Presenter: Trauma-Informed Community Development
Rev. Paul Abernathy
Pastor, St. Moses Orthodox Christian Mission
Father Paul Abernathy is an Orthodox Christian priest and the Director of FOCUS Pittsburgh, an Orthodox Christian non-profit focused on Trauma Informed Community Development located in the Hill District, Pittsburgh Pa. He has B.A. in International Studies from Wheeling Jesuit University, and holds a Master in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Master of Divinity from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Since its inception in 2011, FOCUS Pittsburgh has distributed millions of dollars in food, clothing, furniture, transportation assistance, Identification, and emergency relief to the Greater Pittsburgh Community which includes a Back Pack Feeding Program that distributes food to 2,700 children every weekend during the school year.
Father Paul is also the CEO of the FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center which offers free primary, behavioral health, and dental care to Pittsburgh’s uninsured and underinsured. Under his leadership all FOCUS Pittsburgh programing has been developed as part of an overall initiative currently underway to address Community Trauma called Trauma Informed Community Development, to include a Trauma Response Team for acute stress as a result of homicides in Allegheny County (in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department).
In addition to his work with FOCUS Pittsburgh, Fr. Paul is and has been a member of multiple community boards and committees to include the PA State Parole Citizens Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Allies Grassroots Grant Making Committee, Allegheny County Health Department’s Violence Prevention Community Advisory Board, and is a Foundation of HOPE board member.
A former Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, Father Paul is a combat veteran of the Iraq War and has received community awards to include the rank of Eagle Scout, the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 award, Larry Richert’s Hometown Hero Award, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, and Wheeling Jesuit University’s Fr. Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Alumni Award.
Fr. Paul is the pastor of St. Moses Orthodox Christian Mission also located in the Hill District.