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.”
It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning on September 27th when six smiling volunteers from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City arrived at a MSH property in Howard County. MSH was fortunate enough to again receive hours of volunteer service by St. John’s parishioners as part of Service Over Self, an event of the church’s Outreach commission to encourage community involvement.
The Gawthrop and Geist Families wasted no time in getting their hands dirty in the name of property improvement! In a few short hours, they spruced up the building inside and out – weeding and mulching, power-washing concrete, staining landscape timbers and washing windows. By noon, the property was looking spiffy and ready to welcome home a new Tenant on Monday.
MSH is proud to provide quality housing in desirable communities, and we are so grateful to have help from our friends to keep our homes beautiful. Many, many thanks to St. John’s Episcopal Church and to their members, the Geist and Gawthrop families, for spending their Saturday on Main Street!
For more information about St. John’s Episcopal Church, visit www.stjohnsec.org.