South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

PWSA Hardship Program seeking donations


Last updated 12/8/2021 at 7:47pm

Pittsburgh is a city rich with the traditions of community, friendliness, and neighborliness, especially during the holiday season. From coat, sweater, and toy drives to nursing home visits to more local and unique Pittsburgh volunteering traditions, our city is one that is full of helpers, with many of us finding a way to support our neighbors and community in need.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) announced an additional way Pittsburghers can help support their neighbors: by donating to the PWSA Hardship Grant Program, a contribution will directly benefit local families who are struggling to pay for essential water services.

Since 2018, the Hardship Grant Program has helped more than 630 Pittsburgh households maintain essential water services. The grant program was established to provide income-eligible customers with annual cash assistance to put towards their monthly water bill. Currently, they have distributed more than $165,000 through the program and award an average household grant of $263. A contribution will ensure the future success of the program.

The Hardship Grant Program, like other PWSA Customer Assistance Programs, is administered by Dollar Energy Fund. Donate online at, by calling Dollar Energy Fund at 412-431-2800 or by mailing a check to: Dollar Energy Fund, Inc., PO Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Indicate that the donation is to be directed to PWSA's Hardship Grant Program. Donations are tax-deductible.

As PWSA works to make necessary improvements to water and sewer infrastructure, customer protections and ensuring customers can afford water services are priority issues. The Hardship Grant Program can make a tremendous difference in the lives of many of customers while reflecting Pittsburgh's values of helping one another. 

"2021 continues to present many challenges to our friends, neighbors and most vulnerable customers," said PWSA's Chief Executive Officer, Will Pickering. "As stewards of a vital and public utility, we never want our customers to have to decide between water and other essential expenses. If you are thinking about making charitable donations this holiday season, we hope you will consider helping another Pittsburgh family access one of the most basic needs: water."

Donations to the Hardship Grant Program will be distributed in the form of financial aid to PWSA income-eligible customers receiving water services. Grants are dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible families with a gross household income that is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This means that a family of four making $39,750 qualifies for assistance. 

Households can receive a grant once every 12 months up to a maximum amount of $300.

The past two years have certainly underscored how important it is to lend a helping hand to those in need. For more information about the Hardship Grant Program, visit


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