Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) has been working on-the-ground in the Borough of Sharpsburg for the past ten months. With the support of Community Coordinator Kevin Boyle, this small town along the Allegheny River is heightening its focus on long-term, community-focused revitalization goals. Several of these goals, supported by PCRG and Reimagining Communities Initiative (RCI) partner organization, Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone (ARTEZ ), are well underway.
Here is a quick summary:
Five free home repairs were completed in the summer of 2015. With the help of community volunteers, the home repairs, coordinated by Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, targeted elderly residents, veterans, or permanently disabled individuals living in Sharpsburg.
Over fifty Sharpsburg residents received free financial education thanks to RCI’s strategic partner, NeighborWorks of Western Pennsylvania (NWWPA). This education, whether it was one-on-one counseling or larger workshops, focused on a variety of topics including credit and budget counseling, predatory lending practices, and youth education.
This small, close-knit town has strong sense of community with thriving social institutions, faith-based organizations, and volunteer networks, all of which have played a major role in resident engagement and inclusion. For instance, PCRG partnered with Roots of Faith and community volunteers to complete a comprehensive housing inventory in the spring and early summer. According to resident Ben Phipps, “The property inventory helped me get to know my community better by opening my eyes to various needs.” PCRG plans to hold a series of public meetings to discuss the data collected and to develop next steps towards blight reduction while engaging residents every step of the way.
If you’d like to participate or learn more about RCI Sharpsburg, please contact Community Coordinator Kevin Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.