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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Baltimore Station, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Housing & Shelter, Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment

Mission: At The Baltimore Station, we concentrate on helping those we know most about - those we can do the most for - men who have valiantly served our country and have fallen on hard times. We know that they suffer a special kind of hell, returning to society with the effects of combat (including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), often turning to drugs to silence the trauma. We know the cycle that can spin out of control, leading to poverty, estrangement and homelessness. We know what it takes to break that cycle – a highly structured environment – because most of our staff is in recovery themselves and half are veterans. Recovery is not a “quick fix” battle. It’s a long tough war.

Target demographics: Veterans

Geographic areas served: Baltimore Metro Area

Programs: innovative therapeutic residential treatment program supporting veterans and others who are transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a former resident of the Baltimore Station,I am very grateful for the treatment and knowledge that I received during my stay there.I have gotten my life back.They saved me from myself. Thank You to the staff of the Baltimore Station.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had experiences with the staff, current residents, and graduates of the program at The Baltimore Station, and each of those experiences has changed my life for the better. The staff truly cares about the residents, and gives 100% every day to make sure they are taken care of. The current residents are always very courteous, grateful, and polite. My neighbor is a former resident of The Baltimore Station, and he has become a great friend of mine. He has struggled in life ever since the Vietnam war, and he credits The Baltimore Station with helping to turn his life around. This organization serves a great purpose in my community, and I am very grateful for their existence. I encourage everyone to spend some time here, and get to know the residents and program staff.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our group from church volunteers every month at Baltimore Station. The entire experience for us is rewarding and educational. The staff are organized, competent and clearly connect with the residents. The residents themselves - no matter what struggles they may have brought with them - are working hard to change their lives. Many of them are looking for ways to contribute to their community. Not everyone succeeds, but everyone at Baltimore Station is given a great environment to overcome their issues and grow stronger. Great people. Good place.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As part of a group from Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse, Inc., we provide a Holiday Meal with all the fixins' every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The staff there are wonderful to work with and the facilties are clean and well maintained. They provide a safe and highly effective environment for men who are down on their luck to get back on their feet again. The staff and clients are very welcoming, and willing to share information about the shelter. They truly appreciate our efforts to do what we can to help. I always enjoy their company!!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization. I have been involved off and on for several years and am always glad to serve. The resident men are most respectful and appreciative.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my singular privilege to act as a volunteer group facilitator at The Baltimore Station for 12+ years. My experience has Blessed me beyond measure. Through these years, I have witnessed what can be achieved when the commitment of an innovative staff is met with the courage of clients to reclaim a life thought lost to addiction, despair and homelessness. The result is nothing short of miraculous! The clients not only reclaim productives lives of sanity and sobriety but go on to achieve so very much more. As one example, they often complete their education which has been disrupted. Some have started by attending literacy classes and earning a GED while others have started at the community college level and gone on to earn college degrees. Still others, having earned undergraduate degrees, go on to earn advanced degrees and become alcohol and substance abuse counselors themselves! To make such an investment is the greatest testimony of the centrality of The Station in their life. Prompted by my volunteer experience at The Station, I returned to college and have earned a Masters Degree in alcohol and substance abuse counseling.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Baltimore Station does such wonderful work in the lives of veterans. I know that everyone at the Station works hard to help these men recover from addiction. I helped on the restART with ART fundraiser committee and have seen firsthand how they have been able to expand and focus even more attention on these men.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love The Baltimore Station and the gentlemen who work and reside there. I have made a meal and served it with my family. I came back with my book club another time to make and serve dinner. The best part of the experience is conversing with the men who work and reside at The Station. My family and book club both had a very positive experience and were enthusiastic to come back and see the men. They are all such intelligent, kind and wonderful men. I've left just blown away by these gentlemen. We've attended events alongside the men, and they never seize to amaze me. They are inspiring.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My group from church has been volunteering at the Station for almost 3 years and for the past 2 years been serving dinner every month. We have been continually impressed by the way the facility is run. We also really appreciate the willingness of the staff to give tours and more information about how the station functions and how the simple act of providing a meal and talking with the residents can be an integral part of their recovery process. In addition to serving meals, we have enjoyed developing relationships with the residents and enjoy watching their growth. Our church recently opened a campus a few blocks from the station and a few of the residents have come by. It is a joy to see the men engage in their neighborhood - some volunteered to dig people out during the huge snow storm. The success of the program and the growth of the residents is in no small part due to the amazing facility and staff!!! It is a privilege to be affiliated with this organization!!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My experience is one from afar as I live out of state. I do know staff members and volunteers who speak of The Station with such devotion and spend so much of their time working for the fulfillment of its purpose of rehabilitation that I can't help but feel I must say something here. The fundraising events they hold are creative and inspiring and their proactive future-planning and investment really shows the commitment to their cause. Baltimore is served a great service by The Station. p

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've done volunteer work at The Baltimore Station in the capacity of serving meals, sharing meals and working at Artscape by selling food to help raise funds. The enthusiam of the staff at the Station is very rewarding and my interaction with the Veterans has been educational from their willingness to share their personal stories and in addition they have been nothing but pleasant to be around.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Several years ago, with my daughter, who then was an 8th grader at Friends School of Baltimore, with other students and parents I visited the South Baltimore Station for a Dr. King celebration. It was a dynamic and enriching experience, I believe, for all involved...the recovering veterans, the young people and parents. As a result of that visit, I was invited to conduct a group. For several months I ran a weekly Emotional Intelligence group. I fell in love with that place, the staff and the veterans. What do I love? I love that the staff is so thoroughly committed to transforming the lives of the men that they serve. I love that the men are so dedicated to their recovery. And I am touched and moved by the South Baltimore's Station's ability to be both innovative (I sometimes visit their acupuncture sessions) yet grounded in the principles and philosophies that make recovery work for the veterans who gets the opportunity to experience the South Baltimore Station.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Baltimore Station since 2006 when I was hired as the architect for their renovation and expansion of the South Baltimore Station location. What could have been just another job, turned into a rewarding project and a more serious involvement with the Station, long after the project was completed. We converted an existing fire station with approximately 50 beds to an expanded facility which provides services to 92 men on site, most of whom are veterans. Throughout the process, from programming to design and through construction, the Station's administration and residents were active participants. The staff was well-informed, eager and always clear regarding the primary goal of the facility, serving the men. During this time I was on site on a weekly basis and intereacted with many of the men. In addition, I employed one of the residents to work as a draftsman for me and found the experience to be mutually beneficial. I have also volunteered and included my family and friends with the program, serving meals. My involvment has grown where I am currently Co-Chair for re-stART with ART, an annual art auction/fundraising event for the Station to raise awareness of the program through art, some of which was donated by residents. I have been very impressed with the Station's program, philosophy towards recovery and success. For an outsider, they have put a face on addiction and recovery, and shown a great committment to our veteran's. I am a better person for having become involved with the men at the Station.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is one of the most impressive that I have come into contact with. Its objectives are noteworthy and most importantly their program works. The policy of staff coming from the ranks of graduates of the program has led to a dedicated and experienced staff. This group is tuned in to the mission of the organization and their enthusiasm is evident. It has recently expanded to serve even more homeless veterans with an addictive behavior which allows this program to be even more important.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a veteran myself, a former Army Nurse. I served, stateside, during the Vietnam War. I have for years been concerned about how we serve our veterans, especially those whose minds and spiritual well-being have been damaged by their service in the military. The first time I visited Baltimore Station, I was stunned to learn that more than 90% of the addicted men they serve are veterans. I thought it was an indictment of the VA (that they were failing to help). But then came the remarkable epiphany: I saw that this statistic says something strongly positive about the excellent approach at Baltimore Station, and about their amazing success in helping veterans who are addicted to heal themselves. I was just at the Baltimore Station last Sunday. I had dinner in the company of several veterans who are working towards wholeness again in their lives. Afterwards the director of Baltimore Station took me on a tour of their new wing and spoke about the fullness of their wonderful program. Their program is all about dignity and hope and hard work. I couldn't help but think of my father, a veteran of WWII who died of his alcholism at age 49 in 1973, and I was embarrassed that I tears sprang to my eyes. I wish Baltimore Station had been there when father needed it.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.