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The following grants are in excess of $5,000 and were awarded in 2019.
Rose Street Community Center
Since February 2000, with support from the Abell Foundation, the Rose Street Community Center (Rose Street) has offered small weekly stipends (no more than $10 a day) to community residents in exchange for participation in daily community cleanups or gang mediation meetings. Last year, Rose Street served more than 120 people per week. Nearly 20% of those served each week (an average of 22 people) reside in Rose Street’s six transitional houses. Those residing in the houses participate daily in community cleanups. Once they have secured employment, Rose Street staff assists them in obtaining permanent housing. Over half of those served each week (approximately 70 people) are high-risk youth ages 15 to 24. Rose Street holds morning meetings with the youth where the youth identify and de-escalate disputes. Rose Street also connects the youth to programs and services available in the community.
South Baltimore Learning Center
South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC) has provided adult education services for nearly three decades, serving over 700 adult students each year. Two years ago, with funding from the Abell Foundation, SBLC established an office and classroom at the Regional Skills Training Center in Park Heights. Working with sector skills training programs, SBLC provided 60 students with remedial instruction in math and reading. On average, students gained 2.5 levels in reading and 4.0 levels in math. These gains were achieved over an average of 30 hours of instruction. With continued funding from Abell, SBLC will serve 115 students, with the goal of 76 students gaining 3.0 levels in reading and 4.0 levels in math.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, in which women and girls are forced to engage in the commercial sex trade. Since 2012, with funding from the Abell Foundation, TurnAround, Inc. has provided services to 880 trafficking survivors (187 survivors last year). TurnAround works with clients in three phases: emergency and assessment, stabilization, and support and transition. Services provided include emergency response, trauma therapy, intensive case management, food, shelter, and social service advocacy. With this grant, TurnAround plans to serve at least 100 trafficking survivors over the next year.
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
Advocates for Children and Youth
Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) is an independent organization dedicated to promoting the interests of children and families in Maryland through research, policy development, community outreach, media relations, and government relations. ACY is one of the leading champions of policies in Maryland that advance the interests of children across a broad range of issues, including education, child welfare, juvenile justice and health care. This grant supports ACY's child welfare program, which focuses on the needs of foster and homeless youth in Maryland.
B'More Clubhouse, Inc.
B’More Clubhouse, founded in 2009, is a community in mid-town where adults living with mental illness receive supportive services. Accredited by Clubhouse International, the organization benefits from the strengths of a national and international network of 292 accredited Clubhouses in 34 countries. B’More Clubhouse has an active membership of 120 and an average of 40 members in attendance on any given day. Services include employment assistance, housing access, and connections to community resources. This grant helped support the partial salary of the program’s social worker/program director.
Baltimore City Health Department
The Baltimore City Health Department's Family Planning Access Project, a component of B'More for Healthy Babies, provides counseling about, and access to, effective family planning methods. Founded in 2016 with funding from the Abell Foundation, the project has focused on increasing access to Long Acting Reversible Contraception. The next phase of the project will focus on counseling women about contraceptive options and using a new "family planning toolkit" designed to engage women in conversations about their life goals, reproductive health needs, and family planning options. This grant provides two years of support for implementation of the Family Planning Access Project.
Baltimore Community Rowing
Reach High Baltimore, a project of Baltimore Community Rowing, was founded in 2011 to provide after-school and summer rowing programming to Baltimore middle and high school students. The program serves about 150 youth a year through spring, summer, fall, and winter sessions. Reach High students have become skilled rowers, training for and participating in competitive races throughout the region, and a few rowers have competed in national and international races. This grant supported the partial salary of Reach High’s Director of Youth Rowing.
Baltimore Medical System, Inc.
Baltimore Medical System (BMS) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary and specialty health care to low income residents of Baltimore City and the surrounding area. BMS operates six community-based clinics and eight school-based clinics, serving nearly 50,000 patients annually. This grant supports BMS's family planning program by providing funds to purchase long-acting reversible contraceptives for uninsured patients.
Baltimore Outreach Services
Baltimore Outreach Services (BOS) operates a 40-bed emergency women and children shelter at Christ Lutheran Church, in Federal Hill. The organization also offers case management, transitional housing, educational programming, health and mental health services, job training, and employment services. This grant helped sustain BOS’ various supportive services offered to up to 250 women and children a year, including successfully placing 20 women into jobs.
Benefits Data Trust
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national nonprofit organization that assists low income individuals to access state and federal aid programs to meet their financial needs. BDT leverages partnerships with government agencies to conduct outreach to individuals who may be eligible for government assistance programs that they are not currently recieving. Using highly trained screening and enrollment staff and customized technology, BDT screens these individuals to assess their eligibility for a range of public benefit programs and assists them to enroll in those programs for which they are eligible, helping to lift them out of poverty. BDT operates programs in six states. This grant supports BDT's Maryland Benefits Center.
Catholic Charities, Inc.
The Samaritan Center – a project of Catholic Charities – offers to help people resolve emergency needs and increase self-sufficiency through information and referral services, direct financial assistance, and advocacy. This grant supported the Traveler’s Aid program, which offers travel vouchers to 175 people annually experiencing a crisis that requires travel to a new location. Voucher recipients are typically unemployed adults in search of employment, substance-use treatment, family reunification, or fleeing an abusive relationship.
Drink at the Well
Drink at the Well operates a drop-in center to address the needs of vulnerable women in the Curtis Bay community in South Baltimore. Known as The Well, the center offers case management, mentoring, support groups, job skills and financial literacy training, food and clothing, and flexible financial assistance to meet the needs of women in the community. In 2018, The Well launched a social enterprise known as Hon's Honey, which sells locally-sourced honey and honey-based skin care products and provides employment opportunities for women in The Well's mentoring program. This grant provides operating support for Hon's Honey.
Erin Levitas Foundation
The mission of the Erin Levitas Foundation is to reduce the incidence of sexual assault and increase support for those who have experienced it. This grant aims to double the number of seventh graders in Baltimore City receiving the Levitas Initiative's research-based program for sexual assault prevention and to support the staff and evaluation work necessary to ultimately bring the program to scale in Baltimore City and beyond.
Franciscan Center, Inc.
The Franciscan Center has served the indigent, homeless and working poor of Battimore since 1968. Throughout the Center's 51 years of service, it has expanded its programs in direct response to the needs of its community. Funding from the Abell Foundation will support on-going emergency services for families in crisis including food, clothing, eviction prevention, utility assistance, and emergency health services.
Health Care for the Homeless, Inc.
Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) provides a full range of health care services to homeless individuals in Maryland, operating three full-service clinics, a mobile clinic, and several satellite locations that together serve over 10,000 patients. This grant supports HCH's dental program, which provides comprehensive dental care to approximately 1,400 patients in three locations in Baltimore City.
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.
Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc.
Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP) provides free legal services to homeless individuals throughout the state of Maryland. This grant supports HPRP's Homeless Youth Initiative, which provides direct representation to unaccompanied homeless youth on a range of legal needs, and advocates for policy solutions to youth homelessness in Maryland.
Intercultural Counseling Connection
The Intercultural Counseling Connection (ICC) is a network of mental health professionals who partner with trained interpreters to provide pro bono therapeutic care and counseling to refugees, asylum seekers, and other forced migrants. With a cadre of about 30 trained therapists, the ICC serves over 100 individuals every year with trauma-informed and culturally competent 1:1 and group counseling sessions to address their psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. This grant helped support ICC’s general operations, which prioritizes serving uninsured individuals who do not receive federal benefits or supportive services from refugee resettlement agencies and would otherwise lack access to appropriate mental health services.
Johns Hopkins University
Vision for Baltimore is an innovative citywide partnership designed to improve vision screening and follow-up care for Baltimore City public school students. Launched in 2016, Vision for Baltimore screened over 50,000 students during its first three years, provided approximately 9,000 eye examinations to students who failed the vision screenings, and provided more than 6,000 free pairs of eyeglasses to city students. Partners in Vision for Baltimore include the Baltimore City Health Department, which conducts the vision screenings, nonprofit Vision to Learn, which provides eye examinations and eyeglasses in a mobile clinic that visits schools throughout the city, Baltimore City Public Schools, which provides logistical support to ensure that children can be screened and receive follow-up care, and Johns Hopkins University, which provides staff support to ensure that children are able to access the services and encourages students who receive glasses to wear them consistently. This grant provides operating support for year four of Vision for Baltimore.
Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
In 2015, Maryland Legal Aid launched the Lawyer in the Library program to provide legal services clinics in Baltimore City libraries, in an effort to make legal services more accessible to people in the community. Part of Legal Aid's "community lawyering" initiative, the Lawyer in the Library program operates clinics on a regular basis in eight Baltimore City library branches, offering legal advice and representation on a range of civil legal matters. This grant provides operating support for the Lawyer in the Library program.
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.
Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc.
In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law creating a new program to identify people who are eligible for but not enrolled in health insurance, and provide support to assist them in enrolling in affordable insurance plans. When fully implemented over the next few years, this new "Easy Enrollment" program is projected to enroll 50,000 currently uninsured people in Medicaid, 70,000 in fully subsidized private insurance, and 100,000 in partially subsidized private insurance. This grant funds the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative to conduct outreach and public education to support the Easy Enrollment program and encourage eligible individuals to enroll in affordable health insurance plans.
Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank's School Food Pantry program operates food banks in schools that serve large populations of families living in poverty, including approximately 100 Baltimore City public schools. The program delivers food to each participating school on a monthly basis, including fresh produce and shelf-stable products. All food is provided to families free of charge. This grant supports the continued operation of the School Food Pantry program in Baltimore City.
Maryland MENTOR / Fund for Educational Excellence
Maryland MENTOR was founded in 2018 as the Maryland affiliate of MENTOR: the National Mentoring Partnership. This organization has a mission to increase the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships and to close the mentoring gap across the State and the City of Baltimore by working with mentoring programs serving vulnerable young people. This grant supported Maryland MENTOR’s general expenses, particularly relating to the delivery of technical assistance and trainings on evidence-based mentoring best practices, the launch of the Maryland MENTOR Quality Program Partner pilot initiative, and the execution of targeted outreach to expand the Mentoring Connector database.
Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Inc.
This grant supports a joint effort by Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Moveable Feast, Benefits Data Trust, and Health Management Associates to design and test a new nutrition services model that will enable health insurers and other health care providers to contract with community based organizations to provide nutritional services for patients. The project seeks to capitalize on increasing interest in, and opportunities for, the health care sector to partner with community organizations to meet non-medical needs of patients that have significant impacts on health, often referred to as "social determinants of health." Food insecurity, and lack of access to nutritious food, is one of the major social determinants of health in Baltimore City.
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.
Parks & People Foundation
Parks & People Foundation builds and revitalizes public spaces, supports greening groups and nonprofits with material and grant donations, and hosts out-of-school time programs for city-youth from low-income backgrounds that integrate environmental education, outdoor experiences, and social-emotional development. This grant supported the middle school sports program, which provides public school students after-school athletic enrichment with an integrated character development curriculum. Sports offered using a non-traditional model include soccer, baseball, volleyball, kickball, basketball, and flag football.
Paul's Place, Inc.
For more than 35 years, Paul's Place has been providing services to meet the basic needs of the residents of Pigtown and other Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods including nutritious hot meals, comprehensive emergency assistance, adult literacy, health services, and case management. Fundng from the Abell Foundation will help Paul's Place sustain its Access to Healthy Food Program which includes the hot lunch program (serving 150-200 guests daily) and acting as a distribution site for the Department of Social Services emergency food program providing 3-5 days of shelf stable food for individuals and families.
Public Justice Center, Inc.
The Public Justice Center's Health and Benefits Rights project works to improve access to crtical services for vulnerable individuals throughout the state, through a combination of research, education, advocacy,and litigation. Over the coming year, the project will focus on three key priorities: 1) reducing maternal mortality, with a specific focus on reducing racial disparities in maternal mortality; 2) monitoring and enforcing state and federal laws requiring Maryland to pay for treatment of Hepatitis C for individuals on Medicaid; and 3) ensuring that state agencies and private healthcare providers are complying with state and federal language access laws that require the provision of translation and interpretation services for people with limited English proficiency. This grant supports the salary of the Health and Benefits Rights attorney, and associated project expenses.
Public Justice Center, Inc.
The Public Justice Center (PJC) is a nonprofit, legal services, and advocacy organization that addresses social justice, economic and race equity, and fundamental human rights for individuals in Maryland. With funding from the Abell Foundation, PJC has led a multi-year campaign to research and advocate for changes in laws and practices that limit tenants' rights and deny due process in eviction cases in Baltimore City's rent court. As a member of the Renters United Maryland coalition, PJC has been advocating for a legal right to counsel for tenants facing eviction. This grant will fund a study of the cost-effectiveness of providing counsel to tenants in eviction cases in Baltimore City.
Shepherd’s Clinic offers primary and specialty medical care to uninsured adults by leveraging an extensive network of volunteer doctors, nurses and other health professionals. On-site specialty services include cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, women’s health, diabetes management, mental health, and wellness services. The clinic seeks to increase access to health care services for the uninsured, manage chronic diseases, and improve health and well-being. This grant provided Shepherd’s Clinic with general operating support.
SquashWise, founded in 2007 and a member of the Squash + Education Alliance, is a year-round after-school athletic and academic program serving 75 Baltimore City public middle and high school students. Program activities include squash and fitness instruction, tutoring, academic enrichment, college preparation, mentoring, service learning, counseling, career development, and travel. As a long-term program that engages youth up to age 25, SquashWise supports an additional 20 alumni participants in college and in the workforce.
St. Francis Neighborhood Center
The St. Francis Neighborhood Center has served the Reservoir Hill neighborhood since 1963 with after-school and summer programming for community youth. This grant will further support the renovation and expansion of their 125-year-old three-story town home at 2405 Linden Avenue with a new 12,000 sq. ft. facility (including five classrooms, a study hall and library, a café and kitchen, two meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, an art studio, and an expanded computer lab.) The $5.5 million expansion is anticipated to be complete in Fall 2020.
St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Inc.
Launched in 2014, St. Vincent de Paul's Front Door program provides short-term rent subsidies coupled with housing search assistance, intensive case management, and employment support to homeless families in Baltimore City. Over the past five years, the program has placed over 250 families into privately owned housing, and almost all remained housed one year after exiting the program. St. Vincent de Paul tailors services to the needs of each family to ensure that the families achieve stability and are able to remain housed. While the housing costs are covered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Abell Foundation grant funds pay for furniture, moving costs, and miscellaneous costs associated with eliminating barriers to employment.
Tahirih Justice Center
The Tahirih Justice Center represents immigrant women and girls seeking protection from gender-based human rights abuses, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence. This grant supports Tahirih's Baltimore office, which provided legal services to 231 clients and case management support to 71 clients in 2018. In addition, Tahirih trains and works closely with an extensive network of pro bono attorneys who expand the reach of Tahirih's small staff.
TeamTime, fiscally sponsored by Strong City Baltimore
Founded in 2013 by a former City Schools Health and Physical Education teacher, TeamTime (formerly known as NEWfit) has rapidly emerged as the largest provider of structured play (recess) and afterschool sports programming for elementary and middle school children in Baltimore City. Last year, their programs served 4,500 elementary and middle school students in 75 Baltimore City Public Schools. This grant will support TeamTime's programming and the development and implementation of an evaluation plan.
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development's African American Neuroscience Research Initiative (AANRI) is designed to close a gap in neuroscience research in the African American community. This grant supports activities related to the launch of the AANRI.
The Samaritan Community
The Samaritan Community provides assistance to meet the needs of families and individuals who are in crisis and wish to improve their lives. This grant supported the Crisis Intervention Assistance and Empowerment programs, which include a food pantry, clothing and household goods, financial assistance, case management, and individual and group counseling. Other services include access to a computer room and referrals to other agencies, including health and mental health clinics, drug treatment providers, and employment programs.
United Way of Central Maryland, Inc.
The United Way’s Homelessness Prevention Program works to identify and quickly stabilize families when they enter crisis – then provide coaching and support to help them increase their income and become more self-sufficient. This grant helped launch a new program site at James McHenry Elementary/Middle School that serves 20 families a year and assists students in avoiding disruptive school transfers. The project is in collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Youth Empowered Society
Opened in 2012, the YES drop-in center serves homeless youth ages 14 to 25, providing counseling, peer support, connections to resources, and a safe place for the youth to meet their basic human needs. Services provided by YES staff include employment counseling and job placement support; assistance accessing housing; case management; assistance accessing public benefits; and connections to educational programs. In addition, YES partners with other organizations to provide services on site at the Center, including health care, insurance enrollment, pro bono legal services, GED classes and parenting support.. In FY 2019, the YES Center served 323 unique individuals. This grant supports the Center's operations.
Adopt a Block, Inc.
Adopt a Block distributes over 300,000 pounds of food a year to more than 45 shelters, soup kitchens, pantries and partnering agencies in Baltimore City. Adopt A Block has weekly scheduled pickups with corporate partners and secures items that are donated by individuals, typically within a 24-48 hour turnaround window. A box truck will be purchased to facilitate the collection and distribution of items to partners and individuals served by the organization.
Adopt a Block, Inc.
The Compassion Commission program teaches 300 young people ages 11 to 25 to look beyond their lives and be a positive influence to low-income inner-city children and adults. This is achieved through a weeklong series of activities focused in East Baltimore that provides an experience that fosters leadership, promotes volunteerism, and develops an interest in the welfare of others. Adopt A Block will acquire, renovate, and donate a formerly vacant Baltimore City home to a family led by a resident leader in the community in East Baltimore.
American Communities Trust, Inc.
American Communities Trust partners with organizations to create community investment strategies that maximize community benefit and encourage long-¬term partnerships and accountability. The Last Mile Park pilot project will increase public safety through improved lighting and activation of a new public space. This grant provides support for implementation and engineering documents.
Baltimore Community ToolBank
Baltimore Community ToolBank provides member organizations with access to tools and other items for use in community clean-ups, festivals, and other projects for a nominal fee. The ToolBank’s Environmental Education project will develop a formal curriculum and educational programming for visitors. It will highlight the ToolBank’s use of 600,000 gallons of stormwater runoff collected annually in water cisterns and use of native plants and landscaping at its warehouse. he programming will educate visitors and inspire them to undertake similar stormwater management projects.
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 Development Corporation
For Baltimore to both attract Opportunity Zone investments and ensure such investments benefit community residents and businesses, the Opportunity Zone Coordinator provides a valuable resource and competitive advantage to connect Opportunity Zone investors with projects and to connect projects to critical financing. Baltimore has been nationally recognized as one of the first cities to have a designated point person for the Opportunity Zone program. The grant covers the second year of the Coordinator's salary.
Baltimore Development Corporation
Baltimore is one of five US cities participating in the International Urban Cooperation City-to-City program, a global initiative funded by the European Union. This program is a component of a long-term EU strategy to foster sustainable urban development in cooperation with the public and private sectors. Baltimore has been paired with Turin, Italy, and the two cities will meet to advance discussions in four areas of mutual concern. Funding from Abell will support travel expenses associated with the Baltimore delegation’s fall 2019 trip to Turin.
Baltimore Green Space
Baltimore Green Space (BGS) is Baltimore’s environmental land trust. It promotes vibrant neighborhoods and a healthy environment through land preservation, research, and community advocacy. This grant provides support for BGS staff efforts to coordinate forest care education to at least 300 Baltimore City residents through workshops and continue to study the value of forest patches for storm water management, heat island effects, wildlife, and climate resilience.
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.