Neighborhood Allies and Omicelo Cares Merge Programming to Transform How the Nonprofit Sector Helps Emerging Developers and Communities Thrive

Jan 31, 2024

Neighborhood Allies and Omicelo Cares, two leading Black-led nonprofit organizations, are excited to announce they have taken their long-standing partnership to the next level by combining and integrating the successful programming of Omicelo Cares into Neighborhood Allies’ portfolio of services.

The organizations have enjoyed a remarkable partnership over the past seven years. The Real Estate Co-Powerment Series—envisioned and funded by Neighborhood Allies, co-created, and implemented by Omicelo Cares—has become a truly transformational real estate training and wealth building model in the Pittsburgh region.  

“We are thrilled to embark on this new journey of collaboration and unity to drive transformative change in Black communities through real estate education,” said Presley Gillespie, Neighborhood Allies President & CEO. “By combining our efforts and resources, we are confident that we can create lasting economic impact and co-power emerging developers and entrepreneurs.” 

Joshua Pollard, the founder of Omicelo Cares and new board member of Neighborhood Allies, stated “this integration will be a testament to the value that can be created when organizations collaborate more deeply, reduce costs, and get the utmost impact from each philanthropic dollar invested.” He added “we will continue to build upon our collective accomplishments and increase the returns that community members see on their investment of time and capital into improving their own communities.”

The relaunched services will formally commence in May 2024 with a new cohort of the successful Real Estate Co-Powerment Series. In 2019, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs performed a program analysis of the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series, and the results were fantastic. Community members’ knowledge of real estate grew, meeting its original intent of shrinking the technical proficiency gap between developers and residents. In fact, program graduates acquired over 70 units of housing and commercial real estate during that time. Today, the number of housing and commercial real estate units acquired by graduates is well in excess of 100, including Omicelo Cares’ donation of its remaining real estate assets to a nonprofit founded by a Real Estate Co-Powerment Series graduate. 

Additionally, combining organizational resources will create stronger and more impactful results and significantly expand our collective reach and influence on equitable real estate development. It supports Neighborhood Allies’ North Star of accelerating, scaling, and sustaining the work of our community partners and moving 100,000 low-income Pittsburghers up the socio-economic ladder, which was always in line with Omicelo Cares’ mission. This strategic integration of programming aims to maximize the collective potential for positive change while reducing redundancy in the non-profit sector. 

Neighborhood Allies is proud to continue the shared vision of Omicelo Cares to build prosperity in low-income communities through business and asset ownership. Through Neighborhood Allies’ Centralized Real Estate Accelerator, we are uniquely positioned to provide entrepreneurs and emerging community-based developers at every stage of their growth with a continuum of capital and education under one roof, including: 

  • Financial capital: a range of flexible pre-development, grant, and equity products to meet Neighborhood Allies’ partners’ needs, as well as access to new opportunities and potential investors. 
  • Knowledge capital: business and technical assistance, and classroom training to develop the skills and insights that can help partners advance their enterprises. 
  • Social capital: connections to the networks and people that can help Neighborhood Allies’ partners succeed. 

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA