After seeing a Sun Paper article detailing the possible demolition of part of the Gilmor Homes Community by the City of Baltimore Tolu Sosanya, a homeowner who lives directly across from the Gilmore Holmes Project decided to find out whether her community-at-large knew of the plan that would affect their entire community. Ms. Sosanya, after speaking with Gilmore Holmes residents and finding there was a lack of knowledge regarding the demolition, decided that the Community needed to hold resident meetings about the possible demolition and what it meant for them and the community.
As the Community meeting begun, Gilmor residents found themselves facing a highly probable demolition of the walk-ups (about 120 Families) and decided to come together and demand to know all the details available from the City of Baltimore via the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) With the support of Ms. Sosanya, Sache Jones of No Boundaries Coalition, representatives from the Right To Housing Alliance Leadership Council Deterese Downridge and Felicia A. Locket, who’s also in support as Liaison of the Bristol House Tenant Association, Independent Tenant Advocate Advisor Arlene Whiting, Barbara Samuels, Esq. from the American Civil Liberties Union, a visit from Gregory L. Countess, Esq. of Maryland Legal Aid, Community Organizer Tre Murphy and Lead Organizer Nebeehah Azeez from Communities Untied, and Gilmor Homes residents Sharita Jackson and Eleisha Smith who took on roles as Community Leaders, and most importantly the determination and efforts of the Gilmore Homes residents who attended meetings
, contributed to the letter writing to Baltimore Housing, including the phone calls, and emails; with all of these individuals, the Gilmor residents were able to finally generate a meeting with Baltimore Housing and Councilman Pinkett office of the District 7 on April 25, 2018, at the Gilmore Community Center 2nd Floor, 1515 Vincent Court in Baltimore. However, despite trying to get Councilmen Pinkett at a meeting with the Gilmor residents for months, and despite his name on the flyer header for the meeting, Councilman Pinkett did not show; stating a conflict in scheduling….the meeting was beneficial despite the lack. The Gilmor residents also demanded to have immediate counseling of moving options and services, housing voucher options, and the ability to not have to move into another project. Gilmore residents also found that if they are provided with Section 8 Housing Vouchers, they can move to any State, including Hawaii, and also be able to purchase their own home.
The Gilmor Community and Supporters continuing with their meetings standing firm on their demands received resolve from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. As of today, December 12, 2018, eighty families have been relocated.
(About the demolition: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-gilmor-homes-20180110-story.html
(Top Photo from http://www.wypr.org/post/gilmor-homes-faces-partial-demolition)