WHY WE DO IT
The Melting Pot Story
Library, located in South Park Township, is one of many small coal-mining communities established by the Pittsburgh Coal Company at the turn of the twentieth century. Unfortunately by the l960’s, the coal industry no longer provided viable employment options for Western Pennsylvania and many families in certain sections of those communities began to face serious hardships and began witnessing the deterioration of the community as they once knew it. Our communities expressed fear that our children and youth would surrender to negative risk-factors that existed in their environments if they did not increase the community’s capacity to protect them.
The need to provide services to the target population and neighborhood dramatically increased as we began experiencing an influx of low-income single-head of family residents following the demolition of deteriorating inner city public housing plans in the city. Academically, many of these children were now attending local area schools but had come from schools that were declared by the State Department of Education as failing.
Today, we are a grass-roots organization with strong ties to both the faith community and the underserved families in the South Hills. We currently reach over 150 socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged South Hills youth and their families each year. We have forged a strong and unique collaborating team from within our faith-based, mental health, and educational communities and we have a committed Board of Directors representing a strong and diverse cross-section of our faith and professional community.
Board of Directors
Rev. Jerrell Gilliam - President
Rev. Christoper Glover
Dr Shannah Tharp-Gilliam
Rev. Lee Walls
"We began in 2004 as a response to 5 African-American boys dropping out of one high school on the same day. As we enter our 15th year, now 93% of our students graduate from high school and go on to seek some form of higher education.”