Catherine Stokes is the Senior Project Manager and Director of Telesis’ Baltimore Office. We caught up with her to talk about her work and the Redevelopment of the Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher neighborhoods.
Tell us a bit more about your organization. What is Telesis, and how did you come to operate in Barclay?
Telesis is a real-estate development company that plans, finances, and builds urban communities that are livable, beautiful, and safe. Telesis has been working in the Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher (BMOG) community since 2006. At that time, Telesis was selected by the Housing Authority and members of the BMOG community to be the master planner and developer in charge of the revitalization of the BMOG neighborhoods. A primary goal of the resulting BMOG Plan is to transform the neighborhood into a stable, healthy, safe, equitable, and livable neighborhood with quality open spaces, community facilities, and employment opportunities.
You have done a lot of work redeveloping housing in Barclay, what are some of the positive outcomes you have already seen in the neighborhood?
In addition to the transformative impact of the over 175 new households who have, or are in the process of, moving into the neighborhood through the Redevelopment, so far one of the greatest results we have seen is these new residents’ involvement in the community. As they become more invested in their own homes, residents have begun to take on leadership roles in the community at large.
In what ways do you partner with community associations and Greater Homewood?
The main forum is the Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher Coalition (BMOG), which serves as an umbrella for the stakeholder organizations (neighborhood organizations, local developers, neighborhood social service providers, and city officials). Telesis works closely with Greater Homewood on community development and resident services. Telesis also partners with GHCC’s Workforce Development program in its efforts to employ neighborhood residents in the Redevleopment. Thus far, over 70 local residents have been employed in construction jobs.
Why is it important to you to sponsor the Neighborhood Institute?
Telesis believes that physical and community development are inseparable and our partnership with GHCC is very important to our work in BMOG. Telesis supports GHCC and its work in the community. In particular, the Neighborhood Institute is a wonderful way to cultivate emerging leaders throughout Greater Homewood. We encourage residents of the BMOG community to take advantage of this wonderful resource.