Updated: Aug 7
The Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center will serve Autistic and other disabled college students, job seekers, and artists and offer outsized rewards for the Garfield community of Pittsburgh.
Evolve Coaching is on a mission to help Pittsburgh become “Autism’s Most Livable City” by aligning key initiatives that are foundational to thriving communities: education, the arts, and workforce development.
The Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center – slated to open in the second half of 2024 – represents the next physical manifestation of Evolve’s big vision, allowing Evolve to serve a broader base of Autistic and other neurodiverse college students, job seekers, and artists to achieve self-defined success and share their talents with the world. The center will also offer outsized rewards for the community of Garfield and the city of Pittsburgh, resulting in deeper connections with our community, improved student performance, higher rates of job placement and retention, and valuable opportunities for local artists. We hope that the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center will change lives, transform our communities, and build a more vibrant tomorrow for generations of Pittsburghers with disabilities.
The new Inclusion Center will be located at 5025 Penn Avenue in the city of Pittsburgh. The building has been vacant for several years and will require a full renovation to ensure the facility is accessible.
With the support of Bridgeway Capital, Evolve Coaching engaged Springboard Design to complete a feasibility study and initial designs in June, 2022 which were used to solicit estimates from three notable Pittsburgh-based contractors. Evolve's building design committee aims to create an accessible, welcoming, and inviting space, prioritizing the input of Autistic people at each stage.
Read the September 29, 2022 Pittsburgh Post Gazette Story here.
Watch the WPXI clip here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center?
The Inclusion Center will house the nonprofit’s team and operations, while also serving as a community gathering space and the physical emblem of Evolve’s commitment to making Pittsburgh Autism's Most Livable City.
What will the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center offer?
The Inclusion Center will be a space for learning, support, and community-building for the city’s Autistic and disabled community here in the Pittsburgh Region. The Inclusion Center will provide space for social events, coaching sessions, education, trainings, and workshops for local businesses, and a public gallery space.
The Inclusion Center will offer:
A meeting space for group coaching sessions, trainings, workshops, and other events
Accessible office space for Evolve’s entire team
Private and open meeting spaces to hold in-person and online sessions
A new media center for sound production and film post production including editing and accessible features like captions and audio descriptions
A gallery space to showcase our community’s artwork
An outdoor gathering space for team members and event overflow
Accessible and supported transitional housing for two autistic young adults with laundry, a fully equipped kitchen and private baths.
Participation in Penn Avenue’s Unblurred gallery and community crawl on the first Friday of each month
Special programs for the community of Garfield
Who stands to benefit from the new Inclusion Center?
Pittsburgh’s Autistic and other disabled community members seeking work, success with college or trade school, or an increase in supported social opportunities
Autistic artists (filmmakers and visual artists) seeking gallery opportunities, mentoring, and professional development
Young adults preparing for a transition to fully independent living
Pittsburgh area employers hoping to diversify their teams and learn strategies for recruitment and retention for Autistic and other disabled team members
Family members seeking support for themselves and their loved ones as they navigate complicated transitions to work, school, and independent living
Where will the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center be located?
5025 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224.
This location is particularly exciting as we look to build close relationships with the many small businesses and the vibrant community of Garfield.
When will the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center open?
We anticipate the Inclusion Center will be open in early 2024.
How did Evolve acquire the building?
Armco Credit Union loaned the funds necessary to acquire the building after 90 days of due diligence and input from engineering and design team members determined it to be structurally sound and an appropriate fit to serve as the nonprofit’s new headquarters.
What will the project cost?
The acquisition, design, and renovation of 5025 Penn Avenue will total $2.6 million.
How will renovations be funded?
Since the last quarter of 2022, we have raised $870,000 to support the project thanks to individual donors as well as:
Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust
Neal Martin Christensen Foundation
Gailliot Family Foundation
Evolve’s Executive Director and Garfield resident, Heather Conroy, is working with the organization's development team and board of directors to secure additional support from government, foundations, corporations, and individual partnerships.
How can I support the Evolve Coaching Inclusion Center?
Evolve has developed a track record of prudent financial management; our programs often serve more people than intended and the team regularly delivers more significant, positive results than promised. Investments from our philanthropic community will be instrumental in supporting this redevelopment project through each phase of design and construction.
To support this project, contact Evolve’s Engagement and Advancement Specialist,
Anju Agrawal, at email@example.com.
To support Evolve’s programming, you can make a donation at any time here or by mail at:
3706 Butler St
Pittsburgh PA 15201