University of Maryland, BaltimoreCommunity Outreach Partnership Center
COPC New Directions
Building and Bridging Diverse Neighborhoods in East Baltimore
New Directions Community-University Partnership (NDCP) is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland and local community organizations, neighborhood associations, faith-based ministries in the East Baltimore area, and the City of Baltimore. It includes all or significant parts of these neighborhoods in East Baltimore: Patterson Park, Jonestown, East Harbor Village, Upper Fells Point, McElderry Park, Baltimore-Linwood, Butcher’s Hill, Washington Hill, and Dunbar-Broadway (map). The overall goal of NDCP is to assist the community of Baltimore in acquiring necessary skills to successfully address the problems of increased pressure due to extensive economic development, growing environmental stressors, and neighborhood diversification. NDCP seeks to energize and empower East Baltimore residents to be recognized as key players in the decisions that impact their community.
Neighborhood canvassing to identify community needs
Organizational assessments and mentoring
Identifying and compiling affordable housing and rental resources in Baltimore City
Pursuing strategies for modest income residents to locate and maintain affordable housing and rental opportunities
Community building efforts with local neighborhood associations
Training opportunities/events in neighborhood conflict resolution and community relationship building
Increased citizen participation in addressing issues and concerns facing East Baltimore
Increase the number of available low income housing and rental opportunities for all members of the community
Residents who are more informed about their neighborhood’s assets, challenges, opportunities, and resources
Residents who are knowledgeable about their rights in the face of increased housing pressures
Stronger and more viable community associations that are better equipped to deal with current and upcoming problems
Community organizations that work with each other on common concerns
Increased cross-cultural understanding and interaction among community residents
Identify and strengthen ways for diverse neighborhoods to work together towards improve larger community problems and creating an expanded public good.
The overall focus is to assist the community in acquiring and implementing key knowledge and skills, which in turn will help with cooperative community capacity building. The initiative specifically targets three at-risk populations: Latino immigrants, the elderly, and public housing residents. The initiative has two components to its outreach activities. The first is an educational component, comprised of 5 inter-related areas: Housing Readiness, Cross-cultural Communication, Leadership Development, Organizational Mentoring, and Community Health. The second is a community engagement component, consisting of a Grassroots Mobilization Model that facilitates community participation and mobilization, and Community Coordination Plans for each of the 5 educational outreach areas. Together, the components will enhance the overall community capacity of East Baltimore, specifically the empowerment of its leaders and residents.
The research activities of this initiative will focus on providing on-going feedback so that adjustments can be made in planning and implementation, describing and evaluating the efforts and outcomes, and identifying and documenting best practices. The research activities are designed to complement the outreach activities by providing a feedback loop for planning and development.
The Community Outreach Partnership Centers (COPC) - oup.org/programs/aboutCOPC.asp - is a program supported by the Office of University Partnerships (OUP) - oup.org/programs/programs.asp - in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. OUP’s mission is to encourage and expand the number of partnerships formed between colleges and universities and their communities. The COPC program enables colleges and universities to engage in outreach and applied research activities that address problems of urban areas. The intent of the COPC program is that lasting structural changes will result in the manner in which the participating institution will relate to its neighborhood.
"This program encourages Institutions of Higher Education to apply considerable resources to partnerships with faculty, staff, and students in tandem with community leaders to attack urban problems through creative technical assistance, capacity training, action-oriented research, program delivery, and the development of common agendas among sometimes conflicting groups." - Marcia Marker Field, OUP Director 1998