CFUF 2023 Impact Report

Page 1



THE ROOT OF DISMANTLING POVERTY IS SEEDING LEGACIES FOR THE FUTURE. CFUF was started with a focus on job training and responsible fatherhood, and the importance of this role in the continued success of the whole family. During our 25 years of work, our services have matured in lockstep with our members, and we evolved into providing a comprehensive approach serving fathers, mothers, and children. As we’ve grown, our mantra to "Dismantle Poverty" has remained the same, and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made to date. Through pivotal moments in our journey, in particular through the death of CFUF member, David Anderson, we realized that dismantling poverty doesn’t just stop upon securing a job or purchasing a home. There is still so much work to be done. Achieving financial security and continuing to maintain social and economic success of the whole family requires CFUF to sustain lasting relationships with our members to help them create intergenerational wealth that transfers from one generation to the next. The root of dismantling poverty is seeding legacies for the future. CFUF’s work today infuses families with opportunities to create transcendent results. Including intergenerational wealth transfer as one of our core competencies positions us as an innovator in the human services sector and realizes the very essence of our ALL In strategy.





Articles of Incorporation filed on January 26th, at 4:19 pm ——— Center for Fathers, Families and Workforce Development (CFWD) founded with STRIVE® Baltimore and Fatherhood programs supported by The Abell Foundation and Ford Foundation

Launched Career Path Initiative ——— Developed partnership with Maryland Department of Human Resources' Child Support Administration

Hosted Healthy Relationship and Marriage forum at National Great Blacks in Wax Museum ——— Received the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Families Count Award ——— Honored with Bank of America's Neighborhood Builders Award





Partnered with Maryland Department of Human Resources' Child Support Administration on the design of StateOwed Debt Leveraging Program ——— Partnered with National Alliance to End Homelessness on 3-year jobs initiative

STRIVE Baltimore named Best in Baltimore by Baltimore Magazine ——— Curriculum developed for Exploring Relationships and Marriage with Fragile Families ——— CFWD Board of Directors elected David Warnock as Chair

Launched 5-year “Building Strong Families” Project funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ——— Launched Couples Advancing Together (CAT) Program ——— Lion King cast dedicated benefit performance of The Raising Of The Son at Baltimore Center Stage to CFUF ——— Senators Evan Bayh and Barack Obama visited CFWD

2001 Launched JumpStart electrical training pilot ——— Started partnership with the The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation ——— Began Women Supporting Fatherhood Initiative






STRIVE® Baltimore’s 100th cycle graduated ——— Awarded $1M contract by Macro International to provide technical assistance to federally funded fatherhood grantees ——— Conducted first Wage Records Analysis with the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore

Held groundbreaking ceremony for new building ——— Launched Men’s Warehouse Suit Drive providing business attire for STRIVE® Baltimore participants

TouchPoint Mondawmin opened with CFUF as a partner organization ——— Selected by The Kresge Foundation to participate in its national Next Generation Initiative

2009 32,000 square foot facility at 2201 North Monroe Street completed

2018 Training partnership with The Foundery began

2019 Launched ALL In Strategy





Office of Family Assistance funded CFUF to provide training and technical assistance to more than 96 organizations, from across the nation, with Promoting Responsible Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage, and Economic Stability grants ——— CFWD acquired old Baltimore Coliseum to build new center and launched $8M capital campaign ——— Center for Fathers, Families and Workforce Development (CFWD) changed name to Center for Urban Families (CFUF)

Bill passed and signed into law authorizing the Maryland Department of Human Resources to establish a Couples Advancing Together (CAT) pilot, as a result of a presentation Joe Jones made at Johns Hopkins University

CFUF Board approved Five-Year Strategic Plan

2013 President Barack Obama visited CFUF ——— Launched the Practitioners Leadership Institute

2022 Launched Five-Year Strategic Plan

2023 25th Anniversary Season begins


In 25 years, the Center for Urban Families has served a remarkable 33,000 men and women and put in motion family-stabilizing tools for their more than 70,000 children. Through the work of our tireless team and many incredible partners, we’ve become a leading voice in the national conversation around responsible fatherhood, propelled child support reform in Maryland, and ensured families impacted by flawed social welfare policy and the criminalization of poverty could build intergenerational wealth through access to jobs, education, training, and home ownership. We’ve been a touchstone and stabilizing factor as life has become fully immersed in the digital age, shifting the economy and our society forever. We’ve been here for our members through the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, ensuing wars, multiple mayoral, gubernatorial, and presidential administrations, the Great Recession, the deaths of Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since I filed the Articles of Incorporation at precisely 4:19 p.m. on January 26, 1999, CFUF has gone about the work of dismantling poverty, building intergenerational wealth, and approaching complex problems through the perspective of parent and child. Just as we ask our members to do, when I founded CFUF, I stepped into my fear, guided by faith and directed by fate. At that time, there were signs the investment the city health department made in responsible fatherhood programs and STRIVE® might not have continued beyond then-Mayor Kurt Schmoke’s administration. Because of Mayor Schmoke’s inspiring leadership and early support, we took the leap to continue the work outside of government. And like Mayor Schmoke, along the way, CFUF has found many allies including former UpSurge CEO Jamie McDonald, Camden Partners co-founder David Warnock, Whiting-Turner CEO Tim Regan, MEC2 co-founder Richard E. Beattie, and CareFirst President Brian Pieninck. Strong governance has been a hallmark of CFUF’s stability with our distinguished Board Chairs in 25 years: Terry Owens (1999–2001), Mr. Warnock (2002–2015), Henry Kahn (2016–2022), and Ken Jones (2023–present). Any tribute to our 25 years would not be complete without recognizing the support of Baltimore-based philanthropic foundations, including the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg, Annie E. Casey, and France-Merrick foundations. I must also pause to give a very special shoutout to Robert C. Embry, Jr., President of the Abell Foundation. Bob saw the vision early and made it possible to seed this nonprofit outside of the health department with continuous investments in STRIVE®, and Baltimore fathers and families. These change agents and believers, along with so many others, have been the reason CFUF stands today to change the trajectory of countless lives. At times over these years, my legs were extremely shaky as we moved from rented space in a desolate strip mall to a meager office building on Druid Park Drive, where the landlord stopped paying utilities. In 2007, with the generosity and backing of even more partners, we managed to land at the site of the Baltimore Coliseum. Here, we planned and carried out an $8 million capital campaign to build and pay off our CFUF office building on Monroe Street. It’s through these twists of fate that we’ve produced staggering feats for our communities and the children, women, and men who call them home. Equipped with your support, we’re poised to take on the next 25 years. My sincerest thanks to every one of you.

Joseph T. Jones, Jr. Founder, President, and CEO



WE ARE THE CENTER FOR URBAN FAMILIES A leading voice in the national conversation

on responsible fatherhood. A support network for Baltimore’s most

vulnerable citizens. A staunch advocate for child support reform

in Maryland. A provider of experiences, skills, and information

to practitioners who seek to strengthen families with low incomes.

Our mission is to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.


UNLEASHING THE POWER OF PASSION AND PURPOSE Our 25-year journey has been fueled by a collective contribution of individuals fostering positive outcomes for both individuals and communities. Jamie McDonald was one of our founding board members, and she’s been a thought partner, key strategist, and a friend. She’s been central to the CFUF story, and I could never thank her enough. I learned how to fully embrace the role of CEO because of the straight talk from David Warnock, who walked with me into some of the most important conversations with funders we had early on, the ones whose investment determined whether we would sink or swim. Mayor Kurt Schmoke took a chance to do something that had not been done before. Without his support, there would be no CFUF. He stepped up in a big way to confront the consequences of flawed federal policy with local intervention and innovation. Terry Owens broke barriers as a Black man in the hyper-competitive world of TV news. He earned the respect and appreciation of our entire Baltimore community, and he graciously lent his credibility and expertise to our mission. I am eternally grateful for each of their partnerships. With gratitude, Joe Jones


“The Center has helped to change the whole discussion about how resources can be used to make a positive difference in the lives of men and their families.”

Mayor Schmoke—who is now president of the University of Baltimore following his remarkable career in politics and law—said he was impressed by the work



and inspired by Joe's positive leadership and its effect on families. “Government investment in Baltimore had helped spin off entities to further the city’s economic development,“ he said. ”Why not do the same for human development?” And so, the Schmoke Administration did just that, providing seed money and support for what is now CFUF. That was 25 years ago, of course, and Mayor

Then-mayor, Kurt Schmoke took a decisive and

Schmoke’s bet on Joe has paid dividends for

consequential step to amplify human development for

Baltimore—impacting 33,000 lives and influencing

Baltimore’s families, especially fathers. It was the late

national conversations around responsible fatherhood,

1990s, and the country was only beginning to reconcile

child support reform and helping vulnerable people

social welfare policies that treated cities as massive

transcend the forces working against them.

shelters for the poor and vilified “welfare queens” and “deadbeat dads” with the power of law and narrative.

“Before the demonstrated successes that Joe and the Center for Urban Families revealed, the national policy

While urban leaders like Mayor Schmoke found a

generally viewed fathers in a negative fashion—fathers

partner in President Bill Clinton, the moment called

were the bad guys of the ‘urban problem,’” Schmoke

urgently for local intervention and innovation. That’s

said. “The Center has helped to change the whole

when Mayor Schmoke turned to Joseph T. Jones, Jr.

discussion about how resources can be used to make a

Joe was working with fathers in the Baltimore City

positive difference in the lives of men and their families.

Health Department, where he’d amassed the right

“It is vitally important for people to know there is a hand

connections and built an effective track record of

outstretched to help them, not slap them back, a hand

engaging men who were partnered with women

to lift them up, not push them down.”

receiving services during their pregnancies and early days of motherhood. And Joe had an idea to create a nonprofit in Baltimore that would operate with the guiding principle that fathers are central to the health and prosperity of their children—and the city itself.



JAMIE MCDONALD FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, UPSURGE BALTIMORE INVESTMENT BANKER Jamie McDonald borrows a popular sentiment when she coaches innovators and entrepreneurs: “Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.” In other words, to find success, people with big ideas looking to address complex challenges must remain adaptable. "In fact," she said, "it is relentless adaptability that has contributed to the staying power of the Center for Urban Families in its 25-year pursuit to dismantle poverty." “They have been very clear about the problem they are trying to solve without being wed to any one solution,” said Ms. McDonald, the outgoing CEO of UpSurge Baltimore and a longtime investment banker.

men and fathers really matter in healthy communities, and that helping adults find stable family-advancing opportunities is a key lever to changing the future of American cities. “From my perspective, a stable, healthy adult at any

“They have been very clear about the problem they are trying to solve without being wed to any one solution.”

income level is better for a child than any social program could be,” Ms. McDonald said. “We would need a lot less programs for children if we would help adults find stable family-advancing opportunities.” Ms. McDonald said the CFUF leadership has taken a number of important strategic steps that have amplified the organization’s impact. One example is the decision

“CFUF has been continually driven by data and

to locate the Center in the middle of the community

evolution. They really look at themselves critically and

on Monroe Street, as an extension of CFUF’s effort to

ask, ‘Is this working?’ The key is to keep your eye on the

be in partnership with their members.

problem you’re trying to solve.”

CFUF also works deliberately to involve their members’

Ms. McDonald has had an up close perspective on

families, creating a ripple effect that shows the moms,

CFUF since the beginning, as one of Joseph T. Jones,

dads, and kids that they are supported and appreciated,

Jr.'s early believers and most trusted advisers. She

both when they have wins and losses on their

joined the CFUF board as one of its founding members

journey. She said CFUF’s emphasis on measuring their

in 1999, transitioning to emeritus status in 2018.

outcomes is also a strategic decision that’s led to their

She met Joe in the mid-1990s through an associate

effectiveness and sustainability.

who knew of his work in Baltimore through then-Vice

“Baltimore is incredibly lucky that we are the home

President Al Gore. Ms. McDonald said she and Joe

of CFUF,” Ms. McDonald said. “I just wish we didn’t

immediately aligned around the two-fold belief that

need them.”



“I consider myself a member. The confidence I’ve had


to take chances in and for Baltimore—from running


for mayor to co-founding Green Street Academy to heading the Greater Baltimore Committee—have all come out of the knowledge I’ve gained at CFUF.” “The membership aspect of CFUF is key to its impact,” Mr. Warnock said. “When a person struggling turns to the Center for help, they’ll find others who have shared similar experiences.” The job training program, STRIVE®, that drove Mr. Warnock to initially reach out to Joe presents another opportunity for members to draw collective strength. The three-week program involves attitudinal coaching, mentorship, and supportive services. It’s challenging, to be sure, and only about half of the people who enroll graduate. “There is a sense of accomplishment that people have that they did something others couldn’t do,” Mr. Warnock said. “The 40 people who come in are

David Warnock first met Joseph T. Jones, Jr. long

generally the people who have washed out of other

before the sprawling modern brick building rose on

things. The 20 who get through feel this incredible

Monroe Street as a testament to the life-changing

sense of accomplishment, which gives them a sense of

power of the Center for Urban Families.

belonging that binds them to each other and to CFUF.”

Back then, Joe was running responsible fatherhood

Looking to the future, Mr. Warnock said CFUF has more

programs from old offices on Druid Park Drive, and

opportunities to grow the benefits offered to members

Mr. Warnock was intrigued by Joe’s efforts to bring

and cultivate a deeper sense of belonging among

opportunities to returning citizens, help non-custodial

them. This could mean negotiating deals on insurance

fathers play a bigger role in their children’s lives and

coverage and financial services, or using their collective

connect unemployed Baltimoreans to coaches, peers,

buying power to get breaks on restaurant meals

and jobs. So, Mr. Warnock picked up the phone and

or airline tickets. The next 25 years bring as much

cold-called Joe to get the details.

possibility as the last.

That was 1999, and ever since the solutions-driven

“If you are a member, you belong to something

venture capitalist has been by Joe’s side. Mr. Warnock

bigger than you,” Mr. Warnock said. “The future of the

has helped Joe cultivate donors, whether they’ve

organization is inextricably tied to that core value.”

contributed hundreds of dollars or millions. Mr. Warnock has steered board oversight, operated as a stalwart booster and amplified policy reforms recommended by people with lived experiences. “The Center for Urban Families has changed my life in a lot of ways,” Mr. Warnock said. “It has opened my eyes to the strength and resiliency of people in Baltimore and their willingness to step up and take

“CFUF opened my eyes to the strength and resiliency of people in Baltimore and their willingness to step up and take a chance on themselves.”

a chance on themselves.”




“Joe had a vision I could not even begin to appreciate at the time.”

Terry Owens was a general assignment reporter on

Mr. Owens served on the board for three years until the

WMAR and host of the Channel 2 public affairs show

early 2000s. He recently founded his own Laurel-based

“2 the Point,” when he heard about a man who was

media consulting company after more than a decade

making a positive impact in the city serving fathers and

working in strategic communications. He left WMAR

families. He wanted to know more.

in 2009 after 17 years at the station, covering City Hall,

He did a segment on Joseph T. Jones, Jr., and Mr.

anchoring the news and hosting “2 the Point.”

Owens said he found Joe to be “clearly a visionary with an amazing personal story. I was impressed with his passion, his focus, and his commitment to making a positive change. Even in its early stages, I was blown away by the organization he had created.”

Although Mr. Owens has not been directly involved in CFUF’s work for a number of years, he has kept up with the organization and is awed by the impact across the 25 years since Joe took the leap of faith to move the work out of the health department and created CFUF.

Meanwhile, it was the late 1990s, and Joe still hadn’t shaken an inferiority complex that came from rising

His main takeaway from the experience is that Joe

to success from the streets without formal education

and the CFUF team are a model for what can happen

credentials coupled with a background of incarceration

when a dedicated group of people show up and are

and substance abuse. He looked to Mr. Owens as

willing to do the hard work. And when you distill the

another Black man who had broken through barriers,

sophisticated programming and consistent outreach

starting out as a kid from Detroit who made it to the

and support to its foundation, what CFUF does is

big leagues in the hyper-competitive television news market. Mr. Owens came to the city via San Francisco and grew to be well-known and respected throughout the Baltimore region. Joe figured Mr. Owens might be willing to lend credibility to CFUF, so he asked Mr. Owens to serve as

“remind everyone they have worth and they have value,” Mr. Owens said. “I saw in Joe someone who was committed to changing lives,” Mr. Owens said. “His genuineness and sincerity comes through. I did not realize at the time the breadth

an inaugural member of the board of directors.

of what he would do through the organization."

“I couldn’t do enough to help,” Mr. Owens said. “I had

“He has been able to use that gift now to touch tens of

not done a lot of board work at that point, and I really

thousands of lives locally, and he has traveled around

didn’t know what I was getting into—but if he thought I

the country and inspired others outside this community,

could help, I would show up.”

so we cannot know the full scope of the CFUF impact.”




John Johnson was unemployed and driving a hack, when his passenger motioned toward the Center for Urban Families, looked him in the face and asked a peculiar question: “Do you believe in angels?” The man told Mr. Johnson to pull over, and he walked with him inside the CFUF building and waited while Mr. Johnson filled out paperwork to enroll. Mr. Johnson had been giving the man a ride to work from West Baltimore to the eastside for a few weeks. “As we were riding we would talk about different aspects of life,” Mr. Johnson said. “He didn’t really know my situation, but he felt the frustration in my voice, and he asked me if I really wanted to change my life. I said, ‘Yes,’ and he pointed to CFUF.” After he dropped the man off at work that day, Mr. Johnson never saw him again, although he tried to find



him so he could thank the man. That was 15 years ago, and whether the mysterious man was an angel or not, the encounter changed his life.

Mr. Beattie first got to know the CFUF team in 2008 when his company won the contract to design and build the mechanical systems for the organization’s building on Monroe Street. A veteran of the Marine Corps with combat service in Desert Storm, Mr. Beattie was immediately drawn to the CFUF programmatic structure, the “tough love” approach, and the second chance it provides. “I am a fan of that; I think it is productive,” Mr. Beattie said of his first impression of CFUF’s programs. “They were not dancing around or pussyfooting. They told them how it is in the real world, which I viewed as important. They did a good job to prepare them, and it wasn’t just about wearing a suit and looking pretty." “Just because you’ve been criminally involved or you’ve had a drug problem doesn’t mean you aren’t employable, but you do have to explain yourself. Their

JOHN JOHNSON STRIVE ® 2008, MEC 2 EMPLOYEE Today, Mr. Johnson is a part of the CFUF pipeline for skilled tradesmen and professionals in Baltimore— made up of men and women who have lived the

responses weren’t canned or scripted.” Mr. Beattie hired eight graduates of the first STRIVE® class he witnessed. Those graduates were then able to work on the project to install the HVAC system as CFUF’s new building rose on Monroe Street.

consequences of forces abundant in underserved

Once employees join MEC2, Mr. Beattie said they

communities, such as poverty, addiction, mass

work full-time and enroll in apprenticeship school to

incarceration, and systemic racism.

become a licensed journeyman in one of the trades,

While aptitude is evenly divided, opportunity is not, and the job market frequently overlooks people with spotty employment history, criminal records, and lack of education. CFUF members like Mr. Johnson say the organization is a great equalizer with a 25-year track record of unlocking opportunity and knitting

such as plumbing, sheet metal or heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. While they're in school, MEC2 pays for their training and offers step increases in pay. When they’re done with training, they earn upwards of $30 an hour with vacation time, health benefits, and the possibility to continue in construction management.

together resources that allow members to be healthy

“The company’s retention rate for the CFUF graduates

co-parents, reach their career potential, and create

is better than the industry average,” Mr. Beattie said,

intergenerational wealth.

which he attributes to the ongoing support and

One of the employers who has found untapped talent at CFUF is Richard E. Beattie, principal of Mechanical

mentorship the nonprofit provides. “The benefits extend beyond the employee and employer,” he said.

Engineering & Construction Corp, also known as

“The end result is, their members are employed,

MEC2. So far, his firm has hired about 35 CFUF alumni,

they are taxpayers and good citizens,” Mr. Beattie

including Mr. Johnson. They have multiple offices in

said. “Workforce development is vitally important

Maryland and Northern Virginia.

in Baltimore.”


got caught up in drug use and stopped showing up for work, Mr. Liggins and Mr. Beattie drove through Park Heights to try to find him and get him into treatment and back to work. And, they were able to do just that. “That’s the most important part about the Center: most people just want an opportunity,” Mr. Liggins said. “There is a lot of hopelessness. People in underserved communities have learned not to trust people; they only believe what they see.” “I try to go in and visit the current classes, and I tell them, ‘I am living your story, you just haven’t lived it yet.’ I show them it is possible, as long as they believe in themselves.” Marquez Anderson, a 2010 STRIVE® graduate, was hired by MEC2 after a couple of other jobs when his case manager recognized Mr. Anderson wasn’t satisfied with



his career trajectory. While Mr. Anderson appreciated the work—he valued his chance to be hired at $8 an hour for a cleaning service as if it were gold—he wanted more for himself and his family.

Derek Liggins offers an example of what mentorship and a CFUF network means in practice. Co-chair of the CFUF alumni association, Mr. Liggins came to the organization in 2008 as he was coming home from eight years and four months in prison. Upon release, Mr. Liggins was referred to CFUF for employment development, and he was one of the graduates of that first STRIVE® class that Mr. Beattie witnessed. Mr. Liggins, a father of four who lives in East Baltimore, is now an HVAC foreman who runs multi-million dollar projects for MEC2 that have won construction and design awards. After his STRIVE® graduation, MEC2 sent Mr. Liggins to get his journeyman license at a community college, and he then went on to earn a certification in construction management. Now, Mr. Liggins does a pre-interview for any CFUF members interested in a career at MEC2. He also goes above and beyond, alongside the CFUF team and Mr. Beattie, to ensure their success. Once, when a coworker hired after graduating from a CFUF program



“Because of my training through STRIVE®, I learned

in virtual design and construction, building information

the work ethic, to value every opportunity, seize

modeling, as well as plumbing and HVAC design.

the moment and make it work for yourself.” Mr. Anderson said.

He had a solid background as a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, with service in the Marine Corps

He has been at MEC2 for eight years, and he is now a licensed sheet metal mechanic. The father of two is also a homeowner in Dundalk. He said CFUF helped transform him into a “well-

and experience as a Baltimore City firefighter and paramedic. But Mr. Johnson said he lost his stability, and his ability to find a good job, when he made some bad decisions. CFUF was a catalyst for change.

rounded, responsible man and father.” “It is an amazing turn of events that I went through,” “It is good to have good people in your corner that

said Mr. Johnson, who lives in Windsor Mill with his

really care,” Mr. Anderson said.

wife. “You have to correct the things in your life that are

Like Mr. Anderson, CFUF has meant opportunity for

hindering you, that are clouding your judgment.”

many others.

“CFUF gives you the tools to understand the whole

Mr. Johnson, who believes divine intervention led him to

process. You can come here and not continue

CFUF, found stability, education, and a career. He works

to struggle.”


INFUSING FAMILIES WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE TRANSCENDENT RESULTS Our core competencies at CFUF are inextricably tied to racial justice and equity. It is by strengthening families, providing the keys to income security, and building intergenerational wealth that we realize a more fair and just society that allows all people to rise above systemic barriers to find success and opportunity. More than two decades of experience and proven outcomes prepare us for a focus on creating legacy wealth among our members and the promise of even bigger impact.
















Data represents: 1/1/2022–12/31/2022





PHILLIP MCDANIELS “With multiple wraparound services like the dedicated staff, practical support like access to vehicles and tools to build intergenerational wealth, CFUF is not a typical nonprofit.”

His first job after his STRIVE® graduation in 2012 was with McCormick & Company, where he started as a line technician and was promoted to a forklift operator Phillip McDaniels didn’t want to get stuck working as a

in the blending department. He was grateful for the job,

day laborer after he finished serving time, and he was

but he wanted to re-establish himself on a career track,

worried entering a typical workforce readiness program

so he went for additional training.

might only lead to a temporary foothold. Two keys to his success from CFUF were workforce Instead, a decade later, Mr. McDaniels pinpoints his

development director Glynnis Gladden and a 1996

enrollment in STRIVE® and the relationships he cultivated

green Toyota Camry that the organization helped him

at CFUF as setting him on a trajectory that gave him a

purchase from Vehicles for Change.

good career, a nice house, and the stability to raise his children and be a caretaker for his ailing mother.

Mr. McDaniels said Ms. Gladden, who died in 2016, was a testament to the ALL In attitude of the CFUF team.

“CFUF was the best thing that ever happened to

She was tough but beloved, and “she told you what

me with where I was in my life at the time,” said Mr.

she was about, what you needed to be about and she

McDaniels, a father of three who lives in East Baltimore.

helped you as best as she could.”

“They told us what they could offer us, but I don’t think anyone believed it. And then they did everything they

"With multiple wraparound services like the dedicated

told us they would do—and more.”

staff, practical support like access to vehicles and tools to build intergenerational wealth,” Mr. McDaniels said

Mr. McDaniels is now a licensed plumber and HVAC

CFUF is not a typical nonprofit and STRIVE® is not

technician for Constellation. He installs boilers,

a typical workforce readiness program. He sees the

gas lines, and water heaters. His career path was a

Center as a bridge, especially for men and women with

strategic move, he said: “I chose a couple of trades

a history of incarceration.

that weren’t going anywhere any time soon. I can technically work for myself with skills and licenses that

“Without the Center for Urban Families, I don’t know

no one can take from me.”

where I would be,” Mr. McDaniels said.



SHALENE WALLACE From Facebook Live to the streets of Park Heights, alumna Shalene Wallace has a message to friends, family, and neighbors: If you’re ready to believe in yourself, the Center for Urban Families can help you step into your purpose. Ms. Wallace was 20 years old and carrying her first child when she learned about CFUF. It was 1999, and her father Woodrow Wallace found a flier for the thenfledgling organization and encouraged her to go. The timing was right, so Ms. Wallace joined STRIVE® and is a graduate of Cycle 19. “It was definitely tough,” she said. “The instructors didn’t give me any slack, even though I was pregnant. I am a motivated individual, and this gave me a stepping stone. It gave me an extra family.

an entrepreneurship program at Morgan State University. She is now working as an elementary school teacher. “I did it with the supervision and confidence and mentorship of the staff at CFUF,” she said. “They’d say, ‘Pooh, don’t give up,’ and I’d get fatherly advice from Mr. Hammett and a push from Ms. Pitchford and Mr. Jones.”

“If you’re ready to believe in yourself, the Center for Urban Families can help you step into your purpose.”

The future is bright for Ms. Wallace. She has given her all toward raising her three daughters—Shaniya, 23, Miracle, 15, and Zendaya, 10—and now she dreams of founding her own nonprofit. She wants to build on her mentorship efforts and outreach work in Park Heights and surrounding communities, including the back-to-

Nicknamed “Pooh” by her STRIVE® instructors, Ms. Wallace was voted “most likely to succeed” during the program. She has always been a go-getter, graduating from Northwestern High School at age 17 while holding down three jobs. Completing the training at CFUF as part of Cycle 19 took Ms. Wallace to the next level. She received a minivan through CFUF and Vehicles for Change that she proudly paid off. Next, CFUF sent her to Baltimore City Community College to become a patient care technician, and she also earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education. In 2020, she completed

school events, food drives, and summer camps she’s planned at her church, Mount Zion Apostolic Faith Church, with the guidance of her late grandparents, Elder Wilson, and Mother Daisy Wallace, and Bishop E.A. Mangum. She also dreams of becoming a firsttime homeowner in 2024, and she will turn to CFUF for support. “Just looking at the outside of somebody will never determine what is going on inside,” Ms. Wallace said. “I may not have been an addict, incarcerated or living on the street, but sometimes you feel like a burden on others. I lived in it, but I didn’t live with it.

her bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore in

“Thank you to the Center for Urban Families for giving

human service administration. Recently, she took part in

me the opportunity and never turning your back on me.”


When Christi Levy graduated from STRIVE®, she

Today, Ms. Levy is an addiction counselor, and she is

knew one thing for sure: She could slay any interview

finishing her undergraduate degree in psychology. She

she could land. And that was good, because she

lives in Southwest Baltimore’s Violetville and wants to

needed to work.

eventually become a licensed certified social worker

Ms. Levy was about 18 years old and had recently

to offer mental health counseling.

emancipated herself from foster care so she would

She founded a nonprofit alongside her sister called,

not be separated from her son. It was 1999, and she

“Chase A Legacy: Joseph C. Graham Jr., Inc.” The

remembers she felt “very lost, broken, but always goal-

organization is named for Ms. Levy’s nephew, a

oriented and driven.”

20-year-old Morgan State University student who was

“I saw an ad or someone referred me to the Center; I just knew that it was somewhere that would help me with finding a job,” Ms. Levy said. “It was a big deal to me to separate myself from the statistics of foster care.” She said her time at CFUF was a turning point in her life.

killed in a 2020 house explosion caused by a buildup of natural gas. Ms. Levy said the goal was to turn their pain into purpose and give back to the community. Among other outreach efforts and services, the nonprofit teaches life skills to children in families that are homeless. Ms. Levy’s son Diamonté Hayes, the eldest of her three



children, is now 27. She said the life she created is one she could never have imagined for herself on the day she stepped into CFUF. “I surpassed whatever dream I had then,” Ms. Levy said. “At that point, I was only able to dream about surviving, and I had no idea or understanding what living was.” “I would have never thought that young girl would have become the woman I am today.” Her success started at STRIVE®, where CFUF helped her build confidence. Ms. Levy said she had trouble making eye contact when she started the program. She did not know what to wear for an interview or how to answer questions from a potential employer. When she graduated from the program, she landed a job helping military families find health care options. The office was on the top floor of a high-rise near the Inner Harbor, and it became just one of the places she never imagined life would take her.

“I would have never thought that young girl would have become the woman I am today.”



pillars: (1) Workforce Development and Economic

implementation of the life-changing EMPath

Success; (2) Financial Capability; (3) Housing, Health

(Economic Mobility Pathways) case management

and Family Stability; (4) and Social Engagement. Each

model, an evidence-based coaching model focusing

pillar includes five rungs of indicators of progress. Each

on brain science-based mentoring. The model

indicator is assigned a score, with the indicators on the

recognizes that poverty—and the stress, trauma, and

bottom rung being assigned a “two” and the top rung

oppression accompanying it—affects behavior and

being assigned a “ten.” The Bridge to Self-Sufficiency

decision-making. One-to-one mentoring via mobility

provides ALL In Mobility Coaches concrete indicators to

coaching, which centers around members setting and

guide their conversations with members and understand

working toward long-term goals, is a proven approach

the full picture of members’ potential barriers, which

to helping individuals experiencing poverty overcome

enables the Coaches to provide members with much

chronic stress and achieve life-long success.

more comprehensive resources and referrals to

Using the information gathered through intake,

community partners to overcome barriers.

assessments, and direct input from members, CFUF ALL

While the Goal Plan and the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency

In Mobility Coaches, in conference with the individual

provide the foundation for individual case management

member, create an overall Goal Plan, which provides

and the relationship between members and their ALL

personal benchmarks for goal attainment, using the

In Mobility Coaches, they also improve the process

EMPath Bridge to Self-Sufficiency. The Bridge to Self-

of measuring programmatic success and members’

Sufficiency tracks members’ progress and quantifies

success as they reach new levels of self-sufficiency.

outcomes related to planning, reaching, and sustaining

We’re excited and look forward to sharing future

their personal goals. The Bridge contains four critical

success stories.


In September 2021, the CFUF Board approved our five-year strategic plan, which we immediately put into action. As we continue to implement the tactics and strategies set forth, we will shift our approach from case management to mobility coaching, draw on partnerships for powerful wraparound support, effect broad-scale change through advocacy, and achieve greater innovation and effectiveness through robust data analysis. This roadmap for our future success is infused with insights from our members whose knowledge and lived experience help guide our work. We’re excited to share progress highlights and accomplishments to date.

EMPLOYER PARTNERSHIPS CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield New Hire Training Program

designed an in-depth training consisting of 22 four-

As a demonstration of its commitment to investing

readiness, including: workplace ethics, professionalism,

in West Baltimore and the people who live there in

critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills,

August 2023, CareFirst launched the West Baltimore

time management, and much more. We are excited

Commercial Member Service—New Hire Training, in

for this opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in

partnership with Coppin State University. As part of

supporting employer partners like CareFirst to enhance

phase one of this initiative, 10 local residents, hired

employee retention and engagement.

by CareFirst as Service Associates, began their New Employee Orientation in space provided by Coppin

hour modules that cover all aspects of employment

Bon Secours Clean Corps

on its campus. For 10+ weeks, these new hires learned

During the past year, CFUF entered into a partnership

the fundamentals of health insurance and how to

with Bon Secours Community Works (BSCW) to

use CareFirst’s claims processing platform to answer

implement a Clean Corps project funded by the

member eligibility, benefit, and claim inquiries for

Baltimore Civic Fund. The Clean Corps project

individual plans. A second phase of New Hire Training

combines workforce development training and

is expected to launch in early 2024.

hands-on skill building while helping the city address the maintenance of public areas in Baltimore

CareFirst reached out to CFUF to engage us as a

neighborhoods. This model is an “earn while you learn”

vendor to provide curriculum instruction and technical

opportunity, giving each participant the space to get

assistance to increase the new hires’ workplace

into the “rhythm of work” while also developing the

retention and employee engagement. We executed

right skills and attitudes to maintain employment and

a Consulting Services Agreement and a Statement

become a valuable asset to the employer. Individuals

of Work whereby CFUF would provide a total of 160

hired for this project receive services from BSCW and

hours (Phase One) and 128 hours (Phase Two) of

CFUF. CFUF staff provide skills and attitudinal training,

curriculum instruction, work readiness assessments,

case management, and wraparound support services.

mobility coaching, and technical assistance for this

BSCW staff provide green industry hard skills training

project. We’ve partnered with Dominic Colbert of

and financial education courses. They also conduct

Coach Nic DC, LLC, a performance management

behavioral health assessments and provide referral

coach, instructor, and inspirational speaker for small

coordination to behavioral health resources, as needed,

businesses, corporate executives, government leaders,

making this a truly unique program and partnership.

and the people that they employ. Together, we’ve

Our first cohort of 12 members graduated in July 2023.



RESEARCH AND EVALUATION We are making tremendous progress in building the

The first step in this partnership is working with a BSPH

capacity of CFUF’s Research, Evaluation, and Data

team led by Dr. Darcy Phelan-Emrick and Dr. Amanda

Laboratory (RED Lab) and bringing on a Director of

Smith to conduct a full assessment of CFUF’s readiness

Research and Evaluation. In order to best leverage not

to effect community-based research and evaluation. Over the course of this assessment, Drs. Phelan-Emrick and Smith will:

just our own resources but the deep expertise available right here in Baltimore, we are embarking on an exciting partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH). CFUF leadership reached out to Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at BSPH, as a thought partner for this work, igniting this meaningful collaboration.

Engage with CFUF to understand what our needs

and hopes are for how research and evaluation can advance our mission, including social return on investment; and Assess CFUF's existing research and evaluation

capacity, infrastructure, and resources, including strengths and areas for improvement. We are particularly excited that the assessment will include the creation of: A training and technical assistance plan to support

our research and evaluation capacity, infrastructure, and resources; A strategy to advance appreciation of evaluation

among CFUF staff, members, alumni, board members, and community stakeholders, focusing on how evaluation can help us grow as an organization; A strategy for using our research and evaluation

to inform our advocacy work, including scientific publications to demonstrate the impact of our work and share broadly with others; and A potential pathway for a new collaborative position

of Director of Research and Evaluation at CFUF.


PRACTITIONERS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI), through funding provided by the Ballmer Group, is focused on designing a proof of concept to integrate the unfunded federal mandate to include fathers into the day-to-day operations at Baltimore City Head Start (BCHS) sites. Our design focuses on the following strategies: Hire a Family Engagement Coordinator to coordinate

father engagement initiatives. Revise all engagement policies to explicitly mention

fathers and emphasize their importance. Revise procedures for how information is collected

and shared with fathers. Create a Fatherhood Advisory Committee. Create dedicated times and spaces to be intentional

about father engagement. Develop a professional development curriculum for

Baltimore City Head Start staff focused on father engagement. Hire more male staff by recruiting from current

BCHS fathers.


For self. For family. For future.

ALL IN ALWAYS ALL In is CFUF’s comprehensive strategy to tackle the cycles of inequity, accelerate social and economic opportunity, and advocate for policies that promote an inclusive and equitable economy for all. As we make critical adjustments to our services and processes, ALL In remains our long-term attitude to ensure our members' success in achieving economic and social stability. ALL In leverages two decades of applied learnings to: Target key critical areas of chronic underemployment and family instability AND Link individual accountability, person-centered case management, and supportive networks with workforce development training, education, and civic engagement.


TRAILBLAZERS FOR TOMORROW At CFUF, change isn’t just a concept, it’s a dynamic force embodied by our exceptional change agents. These are the visionaries, advocates, and champions who have dedicated themselves to shaping a brighter future for all. Join us in recognizing and celebrating the driving forces behind the meaningful transformations that make our organization a beacon of hope and progress. They have been, and continue to be, the perfect embodiment of everything CFUF stands for.


FRANCE-MERRICK FOUNDATION For the leaders of the France-Merrick Foundation, the Center for Urban Families checks lots of boxes in the grantmaker’s pursuit of helping to grow, strengthen and support vibrant and healthy communities.

þ An anchor in Baltimore’s human services ecosystem: Check.

þ A good steward of finite financial contributions: Check.

þ Adept at leveraging national resources: Check. þ Uses metrics and statistics to demonstrate impact: Check. The France-Merrick Foundation is one of Maryland’s largest private foundations with an annual grant budget of about $10 million. Their mission is to enrich life


across Baltimore and beyond through grantmaking and collaborative efforts—with a prevailing commitment to racial equity. The foundation’s vision calls for them to contribute to “an equitable, vibrant and sustainable Baltimore where people and places thrive.” Toward this goal, the grantmaker has supported CFUF throughout its 25-year history, including contributions toward construction of the organization’s now debtfree office building near Mondawmin Mall. Other

“What’s always really impressed me deeply is they are a learning organization, and they said a long time ago, ‘We want to build on our success.‘”


and organizations. They’re driven by four core values:

“CFUF is an example of what nonprofits can accomplish when meeting a clear need of the community and evolving along the way.”

collaboration, learning, impact and integrity. In service of these values, CFUF works every day to lead its members toward intergenerational wealth, accumulated family by family, from home ownership to estate planning. It is also seen in the professionals CFUF has seeded in careers throughout Baltimore and beyond. They witness the fruits of the investment, too, in the ways CFUF members go on to stabilize their

funding has gone toward CFUF’s strategic planning efforts and growth opportunities.

neighborhoods. “We’ve watched the evolution of the organization and

“What’s always really impressed me deeply is they

their impact on the community,” Ms. Gross said. “They

are a learning organization, and they said a long

are an example of what nonprofits can accomplish

time ago, ‘We want to build on our success,’” said

when meeting a clear need of the community and

Elizabeth Perriello Rice, Senior Program Officer for

evolving along the way. We pride ourselves on a similar

France-Merrick. “They are always open to joining a

approach as a learning organization and appreciate our

new partnership, a new collaborative, a new chance to

partnership over the years with CFUF.”

evolve and improve their model and the outcomes for their members.” Importantly, Ms. Perriello Rice said, "CFUF recognizes that their members’ journeys are not linear. Once someone is a member, they are a member for life," she said, and "CFUF has purposefully built their model around relationships that ebb and flow." CFUF also measures the traction their members have in overcoming obstacles, alongside their wins and setbacks. Ms. Perriello Rice said the metrics produce information that allows CFUF to tell its story and provide a continual means for assessing their programs. “They are always trying to figure out where the gaps are,” Ms. Perriello Rice said. “It is done with an eye toward connecting to their mission.” "Along the way, CFUF keeps a conversation going with their funders. That, in turn, gives the foundation a lot of opportunities to learn and create impact as a funder,” Ms. Perriello Rice said. For Amy Gross, President of the France-Merrick

investment. Throughout the Baltimore region, the


foundation is devoted to supporting people, sectors


Foundation, organization’s like CFUF allow the foundation to look across more than a half-century of giving to see the sparks that were ignited by their



KRESGE FOUNDATION The Kresge Foundation’s partnership with the

Joseph T. Jones, Jr., CFUF Founder, President, and CEO.

Center for Urban Families began in 2008 with

The two-year initiative consisted of three components

a capital investment.

including leadership development, development of a

With the foundation’s shift in approach to expanding opportunities in American cities, Kresge reengaged with CFUF because of CFUF's unrelenting belief in their members and how it partners with them to obtain their

community of practice, and creation of organizational and cohort action plans toward advancing and accelerating social and economic success using a twogeneration, whole-family approach.

goals and dreams. “The commitment of success to their members and the work they do in partnership is a key driver in ensuring they find a solution,” said Raquel Hatter, who leads the National Human Services Program for the Kresge Foundation.

“That’s one of the reasons Kresge exists—to find and support visionaries like Joe and his team in places focused on the promise of people around the country.” “They triage and go about the business of conducting what I call a ‘systems MRI.’” In addition to the capital investment in 2008 that contributed to the construction of CFUF’s Monroe Street office building, The Kresge Foundation selected CFUF to participate in the inaugural cohort of its national Next Generation Initiative in 2017. Participating in the NextGen cohort is directly tied to CFUF’s recent growth and development, according to



The work is clearly informed by their members. CFUF has always centered their work on fathers, families and co-parenting. CFUF’s priorities strongly align with the Kresge Human Services’ north star, centering racial equity and justice to advance multi-generational family social and economic success from one generation to the next, as well as person-centered systems change.

“CFUF contributed to the co-creation of solutions to transform the sector, transform lives, and inform personcentered systems change.” “When you think about Joe’s personal story, in the context of Baltimore and its history, and the fact he had a vision bigger than himself and undertook it, it’s

JOELLE-JUDE FONTAINE SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER, HUMAN SERVICES “As a member of the cohort, CFUF contributed to the co-creation of solutions to transform the sector,

inspiring,” Dr. Hatter said. “That’s one of the reasons Kresge exists—to find and support visionaries like Joe and his team in places focused on the promise of people around the country.” Since 1999, CFUF has remained at the frontlines to address Baltimore’s most pressing issues around poverty, employment, fatherhood and family reintegration. CFUF seeks to address the key challenges of Baltimore’s urban families by connecting fathers to their children, creating opportunities for financial success through work and providing access to key interventions.

transform lives, and inform person-centered systems

In furtherance of its direct service work, CFUF works

change,” said Joelle-Jude Fontaine, Kresge Human

with policy and practice changemakers to advocate for

Services Senior Program Officer.

policies that impact families living with low incomes.

CFUF is also a strong collaborator with cross-sector

“CFUF uses its position in the community to not

partners in Baltimore, including government and the

only support their members but to create a broader

business community. Their guiding belief is that men—

ecosystem in Baltimore informed by the lived

within the context of their communities, families and

experience of their members and other community

workplace—are key to a thriving community. This value

members,” Ms. Fontaine said.

set is also a critical basis for the continued partnership with Kresge.




Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), spends a lot of time thinking about public health and the complex questions around the social and environmental circumstances that determine the trajectory of human lives and communities throughout Maryland. Overall health is largely determined by where individuals live and the environmental systems they encounter. These factors, called social determinants of health (SDOH), actually account for 80% of individual and community health. SDOHs are difficult to address within clinical settings but are impacted by external

year, to break down social inequities for underserved communities in West Baltimore," Mr. Pieninck said. To accomplish the goal, CFUF is providing training for newly-hired CareFirst employees at Coppin State University. CFUF supports employees as they grow in their personal and professional development and advises CareFirst to ensure the employees receive the experience they need in their new careers.

initiatives such as career opportunities, education, and

The first cohort of employees are working as CareFirst

intergenerational wealth.

customer service advocates, with opportunities for

Mr. Pieninck remembers meeting with Joseph T. Jones, Jr., CFUF Founder, President, and CEO.

career advancement, continuing education, and tuition reimbursement toward future certifications and degrees. This group will conclude as CFUF approaches

“I recall the wisdom that Joe and his team brought and

its 25th year of service, and the second cohort will

had an overwhelming feeling that they were the right

launch in 2024. CareFirst plans to hire more than 200

partners,” Mr. Pieninck said.

employees as part of this program.

It’s Mr. Pieninck’s belief that healthy communities

In addition to this program, CFUF and CareFirst have

cannot be created in silos.

joined forces on other initiatives over the last 15 years,

“We see the Center for Urban Families as a pillar in

to provide opportunities for work, education, and

Baltimore,” Mr. Pieninck said. “They offer a complement

entrepreneurship to youth throughout Baltimore City.

of services, like workforce development, financial management, housing, and social support. These are the things people need to live their best and healthiest lives.”

including recently with the city’s “Squeegee Collaborative,”

“We strongly believe going upstream to invest in solutions that address the root causes and systemic challenges is the right thing to do,” Mr. Pieninck

"Through a longstanding partnership with CFUF, CareFirst

said, “and it will positively affect the trajectory of our

identified a key workforce development opportunity, this

communities, our state and our country.”

“We strongly believe going upstream to invest in solutions that address the root causes and systemic challenges is the right thing to do.”




“CFUF has a reputation within the community, so when people come through the doors, they come expecting and hoping for that level of connection.

As Senior Manager of Member Support and Engagement, Katrina Ross oversees case management at CFUF— essentially the beating heart of an organization that has touched the lives of 33,000 people in 25 years.

She joined CFUF in the summer of 2022. One of the aspects of CFUF that drew her to the organization is its emphasis on the role fathers play in their families. “Too often, in social service policy

In her role, Ms. Ross studies how the ALL In strategy is

and practice,” she said “fathers are left out of the

working by looking at the ways case managers interact

conversation. This focus also plays a significant role in

with members and how they help them manage

the organization’s ability to foster community,” she said.

emergencies and contribute toward their progress. She analyzes the strengths and shortcomings of programs and considers how CFUF’s front line providers are carrying out the mission day to day. “People here really want to be here,” Ms. Ross said. “They believe in the mission and the services that we offer. They believe we need to advance our communities by helping the people we serve find economic stability and family stability. “They show up every day, because they want to be change agents.”

From member to member, she said the message spreads: “‘CFUF helped change my life.’” “Providing a sense of belonging in itself is also powerful,” Ms. Ross said. “Some CFUF members are returning home after being incarcerated for a decade or longer, and when they walk their journey with CFUF,” she said, “the community cheers them along as they land a job, rent an apartment, buy a car or re-engage with their children.” “CFUF has a reputation within the community, so when people come through the doors, they come expecting

Ms. Ross is a licensed social worker with nearly 15 years

and hoping for that level of connection,” Ms. Ross said.

of experience in child welfare, mental health advocacy

“Having community drives a level of trust that keeps

and complex trauma care. Her passion is rooted in

members coming back.”

healing families, so they can find stability and prosperity for multiple generations to come. A native of New Jersey, Ms. Ross came to Baltimore for college, and she’s stayed in the Mid-Atlantic region throughout her career.

“Being real about community, showing up for community and showing up for members when they win is what sets us apart as an organization.”


To fail is your "First Attempt in Learning." That’s

“At some point, I just could not turn my back to that

the way DeAndre Wiggins frames the hard stuff

whole thing,” Wiggins said. “If there is something that

that members encounter when they confront the

has grounded me in the work, it is in the question

obstacles in front of them.

of what my father would have become if he had an

“On the bad days, we learn; don’t be afraid of the bad

advocate like me.

days,” said Mr. Wiggins, who is CFUF’s Senior Manager of Workforce Development and Education. Motivating members is a big part of what drives Mr. Wiggins in his work, and he has a unique vantage point within CFUF. This is Mr. Wiggins’ second time with the organization. He worked alongside Joseph T. Jones, Jr. in the early days, as Mr. Jones was moving the responsible fatherhood and STRIVE® programs from

“If there is something that has grounded me in the work, it is in the question of what my father would have become if he had an advocate like me.”

the city health department in the late 1990s to what would become CFUF.

“He was a brilliant man and he was very troubled. He

Mr. Wiggins served as Men’s Services Counselor until

couldn’t leave the streets alone, and he succumbed to

2003 when he left to pursue opportunities in workforce

the ills of the streets.”

development. He rejoined CFUF, in his current capacity, in June.

Mr. Wiggins said the resilience he witnesses in CFUF members is remarkable as they drive forward toward

“I’ve honed my skill set, and I am far more attuned with

freedom from the streets, economic success and

connecting employment-seekers and employers who

intergenerational wealth. In turn, those members send

are sympathetic to the cause and have a strong interest

their sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, and cousins

in the importance of the stability of urban families and

and friends to Monroe Street.

marginalized communities,” Mr. Wiggins said. “It is my purpose and passion and also my pain.”

“When you get here,” he said,” what you find is central to what it is to be human and be supported in your own growth and development by an agency that has the

Growing up in Sandtown, in public housing, Mr.

resources and know-how and, most importantly, the

Wiggins thought he’d become a neurosurgeon, but he

desire to do this work.”

changed his college major from biology to psychology after taking a job working with teen parents. He had a distant relationship with his own father, and he saw opportunity for the young parents that didn’t exist for himself or his father.






On any given day, Bessie Griffith may talk a member through a crisis. She may give them a mock interview. She may search job boards to find opportunities that match their skills and abilities or scour resources to meet their need for food, housing or expungements. She may send them to CFUF’s men’s clothing closet or women’s boutique for shoes, suits, and dresses ahead of their interviews. And she always, always takes their calls.

“It makes me feel like I have accomplished something if just one person that particular day realizes I am going to walk with them through this process,” Ms. Griffith said,

This is what it means at CFUF to be part of the

“and if they feel like they cannot move forward, to pick

ALL In strategy.

up the phone to call me. I am here.”

Ms. Griffith has long known she wants to make a

Her approach starts with questions for the members,

difference. Her goal each day is simple: “To help

and she uses their answers to peel back the layers.

others move forward in life.”

What is the first challenge to address? Is it mental health treatment or childcare arrangements? Do they need to secure training to land a dream job or figure

“It makes me feel like I have accomplished something if just one person that particular day realizes I am going to walk with them through this process.”

out how to address back-owed child support? She provides the case management support for members enrolled in CFUF’s Clean Corps, a transitional employment project. The members of Clean Corps remove trash from alleyways and streets, clear weeds, and cut down dying tree branches. Along the way, they learn soft skills that will help them in the workforce, such as managing their time and interacting with coworkers.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Ms. Griffith lived in a

The benefits extend beyond that, too. Ms. Griffith recalls

community that was similar to many in Baltimore,

after a recent graduation, one of the women living in a

where people can face forces like the criminalization of

neighborhood served by the Clean Corps was thrilled

poverty and systemic racism that impede their success.

that she could sit on her front porch without worrying

She settled in Baltimore more than a decade ago.

about vermin hiding in the debris. She sees it as just one

She started at CFUF in June 2021, after witnessing

small example of the domino effect that CFUF creates.

the organization’s ability to transform lives while

“I believe the Center is here for the community, and I

an employment specialist at another organization.

enjoy being a part of that,” Ms. Griffith said. “I love what

Working as an ALL In Case Manager gives her an

I do. My motto, ‘If I can help someone then my living is

opportunity to use her skills and gain new knowledge.

not in vain.’”




Mr. Jones was still running fatherhood programs out of the city health department, and he convinced Mr. White to join him there. Not too long after that, Mr. Jones sold Mr. White on his vision to launch CFUF. “I remember the day he asked if I would go along with him,” Mr. White said. “I just said, ‘Yeah, man, let’s go.’ There was no hesitation. I have the utmost trust in Joe’s decisions.” Eddie White isn’t ready to rest. He’s spent 25 years on the Center for Urban Families team, and he remains resolute, undaunted, and hopeful. “I feel blessed and honored each and every day,” Mr. White said. “I am blessed, because of what I do. I don’t work. God gives me an opportunity to give back. This is a second life; I had another life before this one.” “I am blessed, and I will do this until I can’t anymore.”

“We knew the importance of the work and we didn’t care how hard it was going to be.” Today, Mr. White is an ALL In case manager at CFUF, where he also facilitates responsible fatherhood programs. Mr. White is the one remaining original team members who left the health department to join Mr. Jones as he founded CFUF. In his role, Mr. White helps members overcome any number of challenges. For example, if they’re using

In Mr. White’s previous life, he used drugs and committed

drugs and want to get sober, Mr. White helps them

crimes, which landed him in a therapeutic treatment

find treatment. If they have open court cases, he helps

program in the 1990s. That’s where he first met Joseph

them make a plan to resolve their legal troubles. Mr.

T. Jones, Jr. The 18 months they spent together in the

White also helps members get their records expunged,

program changed both of their lives forever.

land jobs, reconnect with their children, and find stability in their lives.

“I am blessed, and I will do this until I can’t anymore.”

Mr. White—a father of three who owns a home in Catonsville—said he does not always disclose his journey to the members he serves; however, the background he and Mr. Jones share gives them a

Back home, Mr. White was volunteering as an outreach worker in Sandtown-Winchester sharing information

deep understanding of the hardships the men and women can face.

with men in the neighborhood about programs and

“The possibility is there for anyone who wants to make

services. While in that role, he saw Mr. Jones at a

a change,” Mr. White said. “If they are willing, there is

community meeting.

nothing that will get in the way.”


This work is resonating with major partners in the city and across the country. While CFUF is based in Baltimore, we can provide a test case that will be translated nationally. The 25th anniversary brings more visibility to the organization—proof of concept that we have been successful.


KENNETH M. JONES II SVP AND COO, JOHN D. AND CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION Proof of concept. That’s one way I look at the 25-year history of performance and accomplishment by the Center for Urban Families. At this point, we have demonstrated why our work is increasingly being recognized on a national level to help other communities grappling with the same issues we are grappling with in Baltimore. The longevity of the organization, alone, communicates an important message to funders, community partners and the members who entrust us to help guide their transformations and steer them toward stability, economic opportunity and intergenerational wealth. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen CFUF grow in terms of scale. This is, in part, because people can see how important and necessary this work is. They understand the value of the interpersonal experience our members receive when they step into the Monroe Street office

Our strategic plan is taking us to another level. In practice, under this five-year plan, we are moving from traditional case management to dynamic mobility coaching. We are embedding more and more wraparound support for our members by expanding our number of partnerships. CFUF advocates for policy change based on our results, and, in turn, we are effectively creating broad-scale change. CFUF is a nationally-heard voice on how to foster responsible fatherhood, ensure fewer previously incarcerated men go back to jail, and create intergenerational wealth through homeownership. More than ever, we are also using sophisticated data analysis to drive innovation and greater effectiveness. This represents the next generation of our work. A great organization will not keep doing the same things in the same ways year after year. CFUF has evolved by recognizing and responding to the needs of our members. They continue to engage because they see new tools in our toolbox that can assist them in their lives and careers. By collecting strategic pieces of information related to the challenges and successes our members encounter, we can prioritize the most effective approaches and adjust as needed along the way. The data teaches us what narrative is supported by outcomes. The data tells us where we are going, what we are doing well and where we are falling short. We show our members what is possible, and say, “This is what success can look like for you. This is the work you have to do to get there. It is not easy, but it is possible.” We engage with people on a personal level that allows us to customize the mobility coaching and offer tailored support to get that person to a successful outcome. We are continuing this legacy as CFUF 2.0.

building. Our number of workforce providers continues to grow, and we’ve added several more board members who represent key corporations that we’re affiliated with.


OUR WORK IN ACTION As part of our Five-Year Strategic Plan we continue to enhance our programming, both inhouse and in collaboration with partners, so that available programs and services align with a clearly-defined set of mobility outcomes: workforce development, family strengthening, adult education, financial management, housing, health, social support, and social change.

Economic Success Programs to Achieve Workplace Success: STRIVE® BALTIMORE


An intensive three-week workshop that combines

Supported by the Mayor’s Office of Employment

tangible skills, such as resume writing and interviewing,

Development, Train Up is a partnership program

with attitudinal training that prepares individuals to

with Baltimore City Community College (BCCC)

obtain and retain employment.

that focuses on providing people with low incomes supports and educational pathways to advance social

BACK TO BUSINESS A three-day job readiness training that focuses on refreshing the soft skills and job search skills of individuals with prior work experience who are seeking employment.

BALTIMORE BOOST (BOOSTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MOBILITY FOR FAMILIES) A partnership between CFUF and Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) that provides individuals, with low-incomes, access to work and life skills training, BCCC occupational skills training certification programs, job placement and retention support, and other supportive services to accelerate social and economic mobility.


and economic mobility. Train Up provides occupational skills training, credential attainment, and job-placement assistance to Baltimore residents, focusing on highdemand sectors that offer wage earnings of $15+/hour, including career pathways in healthcare, transportation logistics, construction, and information technology.

Family Stability Programs that Strengthen Relationships: BALTIMORE RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD SERVICES A multi-week program, that utilizes CFUF's Developing

Place-Based Initiatives that Build Resident and Community Capacity:

curriculum to assist non-custodial fathers, with low


incomes, to increase and build their fatherhood

The Baltimore Communities Assisting and Advancing

knowledge and skills.

Neighbors (BCAAN) initiative utilizes partnerships

All Dads for Manhood and Parenting (DADMAP)

with community-based organizations to implement


resident-led solutions to help Baltimore’s most

The Baltimore 2Gen Ecosystem is a two-generation

area of Baltimore City to address the current state of

approach that builds on the existing work of CFUF,

poverty. We consistently engage with 20 community-

promoting the importance of programming that is

based organizations that provide services in the areas

inclusive of fathers, providing services to both caregivers

of workforce development, financial education,

and children, to strengthen a family's ability to achieve

health and wellness, family stability, and educational

long-term economic stability. Through our partnerships


vulnerable neighborhoods in the Greater Penn North

with Union Baptist Head Start, Healthy Start, the Judy Center, and other local community partners, families have access to a streamlined referral process and


collaborative case management services, to support

The CFUF Homebuying Assistance program

parents’ employment goals and economic stability, while simultaneously supporting and prioritizing children’s health and their educational trajectories.

provides CFUF members up to $10,000 each, in down payment and closing costs assistance, and pre-mortgage readiness support including financial literacy training, credit building and repair training, and case management support to prepare members to successfully complete a HUD-approved homebuying counseling program and receive a certificate of completion.

PRACTITIONERS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (PLI) PLI is CFUF’s nationally-focused initiative that seeks to promote excellence in the human services industry by providing customized technical assistance and training for new, emerging, and established programs and their leaders, in order for them to better serve low-income fathers and families.


FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT The Center for Urban Families is proud to report another year of strong support from our amazing donors. As we look ahead toward growth and deeper involvement in our communities, we remain committed to fiscal prudence to ensure sustainability and high-quality programming for every individual and family we serve.



ASSETS Cash and Cash Equivalents





Grants, Contributions, and Pledges Receivable, Net

3,545,354 3,092,669




Prepaid Expenses and Other Assets



Property and Equipment, Net



Total Assets



Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses



LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Liabilities Deferred Revenue



Note Payable



Total Liabilities



Net Assets Without Donor Restrictions



With Donor Restrictions




Total Net Assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets




Government Contracts


9,574,589 $



8% 77%


Grants Contributions Other Income


Program Services Support Services




CHANGES IN UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS Revenue and Support Government Grants








Contributions and Special Events/Other



Other Income



Total Revenue



Net Assets Released from Restrictions



Total Revenue and Support







Expenses Program Services Family Stability and Economic Success Services (Client and Alumni Services) Training and Technical Assistance





Management and General



Research and Evaluation



Development and Special Events



Support Services, Excluding Non-Cash Expenses



Total Expenses



Change in Net Assets Without Donor Restrictions





Satisfaction of Restrictions



Families Total Program Services Support Services

CHANGES IN NET ASSETS WITH DONOR RESTRICTIONS Grants Change in Net Assets With Donor Restrictions



Changes in Net Assets



Net Assets, Beginning of Year



Net Assets, End of Year




$ 9,574,589


THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP Thank you to our partners for always being ALL In. With your support, our work is possible.





Oprah Winfrey

Charitable Foundation


Oprah Winfrey

Charitable Foundation

CFUF BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Kenneth M. Jones II Chairman Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Joseph T. Jones, Jr. Founder, President, and CEO

Swata Gandhi Chair, Governance Committee Counsel, Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

John G. McLean, Jr. Chair, Finance and Audit Committee Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Christopher (Chris) Rockey Chair, Development Committee Senior Vice President, Northeast Territory Executive, Community Development Banking, PNC Bank

Ronae Brock Co-Founder, Earth's Enrichments

EMERITUS Dr. James R. Calvin, Ph.D.

Vice President, Chief of Staff, CareFirst

Professor of Practice, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Barry Lancaster

Guy E. Flynn

Lester Davis

Senior Asset Manager, Fannie Mae

Partner, DLA Piper

Henry D. Kahn

Jamie McDonald

Partner, Hogan Lovells

Vernā Myers Founder and Principal, The Vernā Myers Company

Bill Norris

Former Chief Executive Officer, UpSurge Baltimore

Terry Owens Vice President, Owens Media Group LLC

Director, Technical Accounting Consulting, RSM US LLP

Brandon Scott

Patrick Sissman

Scott Sherman

Principal, Redwood Holdings

Scott Soffen, CFA, CAIA

Mayor, Baltimore City

Retired, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

Senior Investment Officer, American Trading & Production Company

Robin Williams Wood

Ben Seigel

Kofi Ofori

Alicia Wilson

Chair, Program Quality Committee Deputy Comptroller for Policy, Public Works, and Investment, Comptroller of Maryland

Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, The John Hopkins University

DIRECTORS Brian Andrews Director of Strategic Initiatives, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE)

Daman C. Blakeney Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, Brown Capital Management

Peter Bowe Founder, The Peter Bowe and Barbara Stewart Foundation


Letitia Logan Passarella Research Director, University of Maryland School of Social Work

David L. Warnock Partner, Camden Partners

William (Chip) F. Wendler, II Retired, Vice President, Strategic Distribution Initiatives, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

Community Leader

Managing Director and Global Head of Philanthropy for the North America Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

CFUF TEAM EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP Joseph T. Jones, Jr. Founder, President, and CEO

Brian S. Lyght Chief Operating Officer

Nicole Jordan Manager of Special Projects and Executive Support

Darlene Griffin Behavioral Service Coordinator

Bessie Griffith ALL In Case Manager (Clean Corps)

Ayana Jackson ALL In Mobility Coach

Shiloh Jordan Outreach Coordinator (2GEN/BCAAN)

Fatima Lewis

SENIOR LEADERSHIP Marilyn Aklin, D.P.A. Director of Development

Wendy Blackwell-Fortune Director of Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI)

Brittny Herring, Ph.D. Director of Family Strengthening and Community Engagement

ALL In Case Manager

Abdallah Muhammad

Director of Finance and Administration

Catherine Pitchford Director of Programs


Anthony Brown ALL In Mobility Coach

Marcus Brown

ALL In Senior Mobility Coach

Kalie Pearson Grants Compliance Manager

Michael Tucker Contracts Specialist

Ayana Burrus Finance Assistant

Shevell Rudolph

Associate Accountant

Bobbi Lewis-Collick

ALL In Support Manager

Monique Speight LaShero Terry

OPERATIONS Arielle Forrest Senior Operations Manager

ALL In Senior Mobility Coach

Timothy Tillman ALL In Case Manager and Fatherhood Facilitator

T’lia Walker-Dennis

Wanda Liggins Senior Operations Specialist

Helena Wise First Impressions Specialist

Employment Specialist

Lloyd Wright

Carolyn Watson-McDonald

Facilities Manager

ALL In Case Manager

Eddie White ALL In Case Manager and Fatherhood Facilitator

Ayana Burrus

Jayson Gordneer

Grants Manager

Senior Manager of Member Support and Engagement

Senior Manager of Workforce and Education

Education Specialist

Rachel Kassman

Katrina Ross

DeAndre Wiggins

Kellie Carrington

Development Specialist


Outreach Coordinator

SNAP Coordinator

Tyasia Johnson

STRIVE® Trainer

Intake and Retention Specialist

Bryant Jeffers


RESEARCH AND EVALUATION STRATEGIC INITIATIVES Zachary Alberts Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives

Project Manager/Trainer (Clean Corps)


Tyler Yutzy

Shawn Burnett

Intake and Retention Specialist/ALL In Case Manager

PLI Academy Programs Specialist

Michael Williams

Ora Graham Senior Case Manager



IN MEMORIAM Though you are no longer with us, you will never be forgotten. May your memory be forever held in our hearts, our minds, and our hard work.



David Anderson

Nancy Brennan

Theresa Mills

Bob Hunter



George Sherman

Glynnis Gladden


2010 - 2018

HONOREES Geoffrey Canada

Diane Bell-McKoy

Marian Wright Edelman

Peter Edelman

Angela Glover Blackwell

Wes Moore

Shawn Dove

Eddie and Sylvia Brown

Kwame Kwei-Armah

Congressman Elijah Cummings CFUF 2023 IMPACT REPORT

Sherrilyn Ifill

COLLECTIVE POWER, COLLECTIVE PROGRESS At the heart of our mission lies a powerful truth: the root of dismantling poverty is seeding legacies for the future. What we do today matters tomorrow. Join us in cultivating lasting change and building a foundation for generations to come.



Stop by our state-of-the-art

Your support and invested

facility to see our programs, members,

resources help increase the impact of

and teammates in action.

our work for our shared community.

VOLUNTEER. We’re always looking for


inspiring mentors to work directly

We’ll work with you to figure out the

with our members and make a

best opportunity for your group.

lasting impact on their lives.

FOLLOW US. @centerforurbanfamilies

For more ways to get involved, email or call 410.246.1415



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.