Groups on Facebook, Nextdoor, and other online platforms are connecting resources in a critical time.
By Ashlee Green
Pittsburgh residents are getting creative with their responses to the coronavirus crisis.
Lawrenceville United, a community group in Lawrenceville which shares parts of its 20th legislative district with Pittsburgh’s Northside, for example, initiated a “buddy system.” Pittsburgh Cares then expanded this concept citywide. It encourages local residents to either “seek out a ‘buddy’ who will check on and help care for them if they get sick” or sign up to be paired with a buddy.
In the Northside, online groups such as Northside – Stronger Than Coronavirus, a public Facebook group started by Northside North Shore Chamber of Commerce (NS/SCC) Executive Director Gina Grone, and North Side COVID-19 Support, a group on the Nextdoor app started by Northsider Christina Uplinger, are taking off.
The Northside – Stronger Than Coronavirus group is a way for Northsiders to share resources and information, and “to draw attention and business to valuable Northside establishments and support all employees and residents,” according to the group’s description.
“The Northside Chamber‘s role is to support the Northside business community,” Grone said in an email. “In this time of crisis, every single business is affected.”
“Some of the support that I can provide is in the form of communication to [Chamber] members, but where the Northside will really shine is when the residents support the businesses and each other,” Grone continued.
“We’re so great at helping each other here on the Northside, so the Facebook group is a way to make that easier, to show that we’re ‘stronger than coronavirus.'”
Uplinger, a member of Nextdoor since Nov. 2019, started working from home a few weeks ago. She likes the app because it “connects you to neighbors across the street but also miles away.”
“There were already a lot of great conversations on the app asking how people can help,” Uplinger wrote to The Northside Chronicle in a message.
“I created the group to further these conversations, specifically in the Northside community.”
Please contact Northside Chronicle Managing Editor, Ashlee Green, or Business Manager, Lauren Stauffer, with questions or tips related to ongoing coverage of the coronavirus as it relates to Pittsburgh’s Northside.