Heinz Endowments Awards $2.3 Million to Boost Place-Based Initiatives in Pittsburgh

The Heinz Endowments has announced grants totaling $2.35 million in support of projects that will lay the groundwork for place-based community development efforts in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

The largest single grant was awarded to the Center of Life, a faith-based community empowerment organization, to expand its programs for youth and families. A long-time grantee of the foundation, the organization will use its three-year, $1.35 million grant to hire and train new staff, seek additional partnerships that enhance its programming and recruitment, and work to diversify its funding sources. Other grants targeting the neighborhood include $400,000 for housing rehabilitation, $250,000 in startup funding for a new family support center, and $200,000 in support of a faith-based grant program that will help local congregations provide needed services in the community.

While the endowments' community and economic development program is coordinating the grantmaking for the Hazelwood project, the initiative is a major focus of all five of its priority areas: arts and culture; children, youth, and families; education; and the environment.

"[The] Center of Life grant is the [foundation's] first significant expression of support that will further energize the critically important revitalization work that has been going on with Hazelwood residents for some time," said Heinz Endowments president Robert Vagt. "Center of Life's programs and services offer a roadmap for successful community development: residents and other stakeholders are doing it for themselves."