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Here’s who, and what, the City of Baltimore’s latest ARPA grants will support

Eight nonprofits received a total of just over $6.6 million in relief funds via the city government. Several are using the funds for STEM- or economic development-specific work.

Baltimore, as seen from a building rooftop. Image by emitea from Pixabay

Several of Baltimore’s best-known nonprofits, including one mixing STEM education with dirt bike culture and another providing job skills training to formerly incarcerated individuals, are among the recipients of six- and seven-figure grants that the office of Mayor Brandon Scott announced yesterday.

The funds, which total just over $6.6 million, are the latest round of disbursements from the $641 million the City of Baltimore received as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs (MORP) awarded the grants to organizations focused on addressing the mayor’s priority pillars of public safety, equitable neighborhood development, youth empowerment and clean and healthy communities. This is the second round of funding that MORP distributed this summer; Last month, nine organizations received grants totaling $7.3 million from the office. Altogether, the city agency has awarded just under $14 million.

These awards are separate grant allocations and applications from the city’s award of $3.4 million to 120 nonprofits through the Baltimore Civic Fund’s Nonprofit Relief Fund.

For some nonprofits, the city’s financial support for work they’ve been doing for years is a long time coming.

“Baltimore’s nonprofit community provides a host of essential services to our communities and is an essential component of our city’s renaissance,” Scott said in a statement. “My administration is committed to supporting these organizations as they support our residents. Together, we will move Baltimore towards a better, brighter future that ensures the safety, economic opportunity and social support for all Baltimoreans regardless of zip code, ethnicity or sexual identity.”

Here are the nonprofits that received the funds, as well as their plans for the money that were outlined in an announcement:

  • B-360 will receive $1.25 million to help provide workforce training and youth STEM education programming in Baltimore. It’s unknown if these funds are unrestricted and can thus go towards the 100K needed to break ground and begin building a B-360 campus.
  • Baltimore Safe Haven will receive $500,000 to provide transitional housing case management and guidance as part of the organization’s efforts to reduce homelessness.
  • Bethel Outreach will receive $1.25 million to complete the interior buildout of its wellness center (which was forced to close because of COVID, a statement said) and provide residents of its Upton neighborhood resources and services centered around food, shelter, healthcare, employment and financial management.
  • Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will receive $275,000 to help bring the theater experience to Baltimore city-based school students and address arts education disparities. The money will cover the cost of transportation and tickets to send Baltimore youth to its Student Matinee Program.
  • The Downtown Partnership will receive $1,600,000 to revitalize Downtown Baltimore’s historic retail core. Funds will support investment in such signature projects as the Downtown BOOST Program with Fearless, Facade Improvement Program, Restaurant Gap Fund and Operation Storefront — all with an emphasis on small and minority-owned businesses.
  • Greater Baltimore Urban League will receive $1,000,000 to provide counseling, case management, employment skills training and certifications for 120 Baltimore residents returning from incarceration.
  • North East Housing Initiative will receive $300,000 to support residents living at 30-50% area median income in northeast Baltimore. The funds will subsidize programs addressing food and housing insecurity along with job readiness training.
  • Soccer Without Borders will receive $450,000 to support operations and academic programs at their community hub in Highlandtown that uses soccer as an entry point to support Latinx youth in southeast Baltimore.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: B-360 / City of Baltimore
People: Brandon Scott

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