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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Please join us in welcoming Claire Hortens to the Neighborhood Allies Team!

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Through a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, we welcomed Claire Hortens to our team last month. Claire, a first year Master’s student at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, will primarily support our relocation efforts at Penn Plaza through her field placement with us during her fall and spring semesters. Claire has an extensive background working in politics and social services as an Outreach Coordinator, Field Organizer, Case Worker and Program Director in Arkansas, Maine and Ecuador.

Get to Know Your Allies: Claire Hortens

  1. The neighborhood you live in/why you love it: I live img_2773in Garfield, on the top of a hill. I love it for the view—for the topography of the city. I love it because it’s quiet while being really connected to a lot of activity at the same time. I love it because there’s a lot of history in the homes of my neighborhood which means I ask myself a lot of questions about the history of Pittsburgh and the history of Garfield in particular—and also about our future, and what role I can responsibly play in it.
  2. Family/Pets: I’m an only child! My dad was an actor, a mechanic, a cook, a cabdriver, and most recently a registered nurse for two decades. My mom ran a cross-cultural service learning program for teenagers that’s now almost in its third decade. They’re retired and living in rural PA now, but they are still thoughtful, authentic, heartfelt human beings and I’m so honored to have them as parents. In my home here in PGH I have two sweet roommates and the dogs which belong to them. I’m just as lucky to have an adopted family here in this city. My partner, Brent, is based in Brooklyn where has a butcher shop that he loves and is proud of. We get to see each other pretty often, and I’m lucky to have him, too.
  3. If you ruled the world, what would you change on day 1? Ha! How can anyone begin to answer this question? I’m honestly floored by the challenge to isolate one thing which might take priority on day one. Our world is so complex, and not really fair. And, since I’m in school for social work, unfortunately I can’t take the question lightly! The beauty of the planet itself is pretty indisputable—maybe I’d start by ensuring that the earth and its resources be safe from destruction?
  4. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To speak every single language. Even tree. I’d just want to walk up to a tree and put my hand on it and be like, “yes. I hear you.” That, or I’d just like to be an incredibly proficient dancer. So that I could show up at any party and bust the ultimate move.
  5. Favorite Restaurant/Lunch Spot: I don’t really get out much—but I like Pho Minh on Penn Ave near my house. Especially as it gets colder outside, a big bowl of noodles and broth hits the spot.
  6. Dream Vacation: Somewhere with a breeze, good coffee, and good food. A sunny place, with a lot to see. I had 14-hour layover in Bogotá, Colombia a couple years ago and I was pretty taken with it. Sometimes a colorful, historic city can be as restorative and empowering for me as spending time in the wilderness. Although, Brent and I holed up in a cabin in rural PA last spring and being unplugged in the woods was pretty amazing. So I’d say a dream vacation would be a combination of those two things.
  7. Favorite Athlete or Musician/Band: Again, who can answer this question?!? I like Nina Simone and old Modest Mouse albums. I’ve been listening to Solange’s new album on repeat. But I am out of the loop on music and sports. I’m not very hip.
  8. People would be surprised to learn that you: I grew up deep in the country. Like, deep. The county where I was raised just got its first stop light in 2010.

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  1. Avatar for talia piazza

    Allen Patti

    Really exciting news Claire. I always knew from working with you in maine that good things were coming your way. You cared about the clients on the HOME team as well as the clients at preble. Great work!

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