Neighborhood Allies Helps Pittsburgh Neighborhoods RISE HIGH Through Equitable Development Investments

Aug 2, 2022

Racially Inclusive Solutions for Equity, Healing, Impact, Growth and Health: RISE HIGH

Last month, we awarded two new RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Awards totaling $150,000. Through our RISE HIGH strategy, we build trusted partnerships with organizations that go far beyond grants–layering and connecting different support and resources to adequately and wholly respond to their goals and needs. These direct investments, layered with our Neighborhood Revitalization strategy and approach are helping to propel two organizations to achieve meaningful and measurable equity and inclusion results.

Greenwood Plan: A $75,000 grant award to the Greenwood Plan will provide the needed resources to propel the organization into its next stage of growth and support their program implementation efforts. In addition, our Centralized Real Estate Accelerator has also invested more than $35,000 into Greenwood Plan’s efforts to purchase and rehab a building to create a central hub for Black entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh. The 48,000 square foot building in Downtown Pittsburgh houses Emerald City co-working space, and will eventually offer complementary space to consumer-facing Black-owned businesses such as childcare and food service. Through the combination of offerings, Emerald City will make the Building a platform from which Black businesses will springboard themselves, their peers, and the region into success and wealth. Neighborhood Allies’ grant support helped Greenwood Plan with schematic design and ongoing project management services.

Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh and Lincoln Lemington Collaborative: A $75,000 grant awarded to a partnership between Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh (RTP), the Lincoln-Lemington Collaborative (The Collaborative), Neighborhood Allies, and other partners will be activated to build the capacity of The Collaborative, preserve homes in the neighborhood, and draw positive attention and resources into the Lincoln-Lemington community.

“Rebuilding Together is so excited to work alongside the Lincoln-Lemington Collaborative and Neighborhood Allies to invest in Lincoln’s low-income homeowners, supporting residents to stay in their homes with health and safety repairs. We are thrilled to get to work in this amazing community, serving the many homeowners that have already applied for our services as well as building new connections in the neighborhood.

-Katie McAuley, Senior Director of Program, RTP

Our equitable, comprehensive and multifaceted approach to neighborhood revitalization is at work across Pittsburgh neighborhoods. In addition to these recent grants, Neighborhood Allies’ support for four equitable development projects in the City of Pittsburgh helped to secure more than $300,000 in project funding in July, 2022 alone. Our commitment of time and grant capital has and will continue to leverage additional investment. Read more about how Community Empowerment Association and LA Grocery both came through various pathways within Neighborhood Allies, allowing us to adequately and wholly respond to their needs through the resources and services that are part of our Neighborhood Revitalization approach.

Both CEA and LA Grocery are neighborhood institutions – one a community-serving nonprofit and the other a small but mighty grocery market.  Both of these have leaders/owners with great vision for contributing to the community.  Neighborhood Allies saw this vision and took every opportunity to invest into both in distinct ways. 

CEA is a recipient of a RISE HIGH grant in the amount of $75,000. Through this project, we saw their express need of marketing assistance so we were able to pull in additional sponsorship dollars. One of our newer programs, Social Impact Design (SID), also played a key role in the CEA Community Plaza. The organization’s vision to turn a parking lot into a community gathering space playing off the city-wide recognized mural was an opportunity for further collaboration. Through this, SID provided approximately $5,000 of in kind contributions through design and storytelling services which allowed us to further the architectural services for the project. As we’ve been able to firsthand experience the full vision, we lended support to submit a Neighborhood Initiatives Fund (NIF) Grant to the URA which has been awarded in the amount of $100,000 toward the Community Plaza.

LA Grocery, a long-standing neighborhood business has been overlooked for decades but with the recent investment in the area, specifically across the street–a facade grant and upgraded interior plus expansion will position the corner market to sustain and thrive with the neighborhood growth. We provided LA Grocery $12,000 in support for schematic design services with architectural firm AE7 through our Centralized Real Estate Accelerator. We have also provided significant technical support around strategic planning and fundraising. This resulted in a $63,040 NIF Award and a $12,000 facade grant from the URA. LA Grocery was also provided in-kind services by Social Impact Designer, Jordan Swartz. Jordan was the Graduate Architect on staff at AE7 during the initial design phase of this project. Since the NIF and URA funds have been secured, Jordan is excited to bring this project full circle. She is providing review of the designs to provide a feasible phased design that meets LA Grocery’s goals and aligns with the funding secured to date. If this work excites you, our Social Impact Design team is looking for a NOMA Architect or Equity-Centered Designer to work on future phases of this and other projects. Please fill out this form to join our network and learn more about ways to tap into similar projects!

Our Commit to Equity

We center our work and investments to foster a more just, fair, and inclusive society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We emphasize the importance of racial equity—the condition achieved when one’s identity no longer statistically predicts how one fares. Racial equity is a part of racial justice and thus we work to address root causes of inequities and not just their manifestations.

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