Decarceration: Resuscitating our Squandered Resources

Every year, 11% of Baltimore’s population goes through central booking. One in four African American children have a father in prison at some point during their youth compared with one in thirty Caucasian kids. The yearly drug consumption costs in Baltimore total approximately $16 billion, making our city a hotbed for drug raids and high rates of incarceration.

These are all facts that I learned during the Social Determinants of Health Symposium on Squandered Resources: Incarceration – Its Consequences, Costs and Alternatives, which was convened by the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute on April 28th. Speakers examined the reality of …read more

The Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program Gives Back to Baltimore

“Peace Corps Volunteers, stay as you are—be servants of peace; work at home as you have worked abroad—humbly, persistently, intelligently. Serve your neighborhoods. Serve your cities. Serve the poor. Join others who serve. Serve…Serve…Serve…that’s the end. That is the challenge. For in the end it will be the servants who save us all.”

– Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps First Director

Kennedy and Johnson greeting Peace Corps volunteers, 1962 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The WellPower Blog is committed to creating a healthier nation by lifting up community involvement, including drawing attention to local organizations striving to end …read more

The Health and Life Outcomes of De Facto Segregation

A photo of the Baltimore National Aquarium taken July 3, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My maternal family’s roots have been planted in Baltimore for many generations. I grew up believing that Baltimore is at the center of the universe and my love for this city reflects my reverence for my hometown’s unique attributes.

Despite the crack epidemic hitting the city pretty hard, making drug pushers and addicts a mainstay of my commute to school, the abandoned row houses leaving a blight on the landscape, and gentrification which led to the demolition of public housing units, I still love Baltimore. …read more

The Arc of History Bends towards Access for Everyone

For 35 years, “care” has been at the center of Baltimore-based healthcare provider, Chase Brexton’s mission. At their Cathedral Street location, they have served thousands of community members in the areas of medical care, behavioral health, dental care, pharmacy services and specialty services, to name a few.

For months, we have watched as the beautiful old Monumental Life Building on Charles Street was transformed into Chase Brexton Health Services’ new home. The 178,000 square foot building allows the service provider to throw open its doors even wider, and to better honor it’s credo to “to provide compassionate, quality health …read more

A Safe Night Out in Baltimore

Charles Village, Baltimore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a tough summer in Baltimore City, with homicides being reported almost daily. In total, there have been 69 homicides in the past three months, for a total of 141 thus far in 2013. The total number of homicides in 2012 was 217, which landed Baltimore on the number 5 spot on the list of the 10 deadliest cities in America.

The annual National Night Out took place on August 6th, including many of Baltimore’s communities such as Charles Village, Pen Lucy, Wilson Park, Greektown, Mondawmin, Old Goucher and Kenilworth Park. The …read more

Birthing in Baltimore, Part II

Childbirth (Photo credit: popularpatty)

Continued from Birthing in Baltimore, Part I …

As Shannon McGarry was preparing for last week’s post, Pushing Forward Childbirth in America, which examines the US’ approach to maternal healthcare, she asked me about my own experience – specifically if I had given birth in a hospital (yes) and if I had a positive experience (yes). Her inquiries and more specifically, her post got me thinking … what choices are women making to ensure wellness for themselves and their babies as they start and continue their families?

The following are real life accounts of maternal …read more

Bikemore in Baltimore City

We are big fans of biking here at Campaign Consultation, as we’ve noted in the past. So we were very excited to speak with Chris Merriam, the Executive Director of Bikemore, about their strategies to promote safe biking and community wellness in Baltimore City.

Q: How does biking promote individual wellness and healthy community?

A: It’s great low-impact cardiovascular exercise, and when you use it as a form of transportation, you’re getting that exercise while going where you need to go. Why get in a car and drive to the gym to get on an exercise bicycle? Get on an …read more

Baltimore Zoning Out Liquor Stores

English: Breckenridge, Colorado liquor store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Over the past few months, the Baltimore City Planning Department has been hosting hearings concerning their proposal to revamp the city’s liquor outlet zoning code. The proposed change would force over 100 of the city’s liquor outlets to either stop selling alcohol, or shut their shops down.

For over 40 years there has been a zoning code that does not allow liquor outlets to exist in residential areas. But, the city has allowed existing stores to remain by “grandfathering” them. In recent years, the Planning Department has begun to analyze …read more

Take the Baltimore Scavenger Hunt

Baltimore’s Washington Monument lies two blocks north of US 40 in Baltimore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Healthy communities start with healthy and engaged community members. How well do you know your community?

Take our Scavenger Hunt Challenge to find out. The scavenger hunt combines B’more history with healthy exercise and community exploration.

The rules:

Each time you complete an item on the list, snap a photo on Instagram using the hashtag: #Baltimorescavengerhunt When you’ve completed the entire hunt, be sure to comment below so that we can go through and confirm you as the winner. Involve your friends and neighbors …read more

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Taking the Pulse of Baltimore’s Neighborhoods

Some of the more upscale rowhouses in Baltimore, like these brightly painted homes in Charles Village, have complete porches instead of stoops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you get to really know a neighborhood? You can walk around, talk to the people who live there, and interact with the physical spaces.

But what if you want to dive beneath the surface and delve into the details? The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore (BNIA-JFI) has collected and compiled data on 55 Community Statistical Areas (their term for neighborhoods) in Baltimore, measuring 150 different data …read more