Sojourner Place at Argyle Avenue

DETAILS

Owner | Episcopal Housing Corporation

Architect | Marks Thomas Architects

Contractor | Southway Builders, Inc.

Case Management | Healthcare for the Homeless

Property Management | Towner Management Co., Inc.

Sojourner Place at Argyle Avenue

DESCRIPTION

In early 2015 EHC partnered with Healthcare for the Homeless of Baltimore and Towner Management to explore the feasibility of creating 12 units of permanent supportive housing in the Upton Neighborhood of West Baltimore. EHC subsequently purchased six adjacent parcels in the 1200 block of Argyle Avenue from the City of Baltimore through the Vacants to Values Program. By the end of the year EHC had secured support for the project from The Upton Planning Committee, a neighborhood citizens group and the Sojourner Place was born. Most of 2016 was consumed securing the $2.5MM in funding needed. Construction began in February 2017 and was completed in September.

The target population for the project is homeless individuals or couples capable of sharing a one-bedroom apartment. The management agent, Towner, selects tenants based on criteria developed by EHC, HCH and Towner. Selection of tenants reflects a commitment to the “housing first” approach, in which housing is offered to people experiencing homelessness without preconditions and in which rapid placement and stabilization in permanent housing are primary goals. Projects that use a housing first approach promote the acceptance of applicants regardless of their sobriety or use of substances, completion of treatment, or participation in services. Potential tenants undergo a multi-stage screening process: the prospective tenants are referred to HCH through Baltimore’s Coordinated Assessment. HCH then evaluates the potential tenant and refers them to Towner and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City for application and Housing Choice Voucher screening.

Once selected, tenants have access to case management though Healthcare for the Homeless. A variety of wrap-around services are available to tenants including rehabilitation, vocational and employment assistance, health and dental services, income and benefits support, substance abuse treatment and linkages to additional services as needed and available.

It is the hope of EHC and our partners that this pilot project will become a model for future similar projects in Baltimore City and beyond.