No photo taken to protect the privacy of the individual. 

Melinda’s Story

“Without United Way’s 211 and YWCA, I don’t know what I would have done.”

My name is Melinda. I’m 60-years-old and my life changed in an instant one day. All it took was a small misstep walking down the street. I went from being mobile to suddenly being unable to take care of myself.  I had stepped off a curb, rolled my ankle and tore a ligament. This had happened before, so I knew that I’d eventually feel better with rest, ice, and elevation. But it meant I had to stay put. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t go out. In fact, my ankle was quite swollen and painful for many days. I had been going out as little as possible, anyway, due to the pandemic. But at this moment, the fridge was empty. I had actually been on my way to the grocery store when I got hurt. There was nothing at home to eat but a few packets of crackers. I became so hungry. I had no family or friends who could help, so I contacted PA 2-1-1 Southwest. A supervisor immediately forwarded my information to the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, one of PA 2-1-1 Southwest’s partners in the Emergency Food Access Program. I was so relieved when the YWCA brought a box of food upstairs to my apartment that same day. They left it snug against the door so I could scoot it inside from a rolling chair. They brought me enough to last me while my ankle healed. Without United Way’s 2-1-1 and YWCA, I don’t know what I would have done.  

Thanks to the generous support of United Way donors, the Emergency Basic Needs Fund is helping people across the region with food, transportation, rent and utilities.