CATONSVILLE, MD (March 21, 2016) – Charlestown retirement community residents are now involved in volunteer projects to help the Sandtown neighborhood of Baltimore City rebuild. The resident-run Baltimore Unrest Work Group is focusing its efforts on the following categories:
Advocacy and Housing
Two Communities Coming Together
Representatives from the Advocacy and Housing group attended the Baltimore City Mayoral Candidate Forum at Coppin State College on March 13. The forum highlighted Charlestown reaching out to the Sandtown community. Nineteen residents joined more than 700 people in attendance.
Representatives the Two Communities Coming Together group April 16 will take a shuttle bus from Charlestown to Sandtown to participate in the neighborhood's Block Party, a festive day of music, food and activities. They will also assist in voter registration.
The Funding group came into being because some Charlestown residents said they cannot be active volunteers but are willing to financially support Sandtown projects. Financial donations will be deposited in a special fund at Charlestown until a funding team is organized to evaluate and select specific projects to support.
The Education group this fall will explore what might be done with New Song Community Learning Center once the school's new Executive Director is recruited.
Charlestown resident efforts to help Sandtown began earlier this year at a forum held on the retirement community's campus in which the Baltimore Unrest Work Group invited leaders from Sandtown to speak about their work and plans to rebuild their community. The overall theme for the meeting was to listen, learn, and understand.
Sandtown representatives came from New Song Community Learning Center, which has addressed educational needs since 1991; Habitat for Humanity, which has refurbished many homes in Sandtown; Newborn Holistic Ministries, a church which has spurred many projects; No Boundaries Coalition, a resident led advocacy group working on safety, voter turnout, and youth work; and Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), a non-partisan, interfaith, multiracial community organization.
About 100 Charlestown residents attending the forum divided into discussion groups for questions, answers and comments. Fifty-five Charlestown residents indicated they wanted more information.