From the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh's website:
It’s a cold Saturday morning in February as Barbara Coffee, Community Program Liaison at the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP), opens the door to the Bedford EnVision Center in the Hill District. Soon after, tax preparers and reviewers from Just Harvest set up inside the Center’s computer lab, ready to help HACP residents fill out their tax forms as part of a free tax preparation program. Over the course of the day, as many as 30 people will take advantage of this free service.
Brought to HACP over 10 years ago by Ms. Coffee, the free tax program has been an overwhelming success. Since 2009, the program has assisted over 70,000 people, including HACP residents, earning them $155 million worth of tax refunds. Running from January until the end of the tax season, appointments are available 9AM-3PM on Saturdays and 5PM-8PM on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“We help residents file their taxes for free,” said Winter Epps, one of Just Harvest’s tax reviewers. “We want to keep money in the pockets of the citizens.”
HACP’s partnership with the Just Harvest tax program is another way HACP is connecting its residents to impactful resources. This initiative has reduced the barriers often involved in filing taxes: confusing forms, expensive filing services, and a lack of access. Residents are glad that this resource exists, and feel more comfortable knowing that the person preparing their taxes is someone connected to the community.
“It is so good to have this program here,” said one resident as she got ready to leave after finishing her tax forms. “It really means a lot.”