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Pro Bono Neighborhood Outreach

Since its creation nearly a decade ago, the Rebuilding Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization has worked to improve their Baltimore community. Guided by Executive Director Regina Hammond, the organization has helped create job opportunities, affordable housing, and green spaces while increasing neighborhood safety. Ms. Hammond and her group are also committed to improving the quality of life for Johnston Square residents by increasing awareness of available assistance for neighborhood households. In an age of emails, texts, and other communications tech, they often use an old-fashioned, door-to-door approach through community outreach walks

During these walks, The Rebuilding Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization visits with neighborhood residents on the street or at their homes to keep them up to date on programs and services that may provide assistance with household needs. This information often includes information about current homeownership incentives, utility assistance, and other community services.

In early May 2022, the organization partnered with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service, the largest provider of pro bono civil legal services to low-income Marylanders, to educate Johnston Square residents about the “My Home, My Deed” initiative. This citywide program educates Baltimore residents – especially low-income residents – about the importance of estate planning and the critical need to confirm their name is on the deed to their property. Lack of clear title and ownership can often be a barrier to receiving assistance through other government programs, and the “My Home, My Deed” initiative helps homeowners to resolve those issues. The initiative also encourages the protection and preservation of a family’s home as a foundation to build generational wealth.

On that evening’s walk, the Rebuilding Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service knocked on doors throughout the neighborhood to talk about “My Home, My Deed” and other assistance options with Johnston Square residents. It was nothing new for Ms. Hammond, who received the Community Partnership award from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service last year, and, by the end of the night, the group had successfully distributed approximately 950 resource bags to Johnston Square residents through their hands-on, grassroots efforts.

“My Home, My Deed” marketing and outreach is supported with resources from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service routinely hosts events and clinics for Marylanders to learn more about the “My Home, My Deed” initiative. For more information, visit http://www.myhomemydeed.org/.