July 2, 2020

The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center


July 1, 2020

The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center

On July 6, 2020, The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center will reopen to the public at 7219 Kelly Street by appointment Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Merging the Hub with the former operations at the Homewood-Brushton Family Center (579 Rosedale Street) under one roof, this change brings with it exciting new opportunities for serving the community in Homewood. The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center staff will continue to support the needs of families and early learning professionals who care for and educate young children. Hub & Family Center staff may be contacted individually at their phone number or email address, found on the Trying Together website.


Starting July 6, 2020, The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center will reopen its physical office spaces to the public by appointment:

  • M-F | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    7219 Kelly St, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

All staff will be required to follow guidance provided by the CDC. Locations and departments may have limited in-office staff as some employees continue to telework. After July 6, appointments are required for individuals interested in accessing services and support at The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center.

In-person operations will continue to be dependent on recommendations provided by Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

About the Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center

The Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center supports the early learning needs of young children, families, and early educators in the Homewood communities.

The Hub & Family Center offers:

  • developmentally appropriate activities for children from birth to age nine;
  • individual and group support for parents to set and meet goals for their family; and
  • professional growth opportunities for center-, family-, and home-based early learning programs, and relative-providers.

More Information

To learn more about the Homewood Early Learning Hub & Family Center, please visit Trying Together’s website.


November 20, 2019

Snack Chat

Children up to age 12 along with their caregivers are invited after school to share their thoughts and feelings about their school and everyday life and receive homework help and a light snack.

More Information

For more information, contact Nicole Banner at 412.727.6649 or

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July 22, 2019

Family Check-Up Helps Families Build & Grow Together

The day-to-day challenges of raising children aren’t easy, but families don’t have to do it alone. At the Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center, Family Check-Up offers an opportunity for all families to take a seat, talk about their challenges, and move forward with strategies to solve them.

About Family Check-Up

In family support centers across the nation, the Family Check-Up (FCU) model aims to promote child and family well-being by providing parents and caregivers with new skills and tools to strengthen family relationships. The program starts off with an initial interview and an assessment of the family’s strengths and needs, followed by creating tailored goals to meet the unique needs of each family. A final feedback session provides an opportunity to continue building parenting skills through the “Everyday Parenting Curriculum” and information on possible follow-up services.

All services are free and confidential.

Benefits of Participation

For more than 20 years, research has shown that participating in FCU:

    • increases parent and caregiver confidence,
    • reduces family stress and conflict,
    • and reduces challenging behaviors displayed by preschoolers, school-aged children, and teens.

Schedule an Appointment

Interested in signing up? Schedule an appointment by contacting Family Coach, Adriana Chung, at 412.727.6649. See our interview with Adriana to learn more.


July 16, 2019

Family Fun Night

Families with young children are invited to participate in an evening of free activities, games, and prizes. Food and refreshments will also be provided. Registration is not required, but preferred.

Learn More

For more information, contact Toni Beasley at 412.727.6649 or

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Parent-Child Interaction

Are you looking to engage in an educational experience with your young child? Join other caregivers and their young children for creative STEM-based activities. Together, parent and child will interact with each other and socialize with other families to grow, learn, and play!

Learn More

To learn more, contact Neil Walker at 412.728.2892 or

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July 5, 2019

Storymobile at Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center

Families and caregivers with young children are invited to join Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Pittsburgh at the Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center for their Storymobile visits!

About the Storymobile

Storymobiles are libraries-on-wheels; taking stories, activities, books, and literacy resources to early childcare centers, pre-k and kindergarten classrooms, afterschool programs, public housing communities, and community events across Pittsburgh.

Focused on kindergarten readiness, Storymobile programming is designed to introduce young students to the joy of reading; expose them to challenging subject matter, including math and science themes, in a way that they embrace and enjoy; and reinforce skills recommended by state and federal curricula.

All children that participate with Storymobile will be signed up for the Books for Keeps program, enabling them to select a book to take home and keep four times throughout the year.

Learn More

To learn more, contact RIF Pittsburgh at 412.321.8022 or email

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*Information provided by Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh


May 23, 2019

Buzzword: Talk & Play Series 3

Join Buzzword every Wednesday from May 15 to June 12 for Talk & Play Series 3! All events are free for learners ages five and under, with their caregivers, and will include activities that enhance vocabulary and literacy skills.  A light dinner will be provided.

Program Schedule

The schedule of events is as follows:

    • Wednesday, May 15 • Word of the Day: DECOMPOSE
      with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Carnegie Science Center
    • Wednesday, May 22 • Word of the Day: TOPSOIL
      with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
    • Wednesday, May 29 • Word of the Day: COLONY
      with Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
    • Wednesday, June 5 • Word of the Day: LAVA
      with Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and Pittsburgh Festival Opera
    • Wednesday, June 12 • Word of the Day: FOSSIL
      with Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

More Information

For more information, contact Jan Jones at


February 22, 2019

Community Check-Up Staff Interview

Every Monday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Lydia Strickhouser performs a wide array of services for children and young adults ages birth to 21 years old at the Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center as part of Community Check-Up.

Service Examples
    • Asthma and Allergy Care
    • Check-Ups
    • Driver Permit Physicals
    • Hearing and Vision Screens
    • Lead and Anemia Screens
    • School and Flu Shots
    • Sports Physicals
    • WIC Forms
Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, contact Lisa Drake at 412.310.7114.

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We interviewed Lisa and Lydia to learn more about their experience working Community Check-Up as far as what they do, how they’ve grown, and what it’s like building relationships with the families.

First, tell us more about Community Check-Up and your roles within it.
    • Lydia: Community Check-Up has been going on since October 2017. On average, we see five to seven patients each Monday afternoon, and eight is the maximum. Technically, children only need to be seen once per year for check-ups, but families can come as often as needed. We offer follow-up appointments for specific concerns like weight or blood pressure checks. It’s really about the needs of the patient. In addition to seeing patients for all the different types of appointments, I also work with them in social and behavioral health as well. A lot of research shows how the social disparities a person faces significantly influence people’s physical and mental health, so it’s important that I assess each family’s needs in a comprehensive way. This includes making sure they have adequate food and asking about other concerns like employment and child care. All of these factors affect their outcomes.
    • Lisa: Having this clinic in the heart of Homewood helps minimize transportation as a potential barrier. Some of our families who come in live within walking distance, and the Center provides transportation services for those who need help getting to the appointments. My goal at the Center is to support the parents in bringing their children to appointments. Community Check-Up started as an initiative to decrease the no-show rate of Homewood children at doctor’s appointments by bringing services closer to them, and it has been much more convenient for the families. On top of scheduling the appointments and doing outreach in the community, my job is to look out for certain things. Parents and children both have needs, and I work to assess them and connect families with the necessary resources.
What was your first impression of the Center?
    • Lydia: I hadn’t realized that the Center would be a house. I assumed the building would be more square and colder, but because it’s a house, it’s like you’re walking into someone’s home. The environment is open, warm, and inviting, and it’s helpful to be able to give patients care in this type of environment. I got into this position because of my work in community health. The previous doctor moved out of state, so I was approached about working here, and I fell in love.
    • Lisa: I found out about Community Check-Up when I was called about my son’s doctor’s appointment and asked if it would be helpful to bring him here instead of the Oakland location. My uncle used to live in this house before it became a family support center. I was excited to take this position because as a parent, I know how much of a difference having these services in Homewood has made for me, and I want to share that with other families here in the community. Getting to the Oakland location was difficult to manage with my son’s school schedule and transportation difficulties. I had to take two buses to get there. I understand how hard it can be to get your children to their doctor’s appointments and how easy it can be to fall behind on immunizations. Working here at the center as a community peer advocate gave me the ability to help parents with the same areas that were difficult for me.
What can caregivers and children expect when coming to Community Check-Up?
    • Lisa: Respect, comfortability, and a warm environment. We are interested in the parents’ and their children’s wellbeing, so we work with them to uncover their needs and any things that may hinder them from getting to the appointments, such as issues with housing, food, and water. We ask what we can do to help, and we are genuinely concerned about them. It’s more than just a check-up.
    • Lydia: In addition to asking social questions about each family and getting the forms and consents we need, we also have normal conversations with the parents. We are careful to not be accusatory, but instead, we are supportive in gauging situations so that families get the best help.
How have the families impacted you?
    • Lydia: Working with the families has changed how I ask questions and encouraged me to show more understanding when parents don’t get their children to appointments. Also, I have become more realistic in my tests and referrals, and my approach to medicine in general. I can order 50 tests and make 10 referrals, but maybe this patient can only do one of each. Again, social disparities are so important in determining health and behavioral outcomes. Through this role, I’ve learned to be sensitive while still getting an honest answer.
    • Lisa: Working here has helped me learn how to approach families, especially those headed by single parents. As we mentioned before, it’s important not to be accusatory towards parents who need support. People are so quick to judge situations they know nothing about, and we shouldn’t be one of those people. I’ve learned that you never know what a person is dealing with, so I have made it a point to be more understanding, more patient, and more helpful. This role has made me want to help people as much as I can.
What do you find most satisfying about your interactions with families? What is most challenging?
    • Lisa: The most satisfying part of my job is seeing results and seeing them show up. Nothing makes me happier than them showing up. There are chaotic days when everyone is here at once, and there are children everywhere, but I love that. We have really mannerable kids here. The most challenging part is wanting to satisfy the parents and families, and making sure they have everything they need. The most important part of getting to know the families is building trust and comfortability. We have to establish communication that is open and long. When I call parents, I do more than just remind them of their appointment I feel good when they open up to me and feel safe enough to tell me what’s going on, and I am proud of being available to help them and give them feedback.
    • Lydia: Watching the children’s growth and development is the reason I got into pediatrics in the first place. It’s neat to see how much the kids progress, especially the little ones three and under, who come in more often, every two to three months. I love getting to talk to the kids individually, finding out their goals, seeing them get taller, and asking them about school. The most challenging part for me is the amount of paperwork and charting that I have to do. It’s important to me to maintain relationships with the families and not focus solely on the computer. Usually, I will put in four hours of work before coming in and three to four hours afterward. It’s a full day, but it allows me to focus on the parents and kids while they are here.
Are there any changes you see in the parents as they come back with their kids for appointments?
    • Lydia: Sometimes parents get more relaxed after a while. It’s nice to see their comfort and familiarity with Lisa and me. The kids love the toys, and it’s a very friendly environment.
    • Lisa: I noticed that a couple of parents who used to miss appointments with their child are on it now. The consistency has grown.
Is there anything else that you want the families to know?
    • Lydia: Just that we’re here, 1:00-5:00 p.m. You can show up just to talk if you need to. Though we need to know ahead of time to prepare for appointments, I am able to talk to you about any concerns you have or to look up immunization records if needed.


January 17, 2019

Community Check-Up

Community Check-Up is a satellite clinic of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Every second and fourth Wednesday, an advanced practice provider and pediatrician see children and young adults ages birth–26 years old (birthday). Services include:

  • Asthma and Allergy Care Check-Ups
  • Driver Permit Physicals
  • Hearing and Vision Screenings
  • Immunizations and Flu Shots
  • Lead and Anemia Screenings
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Needs-Based Resources
  • Sports Physicals
  • WIC Forms

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, call 412.310.7114. The last appointment begins at 3:30 p.m.

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