Federal grant supports Allegheny County services for homeless


By Adam Brandolph 

Published: Friday, April 11, 2014, 9:42 a.m.

A $14.3 million federal grant to reduce homelessness in Allegheny County will continue to support programs such as Action Housing's Homeless Youth Transition Program, its executive director said on Friday.

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By Sam Spatter 

Published: Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:20 p.m.

Army veteran Sharia White and her two teenage children were homeless for about a week until the South Side-based Veterans Leadership Program found her temporary housing in Braddock.

“I'm looking for more permanent housing, but it's difficult finding a three-bedroom apartment,” said White, 56, an unemployed forklift operator who needs knee replacement surgery.

More than 1,200 veterans in Allegheny County are homeless, said Jill Bejger-Frederick, a spokeswoman with the Veterans Leadership Program, which has found homes for three other female veterans and four children through a program called Project Journey. Two apartments in Millvale will be available in April.

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Many Pittsburgh neighborhoods are experiencing a resurgence in new development. As new homes and businesses take shape, affordability is crucial in some low-income areas, such as Uptown and Hazelwood.

Linda Metropulos is Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development at Action Housing, a non-profit that uses sustainable design to build affordable communities.

According to Metropulos the average person does not understand that we’re experiencing a housing crisis because the issue hasn’t been in the dialogue.

"We’re moving forward with many new housing developments in neighborhoods like East Liberty...but not scaled at a rent level that is affordable to people from moderate to low-income.”  The work of Action Housing is predominantly focused on households with incomes at 60% area median incomes. So for a 1-person household, the median income in Pittsburgh is about $45,000 to $46,000 this year. And so we're building properties that are affordable and set aside for people making 60 percent of that, so about 27 or 28 thousand a year or less."

But many Pittsburgh residents don’t fit this socioeconomic level and find it hard to keep affordable housing, "There are opportunities if you have very low income and opportunities if you have higher income, but it is that median income and above, that middle income household that is really starting to see the squeeze in Pittsburgh."

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By Rachel Morgan 

PITTSBURGH -- A few local nonprofits are helping veterans help other veterans.

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We begin this year-end wrap up with the always true, all-purpose caveat to make the bad news bears happy: Many awful things happened in Pittsburgh in 2013, and although we're doing better we still have a looong looong way to go.

OK. That's out of the way. Let's move on.

The Pirates' winning season and playoff bid trumped all good news from this fan's point of view, but 2013 saw big wins for neighborhoods, some that felt neglected for decades.

My top stories happened in the big three H's: Hazelwood, the Hill and Homewood.

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