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The following grants are in excess of $5,000 and were awarded in 2019.
Launched by a diverse group of civic leaders in 2014, Baltimore's Promise is a collaboration to create a cradle to career pipeline to success for youth in Baltimore City by coordinating strategy, identifying quality programs, establishing shared outcomes, building public will, and advancing good policy. In Year 5, the work will focus on the implementation of the Grads2Careers occupational training scholarships for 2018/2019 graduates from Baltimore City Public Schools and the development of an Integrated Data System.
The Gil Sandler Fund, Inc.
Baltimore City College's Speech and Debate extracurricular program traces its beginnings to 1878. Revitalized in 1997 by Gil Sandler and Abell Foundation funding, The Speech and Debate team has grown into a regional and national powerhouse for preparing up to 70 students annually for competitive colleges, This grant provides a $100,000 contribution to the Speech and Debate endowment fund in honor of the passing of Gilbert Sandler, and two years of operating funding at $25,000 per year.
University System of Maryland Foundation
The major thrust of the three-year B-Power initiative is to coordinate, enhance and expand dual enrollment options offered jointly to Baltimore City Schools by University of Baltimore, Coppin, Morgan and Baltimore City High Schools with a goal to serve 525 high school students annually by 2021. In the next 18 months, UB will collaborate with BCCC specifically to improve the access of students to credit coursework in math, adopt UB’s successful 2 semester college readiness course eliminating ACCUPLACER, and improve the quality of instruction. In addition to the already-funded 230 UB dual enrollment seats for 2019-2020, this project will add 60 seats each semester at three new high schools. The grant will also develop a full menu of dual enrollment options at the 4 higher ed institutions by the 2020-2021 school year.
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, 202 people were placed into jobs, earning an average wage of $14.50 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 mission of the Center for Urban Families (CFUF) is to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic succes. STRIVE Baltimore, the cornerstone of CFUF's programming, emphasizes attitudinal training, job placement, and post-placement support, with 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,180 participants graduated from STRIVE Baltimore, with 93 graduates (or 52%) being placed into jobs; 104 graduates of other CFUF programs and 138 former graduates were also placed into jobs, bringing the total number of job placements to 335. STRIVE graduates placed in employment earned an average of $12.20 per hour, and 74% remained employed for at least six months.
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Dr. Jeffrey Leek is a professor of Biostatistics and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also the co-creator of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization, a 10-course introduction to data science, taught completely online by Bloomberg School of Public Health professors. . Recognizing that many students cannot not afford the expensive laptops needed to complete the courses, Dr. Leek and his colleagues developed Chromebook Data Science (CBDS), an educational program to help historically underserved populations in Baltimore who can read, write, and use a computer to gain the skills needed to obtain entry-level data science jobs. With funding from Abell and Johns Hopkins, Dr. Leek and his colleagues are enrolling small cohorts of youth in CBDS. The youth are referred by and receive intensive case management from the Youth Opportunity program at the the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition in CBDS. Once the youth complete the two-month program, they receive paid on-the-job experience, working full-time at Dr. Leek's startup data science company, earning $18 an hour for at least six months.
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 114 trainees who enrolled since the beginning of the program, only four have not completed because they were on work release and had to return to prison. All of the 110 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 12 Baltimore residents.
Health & Human Services
HealthCare Access Maryland
HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM) works to connect Maryland residents to insurance, health care, and other services to support their health and well-being. Among the services HCAM offers is a homeless outreach program, which serves unsheltered homeless individuals in Baltimore City, connecting them with housing and supportive services. This grant provided funding for purchase of a vehicle for the HCAM homeless outreach program to transport clients to and from appointments, to mental health and substance use treatment, and to shelter, among other things.
Leveling the Playing Field, Inc.
Leveling the Playing Field aims to combat the decline of youth sports participation among low-income communities by distributing used and excess donated equipment free of charge to youth development programs and Title I schools. Since its founding in 2011, Leveling the Playing Field has donated over $4 million worth of sporting equipment, allowing their partners to enhance and expand programming. This grant supported their Baltimore-based operations in collecting and distributing over $500,000 worth of equipment to 150 programs through collection drives and volunteer engagement.
Moveable Feast, Inc.
Moveable Feast prepares and delivers nutritious meals to individuals who are medically-compromised and have HIV, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. In addition to providing home-delivered meals, Moveable Feast provides meals for drop-in centers and substance use treatment programs, nutritional therapy and medical transportation for clients with specific needs, and operates a culinary arts job training program. This grant funded the purchase and installation of a new walk-in freezer to expand Moveable Feast's frozen storage capacity and enable it to serve more clients.
Baltimore Corps supports Baltimore City’s social innovation sector by recruiting and deploying mission-driven young professionals to Baltimore City’s public agencies and social sector organizations. This grant provided support for staff costs associated with core programmatic efforts to recruit, deploy and retain talent in Baltimore City.
Baltimore Tree Trust
Baltimore Tree Trust developed an “Urban Roots Apprenticeship,” a tree planting and care/training and mentorship program for unemployed and underemployed individuals. BTT staff worked closely with tree care and landscaping partners to develop a curriculum that prepares graduates for hire in full-time and permanent positions. The twice annual six week, 40-hour a week program will be held with ten trainees in spring and fall, 2019. Participants are paid $12 an hour throughout the training and awarded a final $240 upon completion, taking the wage to $13 an hour.
Fair Housing Action Center of Maryland
Fair Housing Action Center of Maryland is the only fair housing organization in the state. The organization will target West and East Baltimore communities for delivery of eviction prevention support and outreach materials. This grant provided support for outreach efforts centered around tenants’ rights and responsibilities and landlord education in Baltimore City.
HomeFree-USA is a HUD intermediary that oversees a national network of more than 50 affiliated community and faith-based housing counseling agencies. It has acquired and is renovating properties in the Poppleton neighborhood in South West Baltimore as a part of their “Move Up in Baltimore” initiative. This grant provides support for closing cost assistance for low- to moderate-income homebuyers.
Parks & People Foundation
Parks & People Foundation offers a paid youth internship and enrichment after school program and a 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 development of a market analysis and reinvestment plan for Johnston Square.
Rebuilding Together Baltimore
For the past 30 years, Rebuilding Together has been assisting low-income homeowners with home repairs to enable them to remain safe and healthy in their homes; to help maintain the home as an asset, thereby building wealth in the family; and to contribute to neighborhood stabilization and revitalization. With Abell support toward a new staff new position, Rebuilding Together expects to be able to increase capacity by 20 percent and serve 48 low-income homeowners in 2019.
South Baltimore Partnership
Litter and debris in streets, alleys and stormdrains is a huge problem for many Baltimore neighborhoods and the waste degrades downstream waterways. The trash is polluting and demoralizing for residents, reducing the desirability of the neighborhood and discouraging investment. South Baltimore Partnership’s has conceived of and executed a homegrown program that extends the well-received street cleaning work of summer YouthWorkers throughout the year, employs community members part-time, and measures its progress.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
With its 135 acres of parkland and habitat for 1,500 animals, the Maryland Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the country, a tremendous asset to Baltimore City and a prime destination for residents and tourists visiting from other parts of the state and beyond. Educating schoolchildren and visitors is the highest priority activity of the zoo and educational programs include Zoo-mobiles, pediatric outreach, pop-up labs, field talks, and nature play. Nearly 95 percent of the animals at the Zoo are endangered species and educational programming complements the Zoo’s conservation and research efforts, offering diverse audiences lessons on science, biology and biodiversity.
The Mission Continues
The Mission continues provides veterans with an outlet for continued service in 55 metropolitan areas. Veteran volunteers work with nonprofit partners and community leaders through its week long Mass Deployment initiative. Baltimore is this year’s Mass Deployment site, with planned projects in the Harlem Park and Brooklyn/Curtis Bay communities. This grant provides support for expenses and equipment associated with this year’s project.
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.
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
To support the deployment of security officers at intersections in the Downtown business district to decrease negative interactions between motorists and squeegee kids and adults. The officers interact with the window washers who work at these intersections to determine if they can be connected to traditional work opportunities or services as needed.
Baltimore City Office of Sustainable Energy
This pilot program has a simple premise: to lower water consumption and bills through water conservation and efficiency interventions and to measure the results. The Baltimore City Energy Office proposes to continue a five-year partnership with Healthy Neighborhoods that began with energy-efficiency projects to offer low and moderate income homeowners free installation of aerators, showerheads, high-efficiency/low water flow toilet replacements, and potential plumbing alterations and leak repairs if appropriate. The pilot program will be offered to 150 homeowners and three large nonprofit facilities with a mission of providing housing and services to homeless and low-income households.
Arena Players Incorporated
Arena Players is the oldest continuously operating African-American community theater in the US. A comprehensive renovation of its theater facility will include upgrades to the main stage, a complete renovation of the second and third floors and exterior repairs and improvements. This grant provided support for staff project management.