Nearly two decades ago, a group of 14 religious communities founded Sisters Place, Inc. to provide housing and support services to single-parent families. To ensure the families settled into a larger community, the organization purchased 16 apartments in the 450-unit Century Townhomes complex. Today, Sisters Place works to empower 32 families to escape the cycle of poverty by completing education and securing employment. After receiving a recommendation from a social-service agency, families who have been victims of abuse, lived with a mental illness, or struggled with addiction can move into housing and take part in support programs. Single parents with physical or mental disabilities or substance-abuse issues can live in permanent housing, whereas young parents between the ages of 18 and 35 can live in rent-assisted housing for up to two years. While in the housing, families benefit from support services including childcare, transportation, cultural opportunities, and case management to get them on the path to self-sufficiency.
Dedicated to promoting local and national concerts, Pittsburgh-based Drusky Entertainment presents Ribs on the River 3, a three-day festival and cookout. Along with a different line-up of 10 or more professional tune-makers each day, each night features a special headliner; Kiss's original spaceman Ace Frehley headlines Friday night, bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd tops the bill on Saturday, and rock icon Leon Russell melts any remaining intact faces on Sunday. Guests can keep fingers sticky to avoid dropping a beverage or concert program courtesy of renowned barbecue vendors including Florida Skin and Bones, Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ, and Sgt. Oink's, who serve up saucy, slow-cooked eats throughout the show.
Named "Best Deli" by Pittsburgh City Paper and "Best in City" by Pittsburgh Magazine, Carson Street Deli owns up to its accolades with a menu full of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. New York-style sandwiches ($6–$8) throw plenty of elbows alongside more mild-mannered sides ($1–$3.50), salads ($4–$7), and conversational lunch-goers (free after administering a low-five handslap). Ramp up meat locker training efforts with help from the Balboa—piles of sopressata, imported Di Lusso Genoa salami, prosciutto, spicy capicola and hard salami on a French baguette ($8)—or the slightly spicier diversion, Montezuma's revenge, which melds grilled buffalo chicken breast, green and red peppers, onions, melted cheeses and hot sauce into a warm pita ($7). Vegetarians appease appetites with buffalo mozzarella layered within the handheld veggie Roma ($6).
A & S Indoor Pistol Range's team narrows its sights on a single target: to make accurate, responsible shooters out of those who line up in the practice stalls of their climate-controlled, 12-lane pistol range. Among the range’s technological enhancements, a high-flow air-filtration system quickly extracts gun smoke and an electric retrieval system sets up targets anywhere between 5 and 50 feet. At the far end of the range, a crushed-rubber backstop helps to muffle the sounds of bullets and trash-talking practice targets. To further prepare guests to responsibly defend themselves with firearms, NRA-certified instructors lead classes in topics that range from basic pistol shooting to advanced defensive tactics.
Alpha Fitness Club shepherds exercisers of all stripes toward their desired level of svelteness with a fleet of Star Trac fitness equipment and engaging group fitness classes. Ellipticals, treadmills, and bicycles give exercisers the strength to knock stubborn calories off their bodies, and resistance machinery and free weights convince muscles to come out of their hiding places. Furthering fitness pursuits, Alpha Fitness Club’s trainer, Frank—who hails from a decorated career as a Marine, a bodybuilder, and a power-lifter—tailors his one-on-one sessions to help customers to lose weight, gain muscle, and maintain mint-condition sweatbands. Exercise classes include Zumba, spinning, Pilates, and step; the club’s schedule inspires exercisers to power through with a dose of fitness camaraderie.
Doug Crytzer holds the rare distinction of being a professional racer. When a local boy scout troop hired him to organize an adventure race for them, he discovered he loved producing races even more than running them. He founded American Adventure Sports in 1997 to indulge his new passion, while raising awareness of nature's beauty and efforts to preserve it.
Today, AAS, as Doug dubs it, organizes adventure races, triathlons, mountain bike races, and camping trips into American wildernesses across the country. The organization also has a brick and mortar store located in Pennsylvania, where staffers provide athletes with all the gear they need to compete in any of the events or go on an adventure of their own making.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country. Enter Kevin and Page Helmick. Kevin and Page's passion for working with children stirred the duo to open their own Little Gym locations in Liberty Township and Mason. Parents of two young boys, Kevin and Page captain a talented staff of childcare professionals and instructors that is as passionate about childhood development as they are. The programs and classes they teach aim to help kids develop skills such as rhythm and coordination, and kids camps during winter, spring, and summer breaks prevent children from creating finger paintings that express the existential ennui they feel when school is out of session. The gym's classes, camps, and childcare programs have earned this location the Best Children's Play award from Cincinnati Family Magazine.