While citizens around the country watched the various news channels in horror as looting and rioting took place in West Baltimore, representatives from the Organization of Hope a service organization dedicated to enriching lives and improving communities throughout the Greater Washington and Baltimore Metropolitan Area, provided wholesome meals to approximately 375 elderly men and women and over 500 community-at-large who were displaced from their homes. According to news reports, on April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year old African-American man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department and died on April 19, 2015 after falling into a coma while being transported in a police van. Mr. Gray’s death resulted in protests and civil disorder. On April 25, 2015, a major protest in downtown Baltimore, Maryland reportedly resulted in 34 arrests and injuries to 15 police officers. After Mr. Gray’s funeral on April 27, 2015, civil unrest intensified with looting and burning of local businesses and a CVS drug store, culminating in a state of emergency declaration by Governor Lawrence Hogan, Maryland National Guard deployment to Baltimore, and the establishment of a curfew. The elderly were displaced from West Baltimore. Representatives from The Organization of Hope were notified by Linda Childress from New Vision House of Hope (NVHOH), another recovery network entity, and partnered with Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network (MAGNET) to provide over 7K pounds of food.
The citizens were safely placed in various transitional and independent living housing temporarily to sleep. Once calmness resurfaced back in the area and stores reopened, they moved back into their homes/rooms all the while trying to readjust to the quiet revolution still in play. Dr. Patrecia Williams, who serves as Founder and Managing Director of The Organization of Hope, remarked, “We are grateful to be of service to those who are affected by these terrible incidents. My passion is what you make happen for others; God will make happen for you. ” Dr. Williams is responsible for the managing the organization’s board relations, corporate affairs, strategic planning and organizational governance /culture efforts.