Student Success & Care Resource Guide

Pittsburgh Online Resource Hubs

  • BigBurgh 
    • Offers a free, easy-to-use way to find information on more than 170 no-cost services throughout Pittsburgh, including clinics, shelters, food pantries and more.–
  • United Way 211
    • For the United Way helpline call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 or visit
      • PA 2‑1‑1 Southwest is part of the national 2‑1‑1 Call Centers initiative that seeks to provide an easy-to-remember telephone number, chat, text, and a web resource for finding health and human services– for everyday needs and in crisis situations.
  • Highly trained 2‑1‑1 call specialists provide referrals to:
    • Basic Human Needs Resources: food banks, shelters, rent and utility payment assistance
    • Physical and Mental Health Resources: crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling
    • Employment Support: financial assistance, job training, education programs
    • Support for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities: home-delivered meals, transportation, health care.

Mental Health & Peer Support

Allegheny County Resources 

  • During these uncertain times, we know individuals may be experiencing fear, anxiety or stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allegheny County has services in place for individuals to speak with someone to assist in emotional support.
    • A Peer Support and Advocacy Network is available from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. by calling 1-866-661-9726
    • Crisis Services available 24 hours/7 days a week by calling 1-888-796-8226
  • Additional information and resources on mental health care can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website
    • The agency’s Disaster Distress Hotline is 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.

Food Assistance

  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - Currently they are still operating food distributions, but may be changing the models for drive-through, delivery, etc. Visit Website or Call them at 412-460-FOOD (3663)
  • Just Harvest – Apply for Food Stamps (SNAP) & get answers about eligibility
  • Community Health Services Food Pantry
    • We want to make sure those facing a hunger crisis are served quality, healthy food. We also treat everyone who visits the CHS Food Pantry with respect. We are all neighbors, so please visit us if you are facing a hunger crisis.
    • Food for Early Development (FED) – FED helps eligible families that do not receive WIC benefits.  FED offers baby formula, soft foods, diapers, bottles, and wipes.  To access call 1-866-395-3663.

Housing & Homelessness

People experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County must contact the Allegheny Link at 866-730-2368 in order to connect with shelter and other resources.

  • Allegheny Community Housing Services 
    • If you are homeless or about to become homeless and are looking for help, please call the Allegheny Link at 866-730-2368 as your first step to get help. We are unable to directly assist with homeless and utility services unless a referral comes to us directly from the Allegheny Link –
  • Family Links
    • If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24 and are facing homelessness, our Downtown Outreach Center and Shelter (DOCS) can provide you with a place to stay and a plan for the future. We provide immediate necessities such as food, shelter, medical care, and counseling, while identifying and planning for individual needs.

Rental Assistance

  • Community Human Services
    • Assist individuals and families in a housing crisis obtain and remain in housing. In addition, CHS assists individuals and families in the community stabilize their housing and prevent them from becoming homeless.
  • Department of Public Assistance, Emergency Shelter Assistance Fund 
    • This fund provides financial assistance in order to prevent eviction or foreclosure, obtain permanent housing or obtain temporary shelter. Consumers must be receiving public assistance benefits to qualify – 412-565-2146 
  • Urban League
    • The Housing Department at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh is now accepting Rental Assistance Applications.  Programs are offered for both families and individuals who are currently homeless and seeking assistance with a security deposit or are currently unable to afford rent.
    • Family Housing Stabilization Program (FHSP) – Families with children under 17.  Maximum grant: $750 - MUST MEET FEDERAL GUIDELINES
    • Housing Assistance Program (HAP) – Individuals, no children
      Maximum Grant: $500 - MUST MEET FEDERAL GUIDELINES

Rental Assistance & Mortgage Assistance

    • Lazarus Fund (Rent) 412-697-7390 
    • Nazareth Housing Services  412-931-6996 
    • Neighbor Works (Foreclosure prevention) -412-281-9773 
    • North Hills Community Outreach (Rent) (Northern Allegheny County Only)  - 412-487-6316 
    • The Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) assists clients in applying to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for emergency financial assistance to cease foreclosure actions. Action Housing - HEMAP 412-281-2102 Website:

Utilities Assistance

Public Assistance

Public Assistance – Out of State Resources

  • Students can be referred to the Student Insurance Advocate for help with finding programs in their state: Natahsha Gates, LSW | 814-865-3585 | [email protected] 


Cell Phone

  • Safelink The Lifeline program is available to eligible consumers in selected states and territories. 
    • Actual requirements vary by state, but in general to qualify for Lifeline, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines, or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
  • Assurance - Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Lifeline is a government assistance program. The Assurance Wireless offer provides eligible low-income free monthly data, unlimited texting, and free monthly minutes. Plus a free phone.

Internet Access

Temporary Lending Laptops/Mobile Hotspots – University Park 

  • In order to ensure the continuity of class delivery and work at the University, we have a limited supply of loaner laptops and tablet computers we can make available to those who have identified a need.  
  • Please note, you will be required to return all equipment loaned to you once the University resumes regular operations. 
  • Penn State Mobile Technology Request -

Textbook Access

  • Barnes & Noble is providing free temporary access to up to seven e-textbooks through their VitalSource platform. 
  • Students are restricted to 7 books in total
  • Do NOT get access to any supplementary information that they would have gotten with the access codes.
  • Check the syllabus for the correct ISBN for the text. There are multiple versions of texts in VitalSource and books are “non-returnable” so if they choose the wrong one they have used up one of their 7 books (tell them to click on the “I” to get information on the book such as the edition and year published).
  • This is TEMPORARY. Access ends May 25.
  • MUST create an account at (Links to an external site.) using their PSU email (it must be a .edu email to gain access).
  • Printing is limited to 2 pages at a time.
  • You can find instructions on getting started in the Online Resources section of our remote resources guide: (Links to an external site.).






  • All PA Domestic Violence Programs ( - please call (if able) to see if services are altered during the pandemic.
  • HOPE Center: if social distancing has forced you into unsafe situation, call 724-224-1266 to speak with an advocate. Available to call 24/7. They will help provide domestic violence information, community resources, safety planning, support, and more!
  • PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape)
    • Off-campus services for victims of sexual and relationship violence and stalking.
    • Helpline: Running as usual 24/7 1-866-363-7273. Text/Chat Line: Services available and accessed through our website,
    • Phone: 412-431-5665
    • Location: 81 South 19th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203




  • Foster Youth - Shelly Brown
  • Homelessness – Lorraine Craven
  • Food Security - Erica Willis
  • Shelter (Rental Assistance/Utilities Assistance) – Shelly Brown
  • Healthcare - Jennifer Ross & Lorraine Craven
  • Mental Wellness – Ann McCurdy & Lorraine Craven 
  • Internet/Phone – Erica Willis & Shelly Brown
  • Financial Assistance/Emergency Grant - Lorraine Craven
  • Employment - Erica Tachoir
  • Storage – Lorraine Craven
  • Textbook Access - Erica Willis & DeAnna Jakubek
  • Help Contacting Professor/Advisor - Erica Tachoir
  • Tutoring Assistance/Disability Accommodations - Siobhan Brooks
  • Dropping/Adding Class - Erica Tachoir
  • Graduation - Chip Roberts
  • Internship - Erica Tachoir
  • Technology Requests – Erica Willis & Shelly Brown 
  • Financial Aid - Estelle Belko 
  • Outstanding Tuition Bill - Melissa Daykon