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

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Disconnected in Maryland

January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a number of shortcomings in the nation’s social infrastructure, one of which is access to the internet. When school is exclusively online or medical appointments rely principally on telehealth, those without online access are not merely inconvenienced. They are socially excluded, given their limited means to get online. This turns attention to digital inclusion – making sure people can get online from home, with the digital hardware and skills to enable participation in society.

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.

NPower, Inc.

In 2016, with support from the Abell Foundation and others, NPower replicated its IT training program for low-income young adults in Baltimore.  NPower's core training program provides students with 16 weeks of hands-on classroom instruction in hardware and software.  The academic portion focuses on teaching fundamental IT skills, including networking, cloud computing, coding and service management.  Following the classroom instruction, students earn their CompTIA certification and have the option to take additional certificate exams.  NPower participants then enter a seven-week paid intern

Byte Back

Byte Back is a Washington, DC nonprofit organization that trains low-income adults with no computer experience in learning the basic fundamental skills of how to turn on a computer, use a mouse and use Microsoft Office applications.  Byte Back then works step by step with students to build upon those skills, preparing students to earn industry-recognized IT credentials.  Last year, with support from the Abell Foundation, Byte Back expanded its programming to Baltimore.  In 2021, with continued support from Abell, Byte Back plans to enroll 100 Baltimoreans into its classes, with 76 completin

BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc.

Since 1998, with support from the Abell Foundation, BTI has trained over 450 Baltimore City residents as entry-level technicians in the growing bio-pharma industry.  Students first complete BioSTART, BTI’s six-week bridge program, which was started so that BTI could admit students with lower math scores.  Students move on to the Laboratory Associates program, where students continue training for 10 weeks and complete a 100-hour internship.  Of the 40 students to be trained in 2021, BTI estimates that 29 (or 73%) will graduate and of those who graduate, 22 (or 76%) will be placed into resear

Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Inc.

In 2019, Del. Lorig Charkoudian (District 20) introduced legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to limit hospital debt lawsuits for patients owing less than $5000, along with other medical debt lawsuit reforms. The bill did not pass in the abridged session, in part due to concerns that a prohibition may result in unintended consequences for Maryland’s cost-of-care model.

Youth Empowered Society, Fiscally Sponsored by Maryland Philanthropy Network

Opened in 2012, the YES Drop-In Center serves unaccompanied homeless youth ages 14 to 25, offering counseling, peer support, connections to resources and a safe place for the youth to meet their basic needs.  YES staff and partner agencies provide employment counseling and job placement support; assistance accessing housing and public benefits; case management; tutoring; health care; pro bono legal services; and parenting support. In FY 2020, the YES Center served 201 youth.  This grant supports the centers operations.      

Youth Baltimore Uprise, Fiscally Sponsored by Bmore Empowered Inc.

Youth Baltimore Uprise (YBU) is a nonprofit, mentoring organization operating in West Baltimore.  The program is targeted at building leadership, social awareness, and social emotional skills for thirty middle school aged youth who live in the Sandtown/Winchester neighborhood.  The mentorship component of Youth Baltimore Uprise entails regular connections between the six founding members and the thirty students they support.  Student participants will regularly have guest speakers addressing a range of topics.  Each month, students participate in a field trip, providing an opportunity for h

Women's Housing Coalition

Founded in 1979, the Women’s Housing Coalition (WHC) has been at the forefront in the development of housing options and services to low-income and homeless women. Support from the Abell Foundation will bring high speed internet access to its Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units.  The majority of the funding will support the physical wiring of the buildings, and courses to help residents with finding employment and educational offerings such as GED courses.


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