The Brashear Association
Connecting for Brighter Tomorrows
New Brashear CARES center will soon open on Brownsville Road
Brashear Programs and Services: Brashear Food Pantry Hours: Location: Phone:
Tuesday and Thursday: 12pm-4:30pm Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House 2201 Salisbury Street, Pittsburgh, 15210 412-431-0557
Utility and Rental Assistance Hours: Location: Phone:
Monday - Friday: 9am-5pm Various Locations 412-742-4068 or 412-431-2236
Employment Services Hours: Location: Phone:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am-5pm Tuesday and Thursday: 9am-6pm Neighborhood Employment Center 731 East Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15210 412-390-3588
Youth Education and Enrichment Programs Hours: Location: Phone:
Monday - Friday, 3pm-8pm The Brashear CARES Center 320 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, 15210 412-431-2236
Food Pantry Visits in 2021
Households Registered for Holiday Assistance
Utility and Rental Assistance Applications Completed
"Everybody deserves a fair shot, and when Brashear families are given a fair shot and a helping hand, we know there are no limits to what we can do together" - Andrea M. Matthews, Brashear Executive Director
Connect with us! @thebrashearassociation @brashearassociation @BrashearKids
brashearassociation.org You can also support The Brashear Association by donating at the QR Code to the right.
The new Brashear CARES center will open later this year at 320 Brownsville Road in Knoxville The new Brashear CARES able for those who are looking to Center in Knoxville, at 320 increase their employment poBrownsville Road, is expected tential and access resources to to be open before the end of the achieve self-sufficiency. In the afyear, with Programs and Servicternoon, youth and their families es set to be fully operational in can enjoy “The Family Table,” a December. Brashear is thrilled program designed to engage the to invite the community into this entire family with shared meals new space, following masking and nutrition education, while and social distancing protocols, homework helpers provide afand growing the Brashear famter school tutoring services and ily in an environment that is deBrashear partners offer a variety signed to be inclusive and welof youth enrichment activities. coming. Brashear has unfortunateEach day, starting in the early ly had to cancel any large Commorning, The Brashear CARES munity Grand Opening and Open Center will be bustling with activ- House events, as well as the ority. In the mornings on the main ganization’s annual Bravo! Braslevel of the building, Brashear hear fundraiser and celebration, will work with one of the organidue to the rising number of COVzation’s core partners, LifeSpan, ID cases in Allegheny County. to provide meals and senior pro- Brashear’s Board and Staff want gramming, including social activ- community members to know ities, exercise classes, informathey put incredible value on the tion sessions, and more. On the safety and well-being of our comlower level, Brashear’s employmunity, and they believe it would ment services and workforce de- be irresponsible to hold large invelopment programs, as well as person events at this time. They utility assistance and case manare looking forward to an opporagement services, will be availSee CARES on the next page
Who was John Brashear and why was he important to the people in South Pittsburgh? Many South Pittsburgh residents are already familiar with the history of The Brashear Association, but we think it’s important to take a quick look back as Brashear prepares to move forward. Brashear was founded in 1917 by Harriet Phillips to honor the renowned, self-taught scientist John A. Brashear, who was a good friend of hers. John Brashear was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and was first introduced to astronomy by his grandfather at the age of nine and it became a passion of his. At the age of 20, he settled in Pittsburgh as a machinist in a rolling mill
and met his wife, Phoebe, shortly after. John and Phoebe built their home in the South Side and studied astronomy together. They began building telescopes, which eventually led to a career for John. The Brashear Company was known worldwide for its manufacturing of lenses, telescopes, and other precision instruments for the world’s greatest observatories - including Pittsburgh’s own. John Brashear was honored by the most respected universities and scientific societies and served as chancellor of the Western University of Pennsylvania See Uncle John on the next page
The Brashear Association
New Brashear CARES center will soon open
CARES from previous page tunity next year to have a Grand Opening celebration, as well as host other Brashear events that have been postponed over the past year and a half. Brashear will be holding a vaccine clinic at the new building on November 17, 2021, from 11am1pm. There are other small events, such as an employment event with CareerLink, scheduled in the coming months. Follow Brashear’s social media and website for more information. Brashear has continued to adapt throughout the pandemic, offering virtual services as needed, shifting to a Grab N’Go food pantry distribution system, opening the Neighborhood Employment Center as a drop-in center for Emergency Rental Assistance, and making other necessary adjustments to meet the ever-changing needs of Looking out the front windows from the main seating area of the new Brashear CARES center. residents while prioritizing the community’s safety. As always, Brashear is here to offer a helption in any way they can, as Brashear continues Communications and Marketing Manager, Margie ing hand. The Board and Staff hope communito meet the needs and wants of South Pittsburgh Schill, at 412-330-8601 or mschill@brashearasty members will continue to support the organiza- residents. For more information, please contact sociation.org.
Who was John Brashear and why was he important Uncle John from previous page (now the University of Pittsburgh) and a director of Carnegie Institute of Technology. John and Phoebe Brashear were dedicated to giving back to their local communities, including supporting the improvement of Pittsburgh’s educational system and providing advancement opportunities for teachers. John’s love of people – especially children – earned him his favorite title. Throughout the city people knew him as “Uncle John.” Mrs. Harriet Phillips, the founder of The Brashear Association and wife of Pittsburgh industrialist and conservationist John M. Phillips, started Brashear as part of the settlement movement, establishing the first settlement house on Holt Street, where John and Phoebe had built their first home. She chose this location because she hoped the children in the community would be inspired by the life of John Brashear. Mrs. Phillips continued to build settlement houses with the help of the community, before The Brashear Association consolidated into one multi-purpose center at 2005 Sarah Street in 1955. According to Margaret E. Berry in her booklet The Settlement Movement 1886-1986: One HunJohn Alfred Brashear dred Years on Urban Frontiers, “settlements debors.” Their goals included building relationships rived their name from the fact that the resident with their neighbors and learning from them, disworkers ‘settled’ in the poor neighborhoods they sought to serve, living there as friends and neigh- covering what was needed to build healthier
communities. These workers believed in a common national welfare, which they worked toward through their projects in individual neighborhoods. Since the beginning, The Brashear Association has looked at the needs of the South Pittsburgh community and found ways to meet those needs. As the organization prepares to open the doors at the new Brashear CARES Center in Knoxville, it is with the same community-centered spirit. Looking at where the majority of Brashear clients reside, it became clear that building a social services hub in the Hilltop would be a strategic move, to offer better access to clients who live in Hilltop neighborhoods. At the same time, Brashear plans to maintain a presence in South Side and continue to support the residents there with the services the organization has provided for decades. The process of building the new Brashear CARES Center has been and will continue to be community-informed and community-driven. Brashear is committed to elevating the voices of residents and community stakeholders by inviting them to participate in the planning and improvement of programs and services offered at the new building. Just as Mrs. Phillips started Brashear with the intention of serving her neighbors, the current Brashear Board and Staff are here to listen and collaboratively work with residents to overcome challenges in our community.
Brashear launching Weekend Backpack Program With funding from the Cigna Foundation, and in partnership with Arlington K-8, Brashear will address food insecurity faced by Arlington families.
The Brashear Association recently received a $100,000 grant from the Cigna Foundation to fund a new Weekend Backpack Program, in collaboration with Arlington K-8, as part of Cigna’s Healthier Kids for Our Future program. Healthier Kids For Our Future is a 5-year, $25 million global initiative addressing childhood challenges, including childhood hunger and food insecurity, through local partnerships and volunteer opportunities to support program initiatives in our communities. The Brashear CARES Weekend Backpack Program, which launched in October, serves Arlington K-8 students and their families, providing 3-5 lb. nondescript bags of food for students to take home each weekend during the school year. Arlington staff and leadership have identified around 110 families that might benefit from
Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, Brashear saw more than a 40% increase in the number of people visiting the organization’s food pantry. While these numbers have started to decrease, it is still very apparent that there is a need for food assistance in the South Side and Hilltop neighborhoods. The Weekend Backpack Program is one more way for Brashear to reach community members who need assistance. In addition to the Cigna grant, the Birmingham this program and feel the school is a safe and Foundation will provide an additional $25,000 to trusted place to engage families, assess their support the program. There are plans to expand needs, and enroll them in the program. Famito other schools in the area following the suclies can select their food items through an online cessful implementation of the program at Arlingform, Brashear Food Pantry staff assemble the ton K-8. bags, and they are distributed to students on FriFor information, please contact Brashear’s days throughout the school year and during the Director of Programs and Services, Candice summer 2022. Benson, at 412-431-2236.
The Brashear Association
Brashear hires new staff members for four Brashear locations The Brashear Association is excited to introduce new staff members: Beth A. Buck, Family Services Case Manager; Lindsay Patton, Employment Case Manager; Stephen Liwan, Family Services Support; Donora Craighead, Executive Assistant; and Kevin Woodbury, janitorial staff. These new staff members join the existing team, which includes: Candice Benson, Director of Programs and Services; Margie Schill, Marketing and Communications Manager; and Carolyn Hunter, Youth Education Coordinator, as well as the janitorial and maintenance team, James Richards and William Kubler. The Brashear Staff is led by Executive Director, Andrea M. Matthews, who celebrated her two-year anniversary in this role in April of this year. Brashear’s Family Services Case Manager, Beth, is managing a new Brashear office in South Side at 1926 Sarah Street, with its entrance on the side of the building along South 20th Street. This office is located across the street from the for-
Food Pantry has relocated at this time to the Henry Kaufmann Center at 2201 Salisbury Street. The pantry is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12pm4:30pm. Residents can call Stephen at 412620-8282 to schedule a pick-up at least 24 hours in advance. Eventually, the pantry will move to Brownsville Road, as part of Phase
II of construction on the Brashear CARES Center. The vision for this pantry, which will be built in the coming years, is for a market/ community space offering community members more choice and dignity as they access food services, as well as brings residents together through events, such as cooking classes.
Through the Public Arts and Communities Program, Brashear will collaborate with Pittsburgh artist Lindsey Peck Scherloum to create public art, focused on the intersection of community health crises and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Public Arts and Communities (PAC) Program, administered by Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art, and in collaboration with the Borough of Millvale, Brashear hopes to create community dialogue around food insecurity, building awareness of the issue and further- ing community support. In response to an increased need for food services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Brashear extended its food pantry hours, its service area, and offered limited delivery Vaccine Clinic at The Brashear CARES Center services for older adults When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11am-1pm and those with disabilLocation: 320 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210 ities. Food insecurity is one of several commuJoin us, in partnership with UPMC and the Hilltop Pharmacy, to get your nity health crises felt in covid-19 vaccine, as well as vaccines for flu, pneumonia, shingles. South Pittsburgh neighborhoods prior to the CareerLink Employment Event pandemic, and it affected a growing numWhen: Monday, November 29, 2021, 10am-2:30pm ber of people last year, Location: 730 East Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15210 as many experienced a variety of other unexCome and meet with a representative from Careerlink to advance your job pected challenges. search and learn new skills. The PAC Program supports the development of place-based strategies and temporary public artworks that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and address its intersection with other public You can support Brashear programs and health issues. It is an services, including this year's Holiday in-depth collaboration between four artists in Assistance Program and services at the new partnership with four loBrashear CARES Center, by following the QR cal community organicode (right) to Brashear's donation page. zations, including The
Brashear Association, to engage the communities that these organizations serve. South Side and Hilltop residents will have the opportunity to participate in the art making process and help with designing the final piece. Brashear strives to ensure that anyone facing food insecurity does not also experience added societal stigma, which can often exist around the access to food services, and this project is meant to address that stigma, as well as offer resources and support. This connects to Brashear’s vision to develop a client-focused pantry in the Hilltop, which will function like a market for residents and offer a community gathering space with scheduled events, such as cooking classes. This plan is included in the next phase of construction at the Brashear CARES Center in Knoxville over the next few years.
ployed and underemployed adults in South Pittsburgh. The NEC reopened for in-person services in March 2021, after being closed for a year due to the pandemic. To schedule an appointment, please contact Lindsay at 412390-3588 or lpatton@ brashearassociation. org. Additionally, the Brashear Grab n’Go mer Brashear building at 2005 Sarah Street. As Brashear opens the Brashear CARES Center in Knoxville, the organization intends to maintain its presence in South Side. The strategic move is meant to increase access for the majority of Brashear clients who live in the Hilltop while ensuring South Side residents feel supported as well. Beth will work with Senior Centers/Residences and the South Side community to complete Dollar Energy Fund Grants, LIHEAP applications, Senior Box applications, Rent Rebates, answer other general inquiries, and connect residents to other needed resourc-
es. Beth can be contacted at 412-742-4068 or email@example.com. Life’s Work of Western Pennsylvania also operates a Diaper Bank out of this office at 1926 Sarah Street on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10am2pm. For more information about the Diaper Bank, please call Deborah Ramseur at 412609-3456. Brashear’s new Employment Case Manager, Lindsay, is available at the Neighborhood Employment Center (NEC) in Allentown to help with job search and retention assistance, including resume building and interview preparation, for unem-
Brashear partnering with artist to explore food insecurity
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The Brashear Association
Brashear has grown from the Holt House to the CARES Center
South Pittsburghers often associate The Brashear Association with the Brashear Center on Sarah Street since 1954, but the agency’s story began almost four decades earlier in another South Side location. According to “The Story of John Alfred Brashear” published by The Brashear Association, Dr. Brashear was beloved by thousands of men, women and children in Pittsburgh and known simply as “Uncle John.” In 1915, on Dr. Brashear’s 75th birthday, his good friend Harriet Duff Phillips thought there should be a tangible expression of the community’s affection and proposed a settlement house on the South Side Slopes. Dr. Brashear forbade solicitations for money, but enough funds were raised through voluntary donations, many the pennies of school children and dimes of devoted friends, to begin the project. Ultimately, enough money was raised to purchase John and Phoebe Brashear’s first home on Holt Street in the South Side Slopes and convert it into a community center. The settlement house offered recreational activities and skill-building classes for both adults and children. Additionally, Americanization classes were offered through the Association’s Citizenship Center. The Association grew and expanded locations with the donations of properties from prominent Pittsburghers. Joseph G. Trees donated a farm outside of Zelienople in 1929 that would become the Claudine Virginia Trees Camp, named in memory of his wife. Heirs of former Allegheny County Commissioner Joseph Armstrong donated his house in 1936
multi-purpose building was constructed and opened in 1956 near the corner of 20th and Sarah streets on South Side, the Brashear Center. Almost immediately expansion plans were formed and three years later the John A. Brashear Museum and Astronomy-Science Center was constructed on the corner of S. 20th and Sarah streets, adjoining the center. Funding for the Museum and Astronomy-Science Center was Martha C. Hoyt House through grants from Oliver M. Kaufmann from the Henry Kaufmann and in 1941 it opened as the Martha Foundation, the Edgar J. Kaufmann C. Hoyt House. Charitable Foundation and the KaufThe Brashear Association also mann Department Stores. Equipoperated the George Washington ment was purchased with money Carver House, a settlement house from the Buhl Foundation. The mufor African Americans. Segregatseum workshop was dedicated in ed facilities would operate until the November, 1959. Association consolidated facilities The museum contains many mein the Brashear Center on Sarah mentoes of Dr. Brashear’s life inStreet. cluding a handmade telescope and In 1952, the Community Chest of a letter from Thomas Edison. In the Allegheny County’s 25th Anniversabasement workshop, people were ry publication stated Brashear need- able to learn about astronomy, phoed a “more adequate building and tography and related fields. Teleequipment in (a) more accessible lo- scope building classes were held at cation.” The Community Chest also the center for many years. noted the cost of maintaining their The Brashear Center was a hub present buildings was too high for for community activities. In addition the number of people served and to the science and workshops, at there was a need for equipment and one time, the center was the site of supervision at the summer camp be- an Allegheny County Health Departfore expanding care for children at ment full service dental clinic, Well the camp. Baby Program and an Urban League The publication also said the As- daycare center. sociation achieved remarkable reThe center also provided learnsults under great handicaps, but ing and recreational opportunities problems of juvenile delinquency on with sewing classes and a driving South Side were so pressing that school. For many years, a dancing more adequate programing should school took over much of the main be started immediately. floor of the building several days a Money was raised and a new week and for those inclined, there was a boxing ring in the basement. For many years, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) held high school classes on the second floor of the center. After the AIU relocated from the building, the Birmingham Foundation took over much of the The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, upper floor. Honorable Tom Wolf, Governor Located across the street from PNC Phillips Elementary School, the Brashear Center was also the site The Heinz Endowments for afterschool programs, many inUPMC volving music and art. In one proUPMC Health Plan gram, Brashear partnered with the Pittsburgh Opera where school chilBridgeway Capital dren were exposed to and learned to Birmingham Foundation appreciate the music. Dollar Bank Brashear also hosted community based organizations at the center inCigna Foundation cluding the South Community CounUrban Redevelopment Authority cil, the Zone 3 Public Safety Council and the South Side Planning Forum, The Pittsburgh Foundation among others. Grable Foundation The Henry Kaufmann NeighborGreater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank hood House (HKNH) on the South Side Slopes, completed in 1965, The Hunger Trust Fund provided a closer resource for resiHighmark dents not only in the Slopes, but ArNorthwest Bank lington, Arlington Heights, St. Clair Village, Mt. Oliver and other Hilltop Fragasso Financial Advisors neighborhoods. Giant Eagle At the time, Brashear held a conMargittai Architects tract with Southwest Mental Health/ Mental Retardation. As part of its Palo Alto Partners therapeutic activity program, the layMosites out of lower level of the Henry Kauf-
Thanks to Brashear Funders and Supporters:
mann House was designed as an apartment to teach life skills to program participants. Though resembling an apartment, no one actually stayed there overnight. In a cooperative venture with the City of Pittsburgh, the Arlington Gym was attached to the HKNH with entrances on the upper and lower levels. With the addition of the gym, Citiparks for many years would also operate a small senior center at the Kaufmann House. At times, Brashear also hosted or operated an adult day care center and a stroke group at the HKNH. Currently, much of the building is used by the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, which also operates an Early Head Start program in the building. The Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House was also the home of the Arlington Civic Council for many years. The Association now operates a grab and go food pantry out of the location several days a week. Although Brashear has provided much of its community support from its two main locations, they have always been in other South Side and Hilltop locations. As early as 1922 and 1923, through a cooperative agreement with the City of Pittsburgh, Brashear operated programs at two playgrounds in South Side, serving as many as 150 children a day and 300 different children over the summer. The Claudine Virginia Trees Camp outside of Zelienople provided a residential camp setting for more than 300 young people each summer in three 10-day sessions. Additionally, there were weeks each summer for mentally challenged youth and adults to experience the outdoor summer camp experience. Brashear has also operated programs out of satellite locations throughout the South Pittsburgh area. They have had a presence in Arlington Heights, St. Clair Village and in The Pet Shoppe in Mt. Oliver, operated afterschool programs and more from the former Allentown Learning and Engagement Center and provided services at the Neighborhood Employment Center in Allentown. The Brashear Association also held a long association with the Allentown Senior Center on Warrington Avenue, sharing an executive director for many years. Although they have always been on the Hilltop, the Association’s last strategic planning process recognized a need to be physically closer to the population they have been serving. Through a years-long process Brashear identified more than 30 possible sites for a new center on the Hilltop, eventually deciding the former LifeSpan building site was the perfect location. After renovations, the new multi-generational multi-purpose Brashear CARES center is expected to open in December of this year.