| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Sunday Business Page: Pioneer Apartments 8/11/2019


GOOD MORNING. WELCOME TO ANOTHER SPECIAL SEGMENT OF THE SUNDAY BUSINESS PAGE. EVERY SUNDAY DURING KDKA SUNDAY MORNING NEWS, YOU WILL HEAR FROM SOMEONE DOING SOMETHING INTERESTING IN THE PITTSBURGH COMMUNITY. OUR SPECIAL GUEST IS STEPHEN CHRISTIAN MICHAELS, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER AT WESLEY FAMILY SERVICES. WESLEY IS BREAKING GROUND ON A NEW DEVELOPMENT CALLED PIONEER APARTMENTS. IT IS ONE STOP SHOPPING WHERE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES HAVE ACCESS TO HOUSING UNITS, PROGRAMS, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES ALL IN ONE LOCATION. WELCOME. THANK YOU. LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT WESLEY FAMILY SERVICES. WHAT IS WESLEY FAMILY SERVICES? IT IS ACTUALLY THE PRODUCT OF A MERGER BETWEEN FAMILY SERVICES OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SINCE IT’S BEEN AROUND SINCE 1885 AND WESLEY SPECTRUM. WE HAVE A TOTAL OF ABOUT 60 PROGRAMS IN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY, CHILD WELFARE, COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT. THROUGH WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. WE ARE IN FOUR COUNTIES AND SERVE ADDITIONAL RESIDENTS IN BUTLER AND BEAVER. THIS PARTICULAR NEW PROJECT CALLED PIONEER APARTMENTS IS UP IN NEW KENSINGTON. YES. WHAT’S THE CONCEPT? WE HAVE BEEN IN NEW KENSINGTON SINCE 1972 PROVIDING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES. ONE IS WHAT WE CALL SUPPORTIVE HOUSING. WE HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS. IN ONE CASE IT’S A BUNCH OF APARTMENTS ON TOP OF A BAR. THIS IS NOT A GOOD COMBINATION SINCE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INCLUDES DRUG AND ALCOHOL. WE STARTED THIS PROCESS FOUR YEARS AGO TO COME UP WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING. WE ALSO NEEDED NEW OFFICES. WE HAVE CREATED A CO-LOCATED BUILDING WITH THE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDITS AND NEW MARKET TAX CREDITS. THE IDEA IS YOU HAVE AN APARTMENT COMPLEX OR A BUILDING WHERE FOLKS CAN — I GUESS THERE IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING. YES. AT THE SAME TIME YOU CAN PROVIDE HEALTH SERVICES THEY NEED. 125 STAFF, WE WILL HAVE IN THAT BUILDING. SO IT’S LIKE MOVING INTO A HOSPITAL ALMOST. THEN WE WILL HAVE ONE POSITION TWO DAYS A WEEK THAT WILL BE EMBEDDED SUPPORTED HOUSING IN THE APARTMENTS. THAT PERSON WILL ALSO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS, TO SHOPPING CENTERS. THAT WILL GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW PEOPLE. SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO COME TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES. HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO BE HOUSED? IT WILL BE 36 APARTMENTS, ONE, TWO, THREE BEDROOMS. MANY APARTMENTS DON’T HAVE THREE BEDROOMS BUT WE KNOW THERE IS A NUMBER OF FAMILIES THAT CAN’T FIND APPROPRIATE HOUSING. YOU CAN HOUSE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE. WE HAVE A FEW SECONDS LEFT. IF SOMEBODY IS INTERESTED IN THIS KIND OF ARRANGEMENT WHICH SOUNDS FABULOUS, HOW DO THEY GET INVOLVED? THEY CAN GO TO WFSPA.ORG AND DO A SEARCH ON PIONEER APARTMENTS. THAT WILL COME TO THE PAGE THAT DESCRIBES IT. THEY CAN INDICATE AN INTEREST BEING ON THE LIST. YOU ARE DOING THE GROUND BREAKING. WHEN DCOMPLEX UP AND RUNNING. AT THIS TIME NEXT YEAR. SUMMER OF 2020. SO IT IS NOT TOO EARLY IF SOMEBODY HAS AN INTEREST TO GET IN TOUCH WITH WESLEY FAMILY SERVICES? IT’S NOT AN APPLICATION. IT’S AN INTEREST LIST. IT WILL REMIND PEOPLE THAT IT IS TIME FOR THE APPLICATION. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. THIS IS THE KIND OF PROJECT WE LOVE TO SEE IN SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU FOR THE WORK YOU ARE DOING. WE APPRECIATE IT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THIS EDITION OF SUNDAY BUSINESS PAGE. IF YOU HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR A

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