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Omicelo Cares | Real Estate Co-Powerment Series

980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Real Estate Co-Powerment Series | Omicelo Cares | $75,000 Catalytic Grant

Learn more about the impact and results of this investment.

Neighborhood Allies and Omicelo Cares are the co-creators of the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series (“Co-Powerment Series”) which serve as an education platform to demystify the real estate development process, explain its associated terminology and demonstrate how community members/organizations can meaningfully contribute to real estate projects within their own neighborhoods. This initiative is a combination of in-class instruction, coaching, and mentorship.

An overarching goal of the education series is to shrink the technical proficiency gap that exists between real estate developers and community leaders that are involved in local development projects. We hope to create long-term, working relationships between private developers, real estate experts, community based organizations, business owners and active community members.

As the co-creator and primary administrator of the program, Omicelo Cares will produce the final curriculum, create two real estate course-tracks: one for beginners and another for those more advanced, administer pre-and post- class surveys, interview and hire instructors and monitor mentee/mentor relationships.

Other key partners include the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Green Building Alliance and NeighborWorks of Western PA.

The Co-Powerment Series will include 3 months of instruction specifically geared toward the participants’ projects. Each session will be a learning circle/workshop environment with the assistance of technical experts where the lessons learned become immediately applicable to the participants’ day-to-day leadership activities. Our goal is for at least 1 of the real-world projects to be developed after each course is complete.

The pilot class will consist of 20 students (2 cohorts of 10) from neighborhoods on the cusp of significant change, specifically Neighborhood Allies’ 6 priority geographies (Homewood, the Hill District, Hilltop, Larimer, Millvale and Wilkinsburg)  with the potential of having additional participants from other local neighborhoods. Students will be community residents, CDC/CBO staff members, non-profit board members, small business owners with varying levels of exposure to the real estate discipline.

At the end of the course, students will:

  1. Be able to evaluate deals and negotiate based on market realities and for the benefit of residents;
  2. Improve their ability to articulate community vision and expected outcomes utilizing the language of development;
  3. Identify creative ways to participate financially in development opportunities;
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New Granada Capital Campaign | Hill CDC

2015 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

New Granada Capital Campaign | Hill CDC | $15,000 Catalytic Grant

This grant supports a capital campaign planning study to asses the potential of raising as much as $10 million for the revitalization of the New Granada Theater. The comprehensive planning study, being conducted by David Goettler of Goettler Associates, is a critical evaluation of the organization’s capabilities and readiness to attain its goals and it will yield a specific strategy to reach those goals. This study ensures that the Hill CDC launches a campaign that encompasses the highest and best use of the building for the socio-economic benefit of the corridor and surrounding community.

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Moose Lodge | New Sun Rising

112 e Sherman Street, Millvale, PA, United States

Related News:

Moose Lodge | New Sun Rising | $260,000 Loan | $72,000 Catalytic Grant

New Sun Rising’s (NSR) Moose Project is a direct result of the growth in food, energy, water & equity initiatives supported through the resident-driven Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot Plan, which along with a dedicated group of leaders and residents, drives development and planning throughout the community. 

One of NSR’s signature initiatives is the MODE Incubator System. Seeded by a Small & Simple grant from Neighborhood Allies in 2014, the NSR MODE social innovation system incubates clusters of underserved business and project leaders through programming, services, and resources. Leading up to the launch of the Moose Project, NSR implemented the Launch Millvale Food Enterprise Incubator, which consisted of 10 social enterprises comprising a local food system, including food waste reduction, composting, growing and education, logistics, retail, and a food hub. In just one year, the cluster established new food businesses, created jobs, and attracted additional investment and food businesses.

Building upon that success, with LISC/Neighborhood Allies investment and support, NSR will be repurposing the old Moose Lodge in the community to become sustainability resource hub. The 10,000 sq. foot building will not only be a vibrant community asset and home of NSR, it will also house a minimum of 5 food businesses, serve as a fresh food access point for the community including fresh food from the Gardens of Millvale, 412 Food Rescue, and Sprezzatura (cafe), and serve as the backbone facility for the development of the Millvale EcoDistrict Food System.

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Millvale: Nurture Nature | Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program

Millvale, PA, United States

Millvale: Nurture Nature | Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program | $1,600 Catalytic Grant

Amanda Hagl, a Fellow/Physican Assistant at Duquesne University’s School of Health Sciences, will work with Millvale children and families with asthma to improve their health literacy and efficacy of inhaler use as well as triggers inside and outside. She will provide asthma health education classes at the Millvale Library and information about the existing resources available to underprivileged people suffering from asthma in Pittsburgh. Additionally she will provide radon kits for families and radon education.

Environmental health is a school of thought that recognizes the social, economic, and physical determinants of health. Creating healthier communities requires more than just expanding access to care, but also establishing environmental justice and expanding health education. Due to the need to expand public health knowledge to address health care disparities and to raise interest in environmental concerns, Amanda plans to develop interactive environmental health classes that educate parents and children about additional environmental health factors that may influence health.

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Pgh Mobile Toolbox | GTECH Strategies

GTECH Strategies, Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

PGH Mobile Toolbox | GTECH Strategies | $15,750 Special Initiatives Grant

You bring the team. We bring the tools. That’s the slogan for the PGH Mobile Toolbox, which supports a growing network of Pittsburgh residents who are ready to mobilize to transform their communities. Beginning in April, 2017, this shared community resource will be available, free of charge, to volunteer groups and organizations who need landscaping tools for neighborhood cleanups, vacant lot beautification, or the implementation and maintenance of food gardens, green infrastructure, trails or general community gathering spaces.

Visit the Lots To Love website to learn more and even reserve the PGH Mobile Toolbox for your community project!

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Land Steward Professional Development in Hill District, Millvale and Hilltop | Landforce

2 South 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Land Steward Professional Development in Hill District, Millvale and Hilltop | Landforce | $65,000 Catalytic Grant

Landforce will recruit from and work in three of Neighborhood Allies’ priority geographies- the Hilltop, the Hill District and Millvale. Landforce has worked closely with the CBOs and other nonprofits in each neighborhood to ensure that the projects shown below reflect important priorities for each community, reflecting real ownership over the process and outcomes. A brief outline of the recruiting and project work in each location follows:

  • Hill District: working with FOCUS Pittsburgh to identify potential recruits and projects. FOCUS Pittsburgh, collaborating with GTECH Strategies’ ReClaim Central program, has asked Landforce to help clear debris and rebuild a retaining wall at 2956 Webster Avenue, a vacant lot owned by St. Luke’s Baptist Church. The ReClaim Ambassador will leverage Landforce’s contribution by adding benches, signs and artwork to the site.
  • Millvale: working with Millvale Library, Millvale Borough, and North Hills Community Outreach to recruit from the Millvale area. Landforce will work with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, who have existing projects in Millvale, to maintain planted restoration areas in Millvale Riverfront Park, mulch and weed hillside plantings along Route 28, and possibly assist with tree care and bioswale events.
  • Hilltop: working with UrbanKind Institute, Beltzhoover Consensus Group (BGC), Knoxville Community Council (KCC) and the Hilltop Alliance to recruit potential crew members and identify potential projects. The project idea in Knoxville is to prepare a site for a Kaboom playground and in Beltzhoover, a heavy/initial clearing of vacant lots.

Anticipated Results:

  • Hire one crew member from each identified neighborhood: Hill District, Hilltop and Millvale;
  • Complete retaining wall & lot clearance in Hill District;
  • Complete 2 to 3 restoration / maintenance projects in Millvale;
  • Complete 2 vacant lot projects in Hilltop;
  • Hire 14 crew members
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Community Makers Local Fair Trade | Ujamma Collective

1901 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA

Grantee: Ujamma Collective
Project Name: Community Makers Local Fair Trade
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Quality of Life
Amount: $15,000

To provide cultural connections and entrepreneurial exploration through practical art and making activities for teens and young adults, with a focus on African American females.

This project builds upon Ujamma’s ongoing focus around identifying and affirming the value of Africana makers/artisans who primarily come from marginalized communities in our local region and global family, as well as their respective crafts. In addition, this project also answers the current concentration on developing grassroots cooperative crafting groups using creative interests matched with some of the proven strategies of the global fair trade movement. Ujamaa Collective has worked with refugee and immigrant African populations to bring clothing and art décor from their respective homes, along with the local African American community, and several fair trade organizations and social enterprises located around the world. In November of 2015, we launched our first Ujamaa-branded line of skirts and accessories called Royal Roots Collection. Royal Roots was birthed among Ujamaa’s members and a partnership with an NGO based in Karagwe, Tanzania in East Africa. Designed locally, the skirts were produced over a two week trip in a fair trade exchange of labor with women and youth learning sewing skills as a strategy to reduce poverty in their global community. It is our intention to continue building upon this relationship, applying for Fair Trade certification and bringing an international flair into our local Pittsburgh market. This experience has helped shape what we see as possible here in Pittsburgh.

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