Charitable Giving: Living Cities Aims to Create Jobs and Hope for Baltimore

Charitable Giving: Living Cities Aims to Create Jobs and Hope for Baltimore

We've got good news, Baltimore.

Living Cities, a collaborative of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions, announced last week that Baltimore is one of five cities selected to participate as part of its national Integration Initiative. The Living Cities' Integration Initiative is designed to address some of the most pressing challenges facing America's cities.

Other cities chosen for the Integration Initiative are Cleveland, Detroit, Newark and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Baltimore will receive up to $19 million in grants, loans and program-related investments from Living Cities. More important, we are receiving national recognition and assistance to advance two of our most critical common goals: connecting residents to real jobs and driving investment to central-city neighborhoods.

With Living Cities' resources, and funds and expertise contributed by our city, state and not-for-profit partners, we will create job opportunities and improve neighborhoods in Central and East Baltimore while preparing residents for opportunities created by the construction of the Red Line through what we're calling the Baltimore Integration Partnership.

The funding we receive will result in at least 1,200 residents connected to job services, 840 of whom will be directly employed in careers with family-supporting wages in partner institutions and/or in building our city's infrastructure. Four hundred units of mixed-income housing will be built and 346,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space developed.

Citywide partnership

With the Maryland Philanthropy Network and the Reinvestment Fund as leads, we are particularly proud that Baltimore's public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors - from the governor's office to the mayor's office, from Associated Black Charities and the Goldseker Foundation to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, from East Baltimore Development Inc. to the Central Baltimore Partnership, and from Johns Hopkins University and Medical Institutions to the Job Opportunities Task Force and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance - worked as true partners to obtain this significant national investment.

The Baltimore Integration Partnership will build upon the success of Baltimore's Workforce Funders' Collaborative, an effort that has helped launch programs in biotechnology, health care and construction, moving thousands of low-income city residents into careers, and the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative's efforts to promote transit-centered community development.

We look forward to joining with and learning from our national partners and sister cities as we work together to remake America's great urban places and reconnect residents to economic opportunity.

Certainly, there is no more important work that we could undertake.


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