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!
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
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.
Main Street Housing, Inc. was recently awarded generous grant funding from the Jacob Lowenthal Residue Trust and the Remmel Foundation toward improvement projects at our Baltimore City properties! The generous grant funding totaling $8,400 awarded by these charitable trusts will help support planned renovation and improvement projects across these properties through Summer 2016.
“We are so grateful for this support, which has a real and immediate impact on quality of life for the individuals and families who are able to experience stable, high quality, affordable housing in desirable communities through Main Street Housing,” said MSH Executive Director Kenneth Wireman. “These grant funds make it possible for us to quickly complete important renovation work at our newly acquired apartment building and to make improvements across our four single family homes, all in Baltimore City.”
The Jacob Lowenthal Residue Trust and the Remmel Foundation funds are administered through the PNC Charitable Trust Grant Review Committee.
We are delighted to announce that we have received a generous grant from The Herbert Bearman Foundation in support of improvement and maintenance projects across our Baltimore City properties in FY 2016!
The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Inc., based in Baltimore, “funds projects that can make a difference to the well-being of individuals, either by enriching the lives of people in disadvantaged circumstances or benefiting the general community.” The granted funds will support tenants living independently in the community through property improvements and maintenance projects across some of MSH’s Baltimore City properties, including a roofing upgrade and installation of laundry machines.
“Housing is a critical component of everyone's life. It impacts employment, where a child goes to school, where you buy food, and often a person's health. For individuals with mental health issues, obtaining independent, safe, and affordable housing is critical to their success.” Hope Tipton, Magistrate, Baltimore City Circuit Court and Former MSH Board President
Bringing our award-winning “Main Street Model” of quality, affordable, independent rental housing for people with psychiatric disabilities to Baltimore City was a long-held goal for Main Street Housing. In 2012, MSH started our Baltimore City Housing Initiative thanks to the generous support of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and our friends, neighbors, supporters and donors.
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.”
Summer in the City! Baltimore City Housing Initiative Progress
We're absolutely thrilled to share these exciting updates for our Baltimore City Housing Initiative!
Oh My Lands! Eastern Region Landscaping Projects
MSH was able to complete some major landscaping improvement projects at our properties across Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester Counties this summer thanks to a generous grant for lawn and gardening tools from the George B. Todd Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Our new power washer, hedge trimmer, wood chipper and other tools have made it easy for Jamie, MSH Eastern Region Maintenance Worker, to blast through projects that would have required hiring a contractor in the past. Our Tenants take pride in maintaining their homes in the community, and these tools make it possible for us to make landscaping improvements that preserve and improve the beauty of our properties - this summer and for many years to come!
Three New Partners for FY 15
In case you missed the updates on Facebook, MSH is honored to have gained three new partners for FY 15. The United Way of Central Maryland, The Herbert Bearman Foundation, and the Jacob Lowenthal Residue (a PNC Charitable Trust) have generously awarded grant funding to support our efforts to develop quality, affordable housing in Baltimore City.
We are just thrilled to share the news that The Herbert Bearman Foundation has awarded a generous grant to Main Street Housing toward our Baltimore City Housing Initiative!
Based in Baltimore, The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Inc. “funds projects that can make a difference to the well-being of individuals, either by enriching the lives of people in disadvantaged circumstances or benefiting the general community.” The Foundation's generous gift will support several renovation and repair projects at four MSH properties in Baltimore City.
“We are tremendously excited by our continuing progress in creating great quality affordable housing for folks in need in Baltimore City, and the support of The Herbert Bearman Foundation accelerates our efforts considerably!” said MSH Executive Director Kenneth Wireman.
Download the Press Release
We are delighted to announce that the Jacob Lowenthal Residue, administered by the PNC Charitable Trust, has awarded a generous grant to Main Street Housing to support renovation projects at one of Main Street Housing’s properties in Baltimore City!
MSH Executive Director Kenneth Wireman stated, “We are thrilled! This support makes it possible for us to move even more quickly in making this property a great quality, affordable home for a family or individuals in need in Baltimore City.”
Download the Press Release.