MBK's programs, operations and staffing benefit the underserved population of Southwest Baltimore in the Zip Code 21229 neighborhoods surrounding its Irvington based J.P. Blase Cooke Community Center. The organization provides a safe and secure facility attending to over 85 individual visits a day where economically disadvantaged people can access meals, receive caring assistance from staff, as well as learn life skills and workforce skills to further their self-sufficiency. Services are available to all ages free of charge. In addition, in 2012 new programs were introduced to provide intellectual, social and cultural opportunities for youth to become active in pursuit of their dreams.
With the help of caring contributors, in 2013 MBK was able to accomplish the delivery of hope directly to those in need:
- MBK Meal Programs are available in response to hunger in Irvington and the 21229 communities. Nutritious hot meals are served daily at mealtime in a peaceful and secure environment where all our welcome. The number of meals served at My Brother’s Keeper has risen to more 80 guests per day. In 2012, the daily meals program served 17,565 hot meals and over 15,000 meals have been served already in 2013. Food and clothing vouchers are also available. Urban gardens have been established and gardening and cooking workshops conducted to provide individuals with the skills and resources to grow vegetables and fruits and to teach them how to use them to prepare meals.
- Workforce Development services assist guests to achieve their goal to secure employment including coaching and mentoring to their barriers to employment. MBK staff may assist with procurement of identification documents, help guests learn what services exist and where to find the services they need, and give guests an opportunity for positive social interaction, referrals and on-going contacts in a positive environment. Since November 2012, MBK along with the Mayor's Office of Economic Development of Baltimore has operated a Community Jobs Hub at the J.P. Blase Cooke Community Center for Southwest Baltimore residents providing a direct link to tools and resources needed to pursue employment.
- MBK College and Careers programs work with the youth in the neighborhoods to help high school students pursue their dreams -- with the goal of graduating from high school and entering college or finding employment.
- When guests come to MBK seeking a warm meal, they are greeted by staff and in many instances feel trusting enough to access MBK staff who can help them further identify issues of crisis that may have brought them to the doors of MBK and be linked to services for further assistance.
Please take a few minutes to explore how we’re restoring hope … and restoring a community.