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The following grants are in excess of $5,000 and were awarded in 2019.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Banner Neighborhoods Community Corporation
Banner Neighborhoods and Southeast Community Development Corporation are teaming up to ensure a fair, accurate and inclusive 2020 Census count among hard to reach populations of imigrants and seniors in neighborhoods in Southeast and East Baltimore. Outreach efforts include an awareness campaign in schools, door to door visits, presentations at senior centers and senior housing communities, along with Spanish language radio advertising and public service announcements.
Belair-Edison Neighoborhoods, Inc.
Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. (BENI) uses a variety of strategies to support existing renters and homeowners and attract new owner-occupants to its Northeast Baltimore community. BENI facilitates investment in homes, support resident self-management, and ensure that new homeowners are financially well informed and prepared to manage the realities of owning a home. BENI will provide financial education counseling including pre-purchase, post-purchase, and foreclosure counseling to city residents, and support existing homeowners with home improvements and other efforts to increase the value of and equity in their homes.
Beloved Community Services Corporation
Beloved Community Services Corporation, led by Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, aims to provide the tools necessary to bridge the knowledge, economic, educational, digital and political gaps that cause many of the social issues that plague Baltimore. This grant is in support of conducting research on Baltimore City residents’ attitudes on public safety initiatives, with the goal of improving safety and security in Baltimore City.
Civic Works, Inc.
Civic Works' Retrofit Baltimore program offers weatherization, home energy efficiency and health & safety improvements to low and moderate income households. Utilizing competitive Maryland Energy Administration funding and BGE utility rebates, the program expects to complete 100 energy audits, energy efficient weatherization improvements in 50 homes, and bedbug remediation in 50 homes and screen all households for property tax credits, water bill discounts and federal nutrition benefits. The grant covers expenses for staff to promote the program, screen applicants for benefits, establish scopes of work, manage contract implementation, and ensure quality control.
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.
Farm Alliance of Baltimore, Inc.
Farm Alliance of Baltimore City will offer a Double Dollars program to incentivize households receiving federal food benefits to spend their dollars on fruits and vegetables at local farm stands and the Civic Works’ mobile market. The target population for this project is low-income adults and children who live in Healthy Food Priority Areas, or areas with high food insecurity, and who remain at a significant disadvantage as they have unequal access to resources, especially healthy nutritious food.
Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch will provide research, education and advocacy around issues of affordability of water and wastewater consumption in Baltimore City by low income customers. Grant funding will be used toward best practices information from a research consultant and expert on utility affordability, the production and distribution of educational and promotional materials, and staff costs of outreach, civic engagement and community education about water utility customer affordability issues.
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has built or renovated 750 homes and helped qualifying low-income families to move into homeownership with energy-efficient, affordable homes with zero-interest mortgages. The organization with acquiring, renovating, and selling 12 homes in the Station East Community in East Baltimore, and create homeownership opportunities in this quickly changing community for families with household incomes of 30%-50% of the Area Median Income.
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.
Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Inc.
ICIC will bring Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) to Baltimore, a business technical assistance program started in 2005 to help urban entrepreneurs better position themselves to access capital, increase revenues, grow their businesses and create jobs. The program specifically targets companies located in areas with high rates of poverty and unemployment, and they accept businesses that draw 40 percent of their employment from economically distressed communities. Grant funds will be used for stipends and travel of business school professors and finance professionals providing the training in Baltimore City.
Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering
The Baltimore Healthcare Innovator Retention Program fellowship stipends enable talented Johns Hopkins University biomedical engineering students to continue working on promising healthcare innovations after they complete their graduate studies. These teams of Fellows operative as virtual startups creating commercially viable products, seeking follow-on funding, and creating new companies. The program maximizes the translation of discovery and invention from the University biomedical program into income-generating companies which have the potential to generate local employment.
Latino Economic Development Center
Latino Economic Development Center offers access to business resources and capital to meet the needs of underserved communities and communities of color in Baltimore. Their small business coaches provide one-on-one technical assistance and workshops/courses related to business planning, financial management, incorporation, licensing and permitting, accounting, marketing, and technology integration. Lending staff are trained to provide micro-loans ranging from $500 to $50,000 and larger loans up to $250,000.
Maryland Hemp Education Corp.
Maryland Hemp Educational Corporation was newly formed to provide the public with research, information and educational resources on industrial hemp and to promote the development of a hemp industry in Maryland. Recent changes in law allows the cultivation and sale of hemp, a crop with wide ranging uses and applications including rope, fabrics, paper, insulation and construction materials, as well as food and beverage products. Education and outreach efforts will include creation of a website, sponsored training and navigating the regulatory process for growing and processing hemp.
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.
Southeast Community Development Corporation
SECDC will consult with the CASH Campaign of Maryland (CASH) for their expertise to provide training and technical assistance to the organization’s housing counseling team. CASH will conduct an analysis of current practices and staff capacity in the area of financial capability. They intend to develop a financial coaching program that is integrated into SECDC’s homeownership counseling service delivery and will train staff in financial coaching techniques to comprehensively serve Baltimore City households, particularly among low income communities of color.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation created a three-year strategy of pooled resources from multiple foundations to strengthen and support inclusive small business development technical assistance providers and Community Development Finance Institution small business lenders in Baltimore City. An annual cohort of six providers will receive staff and consultant support, technology improvements, marketing and fundraising assistance, and reporting system integration to strengthen the pipeline of small businesses qualified for loans in the $50,000 to $250,000 range, particularly focused on entrepreneurs of color.
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.
Venture for America
Venture for America strengthens entrepreneurship, business formation, and economic growth by attracting top talent students to work in start-up and early-stage companies. Since 2013, VFA has placed 110 Fellows in Baltimore City for two-year fellowships with more than 50 high-growth companies and startups, and they have supported the launch of nine Fellow-founded companies. Of 15 participating cities, Baltimore is the second largest program and boasts the highest post-Fellowship retention rate.