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Community walk empowers Johnston Square residents with access to financial resources

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 18:17:10-04

BALTIMORE — One way or another, it pays off to have good neighbors.

The executive director of Rebuilding Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization fits that description.

Regina Hammond is helping to get the word out to help spread resources that will financially help Johnston Square residents, short term and long term.

“They wanted recreation. They wanted to feel safe in their neighborhood. They wanted decent housing and they wanted decent employment and we set out in 2013 to do that,” said Hammond, the executive director of Rebuild Johnston Square.

For nearly 10 years, Hammond and the rebuild Johnson Square Neighborhood organization has been building on the ideals expressed by residents over the years.

Whether through developing housing, creating and managing green spaces or making crosswalks more visible and vibrant for safety the association has been on a steady path foreword.

Their neighborhood community walk Wednesday evening is an extension of that path.

“This is a great tool to reach people that we usually can’t reach through email through text message through internet and having been out to any of the meetings and get some of this informant on in their hands,” Hammond said.

“There’s a lot of outreach that needs to be done to share with everyone especially the communities hardest hit by COVID, these resources are available,” said Tim Chance, a tangled title attorney with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service.

Chance, who said he and his colleagues are joining the neighborhood organization, hopes the resources they’re offering residents will help close the wealth gap for minority communities like Johnston Square.

“We get people signed up for the my home, my deed clinics, where homeowners can sit with an attorney to go through estate planning and ensure they have steps in place to keep their homes in their families through a will,” Chance said.

With a tax sale deadline quickly approaching this summer, pro Bono attorneys are helping those at risk of losing their property.

“There’s a whole bunch of property tax credit that greatly reduces your yearly property tax liability and since so many homes have fallen into tax sale, having that resource available to you keeps these homes in these families for generations to come,” Chance said.

“These packets are wonderful, helpful money, saving opportunities for individuals anywhere, from legal help— a roadmap to home ownership, assistance funds water for all for Baltimore funds,” Hammond said.

Hammond said this is a small way she’s instilling pride and hope throughout her neighborhood —one neighbor at a time.

“With all that goes on in Baltimore on a daily basis, you gotta give some people some hope that good things are happening here too and things will get better. You just gotta hold on,” Hammond said.