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Main Street Housing, Inc. was recognized with an Certificate of Appreciation from Mid-Shore Mental Health Services, Inc. at their 2015 Caliber Awards, which recognize excellence in public behavioral health.
Nearly eight years ago, MSH crossed the Bay Bridge to bring our “Main Street Model” of consumer-run, independent affordable rental housing for individuals and families with psychiatric disabilities to the Eastern Shore. In June 2007, MSH began operations on the Eastern Shore by taking on 5 properties from Shore Alliance for Independent Living, which allowed many consumers to stay in their homes. Since then, MSH has more than doubled our properties through two additional housing development initiatives thanks to the support of many individuals and agencies in the Mid-Shore region. As of March 2015 we own and operate 17 rental housing units across 5 Mid-Shore Counties with the capacity to serve 37 people.
MSH offers consumers a choice in affordable housing beyond traditional service-based programs and sets a standard of excellence for housing that truly fosters recovery. Our affordable monthly rent amounts are designed to fit the needs of individuals and families living on limited or disability income, and our rigorous property selection criteria ensure Tenants have independent access to the opportunities for employment, education, recreation and health services that support and sustain wellness.
In Spring 2015, a team of Johns Hopkins University students became enthusiastic consultants on resource development and PR opportunities for Main Street Housing through JHU’s Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations chapter. Thomas Bernstein (’16, Biomedical Engineering), Apricot Tang (’17, International Studies), Alessandra Golden (’18, Cognitive Science & English), Tariro Makoni (’18, Public Health & International Studies) and Samuel Jackson (’18, International Studies & Economics) first met with MSH staff to learn about the organization’s mission, value proposition and goals for improving public awareness and support. Throughout their semester, the team brainstormed, researched and presented options for a fundraising event and more dynamic outreach materials to enhance MSH’s current resource development and marketing activities.
While many team members had previous experience volunteering with non-profit organizations or studying public health strategies, learning about the “Main Street Model” brought these young adults living in Baltimore City a new level of insight about the critical role that housing plays in both personal and community wellness.
“The project was extremely unique,” explained Apricot Tang. “Understanding the communal demand for public sector organizations like Main Street Housing forced me to acknowledge the fact that sometimes, as a community, we simply aren't doing enough. I was so glad to be able to partake in [this] project.”
The team’s recommendations helped strengthen and invigorate MSH’s planning for upcoming events and enhanced outreach materials. “My experience working with MSH was extremely rewarding,” said Sam Jackson. “I was able to make an impact as well as learn the ins and outs of how MSH serves society.”
Tom Bernstein, team lead, agreed. “I really enjoyed working with Main Street Housing because it was not only an opportunity for me to gain consulting and leadership experience but also a chance to work with an organization that is making a real impact both in our local Baltimore community and also within the state of Maryland.”