By Jessica Iannetta – Associate Editor, Baltimore Business Journal
How I helped revive a popular West Baltimore community center
When Christi Green was named executive director of the St. Francis Neighborhood Center in 2012, the organization was in the red and its building was in disrepair.
And yet demand for the West Baltimore center had never been higher. Founded in 1963 by Jesuit priests, the converted house in Reservoir Hill has become known for its youth program, which has a three-year waiting list for its 60 spots. St. Francis also acts as a community resource center, holding community meetings, running computer and financial literacy classes and distributing groceries and other items to those in need.
But following the death of its founder in 2011, the center was just barely scrapping by. Shortly after taking over in 2012, Green worked with the nonprofit's board to stabilize the 50-plus-year-old organization, conducting a financial audit, launching an aggressive fundraising campaign and beginning a strategic planning process.