Neighborhood Allies Awards Over $425,000 To Neighborhood Transformation Projects In Under-served Communities

Mar 18, 2016

We’re pleased to announce grants awards, which will support creative, innovative, collaborative and inspiring projects and ideas that will help transform marginalized neighborhoods into more sustainable, healthier, and stronger communities.

A total of 5 Catalytic grants and 6 Small and Simple grants were awarded, representing Neighborhood Allies’ unique approach to investing in complete capital graphic_4neighborhoods—our Complete Capital framework—which deploys human, social, and intellectual capital along with financial investments. “Unlike other community development organizations in Pittsburgh, we serve as an investor, thought leader, and catalyst for innovative approaches,” says Neighborhood Allies President, Presley Gillespie. “We’re excited to work with our partners to solve complex challenges ranging from workforce and minority talent development, expanding economic opportunity for minority entrepreneurs, to revitalizing commercial corridors in distressed neighborhoods.” adds Gillespie. These investments, layered with additional Neighborhood Allies support and know-how, will seed community development ideas that will help transform vulnerable neighborhoods and create social and economic impact. Awards were made in six priority communities across the City of Pittsburgh and into neighboring first-ring suburbs.

Each of our catalytic investments is focused on one or more issue areas, 1) Economic Opportunity, 2) Safe and Healthy Environments, 3) Leadership Capacity. Projects will address a myriad of local issues and opportunities ranging from a Business Leadership Academy for Hill District entrepreneurs that will activate vacant space in the New Granada Theatre, to a mentorship program for high performing African-American graduate students and young professionals who are interested in community development and social change. A full list of funded projects is below.

  • $50,000 The Chuck Cooper Foundation*: To extend and expand its Leadership and Diversity Programming for high performing African American Graduate Students, Young Professionals and Undergraduates entering into the early phases of their career. CCF intends to: 1) Continue career and leadership programming with 20 students per semester; 2) Expand professional mentoring program to recruit new mentors from the corporate community to provide tailored one-on-one mentoring; 3) Create Diversity Coalition of Stakeholders. *The Chuck Cooper Foundation is a public charity, not a private foundation.
  • $75,000 Hill Community Development Corporation: To convert approximately 1,300 square feet of vacant commercial space and provide interim space for entrepreneurs, and offer the Business Leadership Academy for Social Transformation (BLAST) to provide small business education support. BLAST is a cohort-based business leadership program that will work with business owners to build professional competencies. 
  • $75,000 Millvale Community Development Corporation: To acquire the parcels that currently house The Gardens of Millvale, a community project, from the Borough of Millvale. This acquisition will protect this community asset from current sales pressure and future development and prevent the loss of a key building block for the Millvale community – a resident-led, proactive project that supports the Millvale EcoDistrict Plan, Farm Truck Foods and the forthcoming Food Hub.
  • $69,900 Riverside Center for Innovation: To launch BizFIT, a 3 Tier Series of intense trainings designed to assist MWDBE firms in the construction industry with the skillset to better operate their business start-up to become a sustainable prime or sub-contractor.
  • $58,344 UrbanKind Institute: To create a full-time Youth Programs Coordinator to serve as a liaison between youth, schools, community organizations, policymakers, and the foundation community. The project is a joint effort between Remake Learning and PGH Works.

Small and Simple Grants approved included:

  • $15,000 Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers (Landslide Community Farm): To establish a Farmers Market Cooperative in Homewood. The market will also educate community members on the importance of buying locally in our communities, healthy eating habits, growing our own food, and the connection of environmental sustainability in our communities through educational sessions held at our Market.
  • $2,500 Brasher Association: To create a campaign of positive messages throughout Allentown to spread happiness and beautify community streets and empower kids to realize they have a significant voice and a say in their community.
  • $15,000 Café on the Corner (New Hope Renewal): To develop a culinary job mentoring and employment program that would serve young residents of Marshall/Shadeland and other parts of the Pittsburgh North Side.
  • $15,000 Hilltop Alliance: To purchase project materials for the temporary public art projects that will be created for and displayed throughout the Allentown neighborhood by the Industry on Industry artists and makers.
  • $7,000 Lawrenceville United: To engage professional consultants to create the framework for a shared Financial Manager position between a newly formed community-based organization (CBO) collaborative: Lawrenceville United, Bloomfield Development Corporation, Neighbors in the Strip, Polish Hill Civic Association.
  • $10,000 Millvale Community Library: To send the leadership team behind the Millvale EcoDistrict to the EcoDistrict Urban Regeneration Incubator program, which is a three-day intensive. training designed to accelerate EcoDistrict-modeled urban regeneration projects.
  • $15,000 Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh: To develop the Jobs First program, which provides RTP with a reliable labor force while offering a paid skills-development opportunity to community members who have, for various reasons, been unable to find and/or maintain meaningful and long-term employment.
  • $15,000 South Hilltop Men’s Group (New Sun Rising): To purchase landscaping equipment and tools for their Lots of Pride initiative, which is a work experience program for at-risk youth to maintain vacant lots in the Hilltop.

For more information on our grantmaking, visit our website.

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