-Aid
    Helps families and individuals in Allegheny County who are facing hardship as a result of the economic crisis.

Back to Top