With the discernment of the SSJ of NWPA as well as first partners such as Saint Vincent Hospital and St. Paul Church, the first two staff, Sr. Mary Herrmann and Sr. Carol Wilcox, are shown with the first “office” meeting neighbors door-to-door in Little Italy.
The first ministries are in full swing to address needs that neighbors identified, such as the soup kitchen to address food insecurity and programs for children such as reading tutoring.
Additional programs are created such as Time Out For Moms and individualized assistance as well a host of other empowerment activities for residents.
With the help of many dedicated volunteers, SSJNN is growing and thriving, including its first community garden on W. 18th Street.
SSJNN celebrates 10 years! Preceded by Sr. Mary Herrmann, Rose Graham comes on as Executive Director of SSJNN.
Physical revitalization efforts such as façade improvements, murals, new sidewalks and benches, are expanded after securing tax credit assistance and other partners.
SSJNN opens an eastside location, its boundaries now covering from 12th to 26th, Cranberry to East Ave. The Pedal Mettle bicycle program begins at the east side site in the former school of St. John the Baptist.
Heather Caspar becomes Executive Director of SSJNN.
Many initiatives are carried out under the mission to revitalize and empower the neighborhoods. Some of them include career education for hundreds of youth, completion of the Federal Byrne Criminal justice Grant, more housing opportunities, murals and facades, several thriving community gardens and a vibrant Little Italy Farmers Market.
SSJNN marks 20 years of serving neighbor to neighbor! However celebrations, gala fundraisers and more are cancelled, and all staff efforts address immediate needs of neighbors and program adaptations due to COVID-19.