BALTIMORE — "We have a community that's second to none," said Roger Blackman, referring to veterans. Blackman is an Army veteran who came to Baltimore about a year ago after his wife died. He said, "it's a long story. It has a lot of tragedy in it."
He was having a hard time finding a place to stay when he learned about The Baltimore Station, a residential and community based treatment program for homeless veterans who are recovering from chronic substance abuse or mental health.
"It takes you from an unstructured life to a structured life. It makes you responsible for your actions," said Blackman.
Throughout the pandemic, the organization had their challenges but they made it through.
"Our guys were able to adapt and pivot," said Kim Callari, the Director of Development and Communication at The Baltimore Station. She added, "the big thing was to make sure they're engaged in treatment throughout this whole process. So we've been able to, with the luxury of technology, we've been able to still offer all of our programming and everything remote."
50 percent of their funding comes from the veteran's administration. They get some money from the state and city but they rely on fundraisers to really help these vets. Last year, they had to cancel all of the ones they had planned. So they created a more Covid friendly one, 'Out of this World Movie Night' at Bengies Drive-In.
It was such a success, they're doing it again this year. It's happening on Thursday, August 26 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. It's $75 per ticket and all of the proceeds go directly back to The Baltimore Station. Each ticket includes food, drinks, music, face painting and the movie - ET. Plus, a chance to see where your money is going.
"I think what makes this one Extra special too is that our men get to go to it. So they'll be helping serve food and just being able to talk to the people who actual support them. So I think its important for our folks who come to our fundraisers to actually see and get to talk to the people they're supporting," said Callari.