By: Jordyn Hronec | Pittsburgh Business Times | September 20, 2022 | Read the full article
McAuley Ministries, the grant-making foundation of Pittsburgh Mercy, announced its latest cycle of grants, totaling over $5.2 million.
The organization made 18 grants in total, all to support community and economic development and other initiatives in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods.
The largest grant amount went to Neighborhood Allies, which received $2 million. The funds will create a three-year program called “Neighborhood Capital,” which will provide real estate investment capital for local Black developers and Black neighborhoods. Ten real estate projects will receive technical assistance and flexible capital.
“This historic investment represents an intentional shift in how resources are directed to and absorbed by Black communities — making existing sources such as banks, CDFIs, government, and philanthropy more accessible for Black and Brown developers and lower-wealth communities,” Presley Gillespie, president and CEO of Neighborhood Allies, said in a release. “The partnership and investment from McAuley Ministries is furthering our capacity to advance racial equity in community-based real estate, and deliver enhanced value to community partners and businesses.”
Some of the other grant award recipients and amounts include:
- $500,000 to The Citizen Science Lab, to expand operations and support its relocation to the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading and Cultural Center in the Hill District.
- $500,000 to the Jubilee Association, to renovate/expand their facility and enhance their Preventing Homelessness Program.
- $499,800 to The Neighborhood Resiliency Project, for programming, staffing support and a new roof.
- $153,000 to The Pittsburgh Promise, to support the “Promise Coaches” program at Pittsburgh Milliones University Preparatory School in the Hill District.
- $153,000 to 1Hood Media, to resume educational programming for youth ages 16 to 26.
In addition to announcing the grants, McAuley Ministries announced that it will be forming an advisory council in order to gather community input and launch an expanded community engagement initiative.
“We believe that a healthy and vibrant society is one in which all people are respected, their gifts and cultural heritage are appreciated, the opportunity to participate fully in the life of the community is available, and people can live in the community of their choice in peace and security,” Marisol Valentin, executive director of McAuley Ministries, said. “We, along with our neighborhood partners, want to intentionally address and remedy the evils of racist ideological thoughts, structural racism, and violence by working together in programs McAuley Ministries currently supports as well as new initiatives toward this goal.”