Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

In the News


1/27/20 A New Canvas for Baltimore: Housing on Henneman Avenue Complements Hoen Building Restoration, MD Department of  Housing and Community Development: Remodeled homes provide housing opportunities that complement the renovation of the nearby Hoen Lithograph building.

1/21/20 A. Hoen & Co. Lithograph Building Now Home to Strong City Baltimore, Baltimore Magazine: The 50-year-old nonprofit has officially moved into the neighborhood it hopes to help grow.


12/28/19 Strong City steps boldly in its move to Baltimore’s east side, Baltimore Sun: Round up of new developments in East Baltimore.

12/27/19 Strong City Baltimore is getting a new home, but its mission is the same, Baltimore Sun: Op-ed from Strong City CEO Karen D. Stokes on moving to East Baltimore.

That nonprofit… has shown remarkable staying power — often adapting in response to changing needs but never losing its focus on building and strengthening neighborhoods and people.

12/25/19 Homestead tax credit remains a vital protection for homeowners, Baltimore Sun: Letter to the Editor on the importance of the Homestead Tax Credit.

9/17/19 Opinion: A Pathway for Baltimore’s Student Leaders, Maryland Matters: Guest commentary about the Bank of America Student Leaders program hosted by Strong City Baltimore this past summer. 

9/3/19 We don’t need legislation to crack down on anonymous owners of Baltimore’s vacant property, Baltimore Sun: Op Ed by Peter Duvall, Community Revitalization Coordinator for Strong City Baltimore.

8/26/19 At an urban farm in Baltimore, plans for activism, African American history and maybe even tiny houses, Baltimore Sun: Feature on BLISS Meadows, a fiscally sponsored project and member of the 2019 Spring Start Up Track. 

BLISS has access to nonprofit fundraising status through a fiscal sponsorship program run by Strong City Baltimore, a nonprofit that extends its tax-exempt status to community groups in exchange for a small chunk of the funds they raise each year, said Tyson Garith, Strong City’s director.

6/21/19 Regulating liquor stores is a vital part of crime fighting, Baltimore Sun: Letter to the editor co-authored by Rev. Eric Lee, Strong City’s Director of Neighborhood Programs

Our fire and health departments are authorized to shut down a business if they believe there is a clear and immediate danger to the public. Given the liquor industry’s undeniable influence on the city’s health and safety, the liquor board should have the same authority to immediately and temporarily suspend operations when a serious violent act occurs in or around liquor establishments.

6/10/19 Hoen Lithograph redevelopment in East Baltimore gets $1.6M federal grant, Baltimore Business Journal: Strong City mentioned in news article about federal infrastructure grant to help complete the Hoen complex

6/10/19 Feds give $1.6 million for Hoen Lithograph building renovation, Baltimore Fishbowl: Strong City mentioned in news article about federal infrastructure grant to help complete the Hoen complex

6/10/19 Trump administration chips in $1.6M for Hoen & Co. Lithograph Building, Maryland Daily Record: Strong City mentioned in news article about federal infrastructure grant to help complete the Hoen complex

“Our vision is very much about returning this to a working-class neighborhood,” says Strong City CEO Karen D. Stokes

6/11/19 A deeper look at Baltimore’s population loss: smaller households, Baltimore SunDan Rodricks column on Baltimore population trends references the demographics work of Strong City Community Revitalization Coordinator Peter Duvall

5/16/19 Chris Wilson on Rewriting Your Destiny and Paying It Forward, WYPR-FM: “Midday” interview with Chris Wilson mentions Chris’ work as Strong City’s former workforce director 

5/3/19 Get On Up!, Jmore Living interview on Facebook Live with Strong City Communications and Special Projects Coordinator Mike Cross-Barnet about the Get On Up! party and Strong City’s plans for the Hoen Building 

4/25/19 50 Years Later, This Neighborhood Leader is Still Going Strong, Entercom Radio Baltimore: Public Affairs host Nathan Scott interviews Strong City Events Manager Dana Murphy and Communications and Special Projects Coordinator Mike Cross-Barnet about Get On Up!, the Hoen Building, and Strong City’s future for three local Entercom Co. radio stations (101.9, 105.7, 106.5)

4/23/19 Reversing Baltimore’s population slide: Retain more college grads, Baltimore SunDan Rodricks column on Baltimore population trends includes interview with Strong City Community Revitalization Coordinator Peter Duvall

Peter Duvall, community revitalization coordinator for Strong City Baltimore … predicts the rapid decline in household size should bottom out in a few years.

4/10/19 Art And: Corynne OstermannBmore Art: Article about local designer and musician cites her work transforming the interior of the Hoen Building for the Get On Up! party.

4/2/19 Keep Maryland Beautiful grants total $215,505Cecil Whig: News article about statewide DNR grants includes grant to Strong City for the Beautiful Barclay Project.

3/29/19 Baltimore is stronger than its crime rate would have you believe, Baltimore Sun: op-ed by Strong City Community Revitalization Coordinator Peter Duvall about positive employment, housing, and income trends in Baltimore.

Other indicators tell a more positive story about Baltimore — one of housing production and renewal, employment growth and an increase in general prosperity.

3/13/19 East Baltimore Rising, WYPR-FM: “On the Record” interview with Strong City CEO Karen D. Stokes and Board member Ella Durant about the Hoen Building, Strong City’s future, and positive developments in East Baltimore

2/21/19 ‘I see hope’: Rehab of old warehouse, renovations to rowhouses spur talk of East Baltimore revival, Baltimore Sun: News article about positive changes north-of-the-tracks in East Baltimore, including Strong City’s plans for the Hoen Building and the Center for Neighborhood Innovation

“Now that the opportunities are going to be here, I really think this side of Baltimore will just blossom,” says Ella Durant, Collington Square resident and Strong City board member

2/5/19 From Prison to Achieving His Master PlanWYPR-FM: “On the Record” segment about entrepreneur and author Chris Wilson describes how Strong City hired him as Workforce director after his return from incarceration

1/25/19 Historic East Baltimore printing plant to be Article on Fox45 News website about renovation of the Hoen Building and plans for the Center for Neighborhood Innovation

1/23/19 An opportunity for transformation in East Baltimore, Baltimore Sun: op-ed by Strong City CEO Karen D. Stokes about Strong City’s future in the Hoen Building and the potential for our project to catalyze change

Every neighborhood has assets, but some communities have been neglected for so long that they need a jump-start to get things moving.


12/29/18 2018 has been a year of skyline changes in BaltimoreBaltimore SunJacques Kelly column about development around Baltimore in 2018, including mention of Strong City’s future home at the Hoen Lithograph Building

11/26/18 Fiscal sponsorship can provide an alternative pathway to social change, Baltimore Business Journal: op-ed by Strong City Director of Project Services Tyson W. Garith

With rising attention to equity and more community voices demanding to be heard in our city, fiscal sponsorship can be an increasingly important approach for those seeking to put their dreams into action.

10/12/18 Philanthropy Fuels Student’s Excellence — and His EmpathyThe Hub: Article profiling Johns Hopkins graduate and former Strong City intern and work-study employee Suleiman Abiola

10/12/18 “For the Culture with Farajii,” WEAA-FM: Radio program includes segment about the 29th Street Community Center’s Youth Worker program and Strong City’s Oktoberfest

9/11/18 Housing fund shows real leadership in BaltimoreBaltimore Sun: Letter to the editor co-signed by Strong City’s Joann Levy praises City Council and mayor for committing to funding for affordable housing

9/20/18 91-year old Episcopal charity closes, transfers services to other organizationsBaltimore Sun: News article shows how transfer of operations from Episcopal Community Services of Maryland to Strong City kept The Club at Collington Square open

5/24/18 A new playground comes together in BarclayBaltimore Brew: News article about the Barclay School playground rebuild project, mentioning Strong City as an organizer and fiscal sponsor

5/4/18 Shocking developments in East BaltimoreBaltimore SunDan Rodricks column about economic development activity in East Baltimore, including Strong City’s future home at the Hoen Lithography building

On Biddle Street, workers at the A. Hoen and Sons building were on lunch break. Their project, the reuse of an 85,000-square-foot lithography plant, will become the Center for Neighborhood Innovation, with office, retail and event space. Strong City Baltimore plans to move there next year.

4/26/18 Team led by Cross Street Partners Formally Breaks Ground on Highly Anticipated East Baltimore Innovation CenterBaltimore Times: News article about Hoen Building redevelopment plans and Strong City’s planned move to East Baltimore

4/24/18 “We’re going to put this neighborhood back,” WBFF FOX-45: News report on Hoen Building redevelopment plans

4/24/18 At groundbreaking for the historic Hoen Lithograph Building, visions of a new East Baltimore, Baltimore Fishbowl: News article about Hoen Building redevelopment plans and Strong City’s planned move to East Baltimore

Karen Stokes, the organization’s CEO, told the crowd that “if all goes as expected, around this time next year, we’ll be celebrating our 50th anniversary inside this amazing historic landmark in the Collington Square neighborhood.”

4/24/18 Hoen Lithograph building’s $28 million transformation beginsBaltimore Baltimore Journal: News article about Hoen Building redevelopment plans

4/23/18 Developers of old Hoen Lithography Building in East Baltimore to break ground Tuesday, Baltimore Sun: News article about Hoen Building redevelopment plans

4/21/18 At former A. Hoen & Co. lithography plant, “audacious” hope for East BaltimoreBaltimore SunJacques Kelly column about redevelopment of the Hoen Building and Strong City’s planned move to East Baltimore

“Strong City … is expanding its own vision and mission as a tenant of this 85,000-square-foot complex.”

4/13/18 Stronger NeighborhoodsWYPR-FM: “On the Record” segment about the 2018 Strong City Neighborhood Institute

4/7/18 Beyond field and classroom, Hopkins players make extra effort in communityBaltimoreBaseball.comArticle about community involvement by Hopkins baseball team, including the nonprofit WeGo fiscally sponsored by Strong City Baltimore

3/18/18 Things to do in Baltimore this weekBaltimore Food and FunBlog post about Strong City’s “Local Dining Week”

3/12/18 Baltimore: The City That Loves a Good StoryBaltimore FishbowlArticle about Stoop Storytelling series including partnership with Strong City Baltimore

3/7/18 Baltimore DinerBaltimore SunFood and dining column includes information about Strong City’s “Local Dining Week”


12/23/17 A quiet, steady good on a Baltimore side streetBaltimore SunDan Rodricks column about The Club at Collington Square

“That’s so Baltimore: A small nonprofit doing quiet, steady good on a side street in a tough part of town.”

12/20/17 Thieves steal from program serving underprivileged kids in East BaltimoreWBAL TV-11: News report on break-in at The Club at Collington Square and the mission and role of The Club

11/13/17 Brooklyn Park to benefit from $1.5 million grant to Greater Baybrook Alliance, Capital Gazette: News article about Strong City fiscally sponsored project winning state Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative funding

9/29/17 East Baltimore shaping up as community development model, Daily Record: News article about the Hoen Building mentions Strong City’s role in transformation of East Baltimore

For residents like [Ella] Durant, the investment in these buildings, particularly the Hoen building, represents a long-sought win for her neighborhood.

9/5/17 A decade behind bars: The reality of life post-incarceration, WYPR-FM: “Life in the Balance” program about a man struggling with his return to society features interview with Strong City CEO Karen D. Stokes

8/30/17 Free community college in Baltimore: A good start, but not enoughBaltimore Sun, op-ed by Strong City’s Regina T. Boyce and Owen Silverman Andrews

“In a state where over 500,000 adults are without a high school diploma (20 percent of them in Baltimore), quality — including proper funding for highly skilled, full-time teaching staff and the programs students need — is just as important as access.”

8/18/17 Nonprofit Spotlight: Strong City Baltimore Dedicated to Equality, Anti-Racism, and Building Stronger Communitiesm/OppenheimTV: Profile of Strong City and CEO Karen D. Stokes

7/20/17 Aging in place contributes to historically low housing inventory, Baltimore Sun: News article about seniors aging in place in Baltimore references Strong City’s HUBS program and quotes HUBS Organizer Danielle Bouchard

6/25/17 Nonprofit aims to breathe new life into vacant East Baltimore warehouse, Baltimore Sun: News article about Strong City’s plans to move to East Baltimore, renovate the A. Hoen & Co. Building, and establish a Center for Neighborhood Innovation on the site

The goal is to build off of the neighborhood’s assets. Local hiring is a priority, as is community building, spurring affordable housing construction in the area and incorporating feedback from local residents.

6/15/17 “Open and shut” restaurant column, Baltimore Magazine: Article mentions opening of The BBQ in Harwood and Strong City’s role in revitalizing the Greenmount LINCS Corridor

6/9/17 Father and son open The BBQ restaurant along Greenmount, Baltimore Business Journal: News article about the first business to open on Greenmount in Harwood since the launch of the Strong City-supported LINCS initiative

6/3/17 Esther C. Bonnet, longtime volunteer who focused on schoolchildren and the elderly, Baltimore Sun: Obituary for Ms. Bonnet, former Strong City board member and Barclay School library champion who was still volunteering at age 101

3/30/17 Baltimore Public Education: Cuts to After-School FundingWEAA’s “The Marc Steiner Show”: Marc Steiner interviews Strong City’s Sharicca Boldon and others about planned cuts to community schools and after-school programs in the Baltimore City Public Schools

3/20/17 More than 50 residents to donate portion of proceeds to Baltimore nonprofit this week, Baltimore SunBlog post on Strong City’s Mouthwatering March restaurant promotion for community wealth building

3/17/17 “Listen Up” with Farajii Muhammad, WEAA 88.9-FM: Interview with Strong City Baltimore representatives about the 29th Street Community Center’s Gertrude S. Williams Speaker Series

3/16/17 ‘I’d Be Hurt and Upset’: Cities Fear Trump’s Cuts to Urban ProgramsThe New York Times: News article focusing on Strong City’s Adult Learning Center examines the effect that cuts in the president’s budget — in this case, eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program — would have on programs for low-income city residents.

“These are people who are trying to better themselves. They are here trying to become productive citizens. There is nobody here looking for a handout.”

3/16/17 Bill giving the liquor board power to order mediation stirs debateBaltimore Brew: News article quotes Strong City Neighborhood Programs Director Karen DeCamp on a bill that would allow the city Liquor Board to impose a costly mediation process on individuals and associations challenging the renewal of a liquor license

3/8/17 Education Roundtable: Baltimore School Budget DeficitWEAA’s “Marc Steiner Show”: Interview with Strong City’s Sharicca Boldon and other education advocates about the city schools budget crisis

2/10/17 Learning English, Gaining IndependenceWYPR’s “On the Record”Sheilah Kast interviews Strong City’s Regina Boyce and ALC learner Jiseon Yu about the Adult Learning Center, being an immigrant in Baltimore, and Strong City’s Stoop Storytelling event

2/5/17 Diane Lyn Show, Mix 106.5 and 105.7 The Fan: Interview with Regina Boyce and Mike Cross-Barnet about Strong City Baltimore programs and upcoming events

1/28/17 ‘Changing Lives With Each Stitch,’ Baltimore SunDan Rodricks column about Strong City fiscal client The Chill Station/Root of Jesse’s plan to employ returning citizens in the garment industry


10/26/16 Revitalization efforts at Anne Arundel’s edge get another boostCapital Gazette: News article on developments in the community-driven Brooklyn/Curtis Bay/Brooklyn Park revitalization plan organized by Strong City

10/14/16 A vital fund for Baltimore, letter to the editor by Tyson Garith (Strong City Director of Partnerships and Business Services), Baltimore Sun

“Participatory budgeting is a step in the direction of more responsive and accountable municipal government. By directly involving our young residents in budgeting and city-building, we will … help ensure that the new youth fund reflects the priorities of all Baltimore residents.”

9/21/16 E.R. Shipp, prize winning author, on Baltimore, journalism and communityThe Afro: News article on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist E.R. Shipp’s talk at the 29th Street Community Center

9/19/16 Baltimore’s core neighborhoods quietly transformed, op-ed by Karen Stokes (Strong City CEO), Baltimore Sun

“Explore the core, and you’ll find attractive, stable neighborhoods that are as racially, economically, and culturally diverse as any in Baltimore.”

8/29/16 The Barclay Elementary/Middle School welcomes back students with rally, WMAR-Channel 2 segment on Strong City-coordinated back-to-school event for Barclay students

8/12/16 First Edition With Sean YoesStrong City Community School Coordinator Sharicca Boldon discusses education funding on WEAA-89.9 FM (relevant segment at 23:15 minute mark)

7/13/16 $90K grant from Wells Fargo targets growth in six Central Baltimore neighborhoodsBaltimore Business Journal: News article reports on grant won by Strong City Baltimore that will be administered by Central Baltimore Partnership to create a resident-driven community improvement plan in six key neighborhoods

6/14/16 Baltimore’s vacancy problem is not as bad as you think, by Peter Duvall (Strong City Community Revitalization Manager), Baltimore Sun

“Baltimoreans tend to damage ourselves by overstating the city’s problems. The scale of the vacant housing problem is large enough that no exaggeration is needed.”

5/18/16 For Brooklyn Park, new state grants could revitalize Anne Arundel’s ‘forgotten area,’ Capital Gazette: News article quotes Strong City South Baltimore Project Manager Ira Kowler on the planning process aimed at revitalizing Brooklyn/Curtis Bay/Brooklyn Park

5/11/16 Mount Royal, Strong City Baltimore partner on vacantsDaily Record: News article about the partnership between Strong City and the Mount Royal CDC to tackle vacant properties in the Mount Royal District

4/15/16 Don’t wait for the election to make change, by Karen Stokes (Strong City CEO), Baltimore Sun

“A single individual can only do so much. But a well-organized block, an empowered neighborhood, a coalition of committed citizens — these things translate into real power and real change.”

4/13/16 Cuts as unrest anniversary nearsBaltimore Brew: News article quotes Strong City Neighborhood Programs Director Karen DeCamp on the mayor’s proposed funding cuts to after-school programs

4/11/16 The Neighborhood Institute: connecting the communities of BaltimoreMaryland Morning (WYPR 88.1 FM): Strong City CEO Karen Stokes is interviewed about Strong City’s Neighborhood Institute and the role of community organizing in strengthening Baltimore


“[Karen Stokes is] at the forefront of organizing and effecting the kind of change that many people think is long overdue.”

4/6/16 Can methadone clinics and their neighbors find common ground? City Paper: News article about the concentration of methadone clinics in a small area of central Baltimore references work by Strong City Community Revitalization Manager Peter Duvall

4/4/16 Brooklyn Park: Community association gets update on revitalization plan, Capital Gazette: News article describing the work of Strong City’s South Baltimore Project Manager, Ira Kowler, in helping to create a comprehensive planning process for the Brooklyn Park-Curtis Bay-Brooklyn area

3/8/16 A long life of public service, with a remarkable last act, Baltimore Brew: News article about death of retired Liquor Board chairman Judge Thomas Ward quotes Strong City CEO Karen Stokes

2/11/16  Education Bill would provide more funding for community schoolsWBAL segment notes Strong City’s role in facilitating Johns Hopkins University’s funding of the new engineering lab at the Barclay School

1/29/16 Staff members shovel snow so learning can resume in Baltimore, WJZ segment on Waverly School’s response to snow emergency quotes Strong City community school site coordinator Jerrell Bratcher

1/27/16 Strong City Baltimore 2016,, on Strong City’s VISTA Impact Taskforce launch event

1/13/16 Before Hogan’s Demolition, Community Building, by Karen Stokes (Strong City CEO), Baltimore Sun letter to the editor

“For this demolition program to succeed, the affected neighborhoods will need to be organized and engaged, a nuts-and-bolts process that includes door-knocking, asset-mapping, and reinvigorating neighborhood associations.”


Rawlings-Blake’s last year Baltimore Sun Editorial

It inspired Strong City Baltimore (formerly the Greater Homewood Community Corporation) to launch a new program “focused on violence prevention …

Dan Rodricks interviews (interview begins at 37 minutes)  Karen Stokes, CEO of Strong City Baltimore, talks about the organization’s name and its mission in the aftermath of April’s unrest.

Razing homes the right way

Taking Pride in Baltimore

Hogan to replace all three members of Baltimore’s liquor board
After the riots, can the arts save Baltimore?
When A School Becomes More Than A School (Sheila Kast, WYPR)
‘Take a chance on these people’
North Baltimore marches, rallies show solidarity for peace

Volunteers Step Up After School Closings Leave Baltimore City Kids Hungry
Moving Focus Towards a Strong Baltimore (Mark Steiner Show)
STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools
Institute’s aim: Building better communities and corridors
Allow children sentenced to life a second chance

Communities Reimagined (My Town Season 1 – Episode 6)
Community helping former Charles Village apartment building tenant after fire
2015 Sustainable Growth Awards
Education Coalition Rallies New Activists To Fight Hogan’s Cuts
Urban Planning and Design Aren’t Optional


City councilwoman counters school closing
Community leaders and parents protest school closure
Parents protest closure of Abbottston Elementary, saying enrollment is not dropping
‘Not just buildings’: Center helps develop community
JHU students, staff participate in President’s Day of Service
Award recognizes leading black men in Baltimore

Consultants show ways York Road could be improved in city

31 Displaced 26th Street residents to share $12,000 donation

In Baltimore, an ex-offender is in the business of second chances

Charles Village finds its ‘Mojo’ in quest to fill vacant storefronts

Baltimore officials unveil city’s newest school
A Decade In The Making, The New Waverly Elementary/Middle Opens It’s Doors
Five Questions That Matter with Karen Stokes
Baltimore’s Future: Karen Stokes on Building Construction Jobs
JHU’s Homewood campus neighbors embrace revitalized community center
GHCC Op-ed: Police can’t do it alone
Fluid Movement offers insights into community-building at Neighborhood Institute
Long-promised community school comes to fruition
City school advocates press gubernatorial candidates at forum
Baltimore’s Future: Chris Wilson on Building Job Opportunities for Residents
5 Questions That Matter with Chris Wilson


Dear Science
The Stoop Storytelling Series with GHCC’s Chris Wilson
Strong first year for community initiative
A technology makeover for the 21st century
Greater Homewood honors those who help to transform Baltimore
Out and About with GHCC
Hopkins initiative helps fund renovations to Charles Village schools

New Volunteers in Service to America

Next schools CEO will have a foundation of community support on which to build
Nonprofit Launches $500K Harwood Revitalization Effort
Barclay Recreation Center Reopens Saturday

City’s old Barclay rec center to reopen as privately run community center
Community group presses ahead with plan to take over rec center
Word has it Scrabble Fundraiser is Saturday in Roland Park
Greater Homewood sponsors 6th annual Neighborhood Insitute
North Baltimore Education Advocates Rally for School Funds
Volunteers give Barclay Recreation Center a face lift
Barclay Rec Center Revitalized
Volunteers work to reopen shuttered Barclay Rec Center
Methadone Clinic Proposed Near Charles Village School


Parents priase 10-year plan to modernize Baltimore schools
Greater Homewood honors those ‘who get things done’
Bank of America Charitable Foundation Awards More Than $376,000 to Baltimore-Area Nonprofits
Schaefer Legacy: $1.4 million for Baltimore Neighborhoods
Barclay Recreation Center to become community hub
Breaking Ground on Waverly School
Oakenshawe parents slow to embrace planned school in Waverly
In East Baltimore, a safe haven

City Demolishes 9 Harwood Homes
Scrabble Raises Cash for Adult Literacy Program
Neighborhood Institute’s focus: Growing Baltimore through housing and arts
Neighborhood leaders share tips for engaging residents
Painted Ladies Contest Honors Ilchester Avenue Block
Sending Kids to City Schools Still a Concern
York Road Shapes VISTA’s View of Baltimore