By Tim Schooley 

One of Hazelwood’s key community and cultural organizations may soon have a new home in a proposed development to help kick start the revitalization of the neighborhood’s long-struggling Second Avenue business district.

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After a week of nearly non-stop improvements, the handiwork of volunteers is revealed.

With the help of 81 volunteers from Lowe’s stores around the region, a three bedroom home is ready to serve female veterans as part of Project Journey.

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By Aaron Aupperlee 

Wearing safety goggles and hard hats while wielding small sledgehammers, Auja Turner, 10, and her cousin Gemma Gilbert, 8, chipped away at a cement wall outside the former Hazelwood Presbyterian Church on Second Avenue.

John Terry, 14, took a few whacks at the wall, sending chunks of cement flying. So did the Rev. Tim Smith, executive director of Center of Life, an economic revitalization organization in the neighborhood.

“We are really making history today,” Smith said. “It has been such a long journey for our community.”

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In its short history, the Pittsburgh Green House has drawn attention to the importance of retrofitting old houses and has helped train those who are providing direct weatherization services to homeowners.  This project started in the middle of the ARRA stimulus program and helped ACTION-Housing to train the workers needed to weatherize over 2,700 homes in a short period of time.  With the end of the stimulus and subsequent reduction of funding, we have to have had to make a very difficult decision to close the Green House this month. 

However, the story is not over.  The good news is that the building is being repurposed for a new use, one that is near and dear to our hearts.  In response a request from the Veterans Leadership Program, and with help from Lowe’s, the house is being retrofitted to house a female veteran and her family.  This work has been going on for the past few weeks, and is on pace to be completed so that by the end of October, a new family will be moving into the East Liberty neighborhood.

ACTION-Housing’s work in energy retrofits will continue through our Weatherization Assistance Program for single-family homes and the One Stop for multi-family properties, as well as our green building efforts.   Keeping housing affordable for those households with limited incomes is central to all the work that we do.   Ensuring that energy is used efficiently and costs are reduced is key to this effort. 

Pittsburgh is fortunate to have two non-profits working in the area of weatherization education for homeowners:  GTECH Strategies and the EECO Center.  They were important partners for the PGH and we know they will continue to play a vital role in helping homeowners access information, services and funding for personal weatherization efforts.  

We want to thank everybody who invested their time and effort in the Pittsburgh Green House. While the nature of funding in the non-profit sector is always evolving, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to use this property to serve a vulnerable population in need of housing. 

By Mary Niederberger / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At age 5, London Dixon-Terry entered the foster care system in Philadelphia, going to live with a kind family who eventually adopted him and provided him "the perfect life."

But when he was 16, Mr. Dixon-Terry's adoptive mother died. His family fell apart. So did his life.

By age 19 he found himself homeless and bouncing between life on the streets in the Pittsburgh area and various homeless shelters. During his two years on the streets, he sometimes lived in encampments with other young homeless people or slept in places like alleys and laundromats.

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