By 1990, Sandtown had become a neighborhood challenged by virtually every urban ill: poverty, unemployment, poor health, low student achievement, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, grimeÉmost significantly, Sandtown suffered an almost paralyzing lack of hope.
In 1994, another Sandtown is emerging. Residents, working in concert with initial partners Mayor Schmoke, the City of Baltimore, The Enterprise Foundation and BUILD, have been working for the last four years on planning and beginning to implement the nation's first "neighborhood transformation process." Neighborhood transformation differs from past attempts at community revitalization because it (1) addresses all community problems at once, (2) emphasizes redirection and more effective use of existing funds, and (3) involves neigborhood residents as full partners in the design and operation of programs and services.
In a very brief time, the transformation process, which is coordinated by a new non-profit group, Community Building in Partnership, Inc. (CBP) has achieved many successes including: reducing crime by 15.6%, constructing or renovating nearly 300 units for home ownership, modernizing 700 units of public housing, developing a school readiness pathway to ensure that children are prepared to enter school, employing over 160 adults and 500 teenagers in transformation projects, establishing the Sandtown-Winchester Community Center, creating a family advocacy program, organizing over 100 block clubs to fight crime, implementing annual community events, and publishing a monthly community newspaper.