Surprise in the Suburbs
The Foundation was charged by Jefferson organizations in 2015 to be a local information bank sharing data impacting communities in the South Hills and lower Mon Valley. As a place-based Foundation focused outside of the City of Pittsburgh, the Foundation followed the Brookings Institute research which showed a rapid rise in poverty in suburbs nationwide. Allegheny County’s recent 2021 Community Needs Index identified several areas in the Jefferson area as “moderate need’ and some in the Mon Valley as “extreme need.” The lives of Jefferson area residents vary widely across our 26 municipalities and 12 school districts.
The Jefferson communities continue to change with increased diversity. Through community data, both quantitative and qualitative, the Foundation strives to serve as a strong community asset through grantmaking focused on our priority areas. Additionally, the Foundation’s community engagement efforts through the Jefferson Community Collaborative provide strong feedback on emerging community needs and promote strengths rising from both Jefferson nonprofit organizations and Jefferson residents.
To date, the Foundation has conducted research/analysis on transportation, mental health, workforce development, diversity, equity, and inclusion, demographics, and the COVID-19 vaccine for Jefferson communities.