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Life Home Ownership and Housing Services in and for Larimer | WAVES

547 Paulson Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA

Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment (WAVEs) is providing home ownership workshops to individuals residing in the inner city Pittsburgh neighborhood of Larimer.

This $15,000 investment will positively impact Quality of Life in Larimer.

Anticipated Results:

  • 35 people receiving homeownership training
  • 8 first-time homebuyers
  • 26 participants become home-ownership eligible


Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment provides home ownership workshops to individuals residing in Larimer. They help individuals to set attainable goals, learn valuable financial information, and connect with people who can help find a home that’s right for their needs! See some recent participants of the workshops, now home-ownership eligible, in the photo below! 

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Homewood Bennett Street Development | Habitat for Humanity

Bennett Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh intends to build four new homes on Bennett Street in Homewood, providing four families with financial literacy education and homeownership through a 30-year, 0% interest mortgage with a one-year warranty.

This $15,000 investment will positively impact Quality of Life in Homewood. 

Anticipated Results:

  • 4 first-time homebuyers
  • 4 properties stabilized
  • 4 people receiving homeownership training
  • 4 people receiving financial coaching
  • 4 people with increased wealth and savings


The homes have been built on Bennett Street! We cannot wait to see them filled with new homeowners! Check out the timelapse below to see Habitat’s build process.

Homewood Timelapse from Habitat Pittsburgh on Vimeo.

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Hill District Tenant Leadership Development Program | Hill District Consensus Group

126 Erin St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA

The Hill District Consensus Group will design and deliver specialized trainings for 15 tenants and provide them with on-site technical assistance.

This $75,000 investment will positively impact Equitable Development in the Hill District.

Anticipated Results:

  • A solidified program including curriculum, modules, evaluation system and tools developed
  • 12 tenants completing the Tenant Leadership Development Program
  • 5 successful mediations/linkages conducted, with tenants noting improved housing conditions and/or housing access
  • 1 advocacy actions/policy recommendations to either prevent unwarranted displacement or improve housing conditions
  • 3 positive neighborhood stories included on website, social media, and newsletter


Above all, the HDCG wants to serve as an amplifier of resident voice. The tenant rights workshops serve as a venue for meaningful collaboration, inentional community support, and hope. HDCG has been at the center of the grassroots anti-displacement work in housing justice in the Hill District and continue to act as a support network, organizer, and resource center for residents. Yet, the important work of advocating for affordable housing in the Hill District and throughout Pittsburgh could not be done without the engagement, cooperation, and insight of residents.

The program currently entails monthly renter’s rights workshops, connection to local and national training opportunities and provides direct technical assistance to block clubs and tenant councils to help strengthen their work. Each monthly workshop covers a new topic, such as escrow accounts, credit building, state tenant laws, privacy rights, fair housing and disability laws, eviction process and prevention, community land trusts, development without displacement, and more. Read more:

Where Are They Now? | The Hill District Consensus Group Tenant Rights Workshop Series

  • Residents of the Hill District attended the Homes For All Renter Week of Action and Assemblies in 2017, one opportunity given to attendees of the renters rights workshops.

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2018 PopUp! Pittsburgh Project of Leadership Development Initiative

Millvale, PA, USA

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.’s Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) Cohort will partner with Millvale community residents, leaders and stakeholders to create, select, and execute the 2018 PopUp! event in Millvale.

This $6,000 investment will positively impact Community Ownership in Millvale.

Anticipated Results:

  • 1 LDI-led PopUp project implemented
  • 50 emerging new leaders identified and engaged
  • 4 Community-based organizations and/or individuals actively engaged in the planning/execution of PopUp!


The Millvale LDI cohort and residents at Millvale’s 150th anniversary event – A Taste of Millvale – celebrating the creation of their intergenerational cookbook!

The theme for each PopUp event is created, selected, and then delivered by the class of young leaders, drawing on their critical interactions, discovery, and engagement with residents and community members, and the 2018 PopUp was no different.

In learning about Millvale through talking with the stakeholders in the community, the LDI cohort found that there was an opportunity to bring both sides of Millvale, the older and the younger generation, together through a community cookbook; Millvale is very proud of its “foodie” culture, both established and emerging. And, as we all know, food has a way of bridging, forging, and creating new relationships. Based on this common connection, the class chose to hone in on the general theme of “food.” Additionally, the class wanted to leave a tangible, lasting impact. All of these considerations led to an event designed to unify the community in celebrating Millvale’s 150th Anniversary PLUS creating a Millvale cookbook! Check out the cover of the Taste of Millvale cookbook and a featured recipe for “Rocky Road”!

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Equitable Business Development Program Designed for Minority East End Entrepreneurs | East Liberty Development Inc.

6308-6346 E Liberty Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA

East Liberty Development Inc. will pilot a 9-month Business Development Program, with the longer term goal of securing a permanent, supportive, co-working space for minority business development.

This $15,000 investment will positively impact Equitable Development in Larimer.

Anticipated Results:

  • 10 participants joining the Catapult Program: From Start Up to Storefront for 9 months
  • 10 one-on-one mentoring sessions held
  • 8 Educational Seminars hosted
  • 8 Networking Events for participants, program sponsors, community businesses, community leaders and strategic partners
  • 3 sites identified for Larimer storefronts


The Gallery on Penn, a brick-and-mortar triple storefront location, opened in November 2018. This offered a space in which entrepreneurs in the Catapult: Startup to Storefront program could incubate their business while receiving help with business knowledge and drawing in clients. The space offers a variety of craft goods, such as hair and skin care, clothing, and African crafts. The first cohort of participants graduated in January 2019. Read more:

Media Coverage | Incubator that fosters East End entrepreneurs graduates its first cohort

The grand opening of the Gallery on Penn in November 2018.

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BizFIT Plus Training Program | Riverside Center for Innovation

Riverside Center for Innovation, River Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Grantee: Riverside Center for Innovation (RCI)
Project Name: BizFIT Plus
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Equitable Development
Amount: $75,000

BizFIT Plus is the next phase of the original BizFIT entrepreneurship training program designed to support the growth of local Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) working within the construction industry. BizFIT provides technical training, strategy development, network-building opportunities and coaching to help DBEs grow into sustainable firms by building on their organizational strengths, core competencies and competitive advantages. Prime contractors, anchor institutions, government agencies, elected officials along with many DBE firms created the BizFIT curriculum to address the systemic issues and barriers that hinder the growth of DBEs.

For the 2018 initiative, RCI will specifically target higher capacity DBE firms that have the growth potential to bid and service contracts of $100,000 or more through the support of the BizFIT Plus program. Many of the firms in the pipeline for BizFIT Plus are recent graduates of the original BizFIT Tier 1 and Tier 2 training programs.

Anticipated Results:

  • 15 MWDBEs will increase contract awards by 5-10%
  • 15 current MWDBEs will have informational websites created
  • 15 MWDBE microenterprises will increase their total annual revenues by 5-10%
  • 15 MWDBEs will be mentored in a CEO Roundtable Series
  • 15 MWDBE businesses will be enrolled in the new web portal for large contracting opportunities
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Summer Academy | St. Paul AME Church

St Paul AME Church, Orchard Place, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Grantee: St. Paul AME Church
Project Name: Summer Academy
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Quality of Life
Amount: $15,000

St. Paul AME Church will provide educational assistance to the children of the Hilltop Communities by offering a program with curriculum that combats summer slide.

Anticipated Results:

  • 1 youth-serving programs and/or spaces created
  • 3 people connected with a job
  • 20 positive neighborhood stories cultivated
  • 1 resident-led projects implemented
  • 25 emerging new leaders identified and engaged


Some photos from the 2018 St. Paul AME Hilltop Summer Academy:

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Supporting a Food Cluster | Wilkinsburg CDC

1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Grantee: Wilkinsburg CDC
Project Name: Food Cluster
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Market Confidence
Amount: $75,000

The Wilkinsburg CDC has administered business workshops over the past two years. They have worked with many entrepreneurs to start their business, only to see them locate in other neighborhoods due to a lack of available code compliant space within the Wilkinsburg business district. The WCDC see this challenge as being one of supply not of demand and would like to both expand and refine their business workshop program to help link entrepreneurs to spaces in Wilkinsburg’s business district.

The project scope is built upon feedback from previous program participants and building owners and is designed to comprehensively address the barriers that inhibit occupancy. The project includes the following elements:
1) Business Workshops
2) Individual Business Consultations
3) Real Estate Feasibility & Technical Assistance
4) Matching Storefront Improvement Grants
5) Rental Assistance Program

Anticipated results:

  • 3 re-activated vacant or inactive commercial properties/units
  • 12 entrepreneurs and start-up businesses that will receive technical assistance
  • 4 existing businesses receiving long-term assistance


The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation held a free 8 week course for local entrepreneurs in order to support more businesses moving into Wilkinsburg storefronts. The photo below shows some of their graduates! We can’t wait to see what these entrepreneurs do next on their journeys! 

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Workforce Housing | Trade Institute of Pittsburgh

7900 Susquehanna Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Grantee: Trade Institute of Pittsburgh
Project Name: Workforce Housing
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Equitable Development
Amount: $75,000

Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP) will offer transitional housing for program participants in their Apprentice in Training program (AITs) in need of stable and safe housing while they complete training programs and seek employment. This transitional housing will allow AITs to stabilize, save money, and prepare for independent living while simultaneously gaining construction and carpentry skills as they renovate and maintain the house. An apprentice who has successfully graduated from the AIT program at TIP will live in the community house, and serve as the house manager by orienting new students to the house, ensuring compliance with house rules. Residents will also have access to the supportive services available at TIP. While working on the house, students will contribute a portion of their salary to rent. TIP has committed to providing housing for at least twelve individuals from Sept. 1, 2018- July 1, 2019. This model addresses the pervasive issues of finding affordable housing for people who have criminal records. It provides the individuals housed with the opportunity to learn renovation, home repair, and maintenance skills, in addition to what they are learning through their training program; and it pilots a model that if successful, the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh can expand to other houses and other training/program providers can replicate.

Anticipated results:

  • 12 unemployed/underemployed workers gaining access to living-wage jobs
  • 12 people gaining access to affordable housing in a redeveloping neighborhood
  • 3 residents positioned to stay in their home when facing displacement
  • 2 affordable units preserved
  • 12 people facing barriers to housing are housed while learning a skilled trade


The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh will be offering transitional workforce housing to students in training and those that have graduated TIP and are working jobs throughout Pittsburgh. They will be able to house eight individuals after the renovations, performed by the current Apprentices in Training, are completed in late 2019. After graduates live in TIP’s workforce housing for one year, TIP plan believes that they will be stable enough to rent their own apartments or buy their own houses throughout Pittsburgh neighborhoods! See some photos of the construction below!

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