Follow-Up on HEBCAC and Station East Homes

Following up on my story about HEBCAC earlier this month, I should point out that The Baltimore Sun published a sobering story about the organization’s Station East project last week.

At least 18 residents are complaining of leaking roofs, flooded basements, shoddy construction… it’s not pretty.

The current project manager, who says he took over the role from HEBCAC, has said he’s doing everything he can to address the issues. Tellingly, on the same day the story was published, Hopkins posted a job listing for the Executive Director position at HEBCAC. (The pay range is $92,570 to $127,270.) As far as I know, there’s no change planned for Jeff Thompson’s Deputy Director position.

This morning I got two tweets from Nicholas Miles, who is identified in the Sun story as a Station East resident. Here’s one of them:

I invited Nicholas to share more if he wants. I’ll let you know if he does.

If you have any experience with HEBCAC you want to share publicly, feel free to reach out.

Jeff Thompson of HEBCAC: “There Just Is an Amazing Amount of Resilience” in East Baltimore

Read the follow-up to this story here.

I was trying to nail down the scope of what the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC) does when I asked Deputy Directory Jeff Thompson if he saw the organization primarily as filling people’s needs or acting as an agent of change.

He didn’t think much of my distinction.

“We are agents of change,” he told me, “because we help people transform their lives.”

That is to say, helping East Baltimore residents beat addiction, secure housing and find work does fill needs. But it does much more that. It enables people to unlock their potential and become assets in their community.

HEBCAC was originally conceived in the 1990s as an umbrella group, encompassing 11 East Baltimore neighborhoods (and their neighborhood associations) stretching from the Hopkins East Baltimore campus to the borders of Baltimore Cemetery.

HEBCAC

As funding sources and the city’s development priorities have changed over the years, HEBCAC’s role in the community has evolved. Relationships with local associations have become less formal, and the organization now focuses on providing social services and community development within its service area.

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