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NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIES AWARDS $478,000 TO NEIGHBORHOOD TRANSFORMATION PROJECTS IN UNDER-SERVED COMMUNITIES

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We are pleased to announce investments totaling $478,000 which will support creative, innovative, collaborative and inspiring projects and ideas that will help transform struggling neighborhoods into more sustainable, healthier, safer and stronger communities.

A total of 7 awards have been made in the fall 2014 round, representing a new approach to investing in neighborhoods that supports innovative, resident-driven, comprehensive development and revitalization strategies and partnerships. “These financial investments, coupled with intensive support from our talented staff and dedicated partners will provide the needed resources to produce positive social impact and improve neighborhoods so that all residents are able to enjoy a better quality of life” says Presley Gillespie, Neighborhood Allies President. Neighborhood Allies plans to hold another Catalytic Grant funding round in early 2015.

Awards were made in six priority communities across the City of Pittsburgh and into neighboring first-ring suburbs. Projects will address a myriad of local issues and opportunities ranging from neighborhood leadership and capacity, wealth building and access to healthy foods, to blight removal and workforce development and job placement initiatives. A full list of funded projects is below.

• $65,000 Community WorkZ, Inc.: To build capacity and strengthen the leadership at community organizations in Beltzhoover, Allentown and Knoxville, and improve their ability to collaborate and execute neighborhood change initiatives.
• $60,000 CARE Ownership: To implement a wealth-building program that trains and empowers existing residents in Larimer to become owner-occupants of multi-unit, formally blighted properties.
• $60,000 Center that CARES: To launch Tech Central at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center, which is a program that will address social and economic inequity by bridging the digital divide to 21st century technology and connecting the most vulnerable students to resources within the region and beyond.
• $75,000 Farm Truck Foods: To pilot a mobile market program and food truck that provides universal access to whole, nutritious, affordable and local foods to residents living in food deserts or in communities with poor access to healthy food.
• $68,000 Larimer Consensus Group: To hire the organization’s first staff person who will coordinate resident representation and action-oriented participation in the revitalization and development of the neighborhood.
• $75,000 Millvale Community Library: To hire staff and increase capacity to guide current and future development and investment projects in a way that maximizes benefits for residents and improves community health and quality of life by implenting the community’s EcoDistrict Sustainability Plan.
• $75,000 Trade Institute of Pittsburgh: To expand its facility and programming to address chronic unemployment in Wilkinsburg and Homewood and reach individuals who have spent time in prison, juvenile centers or rehab facilities. The program offers comprehensive, stable effective trade-skill and life-skill training, making students employable, and giving them a chance to increase their earning potential and obtain a job outside of the minimum wage job market.

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