Non-profit partnership nears completion of 6-year, $1.35 million plan to revitalize neighborhood of a small Pennsylvania city

On April 27, 2022, the non-profit group 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania kicked off its 5th year of a 6-year plan and $1.35 million investment to revitalize the South Side neighborhood of New Castle, Pennsylvania (population 22,000).

The kick-off event was held at the South Side Community Garden, 313 East Home Street, New Castle.

Staff from 10,000 Friends as well as partners, donors and local community members were be present. The event was open to the public.

Photo of downtown New Castle courtesy of Visit Lawrence County.

Through its Healthy Communities Initiative, 10,000 Friends continues to lead the collaborative revitalization efforts to improve the South Side neighborhood of New Castle.

This is done in partnership with DON Enterprises, City of New Castle, Gussie Walker Community Center, Lawrence County Land Bank, UPMC Jameson Hospital, United Way of Lawrence County, Regional Housing Legal Services and Neighborhood Legal Services.

We’ve been able to positively impact the South Side neighborhood by eliminating blight, rehabilitating homes, promoting the business district, improving the Earl A. “Muff” Sallie Field playground, expanding the programs of the Gussie Walker Community Outreach Center, and increasing urban green space in community gardens,” said Tom Hardy, the Western Pennsylvania Director for 10,000 Friends.

The program is generously funded by UPMC Health Plan, First National Bank, and First Commonwealth Bank, which have collectively committed investments of $1.35 million to the South Side, over six years, through the Commonwealth Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Neighborhood Partnership Program.

Our plans for year five include continuing the microloan program as well as addressing housing stability, youth development and food security,” stated 10,000 Friends CEO, Stacie Reidenbaugh.

The Small Business Grant & Microloan program supports small businesses, existing or new, within the South Side business district. The microloans can be used for eligible activities such as façade improvements, accessibility, signage, and marketing,” concluded Reidenbaugh.

She says the purpose of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania to build healthy, vibrant and resilient communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Their website says “We see diversity, equity, and inclusion as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of the people and communities we serve. We are committed to advocating for change in society by challenging systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity. We work with citizens, organizations, and public officials to create balanced land use, infrastructure, development, and governance policies and projects that strengthen our economy, protect our resources, and build healthy and walkable communities for all.

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is the nonpartisan statewide advocate for community resilience and smart growth, responsible and efficient land use, and partner for great places to live and work.

Featured photo courtesy of City of New Castle.

See 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania website.

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