If you’ve had the chance to read about the history of the Mon Valley Initiative, you’ve probably read that we are a “grassroots coalition made up of 10 Community Development Corporations (CDCs).” But what does it really mean to be part of the MVI coalition, and who are these 10 member CDCs? We hope this quick overview helps you start to answer those questions.
Pictured above are the logos of the 10 member CDCs we serve. Part of the MVI mission is to unite communities in the Mon Valley region, and working in these 10 communities allows us to bring together 3 counties and 12 municipalities by supporting the 135 CDC volunteers and helping their organizations to grow. Each CDC is its own 501(c)3 organization, and the MVI Community Outreach team serves as their shared staff. Let’s meet our CDCs!
BEDCO and MVI recently received a commitment for $1.5 million from Allegheny County Department of Economic Development to renovate the Braddock Free Press buildings. The renovations will include retail space at street level and market rate apartments on the floors above. For the past ten months BEDCO members have been participating in updating Braddock’s Zoning Ordinances to more effectively reflect new development in the future. Members are also participating in a public process to identify the look and amenities for a Civic Plaza to be located on the site of the former Braddock Hospital.
Recent accomplishments of DWNI include the completion of Simeral Square, a community park along the Youghiogheny River in West Newton. The park boasts beautiful views of the river and amenities such as a new kiosk, flag pole and engraved donor wall. DWNI is especially proud of the Farm Market that has taken root every Saturday at Simeral Square.
MCDC and MVI are in the process of requesting an AHP grant to complete an adaptive reuse of Eisenberg’s Department Store on Schoonmaker Avenue in Monessen. This property is in the heart of Monessen’s downtown. If successful, the renovation will include 11 one-bedroom and 2, two-bedroom units with the first floor storefront converted into a large lobby.
East Pittsburgh is celebrating the installation of four brand new basketball hoops at a local playground. They are also working to collect information on fallen soldiers who lived in East Pittsburgh for an upcoming Hometown Heroes Memorial. EPEDC is working with MVI on several Rehab for Resale projects as well as the renovation of the upper floors of the former Slovak Social Club, which will house 4-one bedroom apartments.
NBC is involved in many events in various capacities, including providing the entertainment for North Braddock Community Days, partnering with EPEDC for a Girls and Guys Night Out, and hosting a Fall Festival for the children in the community. They recently received a $5,000 grant from the Sprout Fund to complete their Gardweeno project, a gardening and nutrition program involving youth of the community.
TCDC is currently assisting the borough in the development of a community website. They also produce a quarterly newsletter called the “Turtle Creeker” and have an ongoing “Curb Appeal” program that provides assistance to Turtle Creek residents who want to improve their home’s curb appeal.
Recently, GCCDC showed their support to local businesses by sending welcome letters, and they just participated in Community Day in Charleroi. We are excited about tentative plans in the community to increase Charleroi’s accessibility from the nearby waterfront.
HERC recently held a community fundraiser at UNO Pizzeria and Grill at the Waterfront. This was a two-fold event, not only to raise money for the CDC but also to inform the public of HERC’s mission and projects. They carried out the restoration of a piece of steel industry history when they renovated the Ingot Buggy and the parklet located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and West Street. The Ingot Buggy is an old style narrow gauge model set on a car and mounted on tracks used in the early 20th century.
RCDC has hosted a very successful Jazz Brunch for a number of years which helps to raise funds for RCDC projects, shine the spotlight on RCDC and bring folks together for an afternoon filled with community spirit, good food and cool jazz. An entire street was restored as RCDC in conjunction with MVI recently completed a major Rehab for Resale project that included renovations to 7 homes and the construction of one home, all just doors from each other.
SEDCO had a very productive and successful spring with the kickoff of their brand new Farmers Market. The Market is held every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1 pm on Church Street. In conjunction with their borough, SEDCO has created a vacant property program that enables SEDCO and the borough to work with responsible, prospective buyers of vacant lots and structures to get them back on the tax role.
This list of CDC activities demonstrates the diverse flavor and personality of each community we serve. MVI is able to make a difference through the hard work of volunteers who support and promote the unique missions of each of these CDCs. Stay tuned to get an in-depth overview of each CDC in the following weeks!