For immediate release:
June 15, 2015
Erin Montgomery email@example.com
Shareese Churchill firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Larry Hogan Announces $3.3 Million for Baltimore City Youth Job Placements
An Additional $4.15 Million in Recovery Funding for City Also Announced
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced $3.3 million in state funding to provide Baltimore City youth with summer job opportunities and work experience. Allocated to the Youth Works and Hire One Youth programs through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), these funds will provide summer jobs to youth in Baltimore City. The funds will be provided by DLLR through a grant it administers to Baltimore City for youth job opportunity programs. Through funding already provided in the state budget, as well as private funding secured by state and city officials, around 8,100 youth will receive summer job placements.
Governor Hogan also announced $4.15 million to provide funds for business recovery loans, homeownership assistance programs, and targeted assistance for significant façade improvements for impacted Baltimore City businesses in an effort to create a more economically and architecturally appealing streetscape.
The funding for both initiatives, which are on Wednesday’s Board of Public Works agenda for final approval, was announced today at the ribbon cutting for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center in West Baltimore.
“These are significant and necessary steps in our ongoing effort to help affected Baltimore City residents recover and rebuild,” said Governor Hogan. “These funds will allow business owners the opportunity to improve their property’s appearance and will provide job opportunities and work experience to our youth throughout the summer months.”
The $4.15 million in funds will be distributed in the following manner:
$1.5 million for business recovery loans;
$500,000 for business façade grants, which could help an estimated 50 businesses;
$150,000 for business façade design and implementation (architectural and workforce services); and
$2 million for settlement expense grants and down payment assistance loans for new homeowners. This attracts an additional $1 million committed by Baltimore City for deferred payment loans that can be forgiven, achieving $3 million in investments for homeownership, an estimated 300 homeowners at $10,000 each.
The financing for the façade improvements will be disbursed as grants and/or flexible loans through the established process that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has established under its existing programs. DHCD’s Maryland Business Recovery program, launched within a week of the riots, continues to process applications from affected businesses through DHCD’s micro loan and Neighborhood BusinessWorks programs. To date, the program is reviewing applications from 22 businesses, 13 of which have been approved and are in the process of being closed. Micro loans are for a maximum of $35,000 per business.
“The health and well-being of Baltimore is critical to the health and well-being of Maryland,” DHCD Secretary Kenneth Holt said. “Our efforts are aimed at having Baltimore not just recover, but come back better and stronger.”
Additionally, Governor Hogan celebrated the grand opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, a newly renovated facility that was deeded over from Baltimore City to the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, which is headed by Reverend Errol D. Gilliard.
Important supporters of the initiative include Arthur “Squeaky” Kirk, son of the late Delegate Ruth Kirk, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI), and numerous sponsors including State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, Bell Nursery, Baltimore Jewish Council, Rocksprings Foundation, and the Center for Social Change. Donations consisted of a community garden, 20 computers, 15 iPads, a ping pong table, furniture, the renovation of a basketball court and playground, and $10,000 in grant money for Delegate Kirk’s Annual Fun Festival, which is held in August in memory of her service and commitment to the community.
“My team and I are extremely proud of this combined effort between the community and the private sector. We’d like to thank the donors that contributed to the revitalization of the MLK Recreation Center,” said GOCI Executive Director Steve McAdams. “Also, I’d like to applaud the financial commitment and personal sacrifice of Arthur Kirk for leading this incredible community initiative in West Baltimore.”