About Us

Amachi Pittsburgh
    “Who knows what God has brought us through this child?”

    An Overview of the Need

      1 in 28 children has an incarcerated parentA 400% increase in incarceration rates over the past few decades has produced a surge in the number of children left behind—the silent victims of crime. The overwhelming sense of shame and societal stigma have kept these children hidden from our view yet more than 8,500 live and struggle right here in Allegheny County. These are the young people who are strapped with multiple stressors—emotional, social, academic and financial—and too often get caught in the cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration themselves.

      Fast Facts

      • There are 12 times as many children with a parent behind bars than with a parent in the military, and seven times as many as children in foster care.
      • More than 8,500 children in Allegheny County come from homes broken by crime and the incarceration of at least one parent.
      • One in five children experiences the trauma of witnessing the arrest of his/her mother.
      • U.S. Department of Justice deems this population “the most at-risk for future delinquency and/or adult incarceration” estimating that more than half will enter the criminal justice system.
      • Two thirds of youth in the juvenile justice system have one or both parents in prison and are six times more likely to engage in negative behavior.

      About Amachi Pittsburgh

        As the only organization in Allegheny County with a distinct focus on this population, Amachi Pittsburgh has been on a mission since 2003 to make these children and youth whole. Based on the national, evidence-based Amachi program model, Amachi Pittsburgh works with a unique network of secular and faith-based partners to strategically provide encouragement, guidance, and support to these vulnerable children, ages 4-18, and their families, both during the time of incarceration and through the transition period following a parent’s release. Nationally recognized and award winning, Amachi Pittsburgh provides the following services:
      • One-On-One Mentoring to help break the generational cycle of incarceration.
      • Family Strengthening and Reunification Support to strengthen family ties that help reduce trauma for children and recidivism when parents are reentering society. Support consists of strengths-based activities in home and community as well as parenting classes.
      • Amachi Ambassadors Youth Leadership Development to empower constituents to raise awareness and become agents of change through the use of their powerful voices and compelling stories. Youth are trained to produce educational materials, facilitate workshops, and build a youth organizing movement for school reform.

    Why Amachi Pittsburgh?

    • National, evidence-based Amachi mentoring model is designed specifically for children of the incarcerated; commended by the White House and approved for federal funding programs.
    • Provides additional holistic support beyond mentoring, which is critical to addressing the unique needs of this most vulnerable population.
    • Addresses a significant and critical gap in community services; reaches 150-200 youth annually not served by other organizations in high-crime neighborhoods.
    • Covers a broad age range from 4 through 18.
    • Youth are engaged one-on-one for a minimum of six hours monthly; Over 75% of mentoring relationships last for multiple years.
    • Demonstrated 92% success rate of program participants avoiding the criminal justice system as juveniles and adults (in contrast to national estimates suggesting that only 70% of children of the incarcerated avoid incarceration themselves).
    • Investing in Amachi Pittsburgh services costs only 5% of that of incarceration ($2,200 versus $42,000 per year).
    • 95% of mentees have reported that mentors are having a positive impact in their lives.

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    Awards and Recognition

    • 2014 Striving for Mentoring Excellence award from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA
    • 2014 Racial Justice Award for Community Engagement awarded to Executive Director Anna Hollis by the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
    • 2014 B-PEP Community Service Award
    • AMACHI, Inc. founder Dr. Wilson Goode, Sr. awarded 2013 White House Champion of Change for the Amachi program model
    • Published report, “What We’ve Learned from the Children”, in national mentoring journal
    • Awarded over $3 million of highly competitive, multi-year federal grants from 2003-2011
    • 2010 Winner of the Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh Fall Pitch Competition
    • 2010 Public Allies RISE ChangeMaker Award Recipient
    • 2005 Excellence in Faith-Based Mentoring Award from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA
    • Recognition from President Bush at the 2004 White House Conference on Faith- and Community-Based Initiatives
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      Community Collaborations

        In its successful asset-based, partnership approach, Amachi Pittsburgh collaborates with key local and national partners, including AMACHI, Inc., Project Angel Tree, Leadership Foundations of America, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services, University of Pittsburgh, Family Services of Western PA, Lydia’s Place, Allegheny County Jail, PA Department of Corrections, Hear Me Project, A+ Schools and others.

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