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Our Catalytic Grants at Work On The Ground: Hosanna House

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Last spring we awarded $75,000 to Hosanna House Inc. to support their “Bring It To Light” placemaking project with the ultimate goal of connecting the services Hosanna House offers at their facility on Wallace Avenue to the community’s main artery, Penn Avenue, and the residents and traffic that frequent the commercial corridor.

The objective of this catalytic investment was ultimately to create an intentional connection between the 700-800 blocks of Penn Avenue and Hosanna House’s front porch, making that area accessible, safe, and welcoming. This placemaking strategy consists of completing beautification and infrastructure improvements including sidewalks, greenery, gardens, treescapes, benches, and signage.

A critical piece of this project was to have the community develop their vision for what the space should look and feel like and to engage them to be part of the transformation:

  • A community conversation between neighbors, churches, organizations and stakeholders was hosted
  • Nearly 200 constituents, partner agencies, and local families have been surveyed thus far
  • Local youth have been engaged to build and maintain the garden/greenspace

The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (another one of our Catalytic Grantees!) has been engaged to complete the construction portion of the project. They have also engaged community residents and business owners to implement part of the Wilkinsburg’s redevelopment plan, targeting efforts with yet another of our catalytic grantees, Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation’s (WCDC) “Good All Over Wilkinsburg” Small Business Support & Investment project that will support established businesses and attract new business to Penn Avenue.

Hosanna House and their partners are making great progress–the sidewalks have been installed and Trade Institute of Pittsburgh contractors and local youth have installed greenery and flower beds. The partners started with these aspects because the installation of the sidewalks set up the imagery and change the atmosphere and perception of the area, which is now clean and green!

Greenspace Before

Greenspace Before

Greenspace Under Construction

Greenspace Under Construction






Hosanna House has been a community staple in Wilkinsburg since the 1990’s–impacting the lives of more that 35,000 people each year. They offer services ranging from medical and dental care and family support services to career development and housing services. Fore more information on Hosanna House, visit their website. 

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