Tisha Edwards, Executive Director Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success (Photo/mayor.baltimorecity.gov)
Dear MOCFS Partners and Friends,
I am writing to let you know I am leaving the Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success, the office that we have built together over the last two-plus years, thanks largely to your steady partnership and support. What we have accomplished in those two years is extraordinary, and it is now time for me to leave this amazing MOCFS community and body of work in the hands of new leaders. My last day will be Friday, October 29.
For me, working with you to radically improve the lives of Baltimore’s children and families has been an honor. And two years in, we are moving the needle. Just look at the scope and reach of our efforts since MOCFS was created in July 2019.
From the beginning, we have focused our work on what the community said was important.
Day One: We came to you, and to residents across all 14 City Council districts, to learn what our communities needed to thrive. These conversations informed our strategic direction and created a critical role for community in all that we do.
Our collective work is deepened by the Baltimore Children’s Cabinet, where we have coordinated investment in support of children across city agencies, nonprofits and institutions. Both our work and yours to reverse the disproportionate odds young people face as a result of structural racism is now aligned to the cabinet’s seven priorities: early childhood development, food insecurity, youth homelessness, youth literacy, trauma-informed care for youth, youth diversion and success for boys and young men of color.
When the pandemic hit, MOCFS assumed a core role in Baltimore City’s COVID-19 response. With your guidance and support…
We made sure no one in Baltimore went hungry because of the pandemic through an interagency COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy, a $66 million effort in its first year that spanned 12 agencies, 150+ partners and 300 distribution sites, and provided 8.7 million meals and 730,000 food boxes to youth and families.
We provided vulnerable youth and families with much needed emergency cash through the city’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program. In partnership with the Open Society Institute and 12-community-based partners, we administered $6 million in $400 prepaid cash cards to 15,000 households that were not accessing food and household supports through mainstream assistance channels.
We directed funding to local child care providers to maintain critical services to working families through the Child Care COVID-19 Stability Fund, which provided $3.7 million to 307 child care providers to help them stay open during the pandemic.
And we are now administering the Baltimore City Eviction Prevention Program to bring households current on their rent in an effort to avoid the eviction crisis. Thanks to you, the program has distributed more than $23 million in assistance to more than 4,600 households since December 2020.
Lastly, and because youth are our most treasured stakeholders, we demonstrated our commitment to giving them a voice in all of our and the city’s work by hosting the first Mayor’s Youth Summit, where 300+ Baltimore youth had a candid conversation with Mayor Scott about their dreams, needs and expectations for his administration.
All this…and MOCFS is just getting started. Together, and through this far-reaching body of work, we have begun to build the ecosystem of resources and supports Baltimore’s children and families need to thrive. As you know, Mayor Scott is the city’s biggest champion for children and youth. The Scott administration is committed to the work of MOCFS and the Children’s Cabinet—and, most importantly, to the success of our young people and their families.
MOCFS and the city cannot do this vital work without you. I am grateful to all of you for joining and championing our efforts to lift up Baltimore’s children and families. And I look very forward to new opportunities to collaborate with you in the future.
Tisha Edwards, Executive Director
Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success
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