ReCAST West Baltimore approaches trauma informed care from a community empowerment perspective. Community members, academic institutions, community based organizations, and public agencies have developed a shared leadership model that increasingly places the leadership and direction of this project in a Community Board and Coalition. Initial supports include community organizing, mentoring, healing circles, and youth development activities. The civil unrest in Baltimore City grew out of events occurring in West Central Baltimore that is home to the three ReCAST communities of Sandtown-Winchester, Upton/Druid Heights, and Penn North.
The lynchpin of this project is the development of a Community Board, consisting of residents of these communities that will guide the development, implementation, and revision of the ReCAST West Baltimore Strategic Plan. A Coalition of partners, community members, and others has been formed through the proposal development process and continues to meet following submission of this proposal. An initial set of partners includes the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Elev8 Baltimore (a Division of Humanim), Communities United, No Boundaries Coalition, Black Mental Health Alliance, Roberta's House, Office of the State's Attorney, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Seeds of Promise, C&C Advocacy, New Lens Youth Media, Holistic Life Foundation, Behavior Health Systems Baltimore, and Baltimore City Health Department.
Project objectives are (1) implement high-quality, trauma-informed, community-based services in a range of sectors including workforce, education, health, faith-based, and social services to promote connectedness and resilience in youth;(2) increase community cohesion by engaging family members and supportive adults; and, (3) link small, community-based organizations, youth leaders, and community residents with larger private and public institutions to create a support network and to increase access to resources.