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Neighborhood Allies


429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219






Neighborhood Allies Invests in Building Healthy Neighborhoods across Pittsburgh

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Thus far in 2019, Neighborhood Allies has invested over $785,000 in capital to drive new, comprehensive resident-led change strategies to make Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods more competitive, inclusive neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. Each of these investments is aligned with our Healthy Neighborhoods Framework and will contribute to building healthy neighborhoods across Pittsburgh. 2019 investments range from a multi-sector collaborative working to achieve sustainable affordable housing in the Hill District, to a new tangled title program serving the Hilltop communities.

Neighborhood Allies’ Healthy Neighborhood Elements:

Schenley Heights Organized Revitalization Effort (SHORE)

Grantees: Schenely Heights Collaborative, Hill CDC, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, FOCUS Pittsburgh
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Equitable Development
Amount: $212,000

The multi-sector collaborative, SHORE, is comprised of residents, community based organizations, public agencies, nonprofit institutions and private entities to support the equitable development efforts in the Hill District. Through our comprehensive Healthy Neighborhoods Framework approach this work addresses the dynamics of both people and place, this public-private partnership is concentrating on equitable revitalization efforts within the Schenley Heights neighborhood of the Hill District. Many thanks to KeyBank and Dollar Bank for supporting this initiative!

Economic Opportunity For All

Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs), Fund My Future, Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs)

Grantees: Advantage Credit Counseling, Propel Schools, Oakland Planning and Development Corp. and Mon Valley Initiative
Healthy Neighborhoods Focus Area: Quality of Life
Amount: $257,500

FECs: Earlier this year, Neighborhood Allies and the City of Pittsburgh launched Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center. Pittsburgh’s FEC provides free one-on-one financial counseling by appointment or walk in at locations around the city. FECs help clients take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products, and much more.

Fund My Future: Launching in 2017, Fund My Future is an innovative program that has helped hundreds of local families save for college and beyond. Neighborhood Allies partners with Propel Schools to successfully expand this program to reach all children from birth to age 18 throughout Allegheny County.

FOCs: Since launching in 2015, our local network of FOCs have provided bundled services to nearly 2000 individuals. Over 1000 people have obtained employment and over 850 have increased their net income. FOCs provide an integrated or “bundled” set of three core services: 1) employment services, 2) financial education and coaching, and 3) access to income supports.

Many thanks to BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern PA, Hillman Foundation, McAuley Ministries, for supporting these initiatives!

Real Estate Co-Powerment Series

Grantee: Omicelo Cares
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Community Ownership
Amount: 35,000

Launched in early 2017, the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series is an education platform that demystifies the real estate development process, explains its associated terminology and brings to light the productive role community members and organizations play in the real estate and economic development inside their neighborhoods. Our 5th cohort kicked-off the first week of April and runs through mid-May. We’re pleased to report that this is our largest cohort to date with 19 new participants, representing community organizers, real estate professionals, CDC and CBO staff members and residents. Many thanks to First National Bank and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for supporting this initiative!

NEW Quarter 1, 2019 Grants

CommunityCare Wilkinsburg

Grantee: Civically
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Community Ownership
Amount: $75,000

CommunityCare Wilkinsburg is a stewardship program intended to beautify Wilkinsburg while developing the capacity of area residents. The program, which will be led in partnership with Grounded, incentivizes residents to engage with community clean-up and beautification efforts in exchange for credits that can be redeemed as safety-net resources, such as utility payments, bus passes and more. The financial incentives are intended to offset the barriers to civic engagement and volunteerism so that all residents may feel connected to and engaged in their neighborhood. This grant will result in increased civic participation and residents acquiring new skills, knowledge and capacity to respond to local land use issues and take action in their communities when they feel compelled to do so.

Unlocking the Home

Grantee: Hilltop Alliance
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Market Confidence
Amount: $50,000

Unlocking the Home is a new Tangled Title Assistance Program at Hilltop Alliance. The program provides legal support to Hilltop families who need assistance transferring the title of their family homes, so they may receive additional resources for repairs, remain in their homes and build equity. The program will be paired with other existing services available through Hilltop Alliance, their Last Will and Testament program to ensure that the title of the residence remains clear after their own passing and so that cycle of abandonment ceases and the Emergency Stabilization Grant program to ensure residents can receive needed physical repairs during the deed transfer process. This grant will result in at least 12 families being assisted with untangling title to their homes and being supported through the deed transfer process which will create an additional $500,000 of wealth for LMI individuals/families and build equity and generational wealth for low-to-moderate income residents while protecting residents from involuntary displacement.

Beams to Bridges Mental Health Training and Education

Grantee: Steel Smiling
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Quality of Life
Amount: $75,000

While Beams to Bridges is technically a re-launch for Steel Smiling, the program has been redesigned and is now exclusively centered around providing mental health supports and education to African American residents. The program is launching in the Hilltop to establish a cohort of residents who will be equipped to address their own mental health needs as well as the concerns of their neighbors. The program connects residents to African American clinicians, provides Mental Health First Aid Certification trainings, offers financial stipends to offset costs for participation and more. This grant will result in increased access and use of mental and behavioral support services for the Hilltop’s African American population while decreasing the stigma of mental health in the Hilltop’s African American population.

I experience insomnia in that my mind often does not “turn off,” I tend to keep thinking once I lay down in bed. Over the counter sleep aids have been ineffective and leave me drowsy the day after. Ambien turns off my mind and I sleep well. Sometimes I wake up in about 5 to 6 hours, if I need a bit more sleep then I take a half pill (5 mg) for the remaining two extra hours of sleep that I need to feel well rested. I have had no side effects.

Millvale Community Youth Worker

Grantee: Millvale Community Library
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Community Ownership
Amount: $40,000

The Millvale Community Youth Worker position expands Millvale Community Library’s capacity by hiring a full-time employee who will be responsible for engaging some of the neighborhood’s most “at-risk” pre-teens and teens. Notably, this position is backed by a public-public-public partnership between the Millvale Community Library, the Shaler Area School District and the Millvale Police Department. These three public entities will create a continuum of communication as they work together to ensure that vulnerable youth are connected to valuable community resources, realize their own voice and power, and are engaged in their communities. This grant will result in at least 30 Millvale youth receiving deeper, targeted support beyond their traditional academic settings and three youth mentorship programs related to community art, sustainability, and youth voice.

StartUP Music Entrepreneurship Program

Grantee: Homewood YMCA
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Celebrated Neighborhood Image
Amount: $14,500

The StartUp Music Entrepreneurship program is an eight-week summer entrepreneurship learning experience for youth and young adults in Homewood. The program allows youth to create their own musical projects and acquire the business and marketing skills required to become a young entrepreneur. The curriculum entails market research, target demographics, branding, social media management, budgeting, merchandising and more. Nationally-acclaimed musician, Poogie Bell, is the lead mentor for the initiative. This grant will result in 12 Homewood youth acquiring business and marketing skills while providing an outlet and platform for their creative expression. It will also support Homewood in becoming a thriving hub for African American arts and culture.

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