Community Development


The Bible Center Church was awarded a $210,000 grant to help operate and sustain the Everyday Café in Homewood.

The Foundation granted $1.5 million dollars to Thread International PBC, Inc. to establish a cut and sew facility to employ Pittsburghers from the Homewood community.

The Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation received a $375,000 grant toward two-year support of the Hispanic business incubator project and housing initiative and to build out the interior of the Beechview incubator space.

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library used a $500,000 Foundation grant to create an urban park connecting the Carnegie Library and Music Hall to Carnegie's Main Street.

A $750,000 grant to the Center for Victims helped provide safety and technology improvements for their Carson Street office.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership was awarded $750,000 toward three initiatives to enhance Pittsburgh's public space.


Grow Pittsburgh received a $100,000 Foundation grant to support operations and programs associated with community gardens in Pittsburgh, with a focus on the Homewood neighborhood. They received an additional $550,000 grant for two years of support to expand the Edible Schoolyard program to 50 underserved Pittsburgh Public Schools and communities by 2023.

A Foundation grant of $10,000 to Moving Lives of Kids Arts Center supported a mural project in Homewood.

Building on its past support of Operation Better Block, Inc., the Foundation awarded a grant of $800,000 to economic development programs in Homewood.

The Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. received Foundation funding of $1,425,000 to acquire and renovate six key properties within the Second Avenue business district.  Several properties are to be renovated and activated with retail, start-up incubator, and light manufacturing businesses, while others are to be maintained until a viable redevelopment plan emerges.

A Foundation grant of $10,000 to the Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation supported a Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Action Grant Application for the Hill District.  Such grants provide funds that enable neighborhoods to develop transformation plans that forge strong public and private partnerships, and grant funds would be used to provide scholarships to middle Hill District residents for education programs offered at the Energy Innovation Center.

Also, this year, the Progress Fund received $1.6 million dollars toward lending and investments in economic opportunities for rural communities and small towns in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Homewood Children's Village continued to receive Foundation support in the form of a $750,000 grant for operations.

Rebuilding Pittsburgh Together was able to pilot the Homewood Housing Preservation Partnership with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Foundation.

A two-year $250,000 Foundation Grant helped expand the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh's masonry training program for the underemployed


In 2015, a Foundation grant of $750,000 over two years helped the East Liberty Family Health Care Center's Eastminster facility add new exam rooms, a lab, and a waiting room, as well as staff positions and technology and medical equipment upgrades.

Grow Pittsburgh received a Foundation grant of $150,000 toward support of operations with a focus on work in Homewood ($100,000) and a special project in conjunction with the Bible Center of Homewood ($50,000).

Urban Innovation 21 was awarded $1.6 million dollars that enabled the organization to expand the investments in start-up companies in Homewood as well as support operations.

A million dollar grant was given to the Sports and Exhibition Authority to create a public green space connecting downtown Pittsburgh and the lower Hill District.  Dubbed the "I-579 Cap Urban Connector", it will promote public and private development in the Hill District and create new jobs for Hill District residents.  Construction is to begin in late 2018.

Homewood's Operation  Better Block continued to receive support from the Foundation with a $425,000 grant toward economic development projects in Homewood.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation was awarded a million dollar grant toward the renovation of the Wilkinsburg Train Station.

A $2.5 million dollar grant was awarded to Bridgeway Capital to continue renovations of the 7800 Susquehanna building in Homewood.

East Liberty Development, Inc. received funding to complete mapping of crime in hot spots and to design a strategy to address in Homewood.

The Foundation awarded $300,000 to the Idea Foundry toward their Accelerators and Transformation Fellowship Program and social enterprise efforts in Homewood.

In 2015, the Bible Church Center received two grants - $300,000 toward two-year support of the Oasis Project, an out-of-school-time program and an additional $300,000 grant toward the acquisition of abandoned and blighted properties in Homewood.

A $600,000 grant was awarded to Higher Achievement toward two-year support for the Bridge to College Program and additional Higher Achievement's programs in Homewood.

Homewood Children's Village received $650,000 from the Foundation to support academic, social, health and wellness, and college readiness programs.

The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh expanded their masonry training program for the underemployed with a $125,000 grant from the Foundation.

A million dollars was awarded to ACTION-Housing toward affordable housing projects, energy conservation efforts and operating support.


A Foundation grant of $125,000 to the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Inc. was used to assess housing stock, develop a renovation plan, and establish design standards for a seven-block area in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.

East Liberty Development, Inc. received a Foundation grant of $50,000 to complete mapping of crime hot spots and design a strategy to address crime in Homewood. 

Also in 2014, the Foundation invested $1.5 million dollars toward the East Liberty TRID Authority to support the development of a mixed-use development and transit center in Pittsburg's East Liberty Neighborhood.  This project is expected  to generate 3,000 new jobs and more than $500 million in new development for the region.

A grant of $1,500,000 from the Foundation to East Liberty TRID Revitalization Authority supported transit-oriented development projects in East Liberty.

Bridgeway Capital was awarded $2.5 million dollars to help renovate the 7800 Susquehanna building in Homewood.

A $100,000 grant was given to Grow Pittsburgh for operations and programs in Homewood.

The Foundation continued to support Homewood Children's Village with a $750,000 grant toward operations.

Also, Operation Better Block received $450,000 toward economic development programs in Homewood.


A Foundation grant of $1,700,000 to Bridgeway Capital helped purchase 7800 Susquehanna Street in Homewood ($1,500,000) and expand the micro-loan program ($200,000).

A $95,000 grant from the Foundation to Grow Pittsburgh supported operations, including expansion of programs in Homewood.

Operation Better Block, Inc. received a $400,000 Foundation grant for economic development programs in Homewood.

Urban Innovation 21 received a Foundation grant of $550,000 toward two-year support expand economic growth in Pittsburgh's underserved communities.

A Foundation grant of $650,000 was awarded to Higher Achievement Programs toward two-year support for the Bridge to College Program and Higher Achievement's programs in Homewood.

The Bible Center Church received $400,000 toward two-year support of out-of-school programs for children in the Homewood area.

Also, Homewood Children's Village was granted $750,000 toward support of operations.

The Homewood Renaissance Association used a $250,000 Foundation grant for after-school and summer STEM-based learning activities and operations.

The Rosedale Block Cluster was given $50,000 toward operations.


A Foundation grant of $325,000 to East Liberty Development Incorporated provided two-year support of revitalization efforts in East Liberty and the Larimer Avenue corridor, and implementation of a storm water management project for the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Also in 2012, Higher Achievement received $150,000 for the launch and operation of the Homewood Achievement Center that provides middle-schoolers with afterschool mentoring and summer tutoring.

The Bible Church Center was awarded $350,000 toward the renovation of the Worship, Arts, Recreation and Ministry (W.A.R.M.) Complex to transform it into a multi-purpose facility.

Operation Better Block received a $300,000 Foundation grant for community and economic development programs in Homewood.

A Foundation grant of $100,000 was given to the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh toward the Shelton Trade Program, housed in the Hosanna House, that trains individuals in basic masonry skills.


A grant of $525,000 to the Hill House Economic Development Corporation supported construction-related expenses for the Hill District grocery store.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work received a Foundation grant of  $175,000 for two-year support of the Homewood Children's Village.

A $250,000 grant was awarded to Operation Better Block to expand community development initiatives, community organizing and safety and outreach programs in Homewood.

The Primary Care Health Services was granted $650,000 toward facility and equipment upgrades to the Alma Illery Medical Center, laboratory and homeless center office in Homewood.

The Rosedale Block Cluster received $8,750 from the Foundation to conduct a feasibility assessment for urban agriculture and food business ventures.


A Foundation grant of $100,000 to Hill House Association supported the Ujamaa Collective, an initiative in the Hill District for African-American women entrepreneurs.

That same year, the Looking Glass Institute received a $50,000 Foundation grant to provide technical assistance to community groups in Homewood working to promote economic revitalization through a concerted effort with the Homewood Children's Village and Café 524.

Also, a $1.5 million dollar grant was given to Homewood Children's Village for operations support.

Rosedale Block Cluster received $150,000 toward two-year support of operations, training and development, and employment and landscaping programs.

The University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work was granted $75,000 to complete the implementation of Phase 2 of the Homewood Children's Village Community-Based Participatory Demonstration, designed to produce actionable knowledge to address pressing social problems that impact the lives of children in families of Homewood-Brushton.

3 Rivers Connect used a $30,000 grant from the Foundation to complete the Homewood Community Insight Project.


A $500,000 Foundation grant to the Hill House Economic Development Corporation supported construction of a new, full-service grocery store in the Hill District.  The 40,000-square-foot store was wholeheartedly supported by the community, and included a bakery, pharmacy, café and dry cleaner.

$100,000 was granted to the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh to establish a masonry pre-apprentice program.

Also, 3 Rivers Connect received a $30,000 grant toward the design of the Homewood Community Insight Project.


A Foundation grant of $750,000 helped provide East Liberty's new and existing businesses and restaurants with tools to excel in a changing marketplace and to revitalize East Liberty as a regional restaurant destination.

Operation Better Block, which seeks to strategize, organize, and mobilize to benefit Homewood's residents, received a $400,000 Foundation grant toward Phase II of the Homewood Children's Village, which included the research design and Year 1 of the program. The Homewood Children's Village is modeled on the longtime, extremely successful Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), teaches young mothers the importance of education, consistency, discipline, and health education, among other topics, and offers programs and services to ensure that each child's fundamental needs are addressed and that he or she meets appropriate educational and developmental goals.

The Foundation also granted $250,000 to Rosedale Block Cluster in Homewood toward two-year support to strengthen administrative and program operations.


A Foundation grant of $125,000 to the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center supported the Step Up Program, a collaboration among West Penn Hospital, Goodwill Industries, West Penn Hospital , Goodwill and ENEC to encourage and support incumbent workers enrolled in nursing school.


A Foundation grant of $500,000 to the Department of Economic Development, which is managed by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, established a business assistance fund to help reestablish small businesses that sustained flood damage from Hurricane Ivan.

Also in 2005, a Foundation grant of $265,000 supported youth initiatives and a program evaluation model for Hill House Association, a multi-faceted social service agency that provides ongoing programs to tens of thousands of clients in the Hill District.

Schenley Heights Community Development Program received a Foundation grant of $250,000 to support and expand after-school programs and building renovations for urban youth in the Schenley Heights, Hill District, and West Oakland communities.


A Foundation grant of $1,000,000 supported ACTION-Housing's Housing Development Fund, meeting the housing needs of the most vulnerable populations.


Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE) seeks to build the capacity of African-American and disadvantaged communities to identify and fulfill their needs by providing direct funding to agencies, direct services to youth and technical assistance.  In 2003, a Foundation grant of $150,000 supported the Master Consultants Services and helped build the capacity of small, African-American-run agencies serving at-risk populations.


A Foundation grant of $200,000 to the Schenley Heights Community Development Program supported building renovations and program expansion for an agency dedicated to providing quality after-school and summer programming designed to build basic skills, boost self-confidence, and restore motivation to succeed for urban youth in the Hill District.


A Foundation grant of $75,000 to the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation helped continue a pilot program designed to build assets in the lives of at-risk youth populations.

Also in 2000, a Foundation grant of $250,000 to East Liberty Development supported renovations and three-year start-up costs for reopening the Regent Theatre.  The theatre offers a multi-use community facility that houses a performing arts program for neighborhood youth and a performance venue for small arts organizations, area schools, and social service agencies.


The Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development, whose mission is to increase the number of self-sustaining households in Pittsburgh's distressed neighborhoods, received a Foundation grant of $500,000 for operating support.


A Foundation grant of $500,000 to the Community Loan Fund of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Inc. helped finance a loan fund to assist small and medium size manufacturing firms located in low-income communities.


A $400,000 Foundation grant to the East Liberty Family Health Care Center provided three years of operating support to the new Lincoln-Lemington Family Health Care Center.


The Foundation awarded a grant of $3 million dollars to the Allegheny Conference in support of a $40 million dollar Strategic Investment Fund to provide loans for area investment, especially downtown and in the Monongahela Valley.

Also in 1995, the Foundation provided a grant of $750,000 to the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh to support building a new Homewood-Brushton Center.


The Foundation built on its support of neighborhoods with significant funding for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, including a grant of $250,000 through the Allegheny Conference, as well as funding totaling $2,200,000 between 1991 and 1995 to the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development.

The Foundation also invested nearly $2 million dollars in Crawford Square, a mixed-income community that was the largest residential redevelopment in Pittsburgh in the last 30 years.


A Foundation grant of $300,000 to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for the Pittsburgh Technology Center, the 51-acre research park, was one of the first advanced technology inner-city research and development centers in the nation.


A Foundation grant of $1.2 million dollars through the Allegheny Conference supported the renovation of Mellon Square Park, which at the time, was termed "the most popular park" in the Golden Triangle by the City of Pittsburgh, Department of Planning.


A leadership gift of $500,000 from the Foundation helped establish the Enterprise Corporation of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that assists individuals in developing business plans, strategies and marketing efforts. Over the next 13 years, Enterprise would assist more than 1,600 clients raise nearly $500 million dollars in capital and create at least 5,000 jobs for southwestern Pennsylvania. 


The Foundation assisted with the development of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission, one of the first regional planning efforts in the state.  In 1973, a Foundation grant of $450,000 to the Allegheny Conference help to establish Penn's Southwest Association, a nine-county economic development effort that attracted new investment and industries in southwestern Pennsylvania, including plastics, advanced materials, computer software, industrial automation, and biotechnology.


As the civil rights movement and the "War on Poverty" focused national attention on social issues, the Foundation's Trustees increased efforts to help remove the causes and to alleviate the effects of poverty, poor housing and chronic unemployment.  To expand economic opportunity, the Foundation, through the Allegheny Conference, provided leadership support for the Minority Enterprise Loan Program, through which banks lent money to disadvantaged individuals with potential as entrepreneurs.  In the same way, the Foundation also provided support for Bidwell Training Center, which provides specialized job training for inter-city youth.


With help from the Foundation, the Allegheny Conference created ACTION-Housing (Allegheny Council To Improve Our Neighborhoods), a neighborhood development organization that became one of the nation's leading producers of affordable, inner-city housing for people with low can moderate incomes.


Mellon Square Park, a 1.4-acre landscaped oasis that sits above a six-level underground parking garage was dedicated.  The Foundation had joined with the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust and the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation to construct the $4.3 million dollar park, dedicated to the "industrial leadership, civic spirit, and philanthropy" of Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon.

Also in 1955, the Foundation provided grants to the Allegheny Conference to help create the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC), designed to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.


The Richard King Mellon Foundation was created as a vehicle for public educational and charitable purposes. Today, it invests in an array of broad and far-reaching initiatives throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.


The Allegheny Conference joined what was, at the time, a groundbreaking partnership with the administration of Mayor David L. Lawrence, the Regional Planning Association, and the Pennsylvania Economy League to create a legislative program knows as The Pittsburgh Package.  This series of bills would lead to the enforcement of smoke control, create a public parking authority and a Department of Parks and Recreation, broaden the tax base, and build highways and county-wide waste-disposal facilities.  This civic organization became the central instrument  for research, coordination, and leadership in the urban turnaround, uniting the private and public sectors in a bold, and far-sighted effort to revitalize Pittsburgh.  Over a period of 50 years, the Richard King Mellon Foundation would support the Conference directly with gifts of more than $8 million dollars.


Richard King Mellon personally called together and funded the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, originally named the Citizens' Committee on Post War Planning.  Attorney Leland Hazard described the Allegheny Conference as "a method for implementing [General Mellon's] aspirations for Pittsburgh  and his determination for the betterment of his city.  Richard King Mellon said simply of its work, "We expedite. We get things done."


Tom and James Mellon built hundreds of row houses for working-class families in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh.  Their father, Thomas Mellon, lent them $25,000 to buy sixteen acres in the suburb of Homewood where they divided the land and built homes.