A Message from our Executive Director --
To all of our supporters, friends, and partners-- I hope that you are holding up during this strange and difficult time.
Like many of you, I have spent the last couple of weeks coming to terms with the current situation, what it means for daily life and how it will impact the families & communities we serve.
While it goes without saying that there are many unknowns at this time, we know that the core mission of Rebuilding Together Baltimore will not change. Safe and healthy housing is more important than ever now in this time of social distancing, self-quarantining, and sheltering-in-place.
I have been working hard with our board of directors and our amazing staff members to evaluate our options for programming during this public health crisis.
I’m reaching out to give you an update on Rebuilding Together Baltimore’s status, activities, and plans moving forward.
We are working remotely and have currently halted all visits to the homes of our clients and all home repair activities. Our staff members are checking on our current and former clients by phone and asking if they have enough food, medications and other necessities and we are connecting them with the resources they need.
Additionally, our staff members have been helping with relief efforts in the community, distributing meals to community members in need, and sorting food at food banks. Staff members have followed COVID-19 safety protocols in all of these activities, and are abiding by federal, state, and city guidelines.
Our primary concern is the safety and health of the homeowners we serve, our volunteers, and our staff. We are unsure of when we will be safely able to enter the homes of our clients, or when we will be safely able to convene groups of volunteers. Even when restrictions lift for the general public, we will need to exercise extra caution to protect the vulnerable people we serve.
For the time being, we are holding off on scheduling any volunteer home repair projects for the rest of 2020. As the situation evolves, our board and our staff will be meeting (virtually, of course) to assess our options moving forward with programmatic activities. While it is possible that we will be able to resume volunteer home repair projects this year, we cannot guarantee it. We want to err on the side of caution and don’t want to inconvenience our clients and volunteers by rescheduling projects multiple times. We are also trying to be as creative as possible during these challenging times and may have other volunteer activities you can help with.
Our current plan for 2020 is that we will complete more contractor-only repairs than normal and that we will focus mostly on critical exterior repairs (such as roofing). Using contractors in this way will allow us to further our mission of safe and healthy housing while also following guidelines limiting large gatherings and without exposing our clients to potential infection of COVID-19. We could really use your support in building up the funds that will be needed for these repairs. If you would like to support the additional costs that will be associated with paid contractor work, please click here to make a donation. FYI--donations of $500 or more might be eligible for our Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) benefit. Click here to learn more about that program and/or call me at 410-889-2710 or email me at email@example.com with any questions. We know times are tight for a lot of you. If you can’t give, we totally understand. If you CAN give, we would be forever grateful to you.
Finally—I want to give a shout out to all of you who are healthcare workers, first responders, and in other essential jobs. We are so grateful for what you do. And to our friends who are working from home, while also parenting, and tripping over partners and other family members, we feel for you! Hang in there, and thank you for your support!
We’ve been working remotely since Friday, March 13. Our office phone is forwarding to our cell phones. If you need to reach us, please feel free to call the office number at 410-889-2710, and choose the number that corresponds to the person you want to reach. We are also all reachable through email. Our emails are listed on the homepage of our website, rtbaltimore.org.
Peace and Health to all of you,