The Pittsburgh Foundation

The right thing to doThe Pittsburgh Foundation Launches “100 Percent Pittsburgh” to build a region that includes everyone

Photo from The Pittsburgh Quarterly

By Margaret J. Krauss
The Pittsburgh Quarterly
Fall 2016

It had stormed the night before, hard enough to postpone the Pirates game and scrub the air, leaving it sharp and glittering for the early morning joggers along the North Shore Trail. The bridges overhead buzzed with the aggregate sound of thousands of people going to work. Halfway between PNC Park and Heinz Field, two people slept curled on the concrete. One had a lime green blanket pulled all the way over his head, and had set his sneakers neatly to his left, heel-​to-​heel and toe-​to-​toe. The other slept below a T-​shirt tied like bunting to the railing: “Steelers Six-​time Super Bowl Champions.” Similar tent camps pitched under bridges and along the city’s trails don’t fit the image of Pittsburgh that has delighted the nation’s list makers, popping up in articles such as “Most Livable City,” “Most Underrated American Cities,” and “A Best Opportunity City.” In these narratives, unemployment, hunger and disadvantage are words of the past, of the catastrophic loss of steel and its related industries in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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