Sojourner House MOMS Opens Play Yard Sept. 9

Sojourner House MOMS, a partnership of ELDI, Sojourner House and the Negley Place Neighborhood Alliance, recently opened a new play yard on land that once sat abandoned on Black Street in East Liberty.

Two vacant lots, assigned to ELDI by the City of Pittsburgh for development, sat adjacent to Sojourner House MOMS facilities. Seeing a need for the children to have a safe place to play, community members worked to transform the lots with the help of volunteers who contributed over 5,000 hours of work over 18 months.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 9th included a dedication of the yard and an opportunity for the kids to break in their new play space.

Everything in the space is recycled, with the exception of one bench and a portion of fencing. Even the pathways around the yard are made from stone found when volunteers dug up debris from the old foundations on the site. Recreation items in the play yard include a sandbox, slides and a boardwalk with a place to display artwork.

The yard is the latest enhancement for Sojourner House MOMS, which began its journey in East Liberty six years ago. When concerned residents wanted to see two troublesome apartment buildings in their neighborhood turned into something positive, they approached East Liberty Development, Inc. and the first six apartments were purchased. Four years later three more buildings were added, bringing the total number of families to 16.

Sojourner House MOMS (Motivation, Opportunities, Mentoring and Spirituality) offers dual-diagnosed women the opportunity to live independently with their children.