South Side Slopes Gives Big

Normally, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) celebrates the holiday season with a holiday party inviting all of our neighbors and asking neighbors to bring a toy for the annual Brashear Association Toy Drive benefiting area children. This year, due to Covid-19, we can’t hold our party, but we still want to help build our community. What are we doing instead?

  • Today, on #GivingTuesday, the SSSNA is donating $4,000 to the Brashear Association for their annual Toy Drive.
  • We are also donating $1,000 to the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community “The Table” program which provides free meals to our neighbors every week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. If you are in need, please stop by!
  • Finally, we are hosting a local business gift card giveawaySign up here by December 31st to enter to win!

If you have extra this year, we encourage our neighbors to also donate to these programs and shop local this holiday season. Together, we can help each other through this difficult time and spread some joy. #GivingTuesday

Check your mailboxes for a special holiday card from the SSSNA announcing these holiday plans!

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SSSNA Development Activities Meeting for South Side Park Improvements

Who: South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is hosting a Development Activities Meeting (DAM) on Wednesday, October 21st at 7pm to review one development project.

What:  South Side Park Phase 1 Improvements – Presentation by Sara Thompson of Pashek + MTR

Why:  SSSNA is a Registered Community Organization (RCO) through the Department of City Planning to provide input and feedback on local development activities and planning procedures in partnership with community stake holders.

For more meeting details, visit

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October 2020 Meeting Agenda


SSSNA October General Meeting  (via Zoom Video)

When: October 20, 2020 at 6:30 PM

Where: Zoom Virtual Meeting

  • Welcome

    Ways to Connect w/ SSSNA

    Zoom meeting guidelines / Agenda overview

    1. Zone 3 Police Update – Cmdr. Dixon to report on:
      1. Recent Slopes shootings : American Legion & Arlington Spray Park
      2. Zone safety
      3. Public safety resources
      4. Q/A (5-10 min)
    2. Bruce Kraus
      1. District 3 Updates
      2. Misc. Info.
      3. Q/A (5-10 min)
    3. Recognized Community Organization (RCO) and Development Activities Meetings (DAM) Overview
    4. Committee Updates
      1. South Side Park
      2. StepTREK
      3. Beautification : Garbage Olympics Report
      4. Outreach
      5. Zoning
      6. Governance
    5. Open Floor / Questions / Add. Announcements
    6. Adjourn
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SSSNA 2020 Virtual Picnic

SSSNA Virtual Picnic Meeting – July 14, 2020 (via Zoom Video)

When: July 14, 2020 at 6:30 PM

Where: Zoom Virtual Meeting

  • Welcome
  • Ways to Connect w/ SSSNA
  • Zoom meeting guidelines / Agenda overview
  • Committee Updates – South Side Park, StepTrek, Beautification, Outreach, Zoning, Governance
  • Raffle for Gift Cards to Giant Eagle & StepTrek sponsor Carson Street Deli
  • Photo Montage of Previous Slopes Picnics and Events
  • Open Floor / Questions / Additional Announcements
  • Adjourn

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. All registrants who attend the meeting will be entered for a chance to win gift cards to Giant Eagle and Carson Street Deli.

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South Side Slopes Adopt-A-Step

Instead of traditional group clean-ups this summer, the South Side Slopes Association is starting an Adopt-A-Step program. Is there a problem area near you? Do you have some time to clean it up with your household? If so, sign up to adopt a set of steps near you for one clean-up or the rest of the season.

Sign up here:

If you need supplies, we will contact you to arrange a supply pick-up or drop-off.

Please help the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association in keeping the neighborhood clean of trash and debris for this Summer-Fall 2020. Any little bit helps. Let’s work apart but together to keep our neighborhood looking great!

Don’t have time to help pick up litter? Just $10 pays for trash bags or gloves for clean-ups. Please consider a tax-deductible donation today:

Be like Melanie!

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SSSNA General Meeting Minutes: May 12, 2020

Meeting date: May 12, 2020
Location: Online via Zoom

SSSNA President Blake McLaren opened the first-ever virtual meeting welcoming about 30 attendees on the Zoom platform.

Update from Commander Karen Dixon, Zone 3 Police

Zone 3 Police Commander Karen Dixon was the first presenter and said Slopes’ crime statistics were “unusual” due to the stay-at-home order. She reported in the first quarter  of 2020 there were 28 property crimes and two violent crimes which is a decrease of 17.3% from 2019. In April, there was a decrease in calls, which allowed officers to more frequently check those areas where there are spikes.

Two shootings are under investigation: on Saint Paul St., and at Eleanor and Eccles streets. To a question if the shootings are drug related, the commander said she is unsure at this time.

An attendee asked if there were any officers infected with coronavirus, she said a few are isolated due to potential exposure.

Commander Dixon responded to a question about early morning gunshot firings in the park and said there were two shooters. Officers caught one, who was charged with reckless endangerment as a person who was camping had a shot fly over their head. ShotSpotter detection technology helped them identify the location of the shots.

Commander Dixon’s responded to participants alerting her to numerous camp sites under the P.J. McArdle Roadway on the way up to the Liberty Bridge. She will talk to the mayor’s office about it.

Update from City Councilman Bruce Kraus

City Councilman Bruce Kraus reported that the city is facing a $122 million shortfall in its operating budget due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent closures.

Kraus also brought up concerns about Airbnb incidents, including three shootings in the Slopes related to Airbnb venues. City Council and Pittsburgh Police are working on a solution together.

PennDOT construction safety improvement project on East Carson St has begun and will last 18 months. Kraus also reported that the Clean Team is in place on Carson St. to keep the E. Carson St. corridor maintained. He said $110,000 to $120,000 is spent each year and is funded by the Parking Enhancement District (PED), which receives money from South Side parking meters from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturdays.

He also reported that residents can find their polling location by going to:

He gave an update on the 18th St. signals project for pedestrian safety—the RFPs will be completed in early 2021, with an April 2021 project start. The project involves 18th St. and the following cross streets: Brownsville Rd., Bausman St., Amanda St., Hays Ave., Arlington Ave., Pius St., Mission St., Josephine St., Jane St. and Sarah St. The traffic signals will also be upgraded.

A participant complained about speeding on Barry St. during afternoon rush hours. He said three speed humps have been suggested by a city traffic employee. Kraus said that more traffic driving through the area is due to web-based maps like Google Maps and Wayz.

An attendee asked about a condemned house at 18th and Pius streets. Kraus said a demolition used to cost the city $13,000 to $15,000. Today it costs the city more than $45,000 per unit, mostly due to federal regulations, such as for asbestos. This year, $2 million was budgeted by the city for demolitions, which covers roughly 10 properties. But the city has hundreds in need of demolition. He suggested the SSSNA prioritize the Slopes properties in need of demolition and send him a list of the top five. He will then take that list to the administration. McLaren told participants to email him the addresses of properties in need of demolition.

SouthWatch update from Barbara Rudiak, president of the South Side Community Council

Rudiak provided an update on South Watch, a group working to improve the quality of life on the South Side by bringing people and institutions together to identify code violations, advocate for their remediation and monitor outcomes. Meetings are held the second Wednesdays at noon or 6 p.m. at the Brashear Association, 2005 Sarah St.

Fundraising update from Kristi Rogers and Andrea Matthews of the Brashear Association

Rogers thanked the SSSNA for their $5,000 matching grant campaign that for the Brashear food pantry. In addition to the $5,000 from the SSSNA, Brashear raised $3,035 through Brashear’s Facebook page, $3,625 through its website and $820 in mailed-in donations. The South Side Community Council added another $1,000. There were also personal donations. Due to the pandemic, the food pantry was changed to a “Grab-n-Go” pantry. The average for the pantry had been 125 families. In April, 230 families were served – a 54 percent increase.

Matthews added that there is still a great need for canned goods, paper products, cleaning supplies and more.

Other updates: South Side Park and StepTrek

Jamie Balser said the park was awarded a $1500 block grant. He also said he was unsure if urban youth would be taught at the park this summer. There has not been a decision on whether GoatFest will take place this summer, but the goats are scheduled to arrive in July.

StepTrek, the annual walking tour of the Slopes and primary fundraiser for the SSSNA, celebrates its 20th year. StepTrek Committee chair Brian Oswald said that due to coronavirus, it will be run differently this year. While details will emerge closer to the event, there will be social distancing and other precautions taken to protect participants. Additionally, the sponsorship revenue is predicted to be lower this year.

Next general meeting: July 14 (virtual picnic on Zoom)

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Slopes May Meeting Agenda

SSSNA General Meeting Agenda – May 12, 2020 (via Zoom Video)

When: May 12, 2020 at 6:30 PM

Where: Zoom Virtual Meeting ( )

  • Welcome
  • Ways to Connect w/ SSSNA
  • Zoom meeting guidelines / Agenda overview
  • Zone 3 Police Update with Commander Dixon
  • City Councilor Bruce Kraus Presentation
  • Barbara Rudiak South Watch Update (tentative)
  • Brashear Association Food Pantry Drive Update
  • Vote by Mail Ballot Request Info
  • Committee Updates – South Side Park, StepTrek, Beautification, Outreach, Zoning, Governance
  • Open Floor / Questions / Additional Announcements
  • Adjourn


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Slopes Announces $5,000 Matching The Brashear Association Grant

For over a hundred years, The Brashear Association has served people in poverty – from those facing temporary challenges to families living in chronic, multi-generational poverty and works to move them toward self-sufficiency. In this time of need, they are changing their Food Pantry to a “Grab and Go” service and expanding the days of the week they offer service. They are facing extra need and need more help to help support our community.

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is excited to announce a $5,000 matching grant for The Brashear Association Food Pantry. In an effort to help our neighbors in this very difficult time, the next $5,000 donated to The Brashear Association will be matched by the Association. To donate, click here: You can also send a check to The Brashear Association: Food Pantry, 2005 Sarah Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 or donate directly on the Brashear Association website:

Do you have extra supplies? Food Pantry Donations are accepted from 4 to 5 PM Monday to Friday. Please call the main office at 412-431-2236 to schedule a drop off at Brashear 2005 Sarah Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Please do not leave donations unattended. Pantry donations must be scheduled in advance. Suggested donations: Water, canned tuna, chicken, beans, fruit cups, pudding, mac’n’cheese cups, cereal, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.

Do you need help?

The Brashear Association staff are working from home and are available from 9am to 5pm to answer your call, provide support by registering your family for the new Grab and Go Food Pantry, assist with utility assistance, and to help you navigate other available resources. If you are a South Pittsburgh resident (15210, 15211 and 15203, 15227) and need help, they have three numbers that you may call. 412-431-2236 and 412-620-8282 and 412-620-8234. Please reach out if you need assistance getting through this difficult time.

Additionally, NextPittsburgh has compiled a list of city-wide resources here:

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2020 Slopes Board Updates

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association wants to congratulate and is pleased to announce four newly elected and re-elected members of our Board of Directors. At the March general meeting, Lucía Sánchez Madrigal was elected to be a new member of the Executive board. Jamie Balser, Denise Fillip, Cara Jette, Brian Oswald, and Gavin Robb were re-elected to additional terms. We want to thank Dawn Lorincy over 6 years of service on the board, most recently serving as the Treasurer.

The updated board has made the following changes to the executive members. Blake McLaren will be the new President of the Association. Former President, Kristin Raup, will be taking on the role of Secretary. Donna Tarkett was re-elected as Vice President. Cara Jette will transition from Secretary to Treasurer.

While we are all staying home and meeting virtually, stay tuned for new online developments from the board very soon!

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SSSNA General Meeting Agenda / Minutes: March 10, 2020

Meeting date: March 10, 2020
Location: St. Paul of the Cross Monastery

The SSSNA’s March meeting started with board elections. One new board member was elected, Lucia Sanchez Madrigal, who has lived in the Slopes since 2014. Dawn Lorincy stepped down after most recently serving as the organization’s treasurer and chair of the Beautification Committee.

U.S. Census workers needed

The representative announced the need for Census workers for the 2020 Census. The wage for Census takers is $23.50 per hour, with mileage reimbursement of 57 cents a mile. Census takers go no further than front doors and ask simple questions like how many residents and their ages. There are no income or Social Security number questions. Apply online at: Applicants must be over 18, a citizen, and have an email address.

Update from a community partner:  Ron Brown, The Brashear Association

Ron Brown, the new Director of Programs and Services for the Brashear Association, spoke about the organization’s programming. He talked about Brashear’s additional sites besides the Brashear Center at 2005 Sarah St. Other sites include: The Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House, 2201 Salisbury St .; The Neighborhood Employment Center, 730 E. Warrington Ave .; The Allentown Learning and Engagement Center, 827 E. Warrington Ave .; and the Brashear Association at The Pet Shop, 212 Brownsville Rd.

The organization operates a food pantry providing food and other items to low-income individuals/families on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-4:30 p.m., at the Brashear Center and the Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House.

The Brashear Association also operates utility, housing, holiday, and economic stability assistance programs. It provides job training and college readiness help.

For more on the Brashear Association, visit:

Updates from Councilman Bruce Kraus and Zone 3 Police Commander Karen Dixon

Kraus reported about complaints his office receives about Airbnb’s in the Slopes used as party locations. Many of these parties charge admission and sell alcohol. Often, there is damage done to the property and those surrounding it, in addition to the loud disturbances that often go on into the early morning hours.

Commander Dixon said in late February officers were called to a location where shots were fired by two shooters. The incident was connected to an Airbnb house rented by a woman for her birthday. Officers found a stolen firearm in the home, and another gun present. It is the third incident in the past year in the area with Airbnb venues.

An attendee asked if there are any Airbnb regulations in Pittsburgh, Kraus answered no.

Commander Dixon said if there are three complaints in specific categories in a year, the property is put on the disruptive property list.

An attendee said in the Hillside zoned district a bed and breakfast (B&B) is not permitted. He feels an Airbnb is a B&B. He also reported an Airbnb was opened on his Slopes street, which is a Hillside district. Kraus said he would examine existing zoning and how it relates to Airbnbs.

An attendee commented there are good Airbnbs for people coming to the city for sporting events, museum visits, and more. Kraus said a balance must be struck between lawful Airbnbs and those which promote disruptiveness. For problem properties, the commander said to call 911 when there is a disturbance.

The commander reported crime statistics in the Slopes this year, saying there has been an uptick in vehicle break-ins, likely due to the mild weather.

Kraus said there may be more house parties during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration due to the coronavirus.

18th St. steps lighting

Brad Palmisiano discussed new lighting options for the 18th St. steps. He said the steps were repaired in 2008 with a $100,000 grant from Duquesne Light. Half of the funding went toward the steps, with the other half for the lighting. The lighting has since failed, and most of the step lighting is out.

The issue today is whether to spend $100,000 for new LED lighting. The SSSNA will contribute $20,000, with the rest needing to come from fundraising or other sources. The new lighting must also be sustainable. Safety overhead lighting repairs are being made, funded by the SSSNA.

Kraus stated the city owns the steps and suggested a public art project and city funds, and possible a partnership with the city to improve and maintain the lighting. Attendees agreed a partnership with the city made a lot of sense.

Next, a Pius St. resident said his grandparents left money for public art in the area. Some of the ideas he shared was painting the 18 St. steps, or having murals to complement the steps. He will take the matter to the Beautification Committee.

Next general meeting: May 12.

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