Subscribe to this e-update  
Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Non-profit Security Grant Program

We are fortunate to have many terrific non-profit organizations in this district and across western Pennsylvania that play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for our citizens.  Many of these organizations routinely face challenges related to fundraising, personnel, and making sure they are reaching the individuals most in need of their offerings. Unfortunately, in today’s world, many of these organizations are faced with a different kind of challenge, keeping safe as incidents of hate crime rise.

grantsThe Non-Profit Security Grant Fund was championed by Senate Democrats last year, and ultimately was established through legislation that was signed into law in November as part of Act 83 of 2019. The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency (PCCD) will be administering grants to non-profits who primarily serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI. Those categories include: race/ethnicity/ancestry; religion; sexual orientation; disability; gender; and gender identity.

Applicants are eligible for security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the Commonwealth that is owned or operated by the non-profit organization.

Projects that are eligible for funding through the Non-Profit Security Grant Fund are:

  • Safety and security planning
  • Purchase of safety and security equipment
  • Purchase of security-related technology, which may include, but is not limited to:
  • Metal detectors
  • Protective lighting
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Special emergency communications equipment
  • Electronic locksets
  • Deadbolts
  • Trauma kits
  • Theft control devices
  • Safety and security training
  • Threat awareness and response training
  • Upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security
  • Vulnerability and threat assessments
  • Specialty-trained canines
  • Any other safety or security-related project that enhances safety or security of the non-profit organization

Projects with a budget more than $25,000 require matching funds equaling 33 percent of the requested grant amount and projects more than $75,000 and up to $150,000 require matching funds equaling 50 percent of the requested grant amount.

The total available funding through the Non-Profit Security Grant Program during the 2019-2020 fiscal year is $5 million. The application period will open later this month and applications will be available at or by clicking here.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and it is strongly encouraged that interested non-profits get their applications completed and submitted as soon as possible once the application period opens.  Questions regarding the application process can be emailed to For further assistance please call 717-265-8448.

Offices Closed

All Senate offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  My offices will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Honoring Dr. King

MLKFor the last 25 years, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday has been recognized as a National Day of Service and next Monday, Jan. 20, citizens across America have an opportunity to participate. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century.

Dr. King spent his life leading a movement that brought profound changes in our attitudes toward one another and provided hope and inspiration to millions while helping to bridge the cultural divide.  He dedicated his life campaigning for racial justice and equality, also serving as an advocate for the poor.

I encourage anyone interested in giving back on MLK Day to visit to find a volunteer opportunity nearby.

Did You Know…

Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first visited Pittsburgh in 1956, speaking to youth groups at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District? In 1966 Dr. King spoke to an over-capacity crowd of students and faculty at Pitt’s Student Union which was believed to be the largest turnout of students to ever hear a visiting speaker in that venue.

REAL ID Reminder

Real IDI want to remind anyone interested in getting a REAL ID how to go about it.  In March 2019, PennDOT began issuing REAL IDs to customers for the first time.

If you received your first Pennsylvania driver's license, learner's permit or photo ID card AFTER September 2003, PennDOT may already have your required REAL ID documentation on file.

If you fall into this category and would like PennDOT to verify that your required REAL ID documentation is on file, please click here to begin the REAL ID Online Pre-Verification application process. Once PennDOT has reviewed your record, you will receive an email stating whether your documentation is on file with the department. If you did not provide an email address, once PennDOT has reviewed your record, you will receive a postcard stating whether your documentation is on file with the department. If your documentation is on file with PennDOT, you will be able to order your REAL ID online without visiting a driver's license center at and your REAL ID will be sent through the mail.

Individuals who wish to obtain a REAL ID and received their first product BEFORE September 2003 must visit a PennDOT Driver License Center with the required documentation to pre-verify in person. Required documentation includes the following:

  • Proof of Identity (original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal, issued by an authorized government agency, or a valid U.S. Passport)
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of all legal name changes (marriage certificate, court order or divorce decree)
  • Two proofs of current, physical PA address (examples include a current PA license or ID and no more than a 90-day old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address)

For additional information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania please visit or

Getting a REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents but as a reminder, beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.


LIHEAPThe Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) began accepting applications for this season’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on Nov 1.  The program helps low income families pay their heating bills.  You can apply and check the status of your application on the state’s COMPASS website (  You can also pick up an application in my district offices or download one yourself from the DHS LIHEAP website. Completed paper applications should be returned to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 5947 Penn Avenue, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.

Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal government and eligibility is based on the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.  The income limits for this season are as follows:

Household Size Income Limit
1 $18,735
2 $25,365
3 $31,995
4 $38,625
5 $45,255
6 $51,885
7 $58,515
8 $65,145
9 $71,775
10 $78,405

After your application is received you will receive a written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive.  Payments are generally sent directly to a utility company or fuel provider and will be credited to your heating account.  Crisis grants may also be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat.  For more information, please contact the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095.

Snow Angels

Snow AngelsThe City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Community affairs is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Snow Angels Program. This program pairs older adult residents and residents with disabilities with nearby volunteer Snow Angels to help them shovel and salt their property throughout the winter.

In order to request help from a Snow Angel, neighbors must:

  • Be at least 60 years old or have a physical disability
  • Live within City of Pittsburgh limits
  • Lack other resources (financial or family/friends nearby) to assist with snow removal

Volunteers and neighbors in need can register for the program online at or by calling the City’s 311 Response Center. The 2018-2019 program saw over 210 neighbors matched with volunteers to help them manage the hardships of winter.

The Office of Community Affairs will offer incentives throughout the winter season for individuals to volunteer on their social media accounts on Facebook (, Twitter (@ocapgh) and NextDoor. Community-based organizations, companies or employers are encouraged to assist with volunteer recruitment in their communities by having volunteers mention the organization’s name when they register. The organization that recruits the most volunteers will win the 2019-2020 Golden Shovel award and other incentives that will be announced later.

For more information or to find out more about how to help with volunteer recruitment, contact the Snow Angels Program at or 412-255-0846.

Fontana Fact

National Blood Donor MonthJanuary is National Blood Donor Month in the United States.  According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O. For more information on the need for blood donations and facts associated with donating blood, please visit

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
1039 Brookline Boulevard
Suite 2
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By appointment