It is difficult to focus on "The City of Champions" and "America's Most Livable City" when day-to-day life in the 2400 block of Wylie Avenue in the Hill District has more recently resembled life in the wild, wild West.
Pittsburgh Habitat for Humanity has invested nearly half a million dollars into the construction of five new homes in the 2400 block of Wylie since 2002. We are currently considering a $750,000 project for additional homes around the corner on Chauncey Street in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The violent shooting outside the "after hours" club at 2424 Wylie on June 21 is indicative of the environment our partner families endure on an ongoing basis. What is "after hours" anyway? From our perspective, after our program families work all day and their children attend school and college, "after hours" is when they are supposed to be able to relax, play outside and live their lives in a safe and friendly neighborhood environment.
Instead, they stay indoors, deal with noise and rowdiness, observe drug deals, pick up trash thrown by patrons of the adjacent and surrounding bars and debate whether or not they want to remain in their homes.
I'd like the city leaders to advise me of specific plans they have to close down the nuisance bars and eliminate the illegal activities in this neighborhood. This information will help our organization decide whether to pursue the Chauncey Street project or other investments in the area. Let's work together to make this neighborhood livable.
MAGGIE I. WITHROW
Pittsburgh Habitat for Humanity