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HANDS Annual Community Celebration Goes Virtual

Published: 12/17/2020

Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University, awarded 2020 Charles R. and Katherine L. Scalise Community Service Award by HANDS

Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University, awarded 2020 Charles R. and Katherine L. Scalise Community Service Award by HANDS

Housing and Neighborhood Development Service’s (HANDS) Annual Community Celebration, typically celebrated in person with employees, board members, sponsors, community partners and other stakeholders, will go virtual this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The event will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7pm and will be viewable on the YouTube platform (

  • Dr. Keith Taylor of Gannon University to be awarded 2020 Charles R. and Katherine L. Scalise Community Service Award

  • HANDS to provide state of the organization updates amid coronavirus pandemic

During the online event HANDS will be awarding Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University, with the 2020 Charles R. and Katherine L. Scalise Community Service Award. The annual award is presented to a member of the community who exemplifies HANDS’ core values, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, and who has made a demonstrable difference or significant contribution. Dr. Taylor was chosen by the HANDS board of directors not only for the academic advancements he has made in his time at Gannon, but also for the neighborhood revitalization programs created under his leadership; Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) and OWB (Our West Bayfront).These in initiatives began under Taylor’s leadership and represent a series of intentional partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses and community organizations to revitalize the neighborhoods surrounding Gannon’s campus.

Matthew Good, CEO of HANDS along with several board and staff members will also give updates on HANDS advancements in the past year, to include the finalization of a five-year Strategic Plan, the completion of the Boston Store Clock renovation, the welcoming of a new commercial tenant to the Boston Store and Erie’s downtown, enhanced resident services during the pandemic, and the start of the Midtown Revitalization project. The Midtown project involves the preservation and rehabilitation of 15 units of existing affordable housing and the addition of 10 units of housing as well as a management office in the Midtown neighborhood, which extends from 12th to 14th Streets between Parade and German Streets in Erie.

According to Good, “What we do makes a huge difference in the lives of our residents. We bring hope to those who may otherwise struggle. This is the reason that we at HANDS are so committed to making such a positive impact.”

Sponsorships for the online event were provided by: Insurance Management Company; Erie Insurance; William T. Spaeder Company; McGill, Power Bell and Associates; Fuller Building Group; Building Systems Incorporated; Macdonald Illig Attorneys; Loesel Schaaf Insurance; David Laird Associates; the Housing Authority of the City of Erie; Friends of Pat Harkins; Affordable Fence; JW Landscaping; and Master Fire and Security.


About the Company. HANDS is a private not-for-profit corporation which prides itself on making stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods through the development and management of quality affordable housing communities. HANDS currently owns and/or manages more than 1,000 units of housing across northwest Pennsylvania.

If you or your family needs safe and affordable housing, or if you can contribute or give back to help our fellow community members, please visit us online at or call (814) 453-3333.

For more information:

Matthew W. Good, CEO, 814-453-3333 x112