Participating in #bmoregivesmore? Why not give to AdoptAFamily? http://ow.ly/qYO72
By Emma Jornlin
Homesharing is a great option for those who don’t want to live alone. Oftentimes individuals who come to St. Ambrose are looking for a roommate but, for various reasons, don’t want to live with family or close friends.
The benefits of Homesharing abound. On the Home Provider’s part, sharing your house can mean assistance with household expenses, receiving help with chores or, as a recent article in the Chicago Tribune mentioned, just having someone with whom to watch Dancing with the Stars!
On the Home Seeker’s part, moving in with a Home Provider in Baltimore City/County can mean obtaining affordable housing while having the opportunity to share in someone lifestyle or culture—even being welcomed into the family. One of our Home Providers introduces Home Seekers to her grandkids when they visit. Another invites her Homesharers upstairs for Friday night dinners.
For those who don’t like the idea of having to greet someone before they’ve had their coffee or navigating someone shower schedule, private baths and entrances are available for a slightly higher price than the average $450-500/month.
Our goal at St. Ambrose is to match people based on personality and preferences so that our Home Owners find the right person to share their home and our Home Seekers feel genuinely welcome there.
Here is an overview of our process:
- Homeowners apply through our online application or request a mail-in form.
- Homeowners are interviewed in their home.
- Homeseekers are interviewed at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.
- Homesharing staff screen and check references of Home Providers and Home Seekers to make sure they have a clean criminal history, no current addictions, and that they have a good rental history.
- Our Homesharing Counselors discuss and refer possible Homesharers, based on asking rent, location, and other “non-negotiables,” as well as based on personality and likes/dislikes.
- Home Seekers visit the Home Provider’s’ homes until each party decides on a roommate they like.
- Our staff meets with the Homesharers to formalize the match.
- We check in on the match once a quarter for the first year and provide free mediation services if needed.
The Homesharing Department is reachable at: (410) 366-6180 or you can go to www.stambros.org
2203 Guilford Ave has finally been completed and is on the market for sale!!
True move-in condition!
- 3 Bedroom(s)w/ Walk in Closets
- 2 ½ Bath(s)
- 2nd Level Master Suite, with:
> Den or 4th Bedroom
> Laundry Room
> Fabulous Master Bath
- New Modern Eat-In Kitchen, with:
> Stainless Steel Appliances (To be installed upon sale)
> Granite Countertop
- All New Systems
- AHS Warranty
- Contractors Warranties
- Beautiful Hardwood Floors
- Dual Zone HVAC System
- Historic Tax Credit
- Energy Efficient for Low Utility Bills
For more pictures and information on this property, click the link below:
Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service color coded individuals’ ethnicity and dot placed them on a Racial Dot Map. There are over 308,745,538 dots on that map. I found it beautiful and interesting to see where we all live, especially in Baltimore. I was intrigued to see how the map related to the food desserts.
Last week my colleague Phillip Westry told us about the food deserts that exist in Baltimore City. Questions arouse from his article such as; Why do densely populated neighborhoods, comparatively Penn North, Druid Heights, Sandtown-Wincester, not have access to healthy food? Can we base a person’s life expectancy on where they live? Why do we have 68% of our population overweight and obese?
Data that tells us where we live is just data until you enter into other equations, such as food deserts. When you look at the map you can see how the dots interrelate with each other. There are densely populated areas in which mostly African Americans live. Some of the neighborhoods are, Penn North/Reservoir Hill, Upton/Druid Heights, Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park, and Greater Rosemont. The areas that are mostly populated by Caucasians are, Hampden, Medfield, Canton, Guilford, Roland Park and Remington. According to the Baltimore City Health Department Sandtown-Windchester, Harlem Park and Greater Rosemount possess some of the lowest life expectancy, additionally they are located in a food desert. Could their short life spans be caused by lack of proper nutrition?
The Health Department has assisted neighborhoods that are located in a food desert by offering a virtual supermarket; however I would believe that a large demand would equal a large food distributor rushing to meet the neighborhoods’ needs. Not having access to healthy food can be a contributing factor to being both obese and having a low life expectancy, yet we must factor in a neighborhood’s walkabilty, crime, and other influences. Baltimore’s neighborhoods have a rich interwoven history. Many people fought for everyone to have a quality of life no matter their income or race; and one characteristic of quality of life is equal access to food.
Is your neighborhood located in a food desert? @Phillip Westry tells us about the innovative grocery store, Apples and Oranges http://talktostambrose.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/food-is-a-right-not-a-privilege/
By Phillip Westry
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center of a Livable Future define a food desert as an area where the distance to a supermarket is more than ¼ mile, the median household income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level, and over 40% of households have no vehicle available.
All of the statistics aside, living in a food desert is not only inconvenient, but it can be bad for your health. In food deserts the most convenient foods come from fast food establishments and convenience stores. Studies have shown that people who live in food deserts have increased accessibility to low quality, high-fat foods. In Baltimore City food deserts, it’s easier to get Chinese food, fried chicken, a handle of gin or potato chips than it is to get an apple, orange, low-fat milk or kale. In Baltimore City, 68% of the population is either overweight or obese, and nearly 36% of the population has high blood pressure.
East Baltimore Midway is no longer considered a food desert with the opening of Apples and Oranges Fresh Market in March. Owners Erich and his wife Michele Speaks-March, have deep roots in East Baltimore. Erich March is the Vice President of March Funeral Homes, which has served the community for more than 50 years. The couple decided that East Baltimore needed a place to buy health food. In an interview with WBAL Erich March explained, “The community has been crying for a supermarket. I went to the big supermarket chains, and they weren’t interested in coming into our community, so we decided if anybody’s going to do it, we have to do it ourselves.” Apples & Oranges Market is a 4,800-square-foot, supermarket located between the Oliver and Darley Park neighborhoods at the corner of East North Avenue and Broadway.
In March 2010, the Baltimore City Health Department launched its Virtual Supermarket Project. The program allows residents living in and around East Baltimore and the Washington Village neighborhood the ability to order groceries from local retailers online. Resident can use free computers at the Enoch Pratt Free Library System to shop for grocery on Santoni’s Supermarket.
For more information about the Virtual Supermarket Program:
Check the Map to see if you live in a food desert:
Driving down Greenmount Avenue to the Baltimore Montessori School, a sweet little 4 year old exclaimed gleefully, “O goody, we get to see the broken houses.”
Hidden behind those broken houses are community groups who have kept the faith with their neighborhoods and private and nonprofit developers who have steadily resurrected those broken houses, one at a time. Telesis, People’s Homesteading, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Harbor Development, AHC, and individual homesteaders trying to hold on to their vision of a home for themselves and their loved ones.
Next year, St. Ambrose will hit the 500 mark – 500 vacant, foreclosed properties turned into lovely family homes, The City has joined with us to make our efforts more visible by tackling the issue of 16,000 vacant properties that overwhelm the efforts of community partners like HUD, MICA, Hopkins and University of Baltimore.
Echoing a quote from an editorial in this morning’s Sun, ”….That’s why last week’s announcement by the Rawlings-Blake administration of a major push forward in the Vacants to Value program is like a fresh breeze on a smoggy summer day. It demonstrates that when it comes to the issue of vacant homes, city leaders “get it.” They realize that the piecemeal, glacially slow approach of recent years, whereby a few hundred derelict houses are demolished annually, simply isn’t good enough for a city in a hurry to take its rightful place among the leaders in the nation’s ongoing urban renaissance.” To read more - http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-vacant-houses-20130822,0,5392477.story.
To learn more about the City’s methodical plan to approach this problem, check out their website. http://www.baltimorehousing.org/vacants_to_value.aspx
“Over the next 2 1/2 years, the city is budgeted to spend nearly $22 million to tear down 1,500 abandoned houses — a move urban planners say could transform Baltimore visually and clear a path for struggling neighborhoods to attract future development. Previously, the city had been spending about $2.5 million a year on demolition.
The houses in communities like Johnston Square will be replaced with gardens, urban farms and green space, with the intention that someday new homes and businesses will take their place.
Ralph Moore, 61, a longtime community activist in the East Baltimore neighborhood, recently walked past a shell that once housed a family with children who poured out the front door and into the nearby St. Frances Academy. The empty house is standing amid a half-demolished strip of the city’s trademark rowhouses.
Moore and others are glad, for now, to see the vacant houses come down. But they also say they’re expecting to hear in time about plans for redevelopment.
“I think you can’t talk about demolition without answering the question, ‘What’s going to come in its place and who’s going to benefit?’ ” Moore said. “We just don’t want a lot of tracts of vacant land like Detroit.”
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she understands the concern. “When change comes and when there isn’t an immediate market demand, it leaves a lot of unease because the future isn’t certain,” she said. But the goal, she stressed, is “renewal and strengthening our neighborhoods. … We’re not putting the properties on the back burner.”
The demolition schedule is part of the mayor’s Vacants to Value program, which she calls a data- and market-driven approach to ridding Baltimore of a sizable portion of its 16,000 vacant, blighted houses over the next 10 years. The goal is to systematically assess vacant houses, restore those that are viable, and demolish whole swaths of those that are not, in the process creating sites for eventual redevelopment.”
“It’s not vandalism. The vandalism is the building itself.” Jill O’Neal Smith, The Baltimore Sun, http://bsun.md/19Zq31a
I live in a community that doesn’t have many blighted structures. The one we did have was quickly bought, fixed up, and sold to a company that now rents the home. This could be because I reside in a place that has visible signs of life. Neighbors sit on their front porch and yell hello, they cut each other’s lawn, borrow tools, and sugar. We even have a neighborhood grandmother. She will watch the kids as they run from home to home, calling out and issuing warnings.
However, this is Baltimore. I can walk a few blocks and see a house that is clearly not occupied. There are food flyers that litter the stoop and one too many Yellow Books. The grass is overgrown and the bushes make the sidewalk hard to pass. Someone else noticed the vacant house. They are called Wall Hunters. They are a program of Slum Lord Watch. Their mission is to bring attention to the vacant and dilapidated houses that contaminate our neighborhoods. They paint a portion of the vacant house and give information to the community to call the owners responsible. No one wishes to live in a community which closely resembles a Chernobyl.
Families fear that one blighted home is much like a virus. It will infect all the other homes if we do not quarantine. So we do. We go about our way calling 311 and look up the owner’s information. We learn that many of these properties are not owned by people but by corporations who have neglected to remember that they own a property. The companies typically have a comparably fast response time for fixing or selling the property. My community has been empowered to take care of our neighborhood, yet not all communities have the same resources. I believe that Wall Hunters has found a unique solution to one of the problems of urban blight by drawing attention to what has been an eye sore to what is now a work of art.
2203 Guilford Ave is coming along just great! The interior will consist of Chestnut Wood Flooring and Sherwin Williams Harmony Series Paint (No-VOC paint) / “Kilim Beige” (color # SW6106). The interior is being painted as such: Semi-gloss white trim; flat white ceilings; flat walls, Kilim Beige. In addition, Wolf Classic Cabinets: Dartmouth Honey, is being installed in the kitchen and the Chestnut Wood flooring is partially laid.
Kilim Beige Paint - – – – – – – – – – – – Chestnut Wood Flooring
Wolf Classic Cabinet features
• Recessed Panel Shaker
• Full Overlay
• All Maple Face Frames & Doors
• Wood Dovetailed Drawer
• Soft-close Door/Drawer
• Full Extension, Undermount Glides
• Plywood Center Panel
GRANITE COUNTERTOP -> Currently not installed
• 100% Natural Stone: Granite
• Country of Origin: Brazil
Check out how its all coming together below: