Here to Help: Community Support and Connections

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Many of us watched the news anxiously this week, awaiting the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day 2020, this case has occupied our hearts and minds not only as an inescapable loss, but also as a symbol of many unresolved questions about who keeps our communities safe, and how.

Receiving the news of Chauvin’s guilty verdicts has us reflecting on the year that has passed and imagining what our future together might hold. Finding support and connection in our community continues to be an important part of understanding and processing these events. Along with the organizations listed below, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh aims to be a pillar for our community by providing information and resources to help in healing, learning and inspiring change.

The following resources may be of help during this difficult time:


Take Action

Steel Smiling 
If any Black person in Pittsburgh is uninsured and in need of mental health therapy, reach out to Steel Smiling. They have some funding available to help offset costs for your in-person/tele-mental health sessions. Also, if you’re Black and have insurance but can’t afford the co-payments, they have some funding to support with those costs too. Text/email them at (412)-532-9458 or info@steelsmilingpgh.org. “We’ll do our very best to honor your needs and get you connected with a Black, culturally-sensitive, clinical professional in a timely manner. Stay safe and please try to center your Healing today.”

National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ)  
The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) employs principles of social and restorative justice seeking transformation in the ways justice questions related to injustice, incivility, conflict, crime and harm are addressed. It promotes effective forms of justice that are safe, just, equitable, sustainable, reparative and socially constructive.

YWCA Pittsburgh 
On the third Wednesday of every month, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race and Gender Equity presents Action Conversations on Race, a panel discussion dedicated to racial justice. Featuring local experts and leaders in fields such as equity and diversity, policy change, and advocacy, these conversations are designed to build community and create change. YWCA Pittsburgh offers immediate assistance through their Resource Center. Contact them at resourcecenter@ywcapgh.org or (412) 255-1488.

RESOLVE Crisis Services  (Always available at 888-796-8226)  
Resolve is a 24-hour, 365-day crisis service. It’s free to all residents of Allegheny County, regardless of your ability to pay. Both Allegheny County and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital sponsor their services.  You do not need a psychiatric diagnosis to seek help from RESOLVE. They offer many services that do not depend on a formal diagnosis, and they help many people who have never had a psychiatric diagnosis. The 150-member crisis team provides:  crisis counseling and support, referrals and intervention services for adults, teens and their loved ones.

Are you a resident of PA, at least 18 years old and have a PennDOT ID? Now is the time to make your voice heard by voting for local and national representatives: 

Local and National Voting Resource Guide  
The following PDF contains links to a breakdown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and National organizations who provide access to voter registration, ballot questions, voter security and more.

Ballots Not Bullets in Minneapolis (Common Cause) 
Common Cause Minnesota Executive Director Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera offers a first-person perspective after two nights on the streets of Minneapolis reaching out to communities she has worked in for years and offering people watching around the country a different perspective than cable news.

Find Your Legislator 
Reach out to your local legislators. This link provides contact information, committee assignments and term length, along with an extensive directory of current PA legislators.

 

 

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