This is a distressed community in the Turtle Creek Valley. The communities in this valley were deeply impacted by the closing of the steel mills in the 1980s and they have not recovered. In particular, Pitcairn has experienced even greater hardship as the years have progressed. In the immediate area surrounding the Circles site, most residents are unemployed, undereducated, and do not have cars. There is a subset of residents who are motivated to get ahead, but need help - our target population.
Our project is a self-sufficiency program that helps to increase education, increase employment opportunities, and provide appropriate linkages for services that will help remove barriers to economic advancement. As motivated residents move out of poverty, their income helps to increase the knowledge base and the tax base in the community, which benefits the entire community as well.
Long-term, the project will help those who are motivated to move out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. We anticipate helping at least 10 families within a year to make such moves, although the process of self-sufficiency may take longer than one year. As poverty decreases and community involvement increases, the Pitcairn community will improve and see a similar decrease in crime and violence.