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The following grants are in excess of $5,000 and were awarded in 2020.
Relaunched in 2019, the Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship recruits a cohort of 10-15 graduate and undergraduate interns to work on executive-level projects in City agencies and departments over 10 weeks during the summer. Baltimore Corps, in partnership with the Mayor's Chief of Staff's office, selects, places and oversees programming for the Fellowship, including weekly speaker sessions, community service and a final symposium. The Fellows program aims for 100% completion, 90% level of satisfaction, and hiring of 3 candidates within a year of program completion. Fellows will reflect the demographics of Baltimore City.
Baltimore Urban Debate League
The Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL), a national initiative, has reintroduced debate into Baltimore’s public school classrooms over the last two decades as a strategy to engage and inspire students from our city’s most under-resourced schools. BUDL has reached thousands of students from 4th grade to 12th grade, and changed their personal and academic trajectories by helping them discover their voice and reach their potential through debate. This grant will support the expansion of the Debate League to 53 schools (including 11 high schools) and serve over 8,500 students in the 2019-2020 school year.
Fund for Educational Excellence
The Abell-funded Baltimore City Schools report, "Preparing All Students for Economic and Career Success" (2019) uncovered issues and made recommendations for improving the school system's Career and Technical Education program. As a working group created a four-year Master Plan for CTE, a number of questions arose that required more data collection and analysis. This grant has enabled City Schools to contract with Project Evident to analyze CTE coursework, facilities, teacher recruitment/training and student career interest. Final CTE program recommendations will enable the Master Plan to be complete by Summer 2020.
Green Street Academy, Inc.
Green Street Academy, a Baltimore City Charter school for 870 6th-9th grade students, plans to construct and program a 7,000 square foot state-of-the-art STEM Innovation Center facility. This Center is envisioned to be the hub of the school, bringing together CTE programs in Construction, Design and Health, internships and jobs, dual enrollment, college counseling, and collaborative space for school day and afterschool applied learning/making and entrepreneurship programming. The Innovation Lab is expected to open in January 2021, and will serve over 600 students in afterschool, internship and summer programs.
With the support of over 25 local and national funders, GreenLight Fund will launch GreenLight Baltimore as the 10th city in its growing network. Over the next five years, GreenLight Fund Baltimore will bring 3-4 social innovation non-profits into the city with the potential to fill gaps in Baltimore's social service landscape and make a significant, measurable impact on the lives of low-income residents. GreenLight embeds itself in the local community, engages local partners to identify critical gaps, researches proven nonprofit programs, and then launches and manages selected programs to achieve impact in the Baltimore region.
Teach for America - Baltimore
Teach for America: Baltimore has been recruiting and developing teachers and leaders to expand educational opportunities for Baltimore's children growing up in poverty since 1992. Today, there are 1,200 Teach for America alumni and teachers in Baltimore--80% continue to engage in work impacting low-income communities.This grant will continue TFA's work in 1. recruiting top talent ( 95 new and diverse teachers--over 50% people of color); 2. building leaders in the classroom, schools and City (a total of 20 TFA principals and 3rd year teacher retention rate of 66%) and 3. Connecting TFA network to accelerate educational outcomes in Baltimore (the 2nd year of a new network strategy engaging alumni in collection impact).
TNTP has recruited, prepared and placed an average of 110 non-traditional teachers annually in Baltimore City Public Schools since 1997. Their efforts, both policy and programmatic, to increase the number of high quality teachers of color entering Baltimore City and Maryland public schools have resulted in a pool that is 50% black and 60% people of color. TNTP will continue its policy work at the State level to successfully adopt new Teacher License regulations that will remove certification barriers and advocate for a legislative grant program that will remove financial barriers for teachers of color.
Turnaround Tuesdays is a BUILD jobs initiative in which residents meet at Zion Baptist Church on Tuesday mornings from 9 am to 11 am to receive help in finding employment. Over 125 people participate in Turnaround Tuesdays each week, completing a 10-week leadership training curriculum that focuses the skills needed to sustain employment. The jobs movement is working: last year, 181 people were placed into jobs, earning an average wage of $15 per hour. According to BUILD, 74% of those placed have remained employed at least a year. Retention is higher (84%) at anchor institutions such as Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System. BUILD is establishing an employment pipeline to “good paying jobs” at these and other long-standing large, anchor institution employers, encouraging them to hire people with criminal records.
Center for Urban Families, Inc.
The Center for Urban Families (CFUF) works to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic succes. STRIVE Baltimore, the cornerstone of CFUF's programming, is a strict, demanding, three-week workshop that focuses on workplace behavior, appearance, and attitude. Upon completion of training, STRIVE graduates are placed in jobs, and are followed by STRIVE staff for two years. Last year,146 participants graduated from STRIVE Baltimore, with 132 graduates (or 90%) being placed into jobs; 70 former graduates were also placed into jobs, bringing the total number of job placements to 202. STRIVE graduates placed in employment earned an average of $13.01 per hour, and 90% remained employed for at least six months.
PIVOT was founded in October 2017 in response to the dramatic gap in services geared towards women in reentry in Baltimore City and the lack of coordinated services specifically targeting workforce development for women. The PIVOT model was designed to establish cooperative relationships between service providers in workforce development, public health, substance abuse treatment and mental health, human services and other supportive services such as legal aid, transportation, clothing, housing, childcare, family reunification, financial education and more. Funding from the Abell Foundation will support 45 women being served by Pivot during the grant period.
Rose Street Community Center
The Rose Street Community Center, with support from the Abell Foundation, serves over 120 people per week, providing transitional housing for over 20 people a week. Funding of up to $50,000 will provide rental assistance to Baltimore City crime victims over a period of two years.
The Work First Foundation
With funding from the Abell Foundation, in 2009, America Works (through its nonprofit Work First Foundation) launched the Baltimore Ex-Offender Reentry Employment Program. The program provides a two-week-long job-readiness workshop for cohorts of six to seven ex-offenders. The program targets ex-offenders under 40 years of age, and those who have been recently released from prison or jail. To date,1,318 ex-offenders have graduated from the two-week training course, with 804 being placed into jobs (a 61% job placement rate). Participants earned an average of $9.39 at placement, with 65 percent remaining employed for six months or more. Since June 2017, the Baltimore City court system has been referring low-income individuals to the program as they await trial, rather than jailing them because they cannot afford to pay bail. To date, 305 pretrial defendants have enrolled into the program. Of those, 227 have gone to trial, with 78 percent experiencing a positive outcome.
Vehicles for Change, Inc.
Since 1999, the Abell Foundation has supported Vehicles for Change (VFC) in making low-cost cars available to low-income job seekers in Baltimore City. In 2015, with funding from Abell, VFC launched an automotive technician repair program. VFC hires men and women who have been recently released from prison or who have been granted work release (usually in small cohorts of seven to eight people). All program applicants have successfully completed the 600-hour Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Auto Maintenance and Light Repair training program while incarcerated. At VFC, they receive three to five months of paid work experience, earning $9 an hour. The on-the-job experience is designed to build the trainees’ resumes and overcome any reservations that employers have about hiring returning citizens. All trainees must pass at least four ASE certification tests. The program is working: of the 150 trainees who enrolled since the beginning of the program, 13 are still in training, 131 wer placed into full-time employment and only six have not completed because they were on work release and had to return to prison. All of the 131 graduates have been placed into employment, with an average starting hourly wage of $16 per hour. Funding from Abell will support the training and job placement of 56 to 60 Baltimore residents.
Health & Human Services
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children in Baltimore, Inc.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Baltimore provides support and advocacy for children in abuse and neglect cases in Baltimore City's Juvenile Court. CASA recruits and trains lay volunteers who work closely with children referred by the Juvenile Court to assess their needs and make recommendations to the Court regarding the child's placement and needed services. Research on the CASA model suggests that children with CASA volunteers are more likely to be placed in permanent homes and less likely to re-enter foster care after they achieve permanancy than children without CASA volunteers. This grant supports a new volunteer recruitment campaign, with a particular focus on increasing the number of African American CASA volunteers.
Fostering Change Network Foundation
Fostering Change Network (FCN) provides mentoring, training, coaching and networking opportunities to young adults who are or were in foster care to help them achieve personal and professional success. This grant funds FCN's Support Our Foster Youth program, which provides support to foster youth who are attending college, to help them achieve their educational and career goals. FCN is developing partnerships with Baltimore City Community College, University of Baltimore, and University of Maryland College Park to address the needs of current and former foster youth attending those institutions and provide the support they need to complete their degrees. FCN is working to change the odds for youth in foster care, few of whom attend college, and when they do, they have very low rates of college completion.
Johns Hopkins Children's Center
This grant supports the Rales Health Center (RHC) at KIPP Baltimore, which provides health services to more than 1,500 students in grades K - 8 who attend two co-located schools in West Baltimore. The RHC provides both basic school nursing services, and enhanced clinical services for students with acute health concerns and unmet preventive care needs. In addition to a full range of clinical services, the RHC provides student and staff wellness programs, screenings, first aid and comfort care, and medication monitoring. In its first four years of operations, the RHC had more than 5,000 school-based health center visits, 78,000 school nursing visits, and 39,000 medication administration visits. In addition, the RHC provides a school-wide vision care program, offers access to counseling and psychiatric services through a partnership with Johns Hopkins Bayview, and is working with KIPP staff to adapt and implement a social-emotional learning curriculum to address student behavior and school climate concerns.
Neighbor to Family, Inc.
Neighbor To Family (NTF) provides high quality foster care to sibling groups so that siblings do not have to be separated when they are removed from their homes. NTF uses trained, professional foster families to provide temporary homes for sibling groups, while working closely with the biological family to address the issues that led to the children being removed from their home. The average NTF foster family takes in four siblings, with some taking in up to eight siblings at a time. This grant funds extracurricular, recreational and educational activities for children in NTF's Baltimore program.
Soccer Without Borders Baltimore
Soccer Without Borders provides year-round soccer and academic support programs for refugee, asylum-seekers, and immigrant youth. Soccer Without Borders provides a safe and supportive environment for youth, as well as English language development, through its soccer teams. This grant supported the high school program for 70 youth in Baltimore City.
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Inc.
The Beans & Bread Center, a St. Vincent de Paul program, provides a wide range of services on-site that address the needs of the chronically homeless, including housing, health care, recovery, and employment. This grant supported the Beans & Bread homeless day resource in providing a day shelter, intake and engagement, case management, meals, hygiene supplies, showers, laundry, assistance securing personal identification, and access to phones and mail services. The center operates seven days a week and serves more than 400 meals a day.
The Family Tree, Inc.
The Family Tree reaches over 20,000 people a year with parenting and caregiving programs and supports. This grant provided support for the Family Tree to increase its capacity to provide Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), an evidence-based parenitng intervention for caregivers of infants and toddlers who have experienced early adversity.
Baltimore Community Lending, Inc.
In 2018, Baltimore Community Lending created Baltimore Business Lending to assist in the creation and growth of small businesses in Baltimore City. Securing capital and business assistance remain the greatest challenges for Baltimore City entrepreneurs looking to start and grow new businesses, especially among those who have been disenfranchised historically. An Abell grant for business lending operations and marketing, as well as a partial guarantee of loan losses will enable Baltimore Business Lending to loan $1.25 million and create and retain jobs.
Civil Justice, Inc.
Civil Justice expands legal services to clients of low and moderate income while promoting a network of solo, small and community-based lawyers who share a common commitment to increasing access to justice. It is a common practice that, after evicting tenants who fall behind on rent, landlords will later sue those same tenants for prospective rent and alleged damages, as well as unlwafully withhold security deposits. These suits result in millions of dollars in judgments against tenants each year in Baltimore City and further destabilize tenant households. With Abell funding, Civil Justice will increase its capacity to address aggressive landlord debt collection suits against tenants, serving 50 households in the first year either through in-house counsel or through their referral network.
Emerging Technology Centers, Inc.
In 2020, the Emerging Technology Center will competitively select up to five companies to participate in the ninth cohort of Accelerate Baltimore. The technology and innovation incubation program includes 13-weeks of hands-on instruction and workshops, access to mentors, connections to potential partners and investors, and free office space at the ETC in East Baltimore to help entrepreneurs overcome technical issues, navigate changing markets and address financial challenges to boost commercialization of new products and services. The grant supports administrative costs and initial seed funding of $50,000 to each team judged to have the greatest potential for growth.
Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc.
Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. (HNI) is a citywide initiative that promotes investment in “middle Neighborhoods” through resident engagement, a focus on promoting neighborhood assets, and investment in housing stock. HNI serves 46 neighborhoods across the City. This grant provided support for core program activities and expansion to other neighborhoods.
Jubilee Baltimore, Inc.
Jubilee Baltimore is partnering with Property Consulting Inc. to renovate the long-vacant Odell's building located at 21 E. North Avenue to house two nonprofit organizations that serve Baltimore City schoolchildren. Following the Maryland Institute of Art's development of the Lazarus Center and reinvestment in the Centre Theatre, Motor House and Parkway Theater, the Abell grant toward the redevelopment of the Odell's building would enable a customized home for the two nonprofits, infusing new life into an historically significant building, bringing additional activitiy onto North Avenue and boosting confidence in investment in the area.
Made in Baltimore, Fiscally Sponsored by Baltimore Development Corporation
Made in Baltimore supports local makers and manufacturers through promotional and marketing events, a local brand-certification program, and business development support. The 12-week Home Run Accelerator program will provide intensive business development, marketing, and peer mentoring support for 15 selected home-based makers in targeted industries. MIB will track the growth/development of participants, including jobs created, revenue growth, and production space occupied will be tracked. This grant provided support for staff and program expenses associated with the Home Run Accelerator program.
Parks & People Foundation
Parks & People Foundation offers a paid youth internship and environmental education after school and summer Youthworks program called ‘Branches’ to address two critical issues: the need for meaningful employment for economically disadvantaged youth and the need for a trained workforce caring for parks and green spaces in the City. Participants in the Branches program gain hands-on experience and skills designing and implementing projects that have a community impact while contributing to the areas where many of them live and attend school, including neighborhoods which have high levels of poverty and few opportunities for positive development of young people.
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc.
Pro Bono Resource Center provides legal assistance, recourse information and education to Baltimore City homeowners at risk of foreclosure to delinquent real property taxes or water bills. The Tax Sale Prevention Project includes training and engaging volunteer attorneys and housing counselors to assist Baltimore residents at risk of tax sale; citywide tax sale prevention clinics; presentations at community educational events; promotion of the TaxSaleHelpBaltimore.com online tool and targeted outreach via postcard. This grant provided support for staff and project expenses associated with the Tax Sale Prevention Project.
For over a decade, Rebuild Metro (formerly TRF Development Partners) has been building market stabilizing affordable housing in East Baltimore to create opportunity and wealth for low-income residents. The organization renovates vacant houses and builds new product for rent and for sale through their partnership with BUILD and local churches, sustaining both local construction jobs and small contractor businesses. Abell grant funding will be used to complement city and private funds toward implementation of the Vision Plan for Johnston Square.
Scholars Strategy Network
The Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) was created to channel the expertise of America’s top scholars to help solve the nation’s toughest policy problem. Now including 1,500 scholars in 270 universities in 48 states, SSN is poised to launch a Baltimore chapter. This grant will support SSN’s effort to organize and convene local Baltimore scholars, particularly at UMBC and Morgan State University, and connect them with training and resources to engage more effectively in local policy efforts.
Whitelock Community Farm, Fiscally Sponsored by Fusion Partnerships, Inc.
Whitelock Community Farm, over its 10 year history, has harvested over 40,000 pounds of organic produce. Distribution sites include a Reservoir Hill farm stand, neighborhood mobile market sites, community supported agriculture (CSA) program, a city wide farmers market and local restaurants. This grant provided support for infrastructure upgrades will allow the Farm to maximize food production, minimize food waste, expand outreach to youth in the community, and increase sales.
Criminal Justice & Addiction
Charm City Care Connection
Abell Foundation support will allow CCCC to open a daytime Harm Reduction Drop-in Center (HRDC) for people with a substance use disorder to provide a safe space to access needed services and support. The HRDC will include low barrier and easy to access services, including the following:syringe exchange,fentanyl test strip distribution, naloxone distribution, community meals and case management.
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Drug checking services (Check-It) will be offered in a mobile van during 4-5, 4-hour sessions a week targeting Baltimore City neighborhoods with high rates of overdose identified through mapping drug arrest and overdose data. Testing will take approximately 2 minutes per sample and the results will be provided verbally to the participant. After providing the results, staff will engage in micro-counseling around overdose risk, with information tailored to the participant’s knowledge and practices. Staff will also provide participants with ancillary services i.e., fentanyl test strips, naloxone, as well as referrals to services as needed.
Office of the Public Defender
The Digital Forensics Lab will serve OPD clients who may have exonerating evidence or other valuable data on their mobile devices or social media accounts that are not available to or disclosed by the prosecution. In addition to potentially reducing outside expert fees for digital forensics analysis and testimony, this project will allow for an increasingly important avenue of investigations that is currently untapped. With support from the Abell Foundation, OPD can obtain the equipment, software, and training needed to conduct in-house data digital investigations, including: cell phone data extraction; internet, social media and cloud-based tracking and analysis; and mapping of digital data.
Tuerk House, Inc.
Tuerk House is State Licensed and Joint Commission accredited and offers a full continuum of drug treatment programs, from inpatient residential withdrawal management to halfway house as well as intensive and standard outpatient services. Funding from the Abell Foundation will support the Tuerk House's four-stage renovation project to improve and expand its 75 year old structure. The entire renovation process will increase TH’s overall capacity from 73 to 104 beds, create improved dining and group spaces, and add nursing and counseling offices.
Maryland Sierra Club, Fiscally Sponsored by Sierra Club Foundation
The Maryland Sierra Club launched a "Clean Transportation Initiative" to focus on transportation priorities which directly affect climate change, public health and economic development. Over the next year with operational support from the Abell Foundation, Maryland Sierra Club proposes to publish a short report and build a broad coalition to advocate for increasing mass transit, electrifying the bus fleet, and accelerating adoption of low- and zero- emission vehicles in Baltimore City to exceed a statewide goal to reduce climate pollution 40% by 2030.