Originally published: 10/25/2022
Pittsburgh Business Times

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has received a $1 million gift from the Heinz Endowments.

The grant will go towards the Urban League’s One Pittsburgh Now initiative, which aims to connect unemployed and underemployed working-age African-American individuals in Pittsburgh with employment. Specifically, the grant will focus on challenges faced by single parents in the community, and it will establish a child care resource fund.

The Urban League said that it estimates that 1,600 households will see economic improvement during the three-year grant period.

“There is an urgent need to fully implement ONE Pittsburgh NOW,” Carlos T. Carter, Urban League President and CEO, said. “Many Black people are struggling and especially single parents. The Heinz Endowments understands this and has been working in numerous ways for years to build a more equitable community in which all can partake in the many assets and opportunities our beloved Pittsburgh offers.”

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh started its One Pittsburgh Now initiative in 2018, “as a sign of determination and unrelenting commitment to changing the plight of Black citizens in southwestern Pennsylvania.” The goal of the initiative is to raise $12 million to continue to expand its impact, and to date, it has raised over $5 million of the goal.

Through the initiative, the Urban League enlists teams of “opportunity brokers,” who focus on the Homewood, Mon Valley (including Homestead), Hill District and North Side neighborhoods, connecting interested participants with resources and training opportunities.

“An important ingredient for a thriving region is the opportunity for parents to realize the goals and aspirations they have for themselves and their children – particularly, Black parents who are frequently marginalized, working more than one job and still not getting ahead,” said Carmen Anderson, the Heinz Endowments’ vice president of equity and research. “We believe it is critical to remove barriers such as lack of access to high-quality child care and other obstacles to success. We support programs like ONE Pittsburgh NOW that provide a pathway forward in partnership with families so that they can achieve self-sufficiency.”