PITTSBURGH, PA (June 11, 2014) - Mayor William Peduto today announced that The Home Depot Foundation will provide $200,000 to Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, a partner with the city’s Sustainable Home Improvement Partnership (SHIP), to expand services to support 28 veterans’ home repairs in the Pittsburgh region.
Mayor Peduto was joined by Councilman Corey O’Connor to kick-off this round of funding at a local veteran’s home in the Hazelwood neighborhood. The event included representatives from The Home Depot, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, SHIP’s partner organizations and local volunteers.
“The Home Depot Foundation has been a key partner of this program, and I’m excited to continue this collaborative home repair work to support our residents,” Peduto said. “We place a high value on serving our city’s veterans, and we’re ready work hand-in-hand with our partners to ensure we’re meeting their most critical needs.“
As part of the City’s servePGH initiative, SHIP began serving City of Pittsburgh residents in January 2012, after receiving a $500,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation. SHIP has also been funded by the RK Mellon Foundation and the Pittsburgh Foundation. To date, SHIP has engaged over 2,000 volunteers, leveraged over $1M of monetary and in-kind donations, and repaired and weatherized nearly 150 homes.
“We’re putting our funds and the time and talents of our Team Depot volunteers to work across the country to help address the housing needs of our veterans – from providing safe housing for homeless veterans to ensuring disabled veterans can maneuver throughout their homes,” said Fred Wacker, director and COO of The Home Depot Foundation. “Through our efforts, we’ve seen that the greatest impact is made when public and private partners work together to make a difference, and we’re glad to be a part of that here with Rebuilding Together and the City of Pittsburgh.”
SHIP repairs and weatherizes the homes of veterans, seniors and disabled residents in collaboration with local nonprofits and citizen volunteers and is built on the Cities of Service Sustainable Home Makeover Blueprint. The first-ever collaboration of its kind, SHIP allows low-income homeowners access to a variety of services at once. SHIP is a joint effort of the City’s servePGH initiative, the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the following organizations: Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, Neighborhood Allies, ACTION-Housing Inc., Nazareth Housing Services, and The Pittsburgh Project. Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh is the fiscal agent for this Home Depot Foundation grant. SHIP’s supporting agencies are Neighborworks of Southwestern PA and Pittsburgh Community Services. Community partners are Operation Better Block and The Birmingham Foundation. Find more information at pittsburghpa.gov/SHIP.
servePGH was launched in March 2011 to engage Pittsburgh’s citizens in service and answer President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. Through innovative servePGH initiatives, citizens have been engaged in volunteer-fueled solutions to revitalize City blocks, restore homes of vulnerable residents, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges, and more. More than 8,700 volunteers have committed nearly 57,000 hours of service through servePGH to date. Additional information is available at pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh.
ABOUT AMERICORPS VISTA
The Sustainable Home Improvement Partnership, based on the Cities of Service Blueprint, is supported by The Home Depot Foundation, Corporation for National Community Service and AmeriCorps VISTA. AmeriCorps VISTA members commit to serve full-time for one year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses and strengthen community groups, with the ultimate goal to eliminate poverty in the United States. In Pennsylvania, there are currently over 200 VISTAs serving on 30 projects.
ABOUT CITIES OF SERVICE
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. To learn more, visit citiesofservice.org or follow us on Twitter @CitiesofService.