The Matthew Henson Community Development Corporation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was created in 2015. MHCDC was created with 5 members of the MAHNA as its Board of Directors. In December 2016, the Board was expanded to include faith, millennial, political, corporate, and more community representation. The MHCDC mission is to promote and encourage areas of community development and empowerment through numerous initiatives. The overall goal is to accelerate the revitalization of the neighborhood with self-empowerment, employment and economic opportunities all while creating a stable and safe community environment.
The community, which is in multiple areas including Easterwood, Sandtown and Winchester, is bordered to the South by Presstman Street, to the East by the west side of Fulton Avenue, to the West by Ruxton Avenue and to the North by the south side of West North Avenue. The community is predominately residential 2-story row homes with basements, backyards and usually 3 bedrooms and a bath on the 2nd floor. The Matthew Henson community has an overwhelming African American community well above 90%.
Over the past 3 years the MAHNA has served as a progressive and aggressive community association and due to the plethora of diversities reflected in the 2008 and 2001 Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Health Departments’ Health Reports the MAHNA has been forced to address re-development throughout Matthew Henson due to the absence of leadership from Federal, State and City agencies. By joining forces with other community and development agencies, i.e., Alliance of Rosemont Community Organizations (ARCO) and Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation, we have begun addressing the rehabilitation and construction of properties to create single-family housing for rent and sale and end the massive boarded-up and abandoned houses.
MHCDC’s first objective is to rehabilitate and develop the 1500 block of N. McKean Street. Phase I was to acquire the odd-numbered side of the entire block. The first successful objective was to acquire 1527-1557 which was an abandoned lot that was a massive dumping site. The 2nd successful objective was to acquire the remaining lot because of the destruction of 1515-1525 by the City of Baltimore which was also accomplished. This was accomplished through ADOPT-A-LOT of Baltimore City which has also seen saw the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association adopting 1500 & 1502 N. Payson Street at Presstman. The community has had this lot since 2016.
The mission of MHCDC is to be a catalyst for suitable and affordable housing for low to moderate income residents and to stimulate economic development within neighborhoods immediately adjacent to CSU through the establishment of social, economic, educational and affordable housing development initiatives that collectively increase the stability and sustainability of our community.
Our goal will be:
- Coordinating partnerships between MHCDC, government agencies, elected officials, public schools, social and community service organizations, businesses, and residents to ensure a community collaborative approach to meeting the needs of residents in the community.
- Developing and improving affordable housing in the community.
- Fostering economic and business development initiatives serving the needs of low to moderate income and otherwise disadvantaged residents.
Strengthening existing partnerships between MHCDD and the broader community through support working with the Greater Coppin Heights/Rosemont Alliance Steering Committee (Alliance), a community-based collaborative.
- Slum and blight removal & work with the City for demolition to greenery.
- Community safety
- Elimination of known health and educational disparities as previously cited
Promoting community awareness of events and issues important to the wellbeing of residents
As a community based developer, MCCDC’s vision it to perform effective development. Over the next five years, MHCDC is committed to focus on developing affordable housing and engaging the next generation of residents through their youth development programming through the visionary leadership of Dr. Marvin L. ‘Doc’ Cheatham and the distinguished members of the Board of Directors of MHCDC.