Our History


The Early Years

From our very inception, Renewal, Inc. has been dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated individuals return to society as responsible citizens. Renewal, Inc. was founded in 1958 through the efforts of a group of Pittsburgh businessmen serving on the Penal Committee of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In its formative years, Renewal, Inc. assisted former offenders in developing a parole plan by identifying sponsors and employment opportunities. The Catholic Diocese provided housing for the parolees, who frequently lacked resources or families to support them, at the St. Joseph House of Hospitality in the lower Hill District of downtown Pittsburgh.

Our organization’s successful and intense focus on sustainable healing for these individuals was established almost immediately. In fact, Renewal, Inc. was first incorporated as a private, non-profit organization in 1976 through the efforts of Administrator Thomas O’Brien, also a former offender and resident in the program.

Building a Comprehensive Program

Renewal, Inc. expanded its services in 1988 to include housing by opening a 25-bed facility in Homestead, achieved through a contract with Allegheny County. The goal was to help mitigate overcrowding in the Allegheny County Jail. Based on the success of the initial Homestead program, Renewal, Inc. fostered its relationship with Allegheny County and entered additional contractual agreements with a range of county, state, and federal entities. Today, we offer residential services for up to 672 individuals in two facilities throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Renewal, Inc. has strategically pursued and leveraged its contractual relationships to evolve our service offerings into one of the most comprehensive programs in the corrections arena. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, this approach allowed us to expand our program to accept women and include adult basic education services; Drug Court services; alternative housing and work release services; and whole-family, mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, and continuing care programming. In line with the increasing demand created by our growing capabilities, in 1997 Renewal, Inc. formed a subsidiary, Renewal Treatment, Inc.® to perform inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment services.

Best-In-Class Facilities

Renewal, Inc. consolidated operations in 1995 when it purchased and renovated a building at 339 Boulevard of the Allies in Downtown Pittsburgh. This location currently has a bed capacity of 290 and meets all standards of the Americans with Disability Act, American Correctional Association Adult Community Residential Services 4th Edition, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Renewal, Inc.’s corporate office, located at 601 Grant Street, was strategically selected in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh as a location central to serving its client base. Looking to the future, Renewal, Inc. has plans to further expand its services with a Juvenile and Family
Services program that will deliver comprehensive family treatment, education and reunification services designed to enhance care as returning residents and their families rejoin the community together.

To further expand our mission, Renewal opened a non-hospital Detox Program, licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, on July 23, 2018 at our 704 Second Avenue facility. This service is provided to males and females in the community as well as to those with criminal justice involvement. It offers programs such as Housing Assistance, Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment, numerous Reentry Support Services, Workforce Development, and Family Support and Strengthening to individuals in various stages of reintegration.

Awards and Accreditation

Renewal, Inc. is recognized as a leading model for reintegration and withdrawal management (detoxification) services. We are accredited by the American Correctional Association, meeting and often exceeding all nationally recognized, performance-based standards for our
industry. For more information on our accreditation, please visit www.ACA.org.