April 20, 2020
With most of our physical classrooms temporarily shuttered, Living Classrooms’ P.O.W.E.R. House (Providing Opportunities to Work, Expand, and Rise) Community Center responded immediately after schools closed and has been serving 300 meals/day, seven days per week, as a food distribution hub for residents of East Baltimore public housing. We are delivering various food items to residents throughout Perkins Homes, Baltimore’s largest public housing community, and neighboring communities – including thousands of loaves of bread donated by H&S Bakery – and providing hope and comfort during an uncertain time.
Led by POWER House Director Colin Jones (pictured above), our staff are trusted members of the community who are distributing information to residents about social distancing, and are monitoring the neighborhood daily, responding to evolving needs. We are also safely working to bring meals and essential household items to wheelchair-bound residents and are making an effort to help residents receive fresh food, with special thanks to local Fells Point businesses like Thames Street Oyster House and Admiral’s Cup for their generous food donations. Thanks to Living Classrooms Navigators and Leadership Council Members, TJ Keilty and Cole Blake, we were able to secure a freezer for long term food storage and the loan of a golf cart to aid in our ability to deliver more food and supplies to those in need.
Moreover, our Workforce Development staff is diligently working to identify essential new job opportunities to place individuals in available jobs – including helping four residents of Perkins Homes secure employment with H&S Bakery.
Staff from all of our community centers across Baltimore and Washington, are working with children, adults, and families over the phone to develop plans for continuing education and enrichment activities and to check in on the families’ evolving needs. Thanks to generous donors including Medifast and Centric Business Systems, we have also been able to provide hundreds of students with Chromebooks to connect them to our distance learning resources while they are home. Currently, the demand is outpacing our supply of equipment but we are working towards supplying all of our students with laptops, with your help.
Article by Living Classrooms Staff Writer