3:39 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Honoring Pittsburgh's Homeless Who Died in 2014

138 plaques memorialize those who have died on the streets of Allegheny County since 1989
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Under the overpass at Fort Pitt Boulevard and Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh is a wall that holds 132 bronze plaques. Six more plaques will be added Sunday to remember the six homeless Pittsburghers known to have died while living in the streets in 2014.

The 17th annual candlelight memorial service will be held there Sunday evening at 7 o’clock..

“It’s to call attention to the tragedy of homelessness,” says Stephanie Chiappini, program manager of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net, which  hosts the vigil each year.

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Keystone Crossroads
8:06 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Regulated Tent Cities for Homeless Pondered But Improbable in PA

Frank Fairweather camped for three years beneath the Interstate 83 bridge in Harrisburg with at least half a dozen others at any given time. City officials recently closed the encampment.
Credit Image courtesy of Eric Weiss

Frank Fairweather says poor health forced him to quit truck driving just shy of his 50th birthday. He kept a roof over his head for a while but then one roommate was jailed for a parole violation, and the other skipped town.

Before he could find replacements, Fairweather fell behind on rent. He ended up joining several others camping under an interstate bridge near downtown Harrisburg.

Fairweather didn’t leave for three years, staying through winters and Tropical Storm Lee, until one night earlier this fall.

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2:24 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Organization Provides New Shoes for the Needy

Volunteers help the needy pick out the proper footwear one on one.
Credit Jess Lasky

With the slush, snow, salt, and ice, good shoes are a must for the winter, but for the homeless good shoes are not always easy to come by because often the donated ones are the wrong size or worn out.

That is why Our Heart to Your Soles spent Monday properly fitting brand new shoes to the needy right before the winter hits at its annual give away event.

They gave away about 400 pairs of shoes and anti-bacterial socks to anyone who needed them.

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Emergency Shelter
4:00 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

County Emergency Shelter Ready for Severe Weather

When the temperature dips below 26 degrees (F), most Pittsburghers have a warm place to stay – but imagine not having that option.  Homeless shelters that are open year round fill up quickly on cold night leaving  many without warmth.

That’s why Allegheny County and Operation Safety Net are opening the Severe Weather Emergency Shelter (SWES) from November 15, 2014, to March 15, 2015 again.

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Homeless Veterans
4:30 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Bill Would Give Public Housing Preference to Homeless Veterans

There are 1,500 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania at any given time, according to Senator Vince Hughes (D – Philadelphia).

That’s why he and other Democratic members of the Pennsylvania  Senate Appropriations Committee and representatives of various veterans groups are planning to meet Friday in Pittsburgh to discuss a bill that could help.

The legislation calls for a preference for homeless veterans, then to disabled veterans and then to families of deceased veterans for public housing.

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3:30 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Veterans to Receive Priority with Public Housing

Homelessness among veterans has increased in Pennsylvania by 46.2 percent since 2009 according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. To combat this growing number, a bill was just passed unanimously by the state Senate which would give veterans preferential treatment for public housing.

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3:51 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Organizations Commemorate Sandy Hook Children with Book Drive

HearYourselfThink and the Homeless Children's Education Fund came together to collect and distribute 1,100 books.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

It has been more than a year since 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but two organizations are keeping their memory alive by collecting and delivering books for the more than 1,700 homeless children in Allegheny County.

Grassroots organization HearYourselfThink collected new and gently used children’s books to commemorate those who died at Sandy Hook Dec. 14 2012.

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4:52 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Light of Life Rescue Mission Offers Holiday Meals to the Homeless

Troy Millbourne (left) enjoys a meal with (left to right) Michael Tiller, David Kelley, and Frankie Harris at Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Many of us will spend the next few days with friends and family, sharing meals and opening gifts. But for the poor, homeless and hungry, the holidays can present special challenges.

“I would think the holidays … could be a really difficult time for someone who might not have family or might not have the means to provide the gifts or the food that are so traditionally associated with the holiday,” said Kate Wadsworth, public relations manager for Light of Life Rescue Mission.

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3:33 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

After the Yarn Bomb: Knit the Bridge Panels Donated to Area Shelters

Knitted and crocheted panels from the Pittsburgh Knit the Bridge project add a splash of color and comfort to shelter beds at the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The 588 knitted and crocheted panels that adorned Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Bridge for the Knit the Bridge project have come down, been professionally laundered and are now being distributed to various agencies in the region.

“Homeless shelters and different womens’ shelters, there’s a juvenile shelter in Westmoreland County that some are going to and then also animal shelters, Humane Society and some nursing homes,” said Amanda Gross, lead artist for the Knit the Bridge Project.

On Tuesday, Gross delivered 60 blankets to the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.

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Economy & Business
3:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Allegheny County Gets Housing Vouchers For Homeless Veterans

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When many U.S. military personnel leave the service to return home, they might not have a home to return to or they wind up in the streets eventually.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says there are more than 10,000 homeless veterans nationwide, including those in southwestern Pennsylvania, which has one of the highest veterans per capita rates in the country.

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