User:WillowSE/Greater Homewood Community Corporation

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{{Greater Homewood Community Corporation (GHCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian services for the 51 neighborhoods[citation needed] of north central Baltimore's Greater Homewood area. Programs and services include improving education, supporting youth development, advancing economic development, and initiating neighborhood revitalization.[1]

Organizational background[edit]

Homewood Community Project[edit]

In 1966, Johns Hopkins University began a series of breakfast seminars called "Community Conversations" for Greater Homewood residents, Johns Hopkins University administrators, and city officials to help foster a community and University relationship, while addressing community issues. Community Conversations and a grant from the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under Title I of the Higher Education Act of 1965 gave birth to the Homewood Community Project.[2]

The Project worked to enhance neighborhood life by providing services that ranged from assisting the disadvantaged to code enforcement to improving local public schools.[2] Programs included Environmental Education Seminar; Baltimore City Fair; Community Orientation for new students, faculty, and campus visitors; Tutorial programs at Barclay and Margaret Brent elementary schools; and participation in reports on the "Economic Impact of the Johns Hopkins Institutions on Baltimore City".[2]

Dea Anderson Kline, director of the newly established Johns Hopkins Office of Community Affairs, served as the initial director of the Homewood Project. She served as a liaison between the University and the community. Under her leadership, the Homewood Community Project continued to address Homewood resident issues.[3]


The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare grant used to establish the Greater Homewood Community Project, ended on June 15, 1969. Prior to the end date, Johns Hopkins University and Project members incorporated the organization under the name Greater Homewood Community Corporation. A Corporate Development Committee was formed, which included community leaders, neighborhood associations, and Homewood area businesses and religious institutions with a goal to raise $75,000 yearly for a term of three years.[2]

GHCC's general mission continued to focus on revitalizing each neighborhood in the Baltimore area. Additional areas that were added, included advocacy for Greater Homewood, to include government and private groups, mental health and health services, family structure, recreational facilities, and environmental causes. The Greater Homewood Education Corporation was formed by Michael Kelly to help the Greater Homewood Community Project with its work in public schools, which primarily focused on Margaret Brent and Barclay elementary schools.

Membership in the Project was limited to Greater Homewood residents and businesses, unless special membership was awarded. Special members could not vote in board meetings.[2]

In 1973, lack of funding threatened to shut GHCC down. GHCC relied on grants and private donations to cover its costs. The Project Urban Self-Help program of the United Fund did not renew its $25,000 grant for GHCC. The organization "felt [that] the corporation had adequate resources".[4]

Programs and services[edit]

Programming areas of the GHCC include Healthy Neighborhoods, Great Schools Charles Village, Community Schools, Strategic Code Enforcement, Adult Literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Experience Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and fiscal sponsorship.

College Opportunity and Career Help[edit]

Greater Homewood Community Corporation with the help of the JHU Center for Social Concern is the first group to have the COACH program outside of Massachusetts. Originally founded by two Harvard professors in 1999, the program is run through Harvard's Kennedy School where students, undergrad and graduates, volunteer to help public students through the college planning and application processes.[5] Coaches help students find financial aid, look at colleges, and write essays. An AmeriCorps VISTA and JHU students work together to help over 150 Baltimore City public school students plan their futures.[6]

Barclay Youth Programs[edit]

Camp Barclay opened in 1970 at Barclay Elementary School under Donnan Runkel. To secure funding for the summer camp, Runkel presented the idea to the Greater Homewood's education committee as an affordable safe place for the neighborhood children to play. With financial support and a staff member from Greater Homewood, Camp Barclay opened its doors.[7]

The camp got off to a rocky start because of insufficient funding and planning. Much of what the camp needed, which included drinks, food, and games, required donations from outside of the organization, due to a limited operating budget. Relying on volunteers to staff the camp, proved difficult, since camp counselors wanted to be paid. At that point, GHCC had raised enough money to be able to provide more funding for the camp.[8]

Barclay Boys Summer Rites Program was created in 2008, as an eight-week program intended for "African American boys between the ages of 12-15 who were considered at-risk for joining local gangs" by a GHCC Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School Community School Coordinator with the help of Goucher College.[9][10] The program was designed to teach leadership skills and strengthen the bond between the boys and the community while keeping them away from gang activity.

Through a two-year, half a million dollar grant from Telsis Corporation and the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, the Barclay Youth Safe Haven Program was started in 2010. The program, like its predecessors, is a program designed to provide a safe place for children to go to as well as have access to mentors, enrichment activities, and social services as an after school and ongoing program for the 50 elementary schools in the Barclay neighborhood.[11]

GHCC with a partnership Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore Police Department oversees this program. Entering this program at a young age is supposed to help prevent "at-risk" children from "falling through the cracks" according to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at press conference for the launch of the program.[12] The Eisenhower Foundation intends to open more "Youth Safe Havens" in 14 other areas nationwide.

Neighborhood revitalization efforts[edit]

The Greater Homewood area is considered to be similar to a small city with "different kinds of housing, many varieties of people, parks, churches, libraries, hospitals, schools, and [universities]" meaning the area is heavily impacted by problems in the City.[13] By the early 70s, GHCC had become known as a representative for the neighborhoods when addressing City officials, particularly City Council. The group had already facilitated successful negotiations between Johns Hopkins and the tenants of the Homewood Apartments.[14] Hopkins had bought the apartment building with the intention of using it for off-campus housing. The current tenants were not happy when given the eviction notice. They voted to have Greater Homewood Community Corporation represent them during negotiations with the university.[15] GHCC was able to secure relocation counseling from the University and the removal of monetary penalties for tenants who wanted to end their leases early.[16]

Neighborhood walking tours program is an effort to attract new residents to the different neighborhoods by showing the improvements being made in the area public schools. Tours started with Charles Village and Wyman Park.[17][18] After helping to form Hampden-Woodberry Community Council,[19] they began to work together to help revitalize Wyman Park in conjunction with Remington Improvement Association, Wyman Park Community Association, city officials, and JHU faculty and students. The park had become overgrown and was suffering from urban decay deterring potential park visitors. GHCC organized an "eight-week clean-up project using volunteers and 20 members of the Baltimore Summer Youth Corps".[20]


  1. ^ "Impact Statement". Greater Homewood Community Corporation. GuideStar. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bettcher, Kim. "RG10-040". Records of the Office of Community Affairs. The Johns Hopkins Records of the Office of Community Affairs. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Greater Homewood Community Project" (PDF). The MUND Newsletter. 1 (8): 1. 1968. Retrieved 22 June 2011.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "Homewood group says lack of funds may shut it down". The Baltimore Sun. 24 August 1973. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "COACH: College Opportunity and Career Help". Harvard in the Community. Harvard College. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Mission". COACH JHU -- College Opportunity and Career Help Program. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Runkel, Donnan (6 September 1970). "Summer On A Shoestring At Camp Barclay". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Runkel, Donnan (6 September 1970). "Summer On A Shoestring At Camp Barclay". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Barclay Boys Rites Part I". The Barclay Boys Rites Part I. GHCC Baltimore. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Barclay Boys Rites Program". Community Partnerships. Goucher College. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Torbati, Yeganeh (14 February 2011). "Mentoring and Training programs to target Baltimore youth". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Williams, Shenay (14 February 2011). "Nonprofit Announces Baltimore Youth Programs". The Afro Newspapers. 
  13. ^ Arnett, Earl (14 September 1970). "Greater Homewood Group Built On Diversity Of Community". The Baltimore Sun. 
  14. ^ "Hopkins Tenant Row Continues". The Baltimore Sun. 20 January 1971. 
  15. ^ "EMBRY SCORES HOPKINS BUYING :Says City Will Lose Taxes By Homewood Purchase". The Baltimore Sun. 12 December 1970. 
  16. ^ "Homewood's Tenants Aided". The Baltimore Sun. 12 December 1970. 
  17. ^ "Fifth Annual Charles Village House Tour May 19". The Baltimore Sun. 10 May 1974. 
  18. ^ "Wyman Park Tour Scheduled". The Baltimore Sun. 22 July 1973. 
  19. ^ Wallace, Weldon (23 July 1973). "We Live Here: Hampden Organized And Did Something". The Baltimore Sun. 
  20. ^ Arnett, Earl (24 October 1973). "Wyman Park, On The Skids For Years, Is Making Comeback Through Neighboring Groups". The Baltimore Sun. 

External links[edit]

Category:Neighborhoods in Baltimore Category:1969 establishments in the United States Category:Non-profit organizations based in Maryland Category:Humanitarian aid organizations