Originally published 3/17/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 3/16/2017 at 10:34p.m.
A unified three-prong approach of collaboration, faith and trust has created a work-space for four non-profits in an effort to help Baltimore City residents. Corporate sponsors BGE and WhitingTurner have partnered with nonprofits Thread, Baltimore Corps, Center for Urban Families and Invested Impact to create TouchPoint Baltimore at Mondawmin Mall, a space for collaboration among nonprofits, corporate partners and the community.
The four nonprofits located at TouchPoint Baltimore at Mondawmin each have missions that complement each other and the TouchPoint mission. Services provided by the organizations include: mentoring, tutoring, workforce development, life skills support, leadership development and entrepreneurial support.
The city is showing significant resurgence nearly two years after the civil unrest (April 2015) in West Baltimore.
The goal is to encourage other corporations and nonprofits to implement this model in other communities for maximum impact. Bringing these nonprofits together with corporate partners in one location providing a unique opportunity to support the citizens of Baltimore in a collaborative way.
At the February 17 grand opening, Calvin Butler, CEO of BGE and Tim Regan, president and CEO of WhitingTurner recalled a conversation they had following the civil unrest in Baltimore City about how they could make a substantial contribution to the revitalization of the city. The outcome of the conversation resulted in the success of securing an 8400-square foot facility located at 2401 Liberty Heights Avenue.
Butler spoke of their goal to work together in a deep and meaningful way “to build community relationships that transcends race and class.” He stated that the message for support in the community was “loud and clear” and all of the organizations applied their resources to make a difference.
“We wouldn’t allow perfection to stand in the way of action,” Butler said.
Other organizations believed in the mission and the concept and donated their time to bring TouchPoint into fruition. “We both learned at an early age that with leadership comes great responsibility,” said Regan.
Jackie Caldwell, president of the Greater Mondawmin Association welcomed nearly 100 guests and dignitaries during the ceremony. The guest list included: Tisha Edwards, chief of staff for Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh; Bernard C. “Jack” Young, president of Baltimore City Council; Baltimore
City Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III (District 7); Kristin Jurkscheit, manager at Baltimore Corps; Rodney Oddoye, director of northeast regional operations for BGE; Shawn Brown, regional sales manager for Strong Tower Security; Kimberly Ellis, founder of Breaking Bread; and Wendy C. Blackwell, founder of Unmasked.
The leadership team at TouchPoint is comprised of Sarah Hemminger, CEO and Co-Founder of Thread; Fagan Harris, president and CEO Baltimore Corps; Rodney Foxworth, CEO and founder of Invested Impact; and Joe Jones, president and CEO Center for Urban Families