The Pittsburgh Foundation Awards $175,000 to Neighborhood AlliesLeave a Comment
A $175,000 grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation will support Neighborhood Allies’ comprehensive work to strengthen community capacity for hope and opportunity. Support from The Pittsburgh Foundation will position Neighborhood Allies staff to implement the following projects and programs in 2017.
We created the Community Leadership Forum in 2015 to build an empowered community of change agents. Neighborhood Allies coordinates and connects grassroots leaders in target neighborhoods to each other and to available resources, so that their long-term efforts lead to visible, resident-led change. The Forum consists of 18 members – three from each of the six target neighborhoods. In the summer of 2016, we launched the Grassroots Grants program (called Love My Neighbor!), through which the forum members interviewed community members and selected 20 projects to receive a total of $30,000. This program will continue throughout 2017 with two more rounds of grassroots grants.
We will technical assistance to community development organizations (CDCs and CBOs) to build skills and connections, catalyze action and access resources, in the following ways: Real Estate Empowerment Series; Blight Boot Camp; Placemaking Academy; Shared Services; and Grassroots Grant Workshops.
We utilize the Catalytic Grant resources to invest roughly $900,000 annually in both the target communities and into city-wide projects. The goal of the Catalytic Program is to support innovative, collaborative and inspiring ideas that make our neighborhoods healthier, safer and stronger. Neighborhood-based investments seed community development ideas that help transform vulnerable neighborhoods and identify scalable ways to create positive social impact. City-wide investments support comprehensive community development strategies and partnerships that improve neighborhoods and enable residents to enjoy a better quality of life. Grant awards range from $25,000 to $75,000 and can be used to support costs related to achieving measurable results, moving concepts forward and assisting in the implementation of innovative programs or projects. From 2014-2016, our catalytic grants have leveraged over three times our total investment of $1,346,244 with $4,360,367 total leveraged dollars.
Until the LISC Senior Program Officer for Affordable Housing and Lending was hired to work in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2015, we lacked the capacity and capital to invest deeply in housing and economic development. Now we are actively pursuing projects in need of funding in all six of our focus neighborhoods. The nature of the loans consists primarily of acquisition and predevelopment loans, including acquisition of small mixed-use buildings with a first floor commercial space and residential units above.
In 2014, we selected three organizations as FOCs and awarded three-year grants to support the launch and operations of centers at Mon Valley Initiative, Northside Common Ministries and Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.
The Pittsburgh Foundation has been a generous supporter of Neighborhood Allies and helped to ensure a smooth transition from PPND, our predecessor over the past two years in addition to enabling us to run and deploy numerous successful and impactful programs and initiatives that directly have positive impact on Pittsburgh residents.