Reid Carpenter

January 4, 1999
Points of Light Number: 
1283
Pittsburgh, PA

Reid Carpenter has dedicated his life to Pittsburgh and the social, economic and spiritual welfare of its people. His focus has been on reconciliation, empowerment and mobilization of resources to serve the poor, youth and their families and entire communities. After coming to Pittsburgh in 1962, Mr. Carpenter discovered a need for resources and leadership in the community, leading him to become the founding President of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation in 1978. During his 20-year tenure as President, he raised 35 million dollars and created 40 organizations and ministries who are today serving neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Pittsburgh.

As the President of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, Mr. Carpenter has effectively optimized the use of financial and human resources to address issues such as substance abuse and addiction among adults and youth, homelessness, poverty, hunger, juvenile crime, school dropout, truancy, racial discrimination, needs of the elderly, and health care for the poor.

Mr. Carpenter's unique attributes of caring, loving, nurturing, compassion and empowerment have been a contributing factor in community mobilization and the creation of many neighborhood organizations as well as city-wide coalitions and partnerships that have sustained their advocacy and indigenous leadership roles. Some of the 40 organizations and projects that Mr. Carpenter has envisioned, initiated and organized include: the local branch of the national organization, Communities in Schools, which seeks to reverse the downward spiral of teenage dropouts; the St. Francis Adolescent Treatment Program, a hospital-based facility for chemically dependent youth; the Pittsburgh Youth Network, a collaboration of full-time youth ministers working together on recruitment, training, service, and evangelization; Cross-Trainers, an effort to recruit and train college-aged persons to work in inner-city churches during the summer to focus on helping youngsters in the community; Circle C Group Homes, six community-based homes for adjudicated young people that are assigned by the courts; the Anti-Racism Institute, a project to educate and train teams of people who will help organizations develop anti-racist attitudes and practices; Houses of Worship, an effort to connect all the churches in North America on the Internet, and to provide resources to allow church leaders help more people in need; and the Council of Leadership Foundations, an association of practicing leadership foundations whose task is accreditation, facilitation, training and resource development.

The ministry areas in which the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation has invested financial and spiritual capital have not only become empowered, independent and self-sustaining communities that have ensured neighborhood revitalization and connectedness-but they have continued to receive Mr. Carpenter's volunteer time as a board member, advisor, counselor, and advocate.

The result of the formation of these groups has been the creation of a spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and community that has connected the disenfranchised and disconnected with the sources of power and resources to move entire communities into the social, economic, and spiritual fabric of Pittsburgh.