The Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) recently received a $1.5 million grant from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) to support violence reduction and expand victims' services.
The funds are part of Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s second American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) priority investment: $50 million over the next three years to MONSE to fund violence prevention efforts, including community violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, re-entry services, and community healing.
Administered by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, the ROAR Center is a collaborative project established to build upon the vast knowledge and deeply rooted community connections of UMB through collaboration with many of its schools — law, nursing, social work, dentistry, pharmacy, and medicine — to provide expertise and wraparound services to crime survivors.
"This money is going to allow us to expand in the community and offer more mental health services, offer more case-working services, and offer more legal services to help victims of crime," said Maryland Carey Law Dean Donald Tobin, JD, during the Park Heights announcement.
ROAR Executive Director Lydia Watts, JD, said she is grateful to MONSE for the funds that will support critical work supporting survivors of crime in Baltimore City. “ROAR will use these funds to increase our staff size and to provide additional, alternative healing for survivors — with a special focus on meeting the unique needs of gun violence survivors,” she said.
“As Baltimore continues to contend with dual public health crises — the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing violence epidemic — I am proud to make this investment in significantly increasing our capacity to reduce the violence occurring on our streets and to activate community-based organizations as part of our Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan,” Scott said. “Curing Baltimore of violence is my top priority as mayor, and the dollars we invest today in this vision based in equity, healing, public health, and trauma-informed practices will build safer neighborhoods today, while paying dividends in the future.”