East End Cooperative Ministry services and assistance programs.

Assistance programs from East End Cooperative Ministry feed the hungry and address lack of employment or education. The agency and its team offer resources such as the IMPACTS self-sufficiency service, free meals, and access to a free food pantry.

The Pittsburgh based organization serves residents of a limited portion of the city and Alllegheny County, with a focus on those that are working to gain stability. The assistance provided by EECM is intended to assist with short term needs while the client works to overcome the cause of their struggles.

The Hunger Services Department at EECM provides free food to hundreds of people in Pittsburgh. The intent is to nourish the bodies and spirits of hundreds of low-income East End residents, including seniors and children, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Staff reach out to all in need. There is help for infants, single moms, children, adults, and a growing number of elderly residents.

Free hot lunches are at the Community House, which has a kitchen. This meal is provided free of charge to all local residents who are in need, although donations are welcomed in order to keep the program running.

East End Cooperative Ministry also operates the second largest food pantry in Pittsburgh. They work to provide emergency groceries, perishable items and other necessary goods for those faced with hunger and that are in immediate need. The Pantry also offers information as well as applications on a number of government assistance programs (such as SNAP) and there is also access to social service agencies and other appropriate resources.

Senior citizens and the elderly can sign up for EECM’s Home-Delivered Meals Program. This will deliver freshly prepared, nutritious meals from Community House to people in East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Larimer, and Lincoln-Lemington Pennsylvania. Volunteers will bring the meals to frail or homebound residents every weekday.

There are other benefits as well, including besides enjoying healthy meals on a regular basis, recipients can look forward to a friendly visit with the volunteer delivery driver. Not only that, but family members can rest assured that someone is checking on their loved ones.




All of EECM’s services and assistance programs assist clients with their efforts to reach the goal of stability. So this is all part of the Individuals Making Progress and Changes towards Self-Sufficiency (IMPACTS). Case managers and volunteers from the ministry in the employment, educational and residential programs work toward the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty, addiction and homelessness. Specialists from the organization give individuals access to the resources they need to achieve their goals.

Housing is also available in Pittsburgh. There is short term accommodations for individuals and families who are in need of emergency shelter and support. The different options include those below.

  • Families Achieving Independence through Housing, or FAITH, is a form of permanent supportive housing at scattered sites for the disabled. This is for those Pittsburgh families with members who have physical or mental disabilities. In addition to the housing, case managers work with participants to develop plans for moving toward self-sufficiency.
  • Short-Stay is a form of transitional housing for men and women, combined with case management services. The goal is to help participants develop plans for moving toward self-sufficiency and placement into a low income apartment.
  • Bridge Housing is a one-year residential program that includes counseling and case management in both one-on-one and group settings. This is focused on those who are making the transition from short-term housing in shelters to independent living in permanent housing.
  • Addition recovery is part of Pennfree Housing. Individuals can get rent support, individual or group counseling, and case management.
  • Safe Haven/Safe Haven Accessible is a form of stable, permanent housing and ongoing support services for ten chronically homeless men with mental health problems.
  • Shelter and respite is from the Orr Compassionate Care Center. This is for individuals who cannot return to their previous dwellings and are in need of an affordable, supportive place to recuperate after being discharged from the hospital.

Employment and education are vital for people who are working toward becoming self-sufficient. East End Cooperative Ministry tries to address this needs, and helps people maintain gainful employment. This can lead to increased self-esteem, an improved life style, greater hope, and more successful relationships. It also correlates with fewer health issues, decreased illegal activity and an end to homelessness in Pittsburgh.

Residents of the ministry's low income housing programs and others from the community at large can find support and assistance with overcoming their barriers to independence. This is mostly done through participating in EECM’s education and job training programs.





These services help participants identify the skills, experience and talents that make them desirable as employees. In addition, the agency will provide education and advice in regard to resume creation and successful interviewing techniques, and there are workshops such as Work Therapy that coordinate both hard and soft job skills.

Community Connections Center (CCC) is a resource center. People will have the ability to socialize with others, get a hot meal, and escape the elements when the weather is inclement. Other services include people can place phone calls, search for housing, look for jobs, access computers, find needed resources, set up email accounts, and more. Volunteers and staff members are available to assist all who need help on these activities.

As a key component of all of the ministry's Children and Youth Programs, Project Rediscovery is a drug and alcohol prevention program. It was created for the purpose of reducing risk factors leading to substance abuse and violence. All educational programming is age-appropriate, teaching skills such as community advocacy, refusal, and resistance.

For more details on their programs, East End Cooperative Ministry is located at 6140 Station St. in the city of Pittsburgh, PA 15206. The centers and meal sites all have different hours, and more information is at 412-361-5549.



By Jon McNamara

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