December 4, 2013
Living Classrooms Foundation is proud to announce that Project SERVE is this year’s winner of the East Baltimore Development Inc. Outstanding Partner Award, for the Foundation’s commitment to providing paid, on-the-job training for East Baltimore residents with criminal backgrounds. Through our partnership with East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI), together we have successfully placed several hard to employ participants in jobs that provide hands-on training, a path to a career, and continual social service support. Project SERVE (Service- Empowerment- Revitalization- Volunteerism- Employment Training) provides on-the-job training for 150 unemployed and disadvantaged young adults per year in marketable skills while they revitalize neighborhoods. Most participants are individuals returning to East Baltimore from incarceration. Participants are placed on a SERVE work crew and complete projects throughout the city, while also meeting with case managers and gaining the skills they need to successfully reintegrate into the community and gain employment. To date, Project SERVE has cleaned over 50,000 vacant properties, rehabilitated 12 vacant houses, provided home renovations for 78 low-income residents, constructed 68 access-improving renovations for low-income seniors, weatherized over 400 homes, and conducted over 65,000 hours of other critically needed community services (including maintenance of 36 acres of city park land, beautification and maintenance of the Inner Harbor Promenade, and repairs to City schools). Project SERVE has proven to be a successful and cost-efficient service for the city and communities throughout Baltimore. In turn, the program has provided hope, confidence, and essential skills and resources to help disadvantaged young adults contribute to society and create better lives for themselves and their families.