Response to COVID-19

At Hello Neighbor we are committed to your safety and that of the families we serve

March 12, 2020

Updated March 31, 2020:

Hello Neighbor launches the Refugee Assistance Fund in response to COVID-19 to meet the critical needs of refugee families in Pittsburgh. Read more about the launch of this initiative.

100% of donations go directly to recently resettled refugees in Pittsburgh to help meet immediate needs, such as paying bills, rent, and providing food and educational resources for their families.


Updated March 30, 2020:

Sloane Davidson shares a video update and checks in on the greater community during this unprecedented time. Watch video here.

Updated March 24, 2020:

A personal note Founder, Sloane Davidson, as she reflects on COVID-19 and how Hello Neighbor continues to respond. Read more here.

Updated March 16, 2020:

In light of the latest requests from Allegheny County officials, Hello Neighbor has made the difficult decision to close our offices for the next 14 days and move all staff to working remotely online. Furthermore, it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to pause all programming, including mentorship, food programming, and Smart Start. We have advised mentors and mentees not to have direct, in-person contact with one another for the next two weeks, and all custom food orders will be paused until further notice. While the decision to suspend all programming was not made lightly, with the spread of COVID-19, we believe it is the socially responsible thing to do.

The health, safety, and welfare of all of our staff, volunteers, mentors, and mentees is our top priority. We are working hard on how to best serve our refugee families during this national crisis to make sure they know where to access food, what services are open, and what protections they have.

We will be sharing more resources with you in the coming days for how to navigate this challenging time and support your neighbors from a safe and healthy distance. The Hello Neighbor community is resilient, and we look forward to coming out of this stronger with you.

Updated March 13, 2020:

At Hello Neighbor, it is our top priority to protect and preserve the safety and well-being of the community we serve–from mentors and mentees to staff, volunteers, and friends of Hello Neighbor.

We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the evolving conditions of the coronavirus through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and remain proactive in planning the best ways to preserve and protect the health and safety of our community.

As an organization committed to community support, we encourage you to find ways to continue supporting your neighbors and community members while also keeping yourself safe.

We are taking the following steps to do just that…

Our Staff

Our staff has been advised to take all necessary precautionary measures while working both in-office and in the community. We are asking that, when possible, all external meetings be moved to conference calls rather than in-person. We will continue our work of being in the community and serving our families, while being mindful of social distancing when possible and following any preventative measures as outlined by the CDC. Staff have been advised to stay home and work remotely if they show signs of sickness or have traveled to an area where cases have been confirmed.

The Families We Serve

We recognize that many of the refugee families we serve in Pittsburgh will be affected by this outbreak not only on a health level, but an economic level. Majority of families we serve operate as a single-income family, and most of their jobs are within the hospitality and transportation industries–which will be largely affected.

We also expect mental health impacts to emerge. The impact of fear, the unknown, lost wages and the ability to provide for your family is extremely hard on everyone. We know our refugee families have faced adversity before, but this can and will unlock trauma for many of them compounding any challenges they were already experiencing.

Our team is actively working on putting together resources that will help guide important conversations around this issue and point families toward resources available. For our families who are English Language Learners and still somewhat unfamiliar with American culture, it is crucial that we support them in ensuring they are getting the best and most accurate information.

This is where we need your help. As stated, we are developing a resource guide for our families as we speak. This includes great educational tools for understanding this outbreak and what preventative measures to take. It includes resources and ideas for what supplies are needed and how to find them on a very limited budget.

We would love to hear your suggestions for helpful resources to share. Please send any helpful information or ideas to

The Greater Hello Neighbor Community

  • Second Annual Meeting - Cancelled: We are disappointed to share that we have made the decision to cancel our 2nd Annual State of The Neighborhood Meeting, which was scheduled to be held on April 20th at Duolingo’s headquarters in Pittsburgh. We are in the works of shifting to an online, livestream event on that date in place of an in-person meeting–stay tuned for more event details in the coming weeks. While this is not the way we pictured celebrating another year of tremendous growth and impact among you and our refugee neighbors, our top priority at this time is protecting and preserving the health and safety of the community we serve and work in. We hope you will still join us for this online celebration.
  • Big Table Pittsburgh - Cancelled: Our Big Table event, scheduled to take place at our office on Wednesday, March 18th has been postponed under the advice of Leadership Pittsburgh. We had plans to bring together an awesome group of people for an evening of delicious food and inspiring conversation, but again, safety is our biggest concern at this time.
  • Other Upcoming Events - TBD: We are closely monitoring other upcoming Hello Neighbor events scheduled to take place in the next 90 days and making decisions based on the evolving conditions of COVID-19. While we have no further cancellations to announce at this time, please continue to check back on our website, social media, and email newsletter for further updates and developments in the coming weeks.

Please keep an eye out for more updates and announcements to come.

As the impact of this global pandemic continues to evolve, rest assured that we will continue to adjust and take any and all measures necessary to keep our community safe while continuing our mission to be the best neighbors we can possibly be – spreading love (not viruses) in the City of Pittsburgh.

Let’s stay safe, be well, and be kind to one another.

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Read More

How to support your refugee neighbors in times of crisis
How to support your refugee neighbors in times of crisis

Hello Neighbor launches Refugee Assistance Fund in response to COVID-19... Read more ›

Video Update To Our Community
Video Update To Our Community

Our founder, Sloane Davidson, shares a few updates on our families and community at Hello Neighbor... Read more ›

A Personal Note From Our Founder
A Personal Note From Our Founder

Sloane Davidson reflects on COVID-19 and how Hello Neighbor continues to respond... Read more ›