She very much approves of all the work the January 2012 and August 2011 CapacityCorps class accomplished in Pittsburgh, PA this past week. We built steps, kitchens, installed drywall, got covered in soot, and made a difference in the lives of a few residents of the Homewood neighborhood.
This opportunity was all made possible by the planning and execution of the Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh affiliate and their community partnerships. A special shout out to team Babushka! The plan was simple, bring the green eared January class and the veteran August crew together to help revitalize a Pittsburgh community trying to get back on its feet. The need was visible and overwhelming. We drove through beautifully made brick homes and once we made our way under a raised road, the stark difference screams at you. Store fronts and homes are boarded up, there are collapsed roofs and porch overhangs, streets of lonely homes.
It was rewarding to be in the homes of the people that stayed. The population of the neighborhood dropped form 14000, to 4000 when the economy took a hit. But those who have stayed have not given up. A homeowner recalls when she asked her father if they should move and he replied, “I bought this home, I’m going to die in it” and the homeowner adds, he did just that.
Throughout the work week, we were constantly reminded that whatever our group accomplishes, it is only another step in the right direction and the path is a long one. Community organizations like the Save Race Street committee and Homewood Nation are pushing for change, to breathe life back into the community, but they can not do it alone.