Friday, June 17, 2011

New Face of East End Human Services

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has given a local human services nonprofit $1.5 million to build a new facility in East Liberty.

The East End Cooperative Ministry says the URA grant is the last piece of funding it needs to begin construction of the $13.5 million site.

EECM Board President Mark Bibro says the Penn Circle “Community House” will have a LEED Platinum certification for environmental impact. He says the structure itself will be “like none other,” and augment current redevelopments of East Liberty.

Currently, EECM operates from about twenty churches in the East End, providing services like a homeless shelter, a food pantry, a soup kitchen, and several youth programs. Bibro says this new facility will house them all, including a much-expanded homeless shelter and transitional housing for disadvantaged hospital patients.

Bibro says getting the URA grant has made new tax credits possible, which should put about $2.4 million more toward the project in the future. He says construction will begin this fall.