Many smaller communities are facing new challenges brought about by shifting demographics, substance abuse, and unemployment, which, when combined, detract from overall quality of life within these areas. The impact is profound and evidenced by weakened business districts, lower school performance, higher crime rate and a general shift from vibrancy to hopelessness.
Community Life Enrichment Foundation (CLEF) was created in 2019 as a charitable organization dedicated to delivering social, educational, physical, spiritual and emotional improvement to under-served communities. By working in conjunction with community leadership, local school districts, business communities, service providers and spiritual centers, CLEF is able to develop and implement community-defined centers, known as hubs, that bring these various elements into focus with a single initiative of improving the quality of life within the community. In doing so, communities become empowered to anticipate and manage change, rather than succumb to it.
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In 2017, Founder and Executive Director Scott Pavlot had the idea of creating a center, or community hub, that pulled resources from various facets within a community and aligned them with the specific needs and challenges that the community was experiencing. This center would involve the local business community, spiritual centers, school districts, service agencies and local leadership to form an entity aimed at delivering enhancement to community life while addressing specific needs at the individual level. In doing so, the community would gain the ability to anticipate and manage change, rather than succumb to it.
The initial target for a community hub was West View, PA, a small under-served community of roughly 7500 residents outside of Pittsburgh. West View is a community with a vibrant past that is now facing a myriad of challenges ranging from a struggling business district to lack of technology access to lower academic performance in local schools.
In 2018 CLEF was awarded a grant to establish a facility aimed at identifying, focusing and engaging resources into a new community library, something that was lacking and greatly needed. The result was the creation of the “West View HUB”.
The West View HUB had its official grand opening in early June 2019, approximately three months after receiving a grant from the Ether Verney Foundation. Leading up to opening, a team of dedicated volunteers assisted in the build-out of an old bank in West View. It’s estimated that this project would have cost in excess of $120,000. We were able to accomplish this for roughly $10,000.
The HUB connects the community with schools, businesses, spiritual centers and local leadership. The resulting synergies have created a new environment of growth and engagement that’s been very well received by the local residents. It is significant to note that none of the activities or services listed below were available in this community prior to the opening of the HUB.