2:00 PM EST, December 27, 2012
Given Johns Hopkins disappointing record for successfully rebuilding communities, I found it interesting to read the institution will invest $10 million to rebuild the Homewood community ("A new start for Hopkins," Dec. 9). I only hope they make good on their promise this time.
All that is left of the townhome that held such fond memories for my family when I was growing up is a fenced-in, empty lot. Sitting in the shadows of Johns Hopkins Hospital is the church where I have been a member since childhood. Today it is surrounded by vacant homes and dilapidated buildings that stretch for miles.
I am sure Hopkins' intentions were good and that they truly are "deeply and purposefully dedicated to Baltimore's success," as your editorial suggests. But when do they plan on making up for all of the broken promises they have made to other communities?
In 1994, Johns Hopkins partnered with other organizations to form the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC). With $34.1 million, the goal was to turn East Baltimore around, ensuring a community that would make the city proud.
Six years and $9 million later, the project had added 4,000 vacant, boarded homes to a community that was already in desperate need of repair.
In 2003, Johns Hopkins partnered up again to form the East Baltimore Development Inc. The end result was supposed to be a vibrant mixed-use community with medical research facilities, mixed-income housing and retail and green space. But earlier this year, East Baltimore delegates gathered to block the urban renewal project due to its many broken promises.
Johns Hopkins has brought opportunities to the city but also disappointments. A drive through East Baltimore reveals those disappointments through the miles of what was supposed to be.
Krystal Myers, Owings Mills
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