ADRA Helps Baltimore Homeowners Thru Miracle City Church Project
Story by Kimi-Roux James
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is working closely with Allegheny East Conference’s Miracle City Church and Adventist Community Services (ACS) on the Frederick Avenue Corridor Flood Restoration Project, to provide financial support through June 2019 for 36 homes in southwest Baltimore devastated by flood waters in May. The joint-funded project, launched by Miracle City Church, will focus on assisting homeowners with flood mitigation strategies, such as the installation of sump pumps, and home repair projects.
So far, the project has raised more than $180,000 with combined contributions from ACS, the Allegheny East Conference, the Columbia Union Conference, local businesses, and Miracle City Church. ADRA contributed $50,000 in response to the need.
“ADRA is happy to partner with Miracle City Church on this relief effort, especially when the crisis hits so close to home,” says Elizabeth Tomenko, ADRA’s emergency response program manager.
In addition to the project, Miracle City Church partnered with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to organize a series of community meetings with Baltimore residents. Logistics and marketing plans were quickly put into place to establish the first meeting.
In spite of a rain-drenched evening, 33 homeowners showed up on September 25 at Miracle City to learn about the grant-funded project. Miracle City and partner representatives, including ADRA, were there to answer questions and help residents complete applications to have their homes restored.
Qualified applicants had to live in the affected area, provide extent of damage, show proof of homeowner status and income. By the end of the kick-off, 30 residents who completed applications for assistance were approved for grant funding to have their homes restored.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to be God’s hands and feet to help residents in an often neglected area of Baltimore that desperately need assistance,” says Deborah Weithers, outreach leader at Miracle City Church. “Funds provided by ADRA, ACS, and our partners, are providing a way for us to make a real difference in the lives of the residents.”
Miracle City Church will begin rebuilding efforts, which will include painting and replacing drywall and flooring. The church also plans to coordinate additional community meetings.