Placing care at the center of economic redevelopment
Latham St. Commons (LSC) is a place that focuses on improving the health of all people living in Pittsburgh’s Garfield and Friendship neighborhoods. In 2015 when we started, our site was 27 vacant 100 year–old garages tucked away between Penn Avenue, South Graham and Latham Streets. Now, on this quarter-acre lot, amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, there is new energy at our site as we put a novel approach to work at improving health—working inside-out with this community, every step of the way. We are building a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of people working together to address all of the factors affecting access to good health—social support, health care, education, diet, employment, and connection to nature.
To successfully pilot an economically feasible model that supports socially and environmentally responsible practices. For this reason, our organization serves neighbors of all ages, with extended outreach to those who are underserved. Latham St. Commons is a space for a community of people who care about a better and more equitable future for all.
Centered on the idea of integrating food commerce and community with education and sustainability, we provide an innovative approach to workforce development and employment so that individuals can become self-sufficient. Our mission is to provide the necessary tools so people of all ages can design shared learning experiences that aim to dissolve the idea of us vs. them, so that we’re left with just us, living well, together.
Who we are
We’re people who care about a better more equitable future we all want to live in. We’re facilitating the community’s ability to create a healthier life and place to live. We’re teaching and sharing what we know but rely on a community filled with experts to share their knowledge. We know communities thrive when the people living in them know they matter.
Collective memory of a place
We intend to bring life to an abandoned site. The existing structures have a history for the neighborhood. Although they have been weathered by vacancy and neglect, we’ve found people wondering more about how these structures might get re-purposed, rather than demolished for new construction. We believe in rehabilitation over demolition. Demolishing buildings that have character wipes away history and identity, erasing the collective memory of what the place was. LSC has always grown out of what has been present at the site, and it should continue to do so, making the project particular to the neighborhood. Our process is defined by seeing opportunities that collectively define the place. From the buildings to the people, they all have shaped Latham St. Commons thus far.