I have been thinking a lot about how Pittsburgh could be an amazing urban test lab for some of the best ideas from around the country. Pittsburgh is a big city that isn’t too big and Pittsburghers are passionate and ready to help other people who are in need. I continue to be awestruck by just the power of the bloggers who have been collaborating on charity projects and have been raising money and doing good things for Pittsburgh and beyond.
We have some good ideas happening here in Pittsburgh – for example – The Union Project has transformed an abandoned church is to a thriving community center while teaching others how to restore stained glass windows. And there are some good ideas happening around the country that maybe we should try here in Pittsburgh too.
The great thing about blogging is that it is a great way to share ideas and improve. I hope we can have more conversations and more sharing here on IheartPGH or we can even start a new blog if that is need for getting more good ideas going here in Pittsburgh.
I was just reading this article on NPR about Common Ground – an organization in New York City that has been working to end homelessness – they turned an abandoned hotel in Times Square into a shelter with services and have tackled cronic homelessnes in Time Square.
A few years ago I was in Chicago for a conference hosted by the League of Young Voters – and we happened to have breakfast at the Inspiration Cafe. It turns out that not only was this an amazing place to have breakfast but this cafe was part of a large project to end homelessness in Chicago. It looks like the model there has changed a bit since I was there and I am not sure if they still serve meals to the public – but their work to end homelessness has not changed. Inspiration cafe operates a cafe and offers services to those who are homeless – including things like voicemail and job training by working in the cafe and in their training kitchen.
- You can read the NPR story here.
- Website for Common Ground – http://www.commonground.org/
- Website for Inspiration Corporation and Inspiration Cafe – http://www.inspirationcorp.org/programs/cafe/cafe.html
Do you know of other innovative organizations working on homelessness here in Pittsburgh or around the country? What else could be added to this list and what should we be trying here in Pittsburgh?