Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

East End Cooperative Ministry Shows off Its New Facility

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

East End Cooperative Ministry Shows off Its New Facility

Article excerpt

For more than four decades, the East End Cooperative Ministry has operated its programs for homeless adults and at-risk youth out of more than two dozen locations at its member congregations.

Starting in November, those programs, founded in 1970, will be housed under one roof at the ministry's new $15 million Community House along Penn Circle North in East Liberty on what once was a blighted piece of land.

The 56,000-square-foot building has two stories and includes an interior courtyard, a roof garden and a terrace. Numerous windows and large glass plates provide natural light in nearly every area of the building, which was constructed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification.

"There is not a single space in this building where you cannot look out and not see outside. Many people we serve have been in the shadows, been in darkness, so this gives them a great sense of hope," said Phil Hallen, an East End Cooperative Ministry board member and chairman of the capital campaign that financed the building.

The ministry worked with officials of the East Liberty Development Inc. to purchase and develop the property.

The new Community House has a large kitchen with a 10-burner stove and steam table, where a small paid staff will work with more than 100 volunteers to cook the weekday hot meal that is served to the public at noon. Also prepared in the kitchen will be meals for an East End Meals on Wheels program that feeds 60 and the same number of meals that are served at the nearby Vintage Senior Center.

The staff and volunteers also prepare meals for those who live in the temporary housing at the Community House, said Ed Kinley, hunger program director.

A walk-in freezer will allow food to be stored for a longer period of time for the meal programs and the food pantry.

The education area holds classrooms and an art studio that will be used during the day for adult career preparation classes and during after-school hours for enrichment programs for the 600 students ages 5-18 in the ministry's programs, which include academic enrichment and drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention. …

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