Chartiers Center has received grants from both HUD and SAMSHA to provide Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Rehousing Programs to those without safe, affordable housing or those at risk of losing their housing. As Chartiers’ Housing Programs have expanded, so has the food insecurity issue. Many homeless individuals and families are being placed in affordable housing but lack funds for food or SNAP benefits. Recognizing there was a problem, Chartiers’ staff asked management if we could provide bags of canned goods to support the consumers until other resources were available (food bank, food stamps etc.). In response, Chartiers opened an internal food pantry (non-perishable goods only) for our clients who are hungry and lack the resources for themselves and family. The food pantry is named “Mary’s Market” in honor of a deceased Service Coordinator. Staff provided the initial food donations that got Mary’s Market up and running. Then Chartiers was awarded a $2,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Indian Community and Friends (PICAF). The grant provides a monthly stipend to support the food pantry for 1 year. Many consumers find they benefit most from Mary’s Market at the end of the month, when they have run low on SNAP benefits.
The funds from the Pittsburgh Indian Community are raised through their annual 5K Run and Walk (PIC5K). The PICAF non-profit began in 2014 with the goal of raising funds to make impactful investments in local non-profits in the Greater Pittsburgh area. In 2014 and 2015 PICAF distributed $28,000 and $35,400 respectively to local non-profit organizations with the understanding that 100% of the funds would be used for programs and not for administrative overhead.
Since 2016 the Pittsburgh Indian Community and Friends is interested in encouraging non-profits to provide innovative proposals that address fundamental problems in the areas of Child Welfare, Healthcare, Education and Homelessness in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
Chartiers Center’s Mary’s Market is grateful to the Pittsburgh Indian Community and Friends for their generous grant. Working together with the PICAF we are happy to have their support and resources to meet the food insecurity problem faced by so many of our consumers. In addition to being available to our homeless to housing consumers, Mary’s Market is available to any of Chartiers’ consumers who are in treatment.
On Tuesday, May 8 Board Members and friends of the Pittsburgh Indian Community presented a check to Sue Coyle, Chartiers Center CEO, and to Carolyn Belzyk, Board President. Starting this month the grant will be used to supplement Mary’s Market!