DON Enterprise, Inc., New Castle Designated as Keystone Communities Elm Street

HARRISBURG — Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that Disability Options Network (DON) Enterprise, Inc., has been designated as the latest Keystone Communities Elm Street Program. DON Enterprise, Inc. will be the administering agency responsible for implementing the revitalization effort in the Lower East Side neighborhood in the City of New Castle.

“The Keystone Communities Elm Street designation will help DON Enterprise and New Castle’s Lower East Side realize their vision for comprehensive and strategic revitalization,” said Sec. Davin. “This program is a critical tool that provides communities with catered and prioritized support, tailored specifically to their unique needs.”

The designation was effective March 2, 2021 through March 31, 2026.

A press event is to formally announce the designation will take place Thursday, June 10th at 2:00 PM at the Community Garden, 202 North Walnut Street, Lower East Side, New Castle. The public is invited to attend.

As a DCED-designated Keystone Elm Street, New Castle will receive priority consideration under several Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) programs including the Keystone Communities Program, will be eligible for complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) over the next five years and will receive priority status for various funding applications submitted to the DCED. New Castle will also be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Elm Street Program area.

“As our newest Keystone Communities Elm Street program designation, DON Enterprise, Inc. will be well-positioned to enhance and expand their current level of services in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New Castle,” said PDC’s Executive Director, Julie Fitzpatrick. “As a part of a family of corporations that ‘empower individuals with disabilities to live as independently as they choose’, PDC looks forward to the example that DON Enterprises will be to other Elm Street communities that are looking to provide inclusive and accessible services to support their residents in leading more independent lives. PDC has had the opportunity to work with the New Castle community through the years as a Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) Blueprint Community, so it’s particularly exciting to have them receive this additional designation.”

Elm Streets are one of four designations within the Keystone Communities Program. An Elm Street designation takes a holistic approach to long-term neighborhood sustainability by operating in cooperation with existing downtown or commercial corridor revitalization programs, including the Pennsylvania Main Street program, to better connect healthy neighborhoods and strong business districts.

The Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between public and private sector that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities; social and economic diversity; and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to tailor assistance to meet the needs of specific revitalization efforts.

A Keystone Communities designation is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grants, and designation applications are accepted at all times.

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About Pennsylvania Downtown Center

Founded in 1987, the mission of Pennsylvania Downtown Center is to build and support the capacity of local nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and individuals to enhance the overall well-being and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s core communities. PDC accomplishes this mission by engaging and educating local community leaders and volunteers, to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of the Commonwealth’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas. For more information about designated Main Street or Elm Street programs or nationally accredited communities, contact Maria Wherley at (717) 870-9334 or email here.


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