Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

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Past Grants

The following grants are in excess of $5,000 and were awarded in 2021.

Community Development

Patterson Park Audubon Center

Baltimore, MD

Patterson Park Audubon Center leads hands-on activities that connect a multicultural community with nature in an urban setting. It empowers neighbors through action projects to enhance bird habitat and improve quality of life in Baltimore. Bird-Friendly Baltimore is PPAC’s effort to increase bird-friendly infrastructure in Baltimore.  It will create bird-friendly buildings and community-based gardens. Up to 1 million migrating birds die each year due to collisions with buildings, especially in dense cities like Baltimore. PPAC’s bird-friendly buildings activities will include: connecting with municipal leaders to explore policy opportunities; establishing relationships with downtown building managers to reduce reflectivity of surfaces, up-lighting, and unnecessary use of lights at night, particularly during migration. PPAC will also work with partners in targeted neighborhoods to explore their interest in bird and butterfly garden development. Two community-centered, bird-friendly gardens will be designed, facilitated, and planted. This grant will support staff costs for the launch of the Bird-Friendly Baltimore initiative.

Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

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 online tool and targeted outreach via postcard. This grant will support staff and project expenses associated with the Tax Sale Prevention Project.

Public Justice Center, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

Public Justice Center is leading a multi-year campaign to advocate for changes in laws and practices that limit tenants' rights and deny due process to tenants in Baltimore City's Rent Court, which results in more than one in 17 renter households being evicted each year.. According to a 2020 Stout Risius Ross, LLC report on right to counsel for Baltimore tenants facing eviction, 96% of landlords have lawyers or specialized agents in eviction cases, while only 1% of tenants do. This grant supports PJC's Rent Court Reform and Eviction Prevention Initiative, which employs a combination of litigation, administrative advocacy, and legislative advocacy to advance the rights of tenants in Baltimore, prevent evictions and reduce household insecurity.  

Purpose Built Communities Cherry Hill Initiative, Fiscally Sponsored by Dream Big Foundation

Crownsville, MD

The Dream BIG Foundation is the lead partner in the effort to formally establish the Purpose Built Communities – Cherry Hill Initiative. It is a three pronged placed-based community revitalization effort focused on mixed income housing, community wellness, and cradle-to-college education pipeline. This grant will support expenses associated with the recruitment and hiring of key staff who will cultivate and coordinate investments in the three pillars of the Purpose Built Model.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Baltimore, MD

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation’s largest trails and active transportation organization, dedicated to connecting people and places by trail, many from former rail lines. RTC is leading community partners, anchor institutions, and Baltimore City government in the planning and implementation of the 35-mile Baltimore Greenway Trails Network loop, which was formally adopted by the Planning Commission as part of the City’s Green Network Plan in 2018. The Greenway encompasses Baltimore’s downtown area and, when finished, will link more than 75 neighborhoods. This grant will support staff costs and efforts to develop design standards and guidelines for the interconnected parks and trails of the Baltimore Greenway, implement a trail count program, and implement an equitable development planning process now to ensure residents’ needs remain a priority.

ReBuild Metro

Baltimore, MD

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.

The No Boundaries Coalition

Baltimore, MD

No Boundaries Coalition addresses food insecurity, increases availability of fresh produce, and helps limit the transmission of COVID through home delivery in Sandtown and surrounding Central West Baltimore neighborhoods. Grant funding will support operations of their fresh produce stall at Avenue Market, expansion of a buying club for home delivery of food and essential supplies, a salad garden distribution program for residents to grow their own fresh greens at home, and promotion of SNAP benefits.

The York Road Partnership, Fiscally Sponsored by GEDCO

Baltimore, MD

For many years, the York Road Partnership (YRP) has worked along and across York Road to develop a long-term vision to improve the commercial corridor, reverse the long-term trend of disinvestment, and support adjacent neighborhoods. The corridor is currently characterized by high commercial vacancy and a lack of community-focused retail. Support for an "Invest York Road" initiative will create a crowdfunding tool to raise local, community capital for acquisition, renovation, ownership and leasing of vacant and under-utilized commercial buildings along York Road in Greater Govans.

Venture For America

New York, NY

Venture for America (VFA) strengthens entrepreneurship, business formation, and economic growth by attracting top talent college graduates to work in start-up and early-stage companies. Since 2013, VFA has matched 148 Fellows with full-time employment in nearly 60 high-growth companies and startups in Baltimore. Additionally they have supported the launch of 16 Fellow-founded companies in Baltimore. Of the 209 Fellows selected nationally for company matches in 14 cities in 2021, 57% identify as people of color, 52% are female or gender nonconforming, and 24% are first generation college students. VFA expects 21 Fellows to begin two-year fellowships in start-up companies in Baltimore in fall 2021.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Baltimore, MD

Guided by the view that judicial remedies due to environmental harms should be the same for everyone, regardless of income, race, or ethnicity, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, in partnership with Chesapeake Legal Alliance and Center for Progressive Reform, plans to research, draft and release a joint report on the legal hurdles to communities and individuals attempting to sue on pollution matters in Maryland. The report will document the challenges in meeting the standing requirements for suits on environmental matters in Maryland state courts despite broad rights intended by federal environmental legislation. The report will provide a series of policy recommendations that the three organizations will elevate with media coverage, outreach to community groups, and education of elected officials in the Maryland General Assembly. 

Whitelock Community Farm / Fusion Partnerships, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

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 will support activities and programming that will increase the levels of healthy, affordable food available to residents in Penn North and Reservoir Hill; and improve Farm operational efficiencies and reduce food waste.

Criminal Justice & Addiction

Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, Fiscally Sponsored by Fusion Partnerships, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

The Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition (BHRC) is the largest harm reduction organization in the State of Maryland.  Funding from the Abell Foundation will support its work to bring Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS) to Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. 

Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore, MD

Funding from the Abell Foundation will support the Baltimore Police Deparment's efforts to send eight BPD leaders to the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP).  SMIP is a program of the Police Executive Leadership Forum (PERF) that provides police executives with intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government.  It is designed for mid-upper level police executives who will ultimately serve in leading roles in their police agencies.

From Prison Cells to PhD, Inc

Baltimore, MD

From Prison Cells to PhD was created in 2016 to help people with criminal convictions obtain employment and/or postsecondary education (PSE).  Clients receive workforce development training, career readiness skills, college application/readiness assistance, and 1-2 years or more of mentoring.  Funding from the Abell Foundation will support its Prison to Professional (P2P) program providing these services to individuals recently released from the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC). P2P will serve 80 individuals in several cohorts over the next year virtually and if restrictions allow at some point in-person.

Helping Up Mission, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

Abell funding will support the Helping Up Mission (HUM) in its development of a Women's and Children’s Center at 1216 E. Baltimore Street in Baltimore City.  The Women's Center will provide a gender-informed, residential, faith-based, 12-step substance abuse recovery program set within the context of a therapeutic supportive community. Clients will be provided with clinical professional mental health care and substance abuse counseling, professional pastoral care, and a large array of physical, psychological, social, emotional, and practical supportive services so that they can focus on their recovery and achieve lasting success. 

Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR)

Baltimore, MD

IAHR represents people of faith who educate and advocate in Maryland, DC and Virginia for corrections systems that avoid unnecessarily punitive practices such as solitary confinement and that instead focus on rehabilitation and successful reentry.  Funding from the Abell Foundation will allow IAHR to continue working with its Maryland partners on and ending the practice of solitary confinement in Maryland.

No Struggle No Success, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

No Struggle No Success is a newly established reentry program in Baltimore City serving adults and youth between 14-18 years of age.  These individuals must have served time in prison facilities, detention centers and/or committed into a juvenile facility in the State of Maryland.  NSNS will provide comprehensive case management and access to services such as assistance in obtaining state ID and social security cards, birth certificates, benefits, transportation, housing, employment, and referrals to behavioral health programs.

Office of the Mayor

Baltimore, MD

Funding from the Abell Foundation will support the salary of a Warrant Service Analyst who will assist with evaluating and reconfiguring Baltimore City's warrant service to focus on violent and repeat offenders.  By prioritizing warrants, the Police Department and the Sheriff's Department increase the likelihood that law enforcement will catch violent and repeat offenders and will help both agencies more effectively deploy limited resources.

Office of the Mayor

Baltimore, MD

Funding from the Abell Foundation will support the salary of a Warrant Service Analyst who will assist with evaluating and reconfiguring Baltimore City's warrant service to focus on violent and repeat offenders.  By prioritizing warrants, the Police Department and the Sheriff's Department increase the likelihood that law enforcement will catch violent and repeat offenders and will help both agencies more effectively deploy limited resources.

PREPARE Prepare for Parole and Reentry, Fiscally Sponsored by Fusion Partnerships, Inc.

Baltimore, MD

PREPARE, formerly the Second Chance for Women (SCW), assists inmates in the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) to prepare for parole hearings.  Abell is supporting a full-time position to assist PREPARE to expand its efforts to serve more people in the prison system, including men.  As part of this expansion, volunteers will be trained to work directly with individuals on their parole packets and reentry planning. 


Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, Fiscally Sponsored by Baltimore Civic Fund

Baltimore, MD

Climate change already affects communities, from worsening asthma and other respiratory problems to spurring heat waves and other extreme weather. Disadvantaged and marginalized communities bear a disproportionate burden of climate change impacts. Recognizing this, Baltimore City will undertake an Update to the Climate Action Plan (CAP), first completed in 2012. Abell funding will be used for the design and implementation of an equitable community engagement strategy for the CAP Update.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Annapolis, MD

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) initiated oyster gardening efforts as a nature-based solution to pollution with the knowledge that a single adult oyster can filter and clean up to 50 gallons of water per day and oyster beds provide essential habitat for fish and other Bay creatures. The oysters will be grown on a novel solar powered and automated production system on a floating platform to replenish native oyster populations at Fort Carroll. CBF will provide a complementary environmental education and oyster gardening workshops to teachers and community members on the restoration challenges of the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Legal Alliance

Annapolis, MD

The Baltimore region, with its long history of polluting industrial practices, segregation, and racism, has a legacy not only of serious water pollution, but of disparate impact on proximate fenceline communities, neighborhoods which are primarily comprised of Black residents, people of color and residents with low incomes. Chesapeake Legal Alliance (CLA) will provide free legal services and train private attorneys to engage with community members on pro-bono environmental cases to reduce industrial discharge pollution through enforcement of permits in compliance with the Clean Water Act. 

Environment America Research & Policy Center

Washington, DC

Maryland needs to quickly ramp up its solar siting and production to meet statewide goals. As suggested in the Abell Report “Getting Solar Siting Right in Maryland,” rooftops and parking lots of big box stores are ideal for solar energy installations as they build on already-developed infrastructure and do not disturb undeveloped, productive agricultural or forested land. Grant funds will enable Environment America to conduct research on the viability of rooftop solar on big-box retail stores in Maryland and other states and launch an advocacy campaign to encourage corporate investment in solar installations in Baltimore and Maryland.