The Baltimore Station, Inc.
March 25, 2010
I am a member of New Hope Lutheran Church in Columbia, Maryland. I have helped serve meals at the shelter for the last ten years and I have served as director of New Hope’s Shelter meal program for the last 5 years. Our congregation serves dinner on alternate months at the The Baltimore Station This organization is truly working miracles in the inner city. It is estimated that there are 50,000 heroin addicts in Baltimore City. Addictions to heroin, alcohol and other drugs destroy personal lives, relationships, families and careers. These are problems that cannot be solved by the typical 28-day insurance sponsored recovery plan. The Baltimore Station’s approach is to first deal with the addiction problem and then to address the other issues in the client’s life, which could make a successful recovery difficult. This might include help with job searches, college, technical school, alimony issues and back taxes. The goal is to position the men to start again with the tools to break the cycle of poverty by obtaining a real job with benefits, instead of the off the books jobs many of the men have prior to entering the shelter.
Men may stay at the shelter for over a year. This gives The Baltimore Station a welcoming atmosphere as many of the men have been there for quite some time and are well along on their personal journey of recovery. The presence of men who are succeeding in overcoming their addiction helps to bolster the new arrivals. Often when we are serving dinner, graduates of the program will drop by to share their stories with new arrivals and offer encouragement.
Outreach to the community has become a major effort of The Baltimore Station. The goal is not to have outsiders come in and serve the men but have groups come in and work on projects along side the men. We do not serve a meal to the men; we share a meal with the men. We prepare the food and they setup for the meal and clean up afterwards. We sit and eat with them and share stories about our lives. When our youth have served dinners, there have been testimonial presentations for them on the repercussions of drug use. The Station’s mission is not only to help men with addiction problems, but also to help prevent problems from occurring through their outreach efforts.
I attended the groundbreaking for expansion of The Baltimore Station where luminaries such as the Baltimore mayor, a US Congressman, a US Senator and the Governor of Maryland, heralded the program as a national model for treating drug addiction. However, for me the most convincing testimony came from the president of the local community association who praised The Baltimore Station as a strong positive influence in her neighborhood. In these days where Not-In-My-Backyard is the rule, I can think of no better recommendation.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
by seeing men go through the program then return to share their success sttories.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
interacting with the men and seeing their progress on subsequent visits.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
church members, scout troops, school groups
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
expand its successful model for addiction treatment to additional venues.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & serve meals.