Scott's Thoughts

September 30, 2017

From Scott Parsons, Executive Director

On June 2nd we closed on a commercial building at 520 Broadway, the main street of Pitcairn (it's the one right above the white car in the picture above). The building has everything we were looking for! It has sufficient space for a new food pantry and coffee shop, as well as providing two very large three-bedroom apartments. The following week we began rehab on the building. What I hoped would be a six week project has just passed the three month mark. The apartments were in terrible condition and needed more work than I had hoped. Even though many people graciously volunteered their time and talents to the project, more than once I grew weary and wondered if it was worth the effort. But now that it is almost finished, I am really excited.

The apartments have turned out nicely and will make great homes for two families who will be entering our Life Skills Program in October. The new food pantry space will not only be a beautiful, well equipped place for our volunteers to work, but it is a much better location to serve our clients. The Broadway location has greatly increased our visibility in the community, and the possibility of a coffee shop has created quite a buzz in town.

The coffee shop will be an entirely separate project. It will require shop design, a business plan and separate funding. If you have any experience in starting or running a coffee shop, I would love to hear from you!

So even though I lost a summer working on our building, we gained an amazing facility for ministry. I am so grateful for Hebron Presbyterian Church, New Covenant Presbyterian Church and those of you who supported this project financially, or through your labor. You are a blessing!

We also entered into a strategic partnership with another organization called Mon Valley Circles. Circles focuses on helping people out of poverty through helping them prepare for and/or find jobs, and by providing them with life skills, money management training, and accountability. In short, they do the sorts of things we would love to do but lack the time, finances and expertise. We, in turn, are able to work with their graduates by helping them achieve a new level of independence and hopefully, home ownership. By working together we are able to accomplish more than either of us can alone, so this is a great partnership. Because of our partnership, Circles will be moving their offices into the space that will eventually become our coffee shop. I never cease to be amazed at how God continues to provide for us in every way!

Please pray for our work. Particularly, we are in serious need of additional staff. Pray that God will provide the funding and right people to help.