The civil unrest that occurred in Baltimore City(April ‘2015) grew out of events occurring in West Central Baltimore that is home to the three ReCAST communities of Sandtown-Winchester, Upton/Druid Heights, and Penn North. The Baltimore City Health Department applied for and received a five(5) year grant from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to reduce the impact of trauma and build resilience in the Central West Baltimore communities so that young people can complete school and engage in the workforce.
Project objectives are to 1) implement high-quality, trauma-informed, community-based services in a range of sectors including workforce, education, health, faith-based, and social services to promote connectedness and resilience in youth; 2) increase community cohesion by engaging family members and supportive adults; and 3) link small, community-based organizations, youth leaders, and community residents with larger private and public institutions to create a support network and to increase access to resources.
The lynchpin of this project is the development of a Community Board, Baltimore City Intergenerational Initiative for Trauma and Youth (B-CIITY), consisting of residents of these communities that will guide the development, implementation, and revision of the ReCAST West Baltimore Strategic Plan. A Coalition of partners, community members, and others has been formed through the proposal development process and continues to meet following submission of this proposal. An initial set of partners includes the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Elev8 Baltimore, a Division of Humanim, Communities United, No Boundaries Coalition, Black Mental Health Alliance, Roberta’s House, Office of the State’s Attorney, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Seeds of Promise, C&C Advocacy, New Lens Youth Media, Holistic Life Foundation, Behavior Health Systems Baltimore, and Baltimore City Health Department. These partners will implement a variety of strategies including youth and community organizing, expanded mentoring programs, youth development programming, yoga/mindfulness activities, and healing circles.
The Black Mental Health Alliance Inc., serves as one of the initial set of community partners to provide youth, families and community leaders in the 3 ReCAST communities with the following activities: