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Neighborhoods with high child-poverty rates to get new state grant

A child walks with two people in South Baltimore's Brooklyn area
Posted at 1:41 PM, Jul 10, 2024

BALTIMORE — A number of local communities can soon get up to $5 million from the state to help battle childhood poverty, as part of Gov. Wes Moore's new Office for Children.

The state announced today that specific disenfranchised neighborhoods can now apply for the ENOUGH (Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments and Households) grant program, which will give out up to $10 million each year.

The neighborhoods must "have been disproportionately impacted by systems and policies that limit wealth creation and economic mobility" - which includes large portions of Baltimore City; parts of Middle River and Essex in Baltimore County; part of Joppa (the Magnolia area) and Aberdeen (east of Route 40) in Harford County; and parts of central Annapolis, Brooklyn Park and Maryland City in Anne Arundel County.

Baltimore areas eligible for new grant program are in yellow
Baltimore areas eligible for new grant program are in yellow

Those neighborhoods have at least one Census tract with more than 30 percent of children living in poverty, and have a local school with a poverty concentration of at least 80 percent.
New grant program eligibility
New grant program eligibility

Grants will range from $65,000 to $5 million.

Communities must show that they can evaluate the programs they use to help residents succeed, collaborate with different partners, and address challenges "strategically and in a holistic manner."

Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter, who represents much of south Baltimore, said her district is taking advantage of the initative "to correct decades of disinvestment and craft an ending to concentrated poverty... for so many legacy communities."

In Baltimore County, it will "disrupt cycles of poverty" and build on existing community initiatives in Essex, said County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

The grant funding could go toward everything from early child care and education to affordable housing, public safety, and other community programs.

It's all part of Moore's new initiative targeting communities with multigenerational poverty, with the ENOUGH Act.