Because every superhero needs a sidekick
We believe that every Mom deserves to know she is doing a great job
Here at HEARTH, we know how hard it is to be a Mom. Most of us have young children.
Some of us have even been exactly where you are. We know HEARTH will work, if you do.
We know the challenges that single moms face when trying to provide for their children.
North Hills Affordable Housing began, when a group of women noticed Moms sleeping in their cars with their children
It was a true grassroots movement. They called a community meeting where over 100 people showed up to help and every person walked out of that room with a job to do. On that day, HEARTH was born. Since that day, we have been unapologetically committed to providing safe, affordable housing to every mom in need.
1989- HEARTH was created by a group of concerned North Hills leaders who recognized an unmet need in the community, homeless women with children and the lack of affordable housing for these families. All who were in attendance believed they could make a difference and the process to open doors for families in crisis began. North Hills Affordable Housing was born.
1991- The decision was reached to open a transitional housing facility for homeless women and their children. The site selection committee searched high and low for the perfect location. After months of searching the group discovered the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh, and negotiated a long lease with them which permitted the renovation of the top two floors of the former St. Benedicts Academy building. The old classrooms would become apartments.
1992-1994- Grants, grassroots fundraising, and federal funding approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) came in and construction began on 15 apartments.
1995 – In June, North Hills Affordable Housing welcomed its first family into Benedictine Place.
1997- North Hills Affordable Housing became HEARTH.
1998 – Shortly after the organization opened its doors, it became apparent that most of the 15 families the agency was serving were coming from domestic violence or trauma situations. Now over 25 years later the agency recognizes that domestic violence and trauma are the most common causes of homelessness for the families at HEARTH and has clarified its mission specifically to serve these vulnerable populations.
2009 – HEARTH at Benet Woods our permanent affordable housing facility opens. This is the first affordable rental housing program in Northern Allegheny County.
2011- the Benedictine Sisters sold their property, thus ending HEARTH’s lease. The sale forced the agency into temporary apartments for 2 years.
2012 – HEARTH finds their own property and a building to renovate!
2013 – HEARTH moves into our own facility!
2021 – HEARTH Today – link to our program page.
Every family and individual deserves to live in safe, affordable housing.
Our mission is to provide a range of supportive services and housing that empowers homeless families, who are survivors of domestic violence or other trauma to become independent, self-sufficient, and adequately housed; to foster housing opportunities to prevent homelessness and encourage safe, affordable housing.
MEET THE TEAM
We're Here To Serve You
“People First, Projects Second,” leadership has a responsibility to care for those who need our support the most, our families
Meet the CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Marisa C. Williams
Marisa has always been passionate about creating opportunities for those in need, particularly women and children. After working in financial services for 10 years, she decided to allow passion and purpose work to intersect; leading her to join the nonprofit sector. Marisa has spent the past 7 years doing her “heartwork” across Allegheny County. “It’s important to note that the work of community organizations is no less hard than the corporate sector; however the reward comes from our intention to lead with integrity and grit when solving the world’s problems. Most recently, Marisa was chosen to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of HEARTH; North Hills Affordable Housing. “All the work we do is connected; we want to build healthy families, who produce amazingly whole and healthy children, regardless of their zip code. Those children will then go on to become the leaders we need for future generations. It’s a cycle.” Marisa leads by keeping people at the heart of everything she does. “People first, Projects second.”
Marisa is extremely involved in the Pittsburgh community; she recognizes her responsibility and is passionate about serving the community where she works, and lives. Marisa is a Pittsburgh Magazine “40 Under 40” alum, and serves on the following boards The Allegheny Regional Asset District, Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. She was recently appointed onto the PA State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission.
She is a proud alum of the University of Pittsburgh. Marisa is a native of Media, PA. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Eugene and they are the proud parents to Eugene D. Williams IV.
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VOLUNTEER AND ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
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PROGRAM OUTREACH COORDINATOR
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FUNDRAISING AND SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGER
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You Deserve Better
Start your family’s journey to healing and wholeness
A child is a mother’s heart in human form, and we know you don’t want to see them experience the pain of abuse or trauma.