Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the particular vulnerability of our LGBTQIA+ people, especially those of color. Due to our community disproportionately experiencing a lifelong arc of violence and discrimination, many of our community members are impoverished and housing unstable.


Many folks in our community are self-employed or in the service economy, living with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or compromised immune systems. 


Realizing a need for mutual aid for our communities at this time, and inspired by Ijeoma Oluo's efforts to support her community of fellow artists in Seattle &  Amita Swadhin organizer of CVOID-19 Relief Fund For LGBTQI+ BIPOC, Sisters PGH launched this fund on March 18th, 2020 and has since invited our trusted comrades Ciora Thomas,  Aiden James Nevils, Aude Giglietti, Virginia Beck, Christina Acuna Castillo, to help manage the financial records and design and manage the process of fund distribution. We are all also open to other partnerships and relationships that would help this fund reach as many LGBTQIA people and organizations in Allegheny County as possible!!


We are prioritizing displaced LGBTQIA+ people because we have historically and currently faced increased barriers - including fewer ties to familial support networks, being simultaneously underserved and over-surveilled by welfare state systems, our needs have been surplus to mainstream political formations, and we tend to work in the gig economy (making us eligible to even receive unemployment.). 


We recognize that the nation-state does not provide a safety net for so many people and that the United States government’s response to COVID-19 has only deepened pre-existing hierarchies that make specific communities more vulnerable to premature death. We hope for a world in which universal basic income, universal health care, and other functioning social systems exist. We know that what we are doing is an imperfect solution to a very large problem, but we are trying anyway.


We talked with other mutual aid funds about how they decided to distribute the money they raised and decided that we wanted to absolutely avoid parsing through people’s narratives and deciding whose needs were more important than others. We agree with Adrienne Maree Brown who quotes Lao Tzu (author of Tao Te Ching) in Emergent Strategy: “If you do not trust the people, they will become untrustworthy.”


We are choosing to trust the people. We are not social workers and we refuse to replicate that position and dynamic. Most of the pool of people who have requested funds thus far are not employed full time, have a chronic illness or disability, and were already struggling prior to COVID-19 closures. Now our community is facing an even more urgent need, and we ask our community to respond.

To donate to the Fund and for more information please visit: gf.me/u/xrkx5y

This Fund is tailored for those inside Allegheny County
    Applicants, please complete this application in its entirety! 

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* 1. First Name/Last Name

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* 2. Primary Cell Phone Number

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* 3. Email

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* 4. Zip Code (You must live within Allegheny County to be considered for relief funds)

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* 5. Age

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* 6. Pronouns

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* 7. Gender

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* 8. Gender Identity 

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* 9. If on HRT - Are you worried about COVID-19 causing difficulties in you accessing hormones? 

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* 10. Sexual Orientation

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* 11. Race

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* 12. What is your Current Living Situation?

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* 13. What is your current Employment Status?

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* 14. If employed, Part Time or Full time?

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* 15. How have you been affected by COVID-19 financially? Please explain.
(Have your hours been cut, Food Insecure, Sex work slowed down, transportation challenges)

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* 16. How much are you requesting? 
(SisTers is considering emergency fund applications of up to $600 per individual. Please consider the amount of your request so that funds can be dispersed fairly to others. Please specify the amount of request and what needs it will cover) Please keep in mind you may not receive the full ask amount but we will do what we can to send something your way.


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* 17. How would you prefer to receive funds? 
 We have a team of volunteers that will be delivering gift cards.

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* 18. Please provide your PayPal handle.

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* 19. Do you need grocery or toiletry delivery? If yes, please provide a list of groceries. (This will be a case by case opportunity)

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* 20. We do deliveries over the weekend which days particularly works for you?

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