Church Hosts Statewide Reentry Fair; Laurel Medical Center; Small Business Relief

WASHINGTON INFORMER: On May 18, the First Baptist Church of Glenarden hosted the Maryland Statewide Reentry and Justice-Involved Conference, a free, one-day event for anyone who is or was involved in the criminal justice system along with businesses and non-governmental organizations.

Collaborating partners for the event included My Covenant Place’s Alpha Project, the Maryland Statewide Alliance for Returning Citizens, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Aisha Braveboy (D), Maryland Division of Parole and Probation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland’s Reentry and Community Outreach Program. Diversion programs, best practices in law enforcement and juvenile justice, and the unique challenges women face during reentry were some of the topics discussed during the day.

“My hope is that attendees now know there is a greater level of re-entry services being provided across the state than many thought was available before attending,” said Dr. Ron Garrett, the Bridge Center director at Adams House. “In collaboration with the Returning Citizens Affairs Division, the Bridge Center had a 20% recidivism rate. This is outstanding compared to the 70% recidivism rate nationally. Opportunities like this amazing conference provide the platform to share statewide the great work taking place in reentry and reintegration.”

Laurel Medical Center Officially Opens

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 17 in anticipation for Laurel Medical Center, which is set to officially open on June 4. The focus of this hospital will be prevention of and treating short-term illnesses. Surgical treatments for breast cancer, gynecology, urology, podiatry, orthopedics and sports medicine will also be available.

The two-story medical center, located at 7150 Contee Road in Laurel, will have over 83,000 square feet, 20 emergency department bays, four behavioral health emergency department bays, 10 observation beds, two operating rooms and two procedure rooms. The hospital will be able to treat patients for up to three days in observation rooms, and helipad access will allow patients to be flown in for emergency care.

This center will replace the Laurel Regional Hospital on Van Dusen Road, a full-service hospital built in the 1970s which closed several years ago and is slated for deconstruction by the end of this year.  

“When the hospital originally closed, we were upset because we did not want to leave this community without a hospital,” said Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee.

Maryland Department of Housing Announces Small Business Relief

On May 15, Gov. Wes Moore (D) announced $15 million in partnership with Lendistry,  the nation’s only Black-led, Small Business Administration-designated small business lending company,  to provide relief to Maryland small businesses. The commitment is an investment through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a program Maryland is deploying up to $198 million in federal relief through. Through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan to Lender program, Lendistry will be able to lend up to $250,000 to small businesses that are owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses or located in Community Development Financial Institutions Investment Areas.​​

“As the first Community Development Fund Institution to begin offering loans through Maryland’s State Small Business Credit Initiative program, Lendistry will unlock opportunities for small businesses to grow and expand in the state,” said Moore. “Through this infusion of funds, the state can work with lenders to reach even more businesses that need investment to support their success.”

Since Lindestry was established in 2015, it has deployed more than $8.9 billion in small business loans and grants across the country and supported more than 595,000 small businesses, with over 74% of total funding allocated to minority-owned businesses. 

To apply for a small business loan through Lendistry, go here.

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