It might have been a long, cold, wet Spring this year, but that didn’t stop Main Street Housing from forging ahead with several exciting property improvement projects generously funded by four local foundations!
Thanks to two grants from the Reynolds/Cristiano Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, and funding from the PNC Foundation, MSH was able to complete improvement projects at four of our properties in the Mid-Shore region.
Caroline Co: Our Thrive House in Denton, MD offers two 2-bedroom units of quality, affordable, supportive housing for four young adults (18-25) with psychiatric disabilities who are aging out of the Foster Care systems of the 5 Mid-Shore counties. Thanks to grant funds from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, we were able to have a contractor trim back the overhanging branches of a large tree and remove several very overgrown bushes, both of which were interfering with our ability to maintain the roof and gutters. MSH staff installed new, colorful and low-maintenance shrubbery that enhances the property’s fit in the neighborhood and increases tenants’ pride in their home.
Dorchester Co: Our 3-unit apartment building in Cambridge, MD serves a total of four (4) tenants living with psychiatric disabilities and Extremely Low Income. Grant funds from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation were used to complete three important projects. An electrician installed emergency lighting and new 10-year lithium battery smoke detectors in the building’s common hallway. MSH staff added a gravel parking pad in the rear of the building, which is often subject to muddy conditions. Finally, we installed new bushes and mulch along the front of the house. This property is located in an attentive and engaged community, and our efforts to improve the exterior are much appreciated by the tenants and their neighbors.
Queen Anne’s Co: Grant funding from the PNC Foundation made it possible for MSH to have two overgrown trees removed from our two properties in Queen Anne’s County. One tree had been knocked over after numerous storms battered the Eastern Shore this Spring, and the other had grown far beyond our capacity to keep safely trimmed. Both properties now benefit from more sunlight and a better view!
Harford and Howard Co: We purchased our townhome properties in Harford and Howard Counties well more than a decade ago, and the wall-to-wall carpeting at each of these units had definitely reached beyond the end of its lifespan. Grant funding from the PNC Foundation helped cover the costs of replacing carpet throughout the entire house at our Harford County property, and in two bedrooms in our Howard County properties.
Baltimore City: If you had to rank the elements of a quality home, the roof is quite literally the highest! A well-installed roof will last for decades with proper maintenance, but the day for replacement eventually comes for all properties. This year, we were able to swap out the crumbling slate tiles of our 4-unit apartment building in Baltimore City with beautiful new 50-year architectural shingles – plus a full set of new gutters! - thanks to very generous funding from the Caroline Fredricka Holdship Charitable Trust, administered by PNC Charitable Trusts, and a grant from The Herbert Bearman Foundation.
We were also able to complete emergency roofing and plumbing repairs at two properties in Baltimore City thanks to grant funds from PNC Foundation.
A total of 30 tenants directly benefited from these improvement projects at the properties they call home, but all 100+ tenants living ‘on Main Street’ are able to continue experiencing truly affordable housing thanks to the generous support of these four foundations toward critical maintenance and repairs costs.
We hope your home improvement projects have gone as well as ours!
There's no time like the Springtime to bring a fresh look to a home's 'curb appeal!'
Thanks to two grants totaling $1,825 from the Reynolds/Cristiano Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, MSH was able to complete improvement projects at two of our properties.
Caroline: Our Thrive House in Denton, MD offers two 2-bedroom units of quality, affordable, supportive housing for four young adults (18-25) with psychiatric disabilities who are aging out of the Foster Care systems of the 5 Mid-Shore counties. Thanks to these grant funds, we were able to have a contractor trim back the overhanging branches of a large tree and remove several very overgrown bushes, both of which were interfering with our ability to maintain the roof and gutters. MSH staff installed new, colorful and low-maintenance shrubbery that enhances the property’s fit in the neighborhood and increases tenants’ pride in their home.
Dorchester County: Our 3-unit apartment building in Cambridge, MD serves a total of four (4) tenants living with psychiatric disabilities and Extremely Low Income. Grant funds were used to complete three important projects. An electrician installed emergency lighting and new 10-year lithium battery smoke detectors in the building’s common hallway. MSH staff added a gravel parking pad in the rear of the building, which is often subject to muddy conditions. Finally, we installed new bushes and mulch along the front of the house. This property is located in an attentive and engaged community, and our efforts to improve the exterior are much appreciated by the tenants and their neighbors.
The grants awarded through the Reynolds/Cristiano Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation have elevated both of our properties’ exteriors to match the highest standard of quality in their communities. Being able to feel proud about where you live strengthens your investment in maintaining your home, which translates into a sense of stability that makes continued wellness and recovery possible. On behalf of our Board, staff and tenants, we sincerely thank the members of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation for their continued support of Main Street Housing!
If magic, music and mirth are the three things you need to start the New Year off right, then dozens of friends and supporters of Main Street Housing are set for a terrific 2018! Our tremendous thanks go to everyone who came out on January 11th in honor of our 15 years of quality affordable housing development at the second annual Resolution is Latin for Loosen Up! benefit event at the White Oak Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys.
Main Street Housing’s goal of achieving 100 Tenant Slots was long in the making, and that we would happen to cross this milestone right around the 15th anniversary of purchasing our first affordable housing property was cause for an even bigger and better celebration.
MSH Board of Directors President, Elijah A. Cheek and MSH Executive Director, Ken Wireman, welcomed everyone to the celebration and shared their own reflections on the organization’s journey.
Honored guest Dr. Barbara Bazron, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health, shared her congratulations with warm words about Main Street’s lasting impact on the lives of consumers and the critical role of safe and stable housing to recovery from behavioral health disorders. The Behavioral Health Administration has been a primary funder and instrumental to MSH’s success since our inception.
Deputy Assistant Secretary John P. Brennan, Jr. of the Maryland Department of Disabilities graciously presented a special Governor’s Citation commemorating our landmark accomplishment and personally commended Main Street Housing for creating quality, affordable housing that truly offers people living with psychiatric disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in communities across Maryland.
Throughout the evening, a smorgasbord of items tempted even the most resolute attendees into trying something new. Boordy Vineyards poured samples of their most popular blends, the hors d'oeuvres were hot and hearty, and the dessert table was heaped with tempting treats and scrumptious sweets from Scotty Cakes (Baltimore), Fractured Prune Doughnuts (Parkville) and Great Harvest Bread Company (Columbia).
Attendees’ ears were delighted by jazz pianist Gene Okonski of Ellicott City and a piece for piccolo by UM School of Social Work student intern Casey Saylor. Baltimore-based magician L.G. Gerace, Most Marvelous and The Juggling Kat, Kathryn Carr, amazed and astounded with the tricks of their trades, while guests played Minute-to-Win-It party games. (Stacking five apples is harder than you think!)
Thanks to the generous donations of local artists, restaurants, theaters, museums, gyms, health professionals and businesses, the Silent Auction tables offered something for every type of New Year’s goal. All funds generated from the event are used to support Main Street Housing’s mission to develop and manage quality, affordable and independent housing for individuals and families living with psychiatric disabilities. We are deeply grateful to our sponsors, whose support made this event possible.
Many Thanks to Our Donors!
After 15 years of near continuous property production, Main Street Housing (MSH) has reached one of the most exciting milestones a non-profit housing development organization can dream of:
Our 100th Tenant Slot!
Thanks to generous funding through the City of Annapolis Community Development Block Grant and a grant from the Anne Arundel Mental Health Agency, this October MSH broke ground on the property improvement project that will create the opportunity for a new tenant living with psychiatric disabilities and Extremely Low Income to experience quality, affordable, independent housing in their community.
Five years ago, MSH purchased a large townhome in a quiet residential community within the City of Annapolis. While it had a sizable ground-floor bedroom, the barrier to having three tenant slots for this building was that the full bathrooms were both on the top floor. One of our standards for a home ‘on Main Street’ is that individuals sharing a unit as co-tenants should have equitable private living and bathing space, and so this property has been occupied by two tenants since 2012.
Thanks to the new grant funding, construction of a new full bathroom on the ground floor started in October and is slated for completion by the end of the year. MSH is currently screening applicants to select the third tenant for the new slot at this property. Over the past 12 months, more than 30 single adult Anne Arundel County residents have applied to MSH, the majority of whom are experiencing homelessness.
Since our very first property purchase in 2002, MSH has been growing steadily thanks to the generous support of the MD Department of Health, MD Department of Housing and Community Development, local foundations and individual donors like YOU! We hope you feel as proud as we do!
Spring 2016 Update
Renovations are complete and this home has welcomed its third tenant!
For tenants living on less than $850/month in disability income, going to the laundromat is prohibitively expensive! That’s why MSH supplies laundry machines in each of our quality, affordable housing units leased to individuals and families living with psychiatric disabilities. Thanks to a generous grant from The Rotary Club of Frederick Endowment Fund at The Community Foundation of Frederick County, we were able to install a new set of energy efficient laundry machines at one of our apartment units in downtown Frederick this Summer after the previous set reached the end of their lifespan.
If tin is the traditional gift for a ten-year wedding anniversary, what do you get a building that has been providing quality, affordable and independent housing for individuals and families living with psychiatric disabilities for over a decade?
How about a beautiful new external access stairway!
Thanks to generous support from The Community Foundation of Frederick County and Delaplaine Foundation, Main Street Housing (MSH) was able to make this significant improvement at our 3-unit apartment building in downtown Frederick this Spring. The original wooden staircase which provided access to the second floor apartment had been creaking toward the end of its lifespan over the past two years. Substantial grant funding provided by these two Frederick area foundations allowed MSH to work with local builder C.S. Rhoderick to create a more welcoming and comfortable entrance for both units.
Think back… what was your New Year’s Resolution? Making new strides or breaking old habits? Or maybe you decided that this is the year to give up all that shoulda-coulda-woulda talk and just enjoy life to the fullest!
At Main Street Housing, our 2017 goal is to cross the threshold of offering quality, affordable housing for 100 tenants across the state, and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to this year than seeing so many of our friends and neighbors at our first Resolution is Latin for Loosen Up! benefit event on January 12th. It was a wonderful evening of magic, music and mirth at the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys in Baltimore City, featuring performances by pianist Charissa Billigmeier, cellist Zoe Bell, and magician L.G. Gerace, Most Marvelous.
Attendees sampled scrumptious sweets donated by Scotty Cakes Handmade Sweets (Baltimore), Great Harvest Bread Company (Columbia), Bonjour French Bakery & Café (Mt. Washington) and Fractured Prune Doughnuts (Parkville), and many enjoyed a tempting wine tasting by Boordy Vineyards.
Three Silent Auction tables were heaped with baskets themed for every sort of resolution - from health and self-care to creative exploration to creating more quality time with friends and family – all generously donated by local area businesses. The event was a resounding success and would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our Event Sponsors. Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who attended, and we can’t wait to see you again next year!
Silent Auction Donors
Neighbors on Main Street
MSH Creates 5 New Tenant Opportunities in City of Frederick
Lay out the welcome mat! Main Street Housing (MSH) just opened the door for five new tenants to find their home ‘on Main Street’ in Frederick County.
Our Frederick Affordable Housing Development Initiative, made possible thanks to generous support from two state agencies and four local area foundations, funded the purchase and substantial improvements to two properties in the City of Frederick, transforming these buildings into quality, affordable, permanent housing for individuals and families living with psychiatric disabilities and Extremely Low Income.
When the antiquated boilers at our Baltimore City apartment building began to break down this Winter, Main Street Housing braced for the possibility of ‘freezing conditions’ when it came to the other property improvement projects we had planned for the Spring. The emergency repairs made to the existing machines were not going to last, so replacing all four gas boilers had to be done quickly… and at significant expense.
Fortunately, we were tremendously lucky to receive assistance for the boiler replacement project from two wonderful sources. The Caroline Fredricka Holdship Charitable Trust, administered by PNC Charitable Trusts, presented MSH with a very generous grant of $10,000 toward the new boilers. Additional costs were covered by a $3,300 grant from The Herbert Bearman Foundation, which had also funded installation of some new appliances at the building earlier in the year.
Our Baltimore City apartment building provides four units of quality, affordable, independent housing for individuals and families living with psychiatric disabilities and Extremely Low Income. The new energy-efficient boilers will produce affordable, reliable heat for decades to come.
Imagine walking through your front door tonight. How do you feel?
Relieved? Peaceful? Tense? Joyful? Supported? Overwhelmed?
Are you looking forward to spending many more years watching the change of seasons outside your window and exchanging friendly waves with neighbors? Or are you counting down the days until you can leave and never look back?
If reading those questions made you feel a little more relaxed or stressed you out, then you already know how much of a difference home can make in your overall health and well-being. The quality of your housing – from the condition of the building, to the layout of the rooms and windows, to the character of your block or neighborhood – has significant impact on the state of your mind, body and spirit. For people already living with behavioral health challenges, the constant stressors that come with poor quality housing can make it difficult to maintain wellness or even trigger crises.
If your rooms are dark, damp or drafty, you might be at risk for health problems from mold or airborne illnesses. Pest problems like roaches and rodents certainly increase anxiety and can bring exposure to disease. Having to stay in a place that is falling down all around you because you can’t afford anywhere better can exacerbate depression and increase isolation. Even if the building where you live is in pretty good shape, feeling unsafe or unwelcome in your home or neighborhood makes it hard to form the habits and relationships that sustain a life in recovery.
The good news is that living in quality, affordable housing in ‘neighborhoods of opportunity’ can promote better health outcomes, especially for people living with chronic illness. (1) Let’s look at some of the housing factors that can create positive benefits for health...