Front and Center: A Five Year Equity Plan
CBP partners, Steering Committee, and staff are committed to ensuring that everyone benefits from the revitalization of Central Baltimore, especially the most disadvantaged residents. This value is included in the 2012 Homewood Community Partners Initiative but to emphasize its priority in all of our work, we launched Front and Center: A Five Year Equity Plan for Central Baltimore.
Front and Center aims to improve access to economic and social opportunity and focuses on six Central Baltimore neighborhoods, where many families are still struggling to improve their lives. The six neighborhoods include Barclay, Charles North, Greenmount West, Harwood, Old Goucher, and Remington.
To hear from the people most directly affected by these hardships, we embarked on a resident-driven engagement process in 2016, including community forums, focus groups, and over 200 resident surveys. In keeping with our partnership model, we also engaged organizations who provide direct services to these families and experts familiar with the most effective approaches to equitable development.
Front and Center addresses the following needs which were identified in the community planning process:
- Essential support services for youth and families;
- Job training, hiring, and small business opportunities;
- Health and mental health care;
- New recreation activities; and
- Decent affordable housing.
Some current initiatives are:
- Coordination of out-of-school activities offered by community centers, schools, and other youth service providers;
- Assistance in eliminating barriers to employment, including training stipends, transportation, and criminal record expungement;
- A strategy to pre-empt chronic health conditions and preventable injuries;
- Improved public spaces and community activities; and
- Identification of and assistance to longtime homeowners in need of critical home repairs.
Funding for Front and Center has been provided by the Wells Fargo Foundation, working with our Steering Committee Members, Strong City Baltimore, and Jubilee Baltimore.