two people working on repairing the roof of a gazebo
Photo from the SBGP Instagram page.

South and Southwest Baltimore communities are receiving an influx of financial support to the tune of $671,918 in community grants to support projects and programs in multiple neighborhoods, thanks to the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP).

The neighborhoods that will benefit from this grant money include Cherry Hill, Federal Hill, Otterbein, Pigtown, Sharp-Leadenhall, and others. The partnership is governed by a board of directors made up of residents and business owners from the area.

Funding for these grants is provided by the Local Impact Grants generated by video lottery terminals, including at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore. SBGP was established in 2016 to help administer the funds generated by the terminals so that they improved the communities surrounding the casinos that created the revenue.

The partnership focuses on environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and community development and revitalization in the area southwest of Horseshoe Casino. Since its inception, “SBGP has committed approximately $30.9 million of core intergovernmental Local Impact Grant funds to projects across the SBGP District, ranging from small community grants to large capital projects,” according to the press release announcing the funding.

One program that will benefit is MedStar Harbor Hospital’s Mobile Community Health Center.

“Bringing vital healthcare services beyond hospital walls to historically underserved communities is essential to MedStar Harbor Hospital’s goals for community health in South Baltimore. We’re thrilled to receive support from SBGP, which will allow us to expand access to quality care through our Mobile Health Center,” said Jill Donaldson, president of MedStar Harbor Hospital. “This generous grant will support the funding of a bilingual Community Health Advocate and Mobile Health Center operations as it journeys to locations to deliver health screenings and preventative services. Together with SBGP, we’re making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors.”

Betty Bland-Thomas, president of Historic Sharp-Leadenhall, spoke of programs in her neighborhoods that increase knowledge and access to resources.

“Our mission of community engagement through active resident participation in programs and events will be greatly expanded through this grant funding. We’re looking forward to engaging neighbors with a Heritage Festival, as well as a new website for people to learn more about Historic Sharp-Leadenhall, walking tours, neighborhood resources, and year-round community events,” said Bland-Thomas.

In Federal Hill and Federal Hill South, the funds will help Baltimore Outreach Services continue to provide access to resources for their community members.

“We’re excited that our Shelter Youth Education program has been funded for the 2023 – 2024 academic year,” said Yvonne Terry, executive director for Baltimore Outreach Services. “Our organizational goals include providing the resources and services necessary to increase stability for the families we serve and enhance their quality of life, which includes the children’s education programs. Including support for family quiet time for connection, this grant will also fund after-school programs with individualized, board-certified tutoring support for reading, math, and homework.”

Other programs that will benefit from the newly announced funding include:

  • “Reach High Baltimore” will form a new, year-round program, expanding an existing partnership with Restoring Inner City Hope, Inc. (RICH) that engages Baltimore City School students in the sport of rowing. Funding will be used to cover costs related to staffing, additional equipment, transportation, uniforms, and overhead expenses supporting this program at the boathouse. (Baltimore Community Rowing, Cherry Hill)
  • “Boosting Community Wellness” will support operating expenses to expand existing staff, develop website and communications strategies, and develop a robust infrastructure for community initiatives that address health and wellness, housing, and fitness needs. (Mount Winans Community Association, Mount Winans & Lakeland)
  • The “Pride II: Free Sails for Gateway Communities” program was developed to ensure access to local waters for all Baltimoreans, promote historical maritime education, support health and recreation, and encourage environmental stewardship. During a free, two-hour sail, participants learn about historic tall ship sailing and may participate in raising and lowering the sails. (Pride of Baltimore, Inc., Federal Hill & Pigtown)

A full list of Community Grants awards can be found by clicking this link.

A new round of SBGP Community Grants funding will be available this coming winter in 2024. Visit this link to learn more and apply.

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