Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg
The Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Camp Curtin Branch is glad to announce a series of new partnerships. These partnerships are in support of their newest initiative, the Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg. The Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg Initiative is a community improvement project undertaken by the staff and board of the Camp Curtin YMCA in collaboration with several partners.
Changing the Shape of Harrisburg
“The streets surrounding the YMCA are full of potential,” said Jamien Harvey, Executive Director at the Camp Curtin YMCA. “We have so many empty lots and blighted properties on our block, and our goal is to change that.”
The Camp Curtin YMCA team spent 2019 speaking with city officials, local improvement groups, and businesses to vet the project and gain support and funding for the Initiative.
The YMCA’s vision for the Initiative is shaped by a desire to serve the community better. “When you look around our building, it’s hard not to take pride in all the change we’ve made inside the doors,” Jamien said. “We have hundreds of kids at the YMCA in any given week, and we want to make the streets surrounding our building an extension of the safe-haven we’ve created inside.”
The YMCA staff is still working out many details but has identified properties on the surrounding streets as phase one, and are working with expert partners on timing. These properties include empty lots and marred properties, currently uninhabitable. The initiative will build single-family owner units on these properties with the intent that sustainable and affordable housing programs will attract new tenants, families, and first-time owners.
Take a look at the latest floor plans for our housing developments!Check It Out
“These programs help people through classes and financial counseling to make ownership achievable for folks who need an extra hand,” said Jamien. “The work of the YMCA will support them in the pride of owning a home, but will also connect them to the resources that the YMCA provides in a convenient, walkable neighborhood. Things like summer camp and tutoring are just steps away for their kids. It’s an ideal scenario for families and creates a much different neighborhood for the YMCA.”
The owned units will transition the properties from blight into contributing households for the City, helping to fund the community. As the YMCA acquires properties, they will implement additional safety measures as well, including more neighborhood surveillance cameras and security personnel as needed.
“It’s a blessing to see this idea that we have been working on for a few years start to move forward. Our partners and leadership look forward to creating a safe block surrounding the YMCA, and contributing new revenue to the City of Harrisburg,” said Jamien. “I think that it is our job as the YMCA to look around and say ‘If not us, then who?’ and then get busy making our community better.”
CLICK HERE to download the housing application for Cornerstone in Uptown Harrisburg.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across the US, 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women, and children, regardless of age, income, or background. We do this to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence to promise lasting personal and social change.
Partners on this initiative include PNC, UPMC Pinnacle, S&T Bank, M&T Bank, Tri-County Community Action, City of Harrisburg, Harrisburg Housing Authority, Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority, Mid Penn Bank, Dauphin County, Burkentine, and PHFA.