A $45,000 Catalytic Grant from Neighborhood Allies supported the development and launch of a Service Platoon of military veterans in Homewood that is empowering Pittsburgh veterans to continue their service on the ground in communities rather than the battle field.
“The Homewood Service Platoon has started to make a real impact, working side-by-side with community leaders. As these veterans are improving civic engagement, they are also changing the way that people view and understand veterans. Since the launch, we have empowered more than 40 Pittsburgh veterans that have volunteered over 400 hours to complete 8 service/support projects that support the needs of the Homewood community.”
With Neighborhood Allies support, The Mission Continues was able to build the Pittsburgh 2nd Service Platoon from the ground up–preparing for long-term community impact in Homewood. The platoon immediately ignited the community, empowering them to envision positive change. In the spring of 2016, the platoon began a partnership with Homewood Community Sports to begin a major ongoing project on Stargell Field to help renovate and rehabilitate a community baseball and football field. The veteran leaders are using the skills that they developed in the military to listen, muster and execute on projects that support the overall vision of the community members.
Over the course of the year Pittsburgh 2nd Platoon has had 8 service/support projects supporting the needs of the Homewood community. Partner organizations include, Homewood Community Sports, Operation Better Block, Homewood Children’s Village, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh and the Homewood YMCA. Since November 2015, the Platoon has worked nearly 432 volunteer hours in support of the Homewood community. Local community members have come out to volunteer alongside the Platoon at every service project allowing the platoon members to build relationships with community members. Through these efforts, The Mission Continues has been able to identify key leaders within the Homewood community and align them with both Neighborhood Allies and other key stakeholders that can create movement around the vision of the community, allowing the community members to be at the forefront of conversations including usage of vacant lots, renovations of city parks; in turn empowering the Homewood community.
For more information on The Mission Continues, visit their website. And, join us to celebrate and honor them as our Celebrated Neighborhood Image Awardee at the 1st Annual Healthy Neighborhoods Celebration on November 16th!