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On March 30, 2021, BRHP hosted an information session on the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination process with Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, Corinne Keet, MD, MS, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Deidra Crews, MD, ScM, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Catch the replay below as well as a list of resources below.

BRHP COVID-19 Vaccine Info Session Resource List

As of April 9, 2021

covidLINK

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination phases and eligibility in Maryland: https://covidlink.maryland.gov

GoVAX

Statewide pre-registration system for mass vaccination sites:  https://onestop.md.gov/preregistration

855-MD-GoVAX (855-634-6829)

Call this number to reach the state’s call center to pre-register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site. This line is open from 7am to 10pm daily.

Anne Arundel County

COVID-19 Health Line: 410-222-7256 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm; Saturday, 10am to 4pm; Sunday, Closed)

Email: covid19info@aacounty.org

Call if you’re a county resident and are unable to preregister for a vaccine online.

Baltimore City

Maryland Access Point of Baltimore City: 410-396-CARE (410-396-2273)

Call if you live in Baltimore and are an older adult in Priority Group 1A, 1B or 1C. Available Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.

Baltimore City Convention Center Field Hospital: 443-462-5511

For more information visit Baltimore Convention Center Vaccine Location | University of Maryland Medical System (umms.org).

Baltimore County

COVID-19 Hotline: 410-887-3816

Call the first number if you’re eligible and need help making a vaccine appointment. If you’re a senior, you can also dial 311 to reach an operator who can assist.

Carroll County

COVID-19 Call Center: 410-876-4848 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm)

Call if you live in Carroll County and need help pre-registering for an appointment.

Harford County

Harford County Health Department: 410-838-1500

Call and press 4 if you’re a Harford County resident, in vaccine priority Group 1A, B or C, and need help completing a vaccine eligibility form.

Howard County

Coronavirus Information Line: 410-313-6284;

Call this number or email HoCovaccine@howardcountymd.gov if you’re a Howard County resident who’s 75 or older.

State-Run Mass Vaccination Sites

Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore City)

M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore City)

Maryland State Fairgrounds (Baltimore County) – opening week of April 5

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Anne Arundel County)

Leidos Field at Ripken Ironbirds Stadium (Harford County) – opening late April

The Mall in Columbia (Howard County) – opening late April

Six Flag’s America (Prince George’s County)

Frederick Community College (Frederick County) – opening week of April 12

Montgomery College (Germantown Campus) (Montgomery County) – opening week of April 5

Hagerstown Premium Outlets (Washington County)

Regency Furniture Stadium (Charles County)

Wicomico Youth & Civic Center (Wicomico County)

FEMA-Run Mass Vacction Site

Greenbelt Metro Station (Prince George’s County

Provider specific

Try calling your local stores:

CVS

Giant

Walgreens

Walmart

BRHP-Letter-of-Support-for-Housing-Bills-March-2021_website

On March 10, Marcia Fudge was confirmed and sworn in as the 18th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Adria Crutchfield, executive director of the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, issued the following statement regarding her confirmation and swearing in:

“BRHP congratulates Secretary Fudge on her new position and looks forward to working with the Secretary to make fair and equitable housing a priority again. We have full confidence in her leadership, experience, and commitment to civil rights to tackle the housing challenges ahead and she has our support here in the Baltimore region to ensure more people have safe, quality, and stable housing.

As a HUD-funded housing mobility program, we’ve seen first-hand the social, educational, and economic benefits of rental assistance and housing mobility counseling for over 5,000 families in our region. Over the past year, Housing Choice Voucher programs like ours have been critical to keeping people safely housed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there are  thousands more in our communities who face housing instability and are eligible for rental assistance but remain on waitlists. Secretary Fudge’s dedication to carrying out President Biden’s commitment to expand rental assistance and the HCV program will ensure we are a country that makes housing a right for all and not just a privilege for some. BRHP has demonstrated the efficacy of counseling supports such as housing search assistance, landlord-tenant mediation, and connecting families with resources. Those critical services should be included with any expansion of rental assistance and we look forward to working with the Secretary’s team to facilitate this work.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and housing crisis, solutions rooted in dismantling structural inequalities must be at the forefront of HUD’s work. Communities of color and urban communities across the country have long-endured unjust housing practices, neglect, and disinvestment that have barred them from realizing their American dream. We look forward to a new day at HUD under Secretary Fudge’s leadership that will put the country on a path to a better, brighter future.”

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Quarterly-Partner-Newsletter-March-2021-Q1

What I learned in conversation with Dr. Lawrence Brown

A record number of protests following the tragic deaths of Black people due to racism and bias during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shook the nation and the world in 2020. It highlighted for some and reminded others of the inequalities and injustices that plague our society and disproportionately impact Black people. While Black people from all walks of life are impacted by racism and oppression, historically segregated, redlined Black neighborhoods in cities across America bear the brunt of surveillance, disinvestment, and displacement that results in a consistent loss of Black life. We’ve heard the names, or know the people, and we see ourselves in the names, hashtags, and stories from today and yesterday.

This history is one that many of us know personally. It started when the first Africans were displaced from their countries, enslaved, and brought to the shores of our present-day United States to labor and build this country for what it is today: “the land of opportunity.” These early Africans were not seen as human beings, but as property with the purpose of laboring and producing goods and services for which they would receive no benefit. As property, the conditions in which they lived were an afterthought, and enslaved Africans received the scraps of everything unwanted by the slave masters.

When we look at redlined Black neighborhoods today, we see a similar reality: Black residents are allocated the scraps of goods and services and told to make do. They are told to work, to learn, and to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do better in the face of exploitation, deprivation, and violence. In 2020, we faced a double pandemic of racism and COVID-19 and it was hard to ignore. It had the country talking and acting on a broader scale than I had ever seen in my millennial lifetime which provided a glimmer of hope and optimism. But then, things started to feel performative – the buzzwords, “blackouts,” and statements. What felt lacking was a true understanding, thoughtfulness, and substance to create long-term systemic change.

When I began reading Dr. Lawrence Brown’s book “The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America,” I felt the understanding, thoughtfulness and substance to create the long-term systemic change that we need in our communities to truly make Black Lives Matter. I was drawn in by the books’ description of early Baltimore history that explained the migration, displacement, and segregation of African Americans in redlined neighborhoods and how it’s been maintained today. It felt like reading about my own family’s origins in the city via the Great Migration from North Carolina and into a redlined West Baltimore neighborhood within what Dr. Brown calls Baltimore’s “Black Butterfly.” I learned of Baltimore’s history of redlining, all its players, and the blueprint it provided for hypersegregated cities across the country.

Dr. Lawrence Brown’s Community Health Garden diagram

After this heavy history and its ramifications today, Dr. Brown provides hope with practical solutions for healing and restoring redlined communities as outlined in his Community Health Garden. The garden focuses on improvements to policies, practices, systems, and budgets, and inspires a healthier and promising outlook for historically redlined Black neighborhoods and its residents.

On February 10, BRHP had the opportunity to sit down in conversation with Dr. Brown to discuss his book and approach to healing the Black Butterfly. I left feeling empowered knowing that systemic change is possible and can start at the very local level with people like you and I who understand our “normal” isn’t working for any of us and we need change.

Watch the replay of our event below and let us know what you think.

Tiffani Long is the Senior Communications and External Affairs Manager at the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership

Organization adds leaders in banking, human resources, academia, advocacy, philanthropy, and health to board of directors

Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) announced today that it appointed six new board members who will help support the nonprofit’s work in expanding housing choices and opportunities for low-income families in the Baltimore region. The elected members are based in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and are experts in banking, human resources, academia, advocacy, philanthropy, and health. The new board members began their three-year terms effective November 19, 2020.

The new board members include:

Abhijeet Bhutra, Senior Investment Advisor, PNC Institutional Asset Management

Cheryl Boyer, Director of Diversity Services, Berkshire Associates

Tom Coale, Attorney, Talkin & Oh, LLP

Kris Marsh, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park

Monica Rhodes, Director of Resource Management, National Park Foundation

Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“We are pleased to welcome this esteemed group of leaders to the board who will bring new perspectives, experiences, and expertise to enhance the reach of BRHP in the community,” said Joshua Civin, BRHP board director and chair. “We look forward to their contributions and are excited they chose to support BRHP.”

“This is an exciting time for BRHP.  Our new board members possess the qualities that will propel the organization in building upon its mission-critical commitment to expand opportunity and racial equity in new ways,” said Adria Crutchfield, BRHP executive director. “I look forward to partnering with them to drive BRHP into a future of greater impact for our families, community, and nation.”

The new members will join 14 existing board directors to guide the organization in enhancing and expanding its rental assistance, counseling, advocacy, and consulting services.

A full list of BRHP’s Board of Directors can be found here.

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By Adria Crutchfield, BRHP Executive Director and Tisha Guthrie, Bolton House Residents Association and Baltimore City Affordable Housing Trust Fund Commissioner

As the weather turns cold in the final days of Mayor Jack Young’s tenure, he faces a critical opportunity to do something permanent for persons experiencing homelessness. 

You have to have been living under a rock the last 10 months to not know that a home – a roof over one’s head – is critical health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is crucial and irreplaceable protection from the virus.    

Therefore, you would think that every local elected leader would be trying to create more housing to ensure that each of their residents had this kind of protection.

Not so with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. 

In the waning days of his term, Mayor Young was presented with three opportunities to protect the lives of Baltimore City residents facing homelessness.  The first was an emergency response, the second was preventative, and the third is a permanent solution to homelessness. 

One would think he would jump on all three.  Not so.  Mayor Young has agreed to the first two, but is inexplicably resistant to the third.

Mayor Young should think again.

The emergency response – demanded by advocacy coalition Housing Our Neighbors – was to extend hotel space for people experiencing homelessness.  This was after the City had suggested  it would return the hundreds of seniors and other high-risk persons experiencing homelessness to large congregate shelters during December.  The suggestion was indisputably bad policy.  Large congregate shelters are the perfect breeding ground for the virus, which was why the City initially moved  people into hotels last spring.  We are grateful Mayor reversed course and has agreed to extend the hotel stays.

The preventative response focused on the impending eviction crisis.  The more evictions, the higher number of persons facing homelessness in the City.  So, the City Council passed legislation ensuring that any low-income tenant in the City would have a lawyer.  Again, we are grateful Mayor Young signed this important legislation making Baltimore City the 7th jurisdiction in the country to ensure a right to counsel in eviction cases.

But what Mayor Young has missed is the permanent solution.  Luckily, the City Council didn’t.  Last month, the Council unanimously passed Council Bill 20-0592, to create a locally-funded housing voucher program to create more of that critical life-saving affordable housing for City residents.  The Mayor should have rushed to sign the bill.  Instead, he has been silent.  Why?

Does the City lack the funding for a local voucher program?  No.  The money for the voucher program will come from the voter-approved and already-funded Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Is a local voucher program a best-practice?  Absolutely.  Indeed, the federal government has recommended that local communities create local voucher programs of the type the City Council passed here.

Have other local jurisdictions created local voucher programs?  Yes, hundreds of them.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported in 2014 that 313 state and local jurisdictions had created local housing voucher programs. Baltimore City would be far from alone.

Are there other programs and organizations willing to help the City launch this effort?  Yes.  The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, a nationally recognized leader and operator of a regional voucher program, has already offered to serve as a resource to the City for this new program, among others.

So, if the City has the money, the program is a best-practice, hundreds of other jurisdictions do it and there are local partners to help, why would Mayor Young refuse to sign the bill? 

Maybe his refusal is rooted in spite?  Perhaps he is getting bad advice?  In truth, we do not know the reason, but it cannot be a good one. 

The Mayor has all the power to take a major step to reduce homelessness – and protect even more lives of City residents.  He must take it.

Quarterly-Partner-Newsletter-November-2020-Q4

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