This is an exciting time for the South Baltimore neighborhood of Cherry Hill, and Catholic Charities is proud to be part of it.
Originally built for African-American GIs returning from World War II, Cherry Hill has since endured 70 years of underinvestment. Now, the community’s master plan includes three new schools, new housing, a new recreation center, and a renovated and reinvigorated Cherry Hill Town Center.
Catholic Charities has owned the town center since 1997 and has served the Cherry Hill community for more than 20 years. Community engagement and workforce development are high priorities in our strategic plan, because we know that they make lives better and contribute to thriving communities.
Our model for engagement is rooted in listening. Through long and rich conversations, the community has guided us to plan for a space that attracts businesses, promotes entrepreneurship and job opportunity, encourages community gatherings, and provides fresh food options to Cherry Hill residents.
Catholic Charities has committed to a $4.5 million renovation, updating the façade and exterior and improving the food court. It will also turn 4,400 square feet of retail space into a community hub with a cafe, a meeting area for community events, pop-up stalls, and a healthy-food-focused community kitchen and food education space.
In the legislative session that ended April 8, the Maryland General Assembly provided $250,000 for this project. The remainder will come through Catholic Charities’ targeted fundraising efforts for the center.