The violent riots that broke out in Baltimore following the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who is suspected of having been a victim of police brutality, ended with fires, looting and destruction that affected many of the city’s homes and businesses.
During crises like these in American cities, it’s easy to feel helpless. We’ve researched five ways you can help this city rebuild and recover:
1. Revitalize neighborhoods
Newborn Holistic Ministries has been serving Baltimore for nearly 20 years. This Baltimore-bred organization runs a recovery program for women overcoming addiction and homelessness. It also revitalizes vacant and dilapidated buildings, turning them into gardens and murals for the community.
“When you have a community-driven effort, it is more effective,” Todd Marcus, executive director of the organization told NewsHour. “It is not outsiders coming in and then leaving, so I think it has a longer term impact and frankly, it is empowering for our community residents to be the ones that can make that change themselves.” To donate click here.
You can also donate to a fund that has been set up to rebuild a $16 million community center that was burned to the ground on Monday. The center was expected to house 60 low-income senior citizens and was pioneered by the Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore.
Click here to donate and specify that the donation should go to the Mary Harvin Transformation Center.
2. Support those in crisis
Samaritan Community provides emergency aid to families in crisis, whether they need help making their rent, putting food on the table or paying medical costs. The 40-year-old, Baltimore-based organization works intensely with families, providing them with counseling services and access to a food pantry, a clothing closet and adult literacy programs.
“It is the isolation that often is fuel for the fire. There is addiction, depression, mental health issues and unemployment. By bringing people into a community that respects them and honors them, the healing starts,” said Peter Dunn, director of community relations for the Samaritan Community.
To donate click here or send a donation by mail to:
The Samaritan Community
1407 Bolton St.
Baltimore, MD 21217
3. Invest in Baltimore’s youth
Founded in 2012, The Inner Harbor Project is staffed and run by youth leaders from Baltimore who help train police officers on ways to better communicate and engage with young people. The program also mediates conflicts between teenagers and sends 25 “teenage ambassadors” to the Inner Harbor on the weekends and after school during the summer to promote positive behavior.
“What I see in the Inner Harbor and what was being expressed is the feeling of being discriminated, excluded from mainstream society and retaliating in the only way they know how,” Celia Neustadt, the executive director of Inner Harbor Project, who founded it in the summer of 2012, told NewsHour.
“These kids don’t have anything to lose. They are not engaged academically; they are not engaged in traditional social structures,” she said. “They have created their own independent structures to support the things they care about, but they don’t have anything to lose in our current mainstream society because we haven’t created space for them,” she said.
Neustadt believes the teenagers need to be a part of finding a solution to the youth violence in Baltimore. “Without the teens on the inside, we have no hope for knowing it, understanding it, or working to resolve it,” she said. Click here to donate.
If you live in the area and can volunteer your time, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods has created a Google doc listing places around the city that could use a few extra hands, whether it be for cleanup, delivering supplies or organizing peaceful walks around the city. Click here to help.
5. Finance education
The Baltimore Community Foundation, which invests in education, and race equity and inclusion, has established a Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore and is working with the community to determine how best to apply the donations. According to their website, 100 percent of donations will go to rebuilding efforts. Click here to donate.
Editor’s note: This list has been updated with new information. We will update the list as we confirm more organizations aiding Baltimore.