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Pittsburgh Project

UNITED WAY #3319

2801 North Charles Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
412-321-1678

MISSION

We develop servant leaders and uphold the dignity of vulnerable homeowners.

CURRENT PROGRAMS

Our core services include the following:

a. Youth Development  We develop servant leaders among 450 young people who live on Pittsburgh’s urban North Side is to, through a series of asset-building summer camps and afterschool programs in which students grow academically, relationally, and spiritually, and become prepared to transform culture and to serve neighbors.

b.  Service Camps  We also develop servant leaders from among the nearly 2800 young people who join us annually from across the country for a day, week, or weekend of short-term mission work in our city.  They spend their days providing free home repairs for in-need homeowners, providing nearly 50,000 volunteer hours annually.

c.  Homeowner Services  We uphold the dignity of vulnerable homeowners by providing free home repairs, visitation, and links with social services and local churches.  Annually, we focus on about 250 homeowners who are economically in-need, at risk of eviction, and are in poor health due to advanced age or disability.  We work toward ensuring that every homeowner is able to live in a safe, healthy, and accessible home, with all the social networks needed for optimum living. 

d.  Community Outreach  We coordinate the restoration and operation of Fowler Park and Pool, a centrally located, magnificent neighborhood resource that had fallen into disrepair and was closed by the city in 2003.  We run YouthBuild, a job training program for young people ages 18-24 who are out-of-school, not working, have a “history” with the correctional system, or who have recently been in foster care.  Participants gain construction skills and apply them in a hands-on setting.  We also run a multifaceted urban farming initiative in which urban teenagers and our staff have transformed our neighborhood’s large plots of vacant, overgrown land into productive, beautiful gardens and an abandoned baseball field into Lots of Hope Farm.  We also run a neighborhood  Farmers’ Market, granting neighbors access to affordable, fresh produce.

HISTORY

Founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1989, The Pittsburgh Project is a community development organization with a vibrant track record of developing leaders and serving the city’s most vulnerable residents.  Our year-round staff operates a progressive series of afterschool and summer programs for 450 urban young people, deploys over 2800 people annually to perform free home repairs for 250 in-need elderly homeowners, and spearheads economic development and job training efforts in our Pittsburgh neighborhood.

The work of The Pittsburgh Project grows out of a broad vision, “That Pittsburgh will be called a City of Truth, where once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets each with cane in hand because of age, and where the city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there” (from Zechariah 8:4-5).  Our purpose is to “Develop servant leaders and uphold the dignity of vulnerable homeowners.”  Our target populations are:

Our founder, the Rev. Saleem Ghubril, is an ordained minister in the PC(USA) and continues to gladly serve on our Board of Directors.  We are thankful for the support and collaboration from among Presbyterian churches in Pittsburgh and around the country.

PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Our team of approximately 50 people is nearly equally balanced between majority and minority cultures, and our staff is equally balanced between women and men.  We have made it a priority to be “of the community” as well as in the community.  Half our staff members live within walking distance of our headquarters, and we have cultivated real trust from our neighbors.  Our Executive Director is Elizabeth Rosemeyer, and departmental directors include William Thompkins (Community Outreach), Karen Dreyer, Ph.D. (Youth Development), Kim Carter (Operations), and Dave Herr (Homeowner Services).

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONGREGATIONAL OR INDIVIDUAL INVOLVEMENT

We partner with hundreds of churches each year through our Summer Camps, Weekend Retreats, One-Day Plunges, and Alternative Spring Break Trips, providing short-term mission experiences for small groups, youth teams and college fellowships.  Contact Amy Cornelius at 412/321-1678 x126 for more information.

Annually, we train and deploy around 800 people to serve as volunteers in roles throughout our many ministry areas.  Some volunteers tutor in our afterschool program or assist in our summer camps.  Others befriend elderly shut-ins, or provide emergency home repairs.  Still others work at Lots of Hope Farm, growing vegetables with kids.  For groups, we run Saturday Workdays throughout the year.  For more information, and a full slate of upcoming volunteer opportunities, please visit www.pittsburghproject.org.

Many church groups and ministries rent out our space for overnight retreats, conferences, meetings, and training events.  Please consider hosting your next event at The Pittsburgh Project.  For more information, visit our website.

INFORMATIONAL PROGRAMS AVAILABLE

We regularly send our staff members to speak to church mission committees, youth groups, college fellowships, or at corporate training events.  Please contact Wayne Younger at 412/321-1678 x146 to set up an speaking engagement for your group.

We also have an informational video available for your use.  It’s on our website, as well as on YouTube.  We’d be happy to mail you a DVD if you prefer having a hard copy.   

VISIT US ON THE WEB

www.pittsburghproject.org