• On July 1, PA CareerLink Indiana County expanded the virtual services provided to jobseekers and employers and began offering limited on-site services by appointment only. Virtual Services include: career counseling, job search assistance, r￩sum￩ assistance, eligibility determination for Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act programs and services, on-the-job training programs, virtual workshops, young adult programming and work readiness services, and all employer services. Call (724) 471-7220 for an appointment to use the PA CareerLink Computer Resource Room for job search activity, copying and faxing documents for unemployment compensation, employer services, individual customer appointments to complete program paperwork for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, individual customer appointments to complete pre-employment paperwork for Express Employment Professionals, and on-site educational assessment. To protect the health and safety of customers, staff and to continue following COVID-19 social distancing and mitigation recommendations, UC courtesy telephones will not be available until further notice. For regular UC questions: Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (888) 313-7284 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or LiveChat (call (888) 313-7284 for a secure 6-digit code) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For pandemic unemployment assistance questions email email@example.com or call (855) 284-8545 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Indiana County Courthouse Update: As of July 6, the following offices are open by appointment only: Register & Recorder, Veterans Affairs, Tax Assessment, Commissioner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. Tax Claim will remain closed. All other offices will be open to the public. The number of people entering the building for court is limited to only the people that are necessary and participating in the proceedings. Masks and social distancing requirements will remain in effect.
• Homer-Center Public Library reopened June 22. Hours remain 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Patrons are asked to wear masks upon entering the facility. There will be a limit of one household browsing for books and one household using a public computer in the library at a time. A household is defined as parents or guardians and children, a couple or an individual living under the same roof. The workers will let the next patron in line know when it’s OK to enter the facility. The staff thanks you for your understanding during this time and is excited to see everyone once again.
• Indiana Free Library will hold an Owl Mask Fundraiser. A limited number of owl facemasks are available. The owl is the logo for IFL. Don’t like owls? There are others to choose from, including sports teams. Go Steelers! All masks have a wire nose bridge and are either three-ply or have an opening for a filter. If interested, send an email request to board member car firstname.lastname@example.org and make your selection. Please consider making a donation! Donations can be made by check to Indiana Free Library, 845 Philadelphia St., Indiana PA 15701. Please note “Owl Mask Project” in the memo line of the check.
• Indiana Free Library programming and storytimes are now offered online. Many digital services are offered via the library website including ebooks and audiobooks on the cloudLibrary, online learning with Gale Courses and Learning Express for job seekers, the full Power Library, streaming movies, music concerts, Great Courses and more. All library materials are now available through a Grab-N-Go service on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Computers by appointment are also available during Grab-N-Go hours. For all details, visit www.indianafreelibrary.org. Traditional fundraising for the library has changed to promote your safety. See the donate options available from the library website.
• The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency wants to inform the public of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Also known as the CARES Act, it is a law to help people hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. CARES assistance is now available in Pennsylvania for rent (ICCAP) and mortgage relief. For mortgage relief information, visit www.phfa.org/pacares/. You can also submit an application and find other information on the website.
• As of July 6, ICCAP began taking applications for the CARES Rent Relief Program. This program can assist with up to six months of rent payments (maximum of $750 per month) for individuals whose incomes were reduced by more than 30 percent due to COVID-19. The renter and landlord applications for rent assistance can be obtained by logging onto the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at phfa.org/pacares/ or by calling (855) 827-3466. The program guidelines along with a list of frequently asked questions is available on the website. The completed applications and supporting documentation can be emailed to ICCAP at email@example.com or to ICCAP’s mailing address at P.O. Box 187, Indiana, PA 15701. The ICCAP main office can be contacted at (724) 465-2657, ext. 218.
• The Christos Clothing Closet at Homer City United Presbyterian Church announced that it will not reopen through the remainder of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The Indiana County commissioners recently appointed an Indiana County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force that is working for every one of Indiana County’s citizens. Your needs and interests are front and center. They are collaborating with their partners in health care, human services, public safety and economic development so that we can emerge from this pandemic to be more financially resilient, more efficient in delivering services, especially to our most vulnerable citizens, and more responsive to the current and future needs of all who live and work in the communities. Related to this goal will be the objective to disseminate and communicate guidance and assistance to residents, businesses and visitors. The task force has begun to pull information together to share with residents and businesses of Indiana County to help guide through the transition of reopening the county. Go to http://www.humanservicescountyofindiana.org/library.php#a309 and click on the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Folder for resources. For more information, call the commissioners at (724) 465-3805.
• The Pennsylvania Department of Health has been working with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Contact Tracing Consortium on an onboarding process for contact tracers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now beginning to recruit volunteer contact tracers for the region. Volunteers will need to have a computer with access to internet and a phone. Individuals can volunteer their services through Pennsylvania’s online registry for medical and non-medical volunteers found at http://www.serv.pa.gov. During this registration, they will be asked to join an organization. Please click on the + sign next to Contact Tracing (PADOH) to see the dropdown options. Please choose SWPA. The department is seeking individuals who speak additional languages and who may have experience in working within local communities or with specialized/targeted populations such as faith leaders, service providers within the homeless community, providers who work with individuals living with disabilities and individuals from other vulnerable communities. Qualifications of contact tracing volunteers include ability to exhibit a professional, positive attitude and work ethic; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact professionally with culturally diverse individuals during a time of crisis and distress; ability to show empathy to distressed individuals; excellent organizational and communication skills; ability to speak, read and write English; second or multiple languages a plus; critical thinking and sound judgment required; ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism; and proficiency with computers. Volunteers with availability beyond 15 hours per week have been prioritized in the onboarding process, but as they develop their internal infrastructure at DOH, they will be working to onboard volunteers with more limited availability. Training will be provided. For more information, email RA-DHCONTACTTRACING@pa.gov.
• Community Kitchen has been canceled indefinitely. For more information, call Cindy Briggs at (724) 397-9498.
• The Chevy Chase Community Center is open Monday through Thursday, no longer on Fridays, at 640 N. Fifth Ave., White Township. The center will continue to serve Grab-and-Go lunches for children until Aug. 12. Kids will receive a double breakfast and lunch on Thursdays to cover for Fridays. All other programs are on hold at this time. For more information, call (724) 463-0674.
• The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: Summer Youth Caf￩ will provide healthy and free meals for youths in the summer at a site nearby. The program is open to all youths age 18 and under. Information on sites in Indiana County will be coming soon, but until all dates/times are confirmed, call 2-1-1 or text FOOD to 877-877 to find your local site.
• Aging Services Inc. has returned to limited operations in their full-time senior centers. They will be limiting their daily attendance at each center and only providing congregate meals. Anyone wishing to attend the center must call and reserve a meal. Their reservation times will be staggered to accommodate as many participants as possible. They will continue their takeout meals as long as regulations permit. Those attending the center will be required to consent to a temperature and health screening and to follow hand washing, mask and social distancing protocols. Those who are ill are asked not to attend and must understand that if they are visibly ill, their entrance will be denied. For more information, call (724) 349-4500.
• Aging Services Inc.’s administrative offices will be open with limited seating capacity. If anyone needs to see the apprise counselor or a care manager, please call first and make an appointment. For more information, call (724) 349-4500.
• Aging Services Inc.’s Facebook Video Craft Classes are being offered on the Indiana and Two Lick Valley Social Center’s Facebook pages every week.
• Aging Services Inc.’s Geri Fit Exercise Classes have resumed at the Indiana and Two Lick Valley Social Centers. The Indiana class will be held outside, weather permitting, from 9 to 10 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two Lick Valley class will be held at the Sherman Park Pavilion from 9 to 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Call the Indiana center at (724) 465-2697 or the Two Lick Valley center at (724)254-9820.
• The Pennsylvania Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, a statewide program through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, is designed to provide money for the purchase of nutritious Pennsylvania produce. These checks are for eligible persons age 60 by Dec. 31, 2020, or older, that meet the Household Income Eligibility Guidelines. Income includes interest, Social Security, wages, etc. Due to COVID-19 all applications and vouchers will be processed either through email or the postal service. Call Aging Services Inc. at (724) 349-4500 for more information or to request an application to be sent to you via the mail. Individuals cannot pick up applications at Aging Services or any of the social centers in Indiana County.
Indiana Regional Medical Center Perinatal Education is offering virtual classes, including Childbirth Preparation, Breastfeeding Basics and Newborn Basics. Classes can be billed through your insurance or, if you do not have insurance that covers the classes, there is a self-pay option. All classes listed are $65. To register, call (724) 357-7075 or visit https://www.indianarmc.org under classes and events.