Pittsburgh neighborhood photo by Brian Cohen.

In keeping with its mission to help create and develop economic opportunities, safe and healthy environments and the next generation of leaders, Neighborhood Allies recently announced its Catalytic Grant winners. The grants total more than $425,000 and range from BizFit to Café on the Corner.

pres (1)
Presley Gillespie of Neighborhood Allies.

“We’re excited to work with our partners to solve complex challenges,” says Neighborhood Allies President Presley Gillespie, “ranging from workforce and minority talent development and expanding economic opportunity for minority entrepreneurs, to revitalizing commercial corridors in distressed neighborhoods.”

The recipients include:

  • The Chuck Cooper Foundation ($50,000) for its Leadership and Diversity Programming for high performing African American undergraduates, graduate students and young professionals just starting their careers.
  • Hill Community Development Corporation ($75,000) to transform a vacant commercial property into an interim space for aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Millvale Community Development Corporation ($75,000) to acquire the land that currently houses The Gardens of Millvale, a resident-led project that supports the Millvale EcoDistrict Plan, Farm Truck Foods and the forthcoming Food Hub.
  • Riverside Center for Innovation ($69,900) to help launch BizFIT, a series of training sessions to assist MWDBE (Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) construction firms.
  • UrbanKind Institute ($58,344) to support a full-time youth programs coordinator to serve as a liaison between youth, schools, community organizations, policymakers and the foundation community.

Neighborhood Allies also posted these Small and Simple Grants to the following organizations:

  • Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers, Landslide Community Farm, Homewood ($15,000)
  • Brashear Association, Allentown ($2,500)
  • Café on the Corner, New Hope Renewal, North Side ($15,000)
  • Hilltop Alliance, Allentown ($15,000)
  • Lawrenceville United ($7,000)
  • Millvale Community Library ($15,000)
  • Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh ($15,000)
  • South Hilltop Men’s Group, New Sun Rising ($15,000)

BK grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Penn State, moved to New York and worked at Vogue (now that’s a story) and then ultimately moved back to Pittsburgh. Today, she continues her writing career and teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She loves (in no particular order) the city, the Pirates and good craft beer.