The Port Covington Development Team announced today that it has invested $2.5 million in South Baltimore community organizations over the past year, as part of community benefit agreements with six South Baltimore neighborhoods.
This latest round of grants includes 12 macro grants totaling $815,000 and 25 micro grants totaling $262,000. Macro grants went to organizations working on initiatives that would bring positive change to at least two of six South Baltimore neighborhoods — Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mount Winans and Westport — while micro grants went to organizations working on smaller projects.
The SB7 Coalition, a nonprofit organization comprised of representatives from each of the six communities as well as representatives from the Port Covington Development Project, selects grant recipients from a pool of applicants; Nonprofit criteria include feasibility, schedule, potential for future expansion, ability to impact multiple SB7 neighborhoods, and more.
One organization that received money in this round of grants was the South Baltimore Community Land Trust, an organization focused on rehabilitating vacant homes in Cherry Hill and Curtis Bay through an environmental justice framework.
Melanie Thomas, the organization’s executive director, said it received $125,000 from the Port Covington Development Team, which will go toward 15 homes the Community Land Trust is currently working on redeveloping. Thomas said the grant will be used to fund various construction costs.
“It’s just a start – $125,000, it’s not going to go very far, but it’s a start and we’re doing what we can with the limited resources we have so far,” he said. “We need a lot more to be able to fully scale.”
The company hopes to complete seven of the 15 houses by the end of this year.
Additionally, the latest round includes $250,000 in capacity-building funding for each of the six neighborhoods. The funds will be used by communities to advance their strategic plans and improve their organizational capacity.
The $2.5 million is the Port Covington Development Team’s most recent contribution to the South Baltimore neighborhood, after executing a community benefits agreement in 2016 that promised the developer to fund nearly $39 million over 20 years for both neighborhood and citywide priorities.
So far, the team has invested a total of $19 million in that commitment.
“This fund is the latest example of the Port Covington Development Team delivering on their commitment to support and work with our community,” said Mike Middleton, chair of the SB7 Coalition, in a press release. “I’m excited to call them a true partner and look forward to seeing how this investment positively impacts our community.”