Fed­eral grant will help Gil­mor Homes res­i­dents get and keep jobs

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION - By Car­rie Wells cwells@balt­sun.com

Dana Cowan lived in the Gil­mor Homes pub­lic hous­ing com­mu­nity in 1999, work­ing a job with ir­reg­u­lar hours that didn’t pay enough to sup­port her two chil­dren.

Through Jobs Plus, a fed­er­ally funded pro­gram that helps con­nect res­i­dents with em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, she got a job with the Hous­ing Author­ity of Bal­ti­more City. She and other res­i­dents in the pro­gram were also of­fered work cloth­ing if they didn’t have it.

Seven­teen years later, she still works at the hous­ing author­ity as a Section 8 in­spec­tor, and the pro­gram helped her get her GED, her driver’s li­cense, her first car and a new apart­ment.

“I love my job,” said Cowan, 46. “At the time I had two small ones, so I was try­ing to get bet­ter em­ploy­ment. I was able to ob­tain a bet­ter-pay­ing job and I’ve made a ca­reer out of my job.”

On Tues­day, the hous­ing author­ity an­nounced it had won another Jobs Plus pro­gram grant of $2.5 mil­lion from the U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment. The pro­gram again will help con­nect res­i­dents of Gil­mor Homes, which is in one of the poor­est ar­eas of Bal­ti­more, with jobs and help them ob­tain more ed­u­ca­tion.

The pub­lic hous­ing also is near where po­lice ap­pre­hended Fred­die Gray whose death af­ter a spinal cord in­jury suf­fered in po­lice cus­tody later sparked ri­ot­ing last year.

Bal­ti­more Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ingsBlake said the neigh­bor­hood’s crime rates, low ed­u­ca­tion rates and lack of qual­ity af­ford­able hous­ing made it a prime can­di­date for such a grant.

“The thing that I am so grate­ful for is that time af­ter time we learn from what’s worked, we learn from what hasn’t worked and we build a bet­ter sys­tem. And I think Jobs Plus is a great ex­am­ple of that,” Rawl­ings-Blake said. “This a holis­tic ap­proach to en­sur­ing that we are cre­at­ing pos­i­tive path­ways for peo­ple in this com­mu­nity to achieve the sus­tain­able and sus­tain­ing jobs that they want for them­selves and their fam­i­lies.”

Linda Moyd, the Gil­mor Ten­ant Coun­cil pres­i­dent, said the pro­gram will help res­i­dents “change their lives, to move from just get­ting a job to mak­ing a ca­reer. There’s a big dif­fer­ence. So this grant truly means a lot for the res­i­dents of Gil­mor Homes. Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in peo­ples’ lives is just awe­some.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.