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Honoring our History,
Building our Future

"Bringing the community together for a thriving Cherry Hill"

Cherry Hill Strong coordinates projects and  programs, in step with the community and in partnership with the philanthropic community, across four pillar areas of education, affordable housing, community wellness and economic vitality.

Cherry Hill Strong Joins National Network of Purpose Built Communities in Transformation


Pioneering Strategy Aligns with Governor Moore’s Anti-poverty ENOUGH Act

BALTIMORE, May 22, 2024 – Some 200 residents and leaders in South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill community were joined by Carmel Martin, Special Secretary, Governor's Office for Children; Senate President Bill Ferguson; Baltimore City Councilmember Phylicia Porter; and other officials to mark Cherry Hill’s entry into Atlanta-based nonprofit Purpose Built Communities national network of neighborhoods committed to a shared strategy of place-based, holistic, community-led transformation. In a festive setting on the front lawn of Baltimore City Public Schools System’s 21st Century Arundel Elementary School, the elected officials were joined by Purpose Built Communities CEO Carol Naughton, Cherry Hill Strong Board Chair Dr. Joshua Michael, Cherry Hill Community Coalition representative Cathy McClain, and Cherry Hill Strong Founding Executive Director Zeevelle Nottingham-Lemon on an outdoor stage surrounded by tents featuring the four “pillars” of the strategy: 

  • High-quality, affordable housing; 

  • Cradle-to-college-and-careers supplemental education services; 

  • Community wellness; 

  • Economic vitality initiatives.

Membership in the Purpose Built Communities network and the Governor’s new ENOUGH Act, a first-in-the-nation state-level effort to end concentrated poverty, are expected to bring fresh focus, expertise, resources, recognition, and access to state and national funders to the holistic model and Cherry Hill’s efforts to implement its 2020 Transformation Plan. Cherry Hill residents included the Purpose Built Communities model into that plan with support from State Senator Bill Ferguson.

Governor Moore proclaimed May 22, 2024 as Cherry Hill Strong Day in Maryland, saying, “To root out poverty, we need to build strong partnerships with leaders on the ground. That philosophy is at the center of both the ENOUGH Act and the important milestone we celebrate today. Those closest to the problems are closest to the solutions and the dedicated Marylanders of Cherry Hill Strong have a clear vision for transformation. Together, we will continue our shared work to build new pathways to prosperity in every corner of our state,” he said.

“Purpose Built Communities is thrilled to officially welcome Cherry Hill Strong to the Network Member family,” said Naughton. “Cherry Hill Strong is already doing transformative work. Backed by our proven Purpose Built Communities model, they can take this work to the next level through a holistic, long-term neighborhood effort driven by residents and in partnership with members of the community to help address deeply seated structural economic and racial inequities.”

Achieving the substantial requirements for admission into the national network has been a five-year journey that included incorporating and funding of the Cherry Hill Strong nonprofit organization as the community quarterback, and tangible progress toward early milestones in each of the four focus areas.

“Gaining membership in this national network is like a commencement,” said Nottingham-Lemon. “It marks the end of years of challenging yet rewarding community-led planning and actual progress in housing, education, wellness, and economic vitality. But it also reflects that our work is beginning anew with fresh energy, national support, and unlimited optimism.”

Cherry Hill Strong’s offices serve as a convening space where community leaders and partners unite to continue progress on the transformation effort. Funding comes from grants, and the work is closely with the Cherry Hill Community Coalition, Cherry Hill Development Corporation, and many partner foundations, institutions, businesses, and nonprofits to deliver on its 2023-26 Strategic Plan.

Cherry Hill Strong

aims to bring equitable holistic transformation and revitalization to the Cherry Hill neighborhood in South Baltimore through our partnership with purpose Built Communities. The goal is to bring forth a vibrant and sustainable community in which all residents thrive, and to invite new community members to be a part of this opportunity.

About Us

Cherry Hill Strong is the new nonprofit "community quarterback" organization working alongside residents to ensure collaboration among partners, meaningful engagement with the community, sustainable investment, and continual accountability towards achieving the community's long term goals. We coordinate  projects and programs, in step with our neighbors and in partnership with the philanthropic community, across four focus areas of education, affordable housing, community wellness and economic vitality -- the four pillars of the Purpose Built model


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