Dear Friend:

At its heart, our efforts are focused on working with our neighbors to rebuild our community. While we have shared stories about housing, about workforce development and about education, this week’s video is an illustration of how it all comes together.

In sharing their story, our EBDI colleague Quiana James-Morman and her husband James – with a little “help” from their youngest son – explain how taking advantages of opportunities has helped them change their life together.

When Quiana joined our team, she moved into the new rental housing in our neighborhood. Shortly thereafter, her husband James enrolled in our workforce pipeline, and he’s begun building a career:

"To give you a picture, three years ago I was making $10 an hour bouncing from job to job, with part time work. I started out in the pipeline, but I wasn't too sure.”

“I worked with my advocate. They told me to stick with it… that it would pay off in the end. Three years later, I'm a foreman for a million dollar company. I've been able to study and train in both plumbing and safety – two careers in one. EBDI has been a blessing in my life."

James and Quiana attribute their success to persistence. As James puts it:

"It's a gradual program. We started off with the two-bedroom apartment, then we moved to the three-bedroom townhouse, and now we're working on buying a house through the same program. The steps are definitely there for people who are trying to build up."

And Quiana sees the new homes being built by our partners TRF and BUILD as the homeownership opportunity they’ve been looking for:

"TRF has some new single family homes that they will be available, and we're looking to purchase one in the next couple months."

The Mormans also look forward to enrolling their young son in the new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center and, as he grows older, to seeing him attend the new Henderson-Hopkins Elementary School. Given all that is going on, James sees his family building a new life our neighborhood:

"Before coming to East Baltimore, we lived in Cockeysville – and it wasn't even an option moving here. Now, I feel safe. I can let my kids go out and play. There's lots of little restaurants coming around, scenery and park space."

The Mormans – and many other families – are rebuilding our community. As housing, job and educational opportunities continue to grow – along with new retail – James’ optimism for our neighborhood is well placed.

Thank you for reading this week’s email, and we hope you’ll watch this week’s video to hear more from the Mormans.


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