By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
During a weekend of celebration for the 150-year-old security company, American District Telegraph (ADT), Fight Blight Bmore was gifted $100,000 toward their fight to end vacant housing and revitalize Baltimore.
“Baltimore is a great city filled with history and wonderful people, but it needs some love,” Bob Tucker, corporate affairs leader, told the AFRO at ADT’s plaque unveiling outside their old Baltimore St. headquarters. “We gave $100,000 to Fight Blight Baltimore to help revitalize the Upton area and $20,000 to Signal 13, which is the foundation for the police department. On top of that, we’ve supported the Carver High School Vocational School and the Requity Foundation with a $120,000 donation.”
Fight Blight is a holistic social justice initiative led by Baltimore residents to address the issue of blight in the community. According to the Vacant Property Research Network, blight can be identified by abandoned buildings and lots, neglected houses in hazardous shape and environmental contamination.
As of August 2023, there are 13,963 vacant homes in Baltimore, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development.
As Fight Blight continues to inform people about the impact of blight and support the development of real property that is implemented and owned by current residents, the donation will specifically help them enhance their “Hack Hub,” a youth-centered think tank and startup space.
“The $100,000 will go toward rehabilitating the Hack Hub space, which will be completed in one year,” said Nneka N’namdi, founder of Fight Blight. “The Hack Hub holds community-based programming such as the Blk Robot Project, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) opportunity for young Black people. The Hack Hub is currently a single-family rowhouse that will become a live, work, play space for someone who may be a massage therapist or an insurance agent.”
N’namdi shared that the people of Requity Foundation introduced Fight Blight’s work to ADT, who eventually contacted her for the donation.
Tucker assured that more investments will be made in Baltimore.