The University of Maryland administers low-cost legal services to the local community through its JustAdvice program. Since its inception, JustAdvice has served more than 1,300 people in a range of legal areas including family, criminal, employment, tax, and social-security law. It holds 30-minute sessions twice weekly, where clients can speak with experienced attorneys to gain a clearer understanding of their circumstances and options for action. Each session typically draws about 20 clients, and the organization charges $10 per session to cover the costs of office supplies, technological resources, equipment, and refreshments. Though JustAdvice cannot provide ongoing legal services to clients, staff attorneys can recommend alternative routes for people to find counsel.
With more than 50,000 members across the country, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) supports blind people by providing resources to improve their quality of life, combating legal, economic, and social discrimination, and helping them to achieve their goals. The NFB spearheads research on blindness, promotes relevant new technology such as the digital talking newspaper, and sponsors a variety of educational and support programs for adults and children.
Baltimore Heritage works to preserve and promote historic places in Baltimore. The organization spearheads architectural revitalization efforts and establishes educational programs, protecting the city's hidden gems and sharing the secrets and gossip of local monuments. Their work extends beyond the classroom walls. Dedicated guides lead Behind the Scenes Tours of the city, which might invite attendees to search the skyline for whimsical gargoyles, dig deep into tales of battles fought in the city, or explore historic private homes. And local ghosts aren't the only one taking note of Baltimore Heritage's entertaining and enriching offerings?CBS Baltimore named their excursions as one of the area's Best Walking Tours.
The Franciscan Center's lunch program has served food for more than four decades and is open to all members of the community, with a special focus on those experiencing homelessness, poverty, or mental illness. Partnerships with local farmers markets fortify the center's lunches with seasonal organic vegetables. Hot, protein-infused main courses ensure nutritious balance to sustain clients. The lunch program currently serves 6,000 meals each month.
Street artists use walls as canvases, but probably only a few are given the opportunity to use an entire building. The aptly named Graffiti Warehouse, managed by the Rosenfeld Organization, is a massive industrial studio where street artists have access to a safe space and extra-large, 34-foot canvases to do their work. Though each artist is required to bring his or her own paint, completed pieces go up on display and can be sold on-site, with half the proceeds going back to the creator. More than a dozen established artists currently call this space an exhibition home for their paintings and other media.
Open Walls photography tours provide glimpses of select street artists' work and introduce guests to the streets of Baltimore by visiting nearby under-used urban spaces, sites of beautiful murals, and the one overpass where Picasso used to hang out. Street artists aren't the only clients served by the studio, though: Graffiti Warehouse also supplies art therapists and photographers with resources and studios that feature soaring nine-foot windows and private bathrooms.
For the first 30 days of the program, BoMF members run three days a week at 5:45 a.m. If participants maintain a 90 percent attendance rate, then they can enroll in the Next Steps program, which offers financial aid for six to nine months with resources to help participants move out of shelters, obtain employment, and enroll in job-training courses. BoMF first conducts a comprehensive case assessment with each member, and then tailors goal plans to fit individual needs and skills. Past members of the program have earned new skills through culinary courses, commercial-driver’s-license training, and certification in yoga instruction.