Our first partner community is the neighborhood of Oldtown in East Baltimore.
Oldtown is situated right in the center of Baltimore between City Hall, Harbor East, and Johns Hopkins. Despite this advantageous position, Oldtown has long been a community in distress. Unlike many other distressed Baltimore communities, Oldtown has not experienced the vacancy and loss of human capital that makes economic investment difficult. Business vacancy and adequate economic opportunities for residents are, however, a problem.
Ingoma’s philosophy of community development calls on us to create integrated pathways to economic sustainability for existing Oldtown residents. These pathways acknowledge that access to startup capital may be a challenge for many, but encourage the creation of a community marketplace to exchange skills and products while keeping the proceeds in the community to spur future investment. These pathways form the basis of ownership for Oldtown residents to take control over their economic futures.
Today, Oldtown is home to numerous public housing projects, a jail, a juvenile justice facility, and a crumbling commercial center. Ingoma’s community development strategies envision an Oldtown with a thriving marketplace, a culture of entrepreneurship, and asset-building for community members and by community members.