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Program helps men struggling with homelessness in Baltimore get back on track

christopher place graduation.jpg
Posted at 9:33 PM, Jun 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-28 23:15:24-04

BALTMORE — One organization in Baltimore City is helping transition men who used to experience homelessness onto a better path.

Christopher Place Employment Academy in Baltimore works with men who struggle with homelessness, have struggled with addiction, and who are formerly incarcerated.

That team recognized a group of those men “graduating” onto the next stage of their lives.

"I was dealing - I battled and struggled with alcohol and drugs for years, for years," said Dean Michael Harrod.

Harrod was, at one point, experiencing homelessness and grappling with substance abuse. The keyword there is ‘was’. Now he’s a new man. Harrod credits the Christopher Place Employment Academy in Baltimore with saving and turning around his life.

"This place gave me the help I that need. All I had to do was surrender. All I had to do was say ‘I give up.’ God actually directed the path; he led me to this place," Harrod added.

On Wednesday night, a celebration was held for everything he and four other men worked for; every man seated up front has a story of struggle and redemption.

"Our goal is to get those guys ready around, like, six months' time. Because the ultimate goal is employment and housing," said Lester Warfield, a case manager.

Christopher Place Employment Academy is under the purview of Catholic Charities of Maryland. It is located near Madison Street and I-83 in Downtown Baltimore. The men in the program stay there, get support, and commit to roughly half a year to set them on a better path; learning not only how to succeed in the job market, but to live sustainably again.

Program Manager Nicole Williams recognized each man for their new jobs; family, friends, and those close to the graduates packed the room.

"I feel that I have that chance. I feel hopeful - I feel more so - I feel strong again," Harrod continued.

This group was called Class 98, the ninety-eighth group of men to go through the program.

Its contact number is 667-600-3408.