Brashear receives $1 million from state RACP for new Hilltop center
August 13, 2019
In a meeting with Senator Jay Costa and State Representative Harry Readshaw on August 1, representatives from The Brashear Association received news the South Pittsburgh social service non-profit was awarded $1 Million from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for their Hilltop Community Center.
After advocating for and working with families throughout the Hilltop neighborhoods for years, Brashear plans to better serve all members of the community within a new 40,000 SF facility built on six contiguous sites along the 300 block of Brownsville Road in the Knoxville neighborhood and within the Mt. Oliver Business District. Adjacent vacant lots will be utilized for a garden and outdoor spaces. Senator Costa believes "this facility will be a focal point for the South Pittsburgh Hilltop community as well as a catalyst for continued economic development along the Brownsville Road corridor."
The Hilltop Community Center will allow Brashear to expand its services as well as strengthen existing, and create new, community partnerships. In a key partnership with LifeSpan, a non-profit which provides critical support for seniors and currently occupies a portion of the building site, Brashear envisions the facility as an all ages, social service hub for the entire community.
Brashear's programming for children and families through tangible assistance, education, employment, and case management services will be complemented by LifeSpan's senior services, including a commercial kitchen and Meals on Wheels program. In addition to Brashear and LifeSpan, the building will house the offices of the Birmingham Foundation, also a partner and supporter of the project.
Brashear recognizes this award represents support for their project at the state level, but also locally from Senator Costa and State Representative Readshaw. As champions for Brashear's mission, the award demonstrates their commitment and dedication to the people who live and work in South Pittsburgh and to the many communities in need of resources.
"Brashear's work has long provided important services to residents in my district and I'm thrilled to see that scope expand with this project," says Mr. Readshaw.
To ensure the new facility best serves the community, Brashear is developing a Program Steering Committee with representatives from each of the 11 South Pittsburgh neighborhoods it serves, staff, and members of the Brashear Board of Directors. The Program Steering Committee will meet monthly to discuss the needs of the community and provide insight and direction for the programs and services available within the new facility.
"Community engagement is the cornerstone of success for program development. It gives the community ownership, which is needed for long-term success," states Brashear's new Executive Director, Andrea M. Matthews.
Over the next few months, Brashear will launch a Comprehensive Campaign to raise the estimated $15 million needed to support construction and programming for the new facility, anticipated to open its doors in 2022.
"Our board spent many years planning for and anticipating this important expansion to Brashear services and the opportunity to better serve our clients. Having established that groundwork, recently hiring a new executive director, and receiving RACP support as part of our fundraising, we are now poised to bring the project to fruition," Board President Kristi Rogers shared reflecting on the project's process. "We are all very excited about the future of the Hilltop and the important role Brashear will play in it!"