Welcome Back, Grace!

Do you know Grace Parker?

Grace first came to St. Ambrose as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) from 2015- 2016. Grace returned to St. Ambrose as an Intake Coordinator and Housing Counselor from 2017-2018. Today, Grace rejoins the team as a Senior Housing Counselor!

“I am so happy to be back at St. Ambrose. I am proud to be a part of an organization that does such great work in Baltimore. As a Housing Counselor, I enjoy helping people buy their first home in Baltimore and experience Homeownership.”

A Path Toward the Future

Stephen is a 23 year old young man who was born and raised in East Baltimore, Maryland. As a preteen, Stephen started exploring the City on his own and found himself making bad decisions about the direction of his life. Being a very private person who guards his family story and traumatic experiences close to his heart, Stephen knew he had to make some serious life changes. 

As a result of sleeping in his car for almost a year and a half, Stephen’s friend mentioned that St. Ambrose may be able to help. The path towards his future began with him being accepted into the Host Home Program at St. Ambrose. The process was a smooth transition for Stephen because it provided him a place to stay with a much higher level of comfort. He currently lives with a Host Home provider in West Baltimore with another associate of the St. Ambrose family. Today, Stephen is learning to become a professional driver.

If you are considering hosting a youth in your home, this is Stephen’s message to you: “I would like for people to have respect, faith, and patience with the youth and try to understand where they are coming from. Home to me is a place where you KNOW you can go anytime; somewhere you feel safe and comfortable.”

Interested is learning more about Homesharing and the Host Home Program at St. Ambrose? While we are not currently creating new matches at this time, Homesharing at St. Ambrose is still here for you. For questions or concerns, please reach out to us by calling 410-366-8550 ext. 248.

One Day at a Time

Jasmines’ story is one that resonates with many inner city youth.

Jasmine Garland, 20, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and has spent the majority of her life living in East Baltimore. Jasmine’s mother was not present in her life and her father was very inconsistent in his role as her parent so, she often spent her childhood being cared for by her loving Aunt Barbara. As a teenager, Jasmine worked hard to graduate from Reach Partnership High School in 2017 and continued her education with Baltimore City Community College. However, life experiences dealt Jasmine several roadblocks which caused her to halt her educational pursuits.

During this time, Jasmine found herself homeless and living on the streets of Baltimore in abandoned houses. One day, she made the decision to seek help from the Joy Baltimore Program directed by Mr. Lonnie Walker. It was difficult for some to believe that she was homeless because of the way she carried herself; but it was all true. Mr. Walker then introduced Jasmine to St. Ambrose. At the moment, Jasmine admits that this was the happiest she had ever been! She was about to finally be off the street and living in a home, which was an accomplishment Jasmine hadn’t imagined possible. Unfortunately, tragedy came knocking at Jasmines’ door and she learned that her dear Aunt Barbara had passed away. She would now be faced with living her life without the one person who had always been her guide. But Jasmine tried her best to move forward.

The grief and loss began to settle in and Jasmine started to become more and more depressed. At times, Jasmine found herself in a room where everyone was there to celebrate her accomplishments, but she still felt alone. St. Ambrose stepped in to provide therapeutic intervention and Jasmine decided to continue services to address those feelings of grief and loss, one day at a time. During this period, St. Ambrose helped Jasmine connect with a home provider who welcomed her into their safe place that she could call home.

Since then, Jasmine has transitioned from the home sharer’s home to a more independent St. Ambrose program call Hope House. Hope House houses youth (18-24) who need more than the 90 days that the Host Home Program offers to prepare them for long-term sustainable housing. Program participants live in one of our two Hope House properties and receive case management services from St. Ambrose staff. In Hope House, Jasmine shares a home of her own with one other Youth participant.

“The process was very difficult for me because I had to get used to living with other people and calling the house ‘my home’. When I was living in an abandoned building, I isolated myself from everyone, and I was comfortable that way.”

Jasmine’s message to those considering sharing their home is simple:

“If you allow someone to move into your home, please take the time to get to know the person and set clear rules and expectations. We, as youth, need guidance and structure, not indifference.”

Interested is learning more about Homesharing and the Host Home Program at St. Ambrose? While we are not currently creating new matches at this time, Homesharing at St. Ambrose is still here for you. For questions or concerns, please reach out to us by calling 410-366-8550 ext. 248.

Welcome New Staff

Please join us in welcoming Angela Robinson as St. Ambrose’s Senior Property Manager at Aigburth-Vale!

“I chose to come to St. Ambrose because of the outstanding reputation this organization has for helping Baltimore residents with housing assistance, support for First-Time Home Buyers, and much more.

I have been the Chaplin for Franklin Square Hospital for 9 years, helping with Pastoral Counseling and also have been the Chaplin for The Baltimore City Police Department for 5 years. I enjoy serving Baltimore community residents in all aspects.”

Welcome to the St. Ambrose family, Angela!

St. Ambrose Staff Update

Many of you know already know Pam Petty because she has been with St. Ambrose for 23 years! Pam is the Interim Director of Housing Counseling at St. Ambrose so please join us in congratulating her.

“As a Housing Counselor, I have considered myself lucky to have a position with such an amazing organization that creates change and offers support to families in Baltimore. I’ve enjoyed my position as counselor and I love what I do. I have the opportunity to meet individuals from diverse backgrounds, many of whom become friends, resources and referrals.

As I move into my new position, I will continue to provide support to my department and focus on improving our services to families who look to us to improve their housing situation.”- Pam

Congratulations on your new role, Pam!

Welcome New Legal Services Summer Intern!

We have a new addition to the St. Ambrose team! Please join us in welcoming Shereen Ibrahim as one of our new Legal Services Summer Interns.

“I am a student from the University of Baltimore School of Law. The legal fields I am interested in are environmental, constitutional and national security law.

I chose to clerk at St. Ambrose because I want to use my legal abilities to assist members of underserved communities navigate property decisions. As a law clerk, I will be assisting clients with their foreclosure process, review landlord and tenant issues, and prepare wills and deeds. Serving underprivileged communities is one of my ultimate goals as a attorney and being a law clerk at St. Ambrose is a great first step in my legal career.” -Shereen

Welcome to the team, Shereen!

A Message of Hope

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears. Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by thy might led us into the light keep us forever in the path, we pray.The Negro National Anthem

It was a tense time! We were in national crisis, and we didn’t know how we could ever move forward. A black man was dead, our inner-cities were in the midst of a housing and economic crisis, we were engulfed in a foreign war, and people young and old, took to the streets in protest. The year was 1968 and the murdered man was Dr. Martin Luther King, and many of us felt like we had lost all hope.

In the past weeks, our country and the world have been witnesses to the brutal murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, confounded by the killing of Breonna Taylor, and felt the shame and sting of the blatant, weaponized, racist attack on Christian Cooper. For many of us, the events of the last few weeks have made us feel like we have come full circle – our communities dissected, our families destroyed, and our people crying out for justice.

Just over fifty years ago, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center was created with the Civil Rights Movement as its backdrop. Our mission is to create and maintain equal housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people, primarily in Baltimore City, and to encourage and support strong and diverse neighborhoods. We believed then that treating all people with respect and dignity was our responsibility and their opportunity to move forward. We believed our engagement with our community could help eradicate the systemic racial injustice that plagued our country. These beliefs are as true today as they were in 1968, and though we have accomplished much over the past fifty years, this week we are reminded that there is more to work to be done.

As we consider the events of the past month and walk through the days and weeks ahead, let us support each other as family, then turn outward and help our community. Let us commit to ensuring that the values and work for which St. Ambrose was created continues. And together we will march on till victory is won.

Yours in solidarity,

Gerard Joab, Executive Director

Welcome New Staff!

We have a new addition to the Homesharing staff here at St. Ambrose! Please welcome Laura Bullock, Youth Homesharing Case Manager.

“I chose to come work at St. Ambrose because I believe in the mission which aligns with my personal commitment to support individuals in obtaining and maintaining adequate housing to prevent homelessness. I am motivated to give back to my community because I believe individuals can change when they have the support, guidance and resources they need to draw on their own strengths and abilities to move towards a pathway of healing.”

“The purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion, and the will to help others.”- Albert Schweitzer

Welcome to the St. Ambrose family!