McAuley Ministries Awards 17 New Grants Totaling $935,500: Grants support disaster recovery efforts locally and internationally

PITTSBURGH (October 13, 2021) McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy’s grant-making foundation, announces 17 new grants awarded totaling $935,500.

Marisol Valentin, executive director of McAuley Ministries, noted that through this grant cycle, the foundation sought to provide disaster recovery assistance both locally and internationally. Locally, the investments seek to aid the continuity of initiatives led by community partners as they respond to community needs in this stage of COVID-19 pandemic recovery by providing improved access to food, employment, housing, education, mental health counseling, and other services.

$30,000 in emergency disaster relief funds will support recovery efforts following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti’s southern peninsula August 14, which resulted in more than 2,000 deaths and more than 12,000 persons injured. The emergency disaster relief grants were made possible by McAuley Ministries’ emergency grant program, which works to quickly respond to those in need by providing funds to needed agencies. Past grants have supported the recovery efforts of disasters near and far, including persons displaced by the DeRaud Street apartment building fire in the Hill District in August 2019, survivors from the flooding by Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017, and communities impacted by the 7.8 magnitude that struck Nepal near Katmandu in 2015. McAuley Ministries has awarded $85,000 in emergency disaster relief grants since 2015, not including grants totaling $732,500 awarded in 2020 specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The West Oakland-based, grant-making foundation awards approximately $3.5 million in grants annually, making it one of the region’s largest philanthropic foundations. View grants awarded by year at

Grouped by grant-making priorities, the recipients of the most recent grants are as follows. For further description of each grant, please visit grants awarded.


  • Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP): $50,000 to increase voter education, engagement, overall participation, and turn-out of Pittsburgh’s Black communities during elections.

 Capacity Building

  • POISE Foundation: $120,000 payable over 3 years to provide operational support.
  • Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE): $73,000 to continue the Executive Coaching program (Cohort VI), providing coaching experience to African Americans and other people of color who are executive leaders and next level/next-generation leaders
  • Sisters Place Inc.: $105,000 payable over 3 years for operational support.

Community Development

  • NeighborWorks of Western Pennsylvania: $50,000 to support the Arriving Home Loan Program, which provides second mortgages and down-payment support to renters seeking to become homeowners in the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland.
  • Center that CARES: $35,000 to support the development of a youth and young adult entrepreneurship and workforce training program based at CARES CommuniTEA Cafe, a new community coffee shop in the Hill District.

 COVID-19 Phase IV

  • Carlow University: $10,000 in support of the Student Emergency Fund.

Education: Out-of-School Time

  • M-Powerhouse of Greater Pittsburgh: $150,000 payable over 3 years to introduce a drone technology program and STEAM careers at Pittsburgh Milliones University Prep School.
  • Ozanam Inc.: $60,000 to expand the Hill Legacy Curriculum to include STEM
    projects reflective of the Hill District’s African American history and leadership.
  • Small Seeds Development Inc.: $35,000 in continued support of the Mother to Son Program, which provides single mothers and female guardians, their male children (ages 5-18), and their sons’ siblings with emotional support, training, and workshops to build family self-sufficiency and well-being.
  • Strong Women, Strong Girls Inc.: $22,500 to support an after-school mentoring program for girls and young women for the purpose of building skills, competence, and confidence in girls attending partner sites in the Hill District.
  • Venture Outdoors Inc.: $25,000 for the Outdoor Learning Lab program which provides outdoor experiences to youth and families in the Hill District.

Emergency Disaster Relief

  • Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti (FLM): $10,000 to provide food and basic medical services. Led by long-time Pittsburgh resident Leon D. Pamphile, FLM Haiti operates 70+ adult literacy centers that provide reading, writing, and basic math skills to more than 2,000 residents in 11 communities across Haiti. Many of the FLM centers are located in churches that were demolished in the earthquake. FLM is actively working to help the churches and its centers recover.
  • Health Equity International (formerly St. Boniface Hospital): $10,000 to evacuate injured persons from the earthquake zone and provide survivors with 24/7 emergency and surgical care and expand mobile team response to the remote areas hit hardest by the earthquake. The 180-bed hospital in Fond des Blancs provides care and services to more than 130,000 people each year, including persons in need of emergency, trauma, and orthopedic care.
  • Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) Haiti: $10,000 to evacuate injured persons from the earthquake zone and provide survivors with 24/7 emergency and surgical care. Nearly a decade after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) Haiti remains the only 24/7 full-service hospital in Haiti’s Lower Artibonite Valley region. The 131-bed hospital serves more than 350,000, a population the size of Anaheim, Calif.

Health & Wellness

  • Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship and Veterans Home: $150,000 over three years to pilot a new, holistic mental health treatment program that incorporates healing from spiritual trauma for veterans who are experiencing or are threatened by homelessness.
  • 412 Food Rescue Inc.: $20,000 for outreach and expansion of their food recovery operations in the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland utilizing a technology platform that connects volunteers to retailers who donate surplus food.

 About McAuley Ministries

Named in honor of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, McAuley Ministries is the grant-making foundation of Pittsburgh Mercy. McAuley Ministries serves as a catalyst for change, committing resources and working collaboratively to promote healthy, safe, and vibrant communities. Grant-making priorities include health and wellness, community and economic development, education, and capacity-building initiatives for nonprofit organizations which focus on the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland, communities historically served by the Sisters of Mercy. McAuley Ministries also provides support to organizations that are sponsored by and/or affiliated with the Sisters. Since its founding by the Sisters of Mercy in 2008, McAuley Ministries has awarded 850 grants and community support totaling more than $38 million. It awards approximately $3.5 million in grants annually, making it one of the largest philanthropic foundations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about McAuley Ministries and the initiatives it supports, visit

About Pittsburgh Mercy

Pittsburgh Mercy, a member of Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, is a person-centered, population-based, trauma-informed community health and wellness provider. Pittsburgh Mercy, home to the region’s only Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) and Integrated Community Wellness Center (ICWC), is also one of the largest nonprofit organizations and employers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Mercy includes Bethlehem Haven, McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy Behavioral Health, Pittsburgh Mercy Community Health, Pittsburgh Mercy Intellectual Disabilities Services, the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program, Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net®, and Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center. Together, these Pittsburgh Mercy programs and their 1,200 colleagues serve more than 33,000 individuals annually at 60+ locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about Pittsburgh Mercy, or to make a donation in support of its important work in the community, visit