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Living Classrooms Opening New Community Center

A community center providing services and programs for underserved families will open in a historic rehabilitated firehouse Thursday in the Perkins Homes community.

Called the P.O.W.E.R. House, which stands for Providing Opportunities to Work, Expand, and Rise, the community center is the latest facility created by the Living Classrooms Foundation. It is located at 316 S. Caroline St., just north of Fells Point.

With 688 units, Perkins Homes is one of the largest public housing developments in Baltimore City. Having a community center in the middle of Perkins Homes without having to travel outside of the neighborhood will be an asset, says Living Classrooms CEO James Piper Bond.

“It’s going to be a beacon of hope for the community, and we’re honored to lead the way,” Bond says.

The project is six years in the making, and a partnership between the public and private sectors. The house has received support from a variety of foundations and companies including Commercial Interiors and SunTrust Bank, Bond says.

Some of the amenities include multipurpose rooms for community meetings, after-school activities, a computer lab, and a financial literacy center. The Perkins Homes Tenant Council will also have an office in the space.

Living Classrooms will a offer after-school and summer programming on site for youth in education and career development, civic development, health and life skills and the arts.

The P.O.W.E.R. House is located within Living Classrooms’ Eastside Target Investment Zone, an initiative that seeks to provide opportunities and create safer neighborhoods for underserved communities through education and workforce development.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Source: James Piper Bond, Living Classrooms
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