Welcome to the St. Ambrose Family

The St. Ambrose family is always growing. And every member, from clients to staff to followers like you, is important. We wanted to take this chance to introduce a few of the new faces around St. Ambrose and say a little about the work they are doing.

Anita ASAM_0680lexander, Homesharing 

Anita joined the Homesharing team just a few weeks ago. She retired from her position as an Education liaison with the Salvation Army Booth House Shelter in July 2017, but decided to continue pursuing her passion of working in human services. She is dedicated to working with those experiencing homelessness and is eager to elevate homesharing as a viable option for those facing housing insecurity. Anita has been married for 40 years, and has 3 wonderful children plus 6 beautiful grandchildren.

 

20180312_105253_1532015456015Deborah Riddick, Rental

Before coming to St. Ambrose, Deborah worked for the State Department of Human Resources as a Personnel Budget Officer. In her new position working with our Rental Services Department, she will be helping St. Ambrose convert our database to a new and improved program that will help keep all our information on our rental homes organized and easily accessible. In her position, she has been able to get a more comprehensive view of all that St. Ambrose does, and enjoys learning about the impact the organization has on the community with its variety of programs.

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Maureen Hartshorn, Legal Services

Maureen is about to begin her third year as a Law Student at the University of Maryland. In her studies she has focused on Property and Environmental issues, and is looking forward to learning more about the cases St. Ambrose takes on. In particular, she is interested in the foreclosure prevention and mediation process. She has been working with us full-time during the summer and will stay on to aid our department part-time after her classes begin. Before joining our team, Maureen worked in journalism. As an editor, she was inspired by reading the stories of people making a positive impact on the city and decided she wanted to be part of the action. She also is a big fan of the Ravens!

 

Tim Darby, Esq., Legal Services

One of the newest additions to the St. Ambrose team, Tim is a graduate of Cornell Law School. He earned his undergraduate degree at American University.  Before coming to St. Ambrose, Tim began his career working as a Law Clerk for Judge Paul Goetzke. Housing issues hold a personal importance to him, so he is excited to be working for an organization that takes a focus on such work. In his spare time, Tim likes to fish, play guitar, and play with his cats.

 

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For the First-Time Homebuyers

Approximately two-thirds of adults describe the homebuying process as complicated- and it is. There are a lot of details and people involved.  Knowing where to start and what to expect can be difficult. So we wanted to share some tips on what to expect when looking to buy a home, and how to prepare.

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Before you start looking for your dream home, take a look at your credit score. Our housing counselors recommend your credit is at least 640 before you apply for a loan. It can take several months or more to build up your credit, depending on how far you need to raise it. This should be factored into your homebuying timeline.

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Building your credit is important because it can save you a lot of money down the road. A good credit score can help you get a lower interest rate on your loan. Even just a small percent reduction on the interest rate can add up to big savings.

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Being patient is critical during the homebuying process. At times you can feel rushed to find your home, but taking your time can help you make sure you find a home that has everything you need and is within your budget.

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Again be patient! Don’t take the first offer that comes to you. Not all lenders are the same. Find the right lender who will help you get the best package possible. And keep in mind, if you get a pre-approval, that does not necessarily mean that is what you can afford. Know your budget before you agree to a loan!

The best thing you can do to prepare to buy a home is to see a homeownership counselor. They will help you look at your budget, figure out what you can afford and help you apply for your mortgage. Our Director of Housing Counseling explains, “It’s so helpful to have a third party person who doesn’t benefit from any of the transactions, and can act as an advocate for you.” She recommends housing counseling to all homebuyers to help make sure you find a home you can afford to stay in for as long as you wish.

 

St. Ambrose 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration

For 50 years St. Ambrose has been a grassroots advocate for the people of Baltimore working to find and keep a home. On Saturday, April 28th we celebrated this long-standing commitment with a special gala. Joined by hundreds of partners, supporters and friends we recognized the many achievements made to preserve affordable housing in our city.

With Jayne Miller as our Mistress of Ceremonies and special remarks from Secretary Kenneth Holt and Harry Spikes, we had the opportunity to look at the future of housing for Baltimore, as well as share in some of the highlights of St. Ambrose’s history. This all came together in the premiere our 50th anniversary celebration video, which you can find here.

Thank you to everyone who was part of this celebration. Through our entire 50 year journey, we have been aided by so many people and organizations. We would not have been able to serve the Baltimore community for so many years if it were not for people like you who have been a part of our mission. Together we will continue to make Baltimore home.

Want to catch more highlights from the gala? Click here to see the video of the event. Click here to see more photos.

 

 

Wells Fargo supports rental housing in communities of opportunity

 

Through their Priority Markets Program, the Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded $80,000 to St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center for the preservation of affordable rental apartments in the Hampden community. The award provides the final funding needed for St. Ambrose to begin a comprehensive renovation on their Union Avenue Apartments.  This garden style apartment complex is home to 54 families.

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Since the initial renovation in 1996, normal maintenance has occurred as residents moved out.  Heating and hot water systems were replaced complex wide within the last 5 years.  However, the turnover rate has been historically very low and the property needs a substantial renovation to the interior and exterior to assure that it meets the competitive standards of today’s market and the neighborhood. The planned renovation will upgrade the property to include central air conditioning, enhancing the exterior of the property by removing unsightly window units and replacing windows.  The agency is holding units vacant to enable an in-place rehab.  Residents from an entire building will relocate to renovated vacant units allowing for the total renovation of one building at a time.

With a severe deficit in the number of affordable rentals in the City, this funding from Wells Fargo represents a significant investment in the community and assures an improved quality of life for the residents. Union Avenue apartments provide an affordable home for families in a neighborhood that is bustling with newer developments and is close to public transportation and schools.  The anticipated start date for the renovation is the summer of 2018 and St. Ambrose is committed to creating a property that demonstrates that affordable rental can blend into the urban aesthetic and be viewed as an asset within the community.

Thank you to Wells Fargo for their support in creating better housing opportunities in Baltimore.

Host Home Program for Homeless Youth

In June 2017, key stakeholders in Baltimore assembled to kick off the city’s first Host Home Program for homeless youth, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ. The program identifies, screens, and trains community members who volunteer to host youth aged 18-24 who are in need of immediate housing.

You can help us fight youth homelessness by being one of our Hosts for young adults. Hosts receive a stipend and ongoing support from the Host Home Coordinator during their time in the program. If interested in participating in our upcoming training or just want to learn more about Host Homes, please contact Renee Stainrod at:

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
321 East 25th Street
Baltimore , MD 21218
410-366-8550 x233
860-532-8835 (Cell)
410-366-8795 fax
Renees@stambros.org

Our 2-part monthly Host training schedule is as followed:

  • December 15th 5:30-7:30pm & December 16th 9-5pm
  • January 12th 5:30-7:30pm & January 13th 9-5pm

 Please RSVP by December 8th 2017

St. Ambrose’s Host Home Coordinator will collaborate with PSY, Star Track, and YES! to identify and appropriately connect young people in need out housing with hosts. Below is more information about the partnering organizations that are each contributing their unique strengths and knowledge to reduce youth homelessness:

Point Source Youth is working to implement research and scale the, Family and Kinship Strengthening, Short-Term Host Homes, and Rapid Rehousing programs that will help in the prevention of youth homelessness in Baltimore.

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center has a long history of connecting homeowners to interested renters who may not have the capital or credit to thrive in Baltimore’s rental market. They are excited to expand to short-term host homes for youth and will recruit 15 hosts in 2017.

Youth Empowered Society focuses on serving homeless youth while allying with them to create the change that is needed. YES! will be offering rapid re-housing units with an emphasis on case management and connection to employment.

Star Track (Special Teens At Risk–Together Reaching Access, Care, and Knowledge) is launching family and individual therapy designed for young adults who are homelessness or unstably housed. Program therapists are youth-centered and use a justice framework.