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Dream forward. The Center for Urban Families (CFUF) sits at the epicenter of West Baltimore, anchoring a The Center forwrenched Urban Families (CFUF) sits at the epicenter of West Baltimore, neighborhood by poverty, low-performing schools, deficient housing and anchoring a neighborhood wrenched by poverty, low-performing schools, deficient inadequate transportation. housing and inadequate transportation. As a nationally renowned provider of services and support for residents born into generations Asdisenfranchisement, a nationally renowned of services and and spiritually support forbattling residents born into of weprovider are geographically to change the trajectory generations disenfranchisement, we are geographically and spiritually battling to of lives filledof with potential. change the trajectory of lives full of potential. Over nearly two decades, CFUF has helped more than 28,000 individuals get on the path to  Over nearly two decades, CFUF has helped more this than 28,000 family stability and economic success. YOU made possible!individuals get on the path to family stability and economic success. YOU make this possible! Your generosity is  the fuel that drives us—and our members—forward. And thanks to your Your generosity is  theto fuel that drives and our members, forward. thanks to support, we are about embark on theus, biggest evolution in our workAnd to date.  your support, we are about to embark on the biggest evolution in our work to date.  Thank you, again, for helping us build a better Baltimore. We look forward to changing even Thanklives you,with again, forinhelping more you 2018. us build a better Baltimore. We look forward to changing even more lives together in 2018 and beyond.


It's about our future as a city and a nation.  Some people think adults are a lost cause. They say the best way to change the future is to focus on helping children. At the Center for Urban Families, we approach things a bit differently. We serve adults, because we see the kids they used to be. We see the hopes and dreams they dare to hold dear, despite growing up in communities where they’ve often been told they have little chance of reaching them. We see how transformative it is when these individuals become the changemakers in their own families.  The work our members do has a ripple effect in their homes, at their jobs, on the streets and beyond. Both adults and kids start noticing how their attitude has changed; how progress is slowly made when you start believing in yourself again. So we meet these men and women wherever they are today and give them the tools they need to begin that journey. Then we walk with them. Each day, together, we’re impacting generations.

Our members say their kids are their greatest motivation.

The kids say their parents are their greatest inspiration. 

These bonds impact countless others today and will strengthen future generations.


Warren and Janayah HIll

Bright Future Warren’s daughter Janayah (age 9) shares how it feels to have her Dad back in her life. I call the day Daddy came home from jail “The Wonderful Day.” My grandmother texted my mom to say, “He’s home!” And when we drove over to his house, he was standing outside waiting for me with a big smile and dimples that look just like mine. My nickname is Fat Mama, because I was such a chubby baby. But my real name is Janayah. It’s a mix of letters from both my parents’ names, like a crossword puzzle.

To be able to wake up every morning and chip away at my old habits is pretty amazing. I like the challenge of it. I tell my daughter there’s nothing she can’t do. We don’t say “I can’t.” And if she ever needs help, she understands there’s no shame in asking. I appreciate that I still have time to make a difference in the person my daughter will become. And she makes a difference in the man I am becoming. For much of my life, I felt buried underground. I was hurt in ways no human being should ever be hurt. When you finally scratch your way up to the surface and feel the sun on your face, it takes a minute to see that you could be the one shining. Janayah loves wearing my hat with that “I’m for Second Chances” pin on it. I think she was proud of me before I was proud of myself. But second chances only work when someone is willing to see beyond your past. At some point, everyone who gets out of jail has to walk up to a stranger and say, “I don’t know what you see when you look at me. Probably a guy with tattoos and piercings who’s been in the system. But can you see I was once an aspiring student at Frostburg State? That I’m an artist? That I’m a great dad? “ “The thing is, my first chance at life didn’t go so well. But if you give me the opportunity to work for you, I’ll spend every day proving you right—and everyone else wrong.” Thanks to CFUF, that’s exactly what I’ve done. — WARREN HILL

One of our favorite things to do together is draw. When I’m having trouble, he helps me hold the pencil or crayon, so I can make better shapes. When he’s the sky, I’m the birds. When he’s the clouds, I’m the sun. My dad made a beautiful chalkboard mural in honor of the fathers at CFUF. It has the words “I Was. I Am. I Will Be.” at the top. That means even if you had struggles growing up, you can keep getting better and hold on to your dreams. The two of us made up this funny game together. When one of us says, “Guess what?” the other one says, “I love you!” Yesterday my dad finally said, “OK, Fat Mama, it’s getting out of hand.” But then we just started laughing and kept playing. You can’t say “I love you” too many times in one day.

^ Monique and Terell with their son,

He said. She said.

Orion, who turns 2 in February.

Monique Bell and Terell Slaughter talk about their shared dreams for the future—and how CFUF’s family strengthening programs helped them to grow as a couple and new parents. MONIQUE: When I was pregnant, I had insomnia, so Terrell and I would sit outside on a blanket and look at the stars. That’s how Orion got his name. TERELL: Monique was amazing. She used to track meteor showers and plan out our gazing sessions. We made lots of wishes under those stars.

MONIQUE: Terrell and I have a deeper connection after participating in CAT [Couples Advancing Together]. During the first few sessions, I saw how committed he was to making our relationship work. I was like, “He’s really in this. This means something to him.”

MONIQUE: Our big wish for Orion is that he won’t feel limited in life. That he can just be himself. I was a weird kid growing up—and kids of color don’t often get the luxury of being weird.

TERELL: I come from a big military family where the word compromise doesn’t exist. So I got a lot out of the classes on “funky communication styles.” Now we have a shared vocabulary and strategy for how we handle disagreements. And we know when to just give each other some space.

TERELL: There’s so much pressure to conform to survive in whatever environment you’re in these days. We just want him to have opportunities that match his potential, interests and effort.

MONIQUE: We don’t execute on it all the time, but we’ve grown a lot. One thing we rarely disagree about is Orion. We both just love him to pieces and have pretty complementary parenting styles.

TERELL: I think Orion’s personality is a bit more like mine. He has my mischievous grin for sure! But he loves science like his Mom. He’s obsessed with “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” MONIQUE: Working with my CFUF mentors helped me to get my academic and professional confidence back. I just completed a competitive internship at the Columbus Center, which I loved! I’m excited for a career in the biotech field. TERELL: I’ve struggled professionally, worrying that my family will view any job other than Marine as less honorable. But I think there’s a lot of honor in finding a stable blue-collar job with benefits to take care of my family. That’s my goal for 2018. By the end of the year, I want for us to be married and have our own home.

I fell in love with comic books early in life... Now my kids love them, too. We watch “The Walking Dead” together and go to the movies every week. We see all the Marvel flicks. I guess everybody can relate to superheroes. Who wouldn’t want to be the guy who can just show up and save the city? The thing that makes me feel like a hero is being a protector and provider for my children. Baltimore has so much promise, but there are still negative elements. So I’m doing everything I can to raise my kids to be successful. When I refer to my son, he is a young king. When I talk about my daughter, she’s my little princess. I tell them what I admire about them. You’ve got to start speaking those things into your children at a young age because the world is not speaking those things into them. Going through STRIVE reminded me that it’s equally important how I think of myself. Prior to enrolling, I had just gotten divorced. I was depressed and going through withdrawal from that relationship. When men go through emotional distress, often our answer for it is not to answer for it. STRIVE forced me to face my feelings and make way for better things. And it worked. The last year has been, hands down, one of the best of my life. I got my dream job, a new car, my own place. I’m officially a homeowner! When my kids and I close that front door, it’s like nothing else matters. Our home is a place of peace, so to speak. — JERMAINE WILLIAMS

<< Jermaine with his 8-year-old daughter, Angela, and his 9-year-old son, Jermaine (a.k.a. “Little J”).

Dana and Parker McCallister

New Lease on Life Dana McCallister reflects on striving to find authenticity. Plus, life as a full-time Dad with his (almost) 3-year-old son Parker.


ver the last year and a half at CFUF, I’ve been on a journey to find my true self. For much of my life, I had been living a lie. This was rooted in my shame at only having an 8th grade education. In the 9th grade, I fell in love with a girl from a different background. Her parents hated me; did everything they could to keep us apart. In the middle of the school year, police showed up and arrested me for statutory rape, even though my girlfriend and I were the same age. Something changed in me that day. As much as I loved learning, I just couldn’t walk down those halls ever again. I faked my report cards, because I was too embarrassed to tell my own family I had dropped out of school. For a while, I lived with a friend who was a basketball star at a college in Boston. I stayed in his dorm for two years—went

to every, single one of his classes—before people realized I didn’t belong there. When I came back to Baltimore, I ended up becoming hugely successful in the drug trade. I was a boss. Had several homes and a safe filled with money. I got shot twice—and was diagnosed with PTSD. And I started abusing alcohol, because I could never shake the feeling that I was missing something. Turns out, my high school girlfriend had a baby—my son, Dana, whom she named after me. Today, he’s 26, and we have a great relationship. Same with his brother, Eric, who is 25, and my three younger kids. I love being a parent; I excel at it. I’m like a Dad with Mom qualities. My youngest son, Parker, lives with me full-time now. He’s only 2, but he’s already learning Spanish and Russian—and you should see his golf swing!

Nobody taught Parker to say things like, “Good job, Daddy.” He just knows. There’s something about him; he’s like an old soul. And when he wraps his tiny arms around my neck to hug me, it’s real. He has genuine love for the people in his life. I’m grateful to CFUF for giving me so many opportunities to better myself: the Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Project, CNA/GNA classes, and the manufacturing boot camp at The Foundery, which led to a great job at Under Armour. But it was STRIVE that inspired all this progress. Thanks to my trainers, I matured years in those three weeks. Once I truly understood the definition of integrity, I wanted it for myself. Now it makes me feel powerful to look someone in the eye and tell them the truth. I don’t worry about people judging me. I think about how I might inspire them with my story.



"I believe fatherhood is our best anti-poverty strategy."

I remember seeing proud Black men with brown paper lunch bags headed off to to work. Collectively they left me with the impression: This is manhood.


         ack in the early 1960s, I was           a boy scout and an altar boy. It was that time in America when every Black family had the same three pictures hanging on their living room walls: JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus Christ.   I remember waking up on weekdays to see proud Black men gathered on the corner with brown paper lunch bags in their hands. That was the sign they needed a ride to work—an informal transportation system that carried them to Sparrows Point, Bethlehem Steel and other manufacturing jobs. These men earned enough money to buy a little row home in the city and pay for their children's education. I liked how the same guys showed up every day like clockwork. Collectively they left me with a single impression: This is manhood. When I turned 9, my parents split up and life became more chaotic. Living in the East Baltimore projects wasn’t kid stuff, especially for my friends and me, who didn't have positive male role models to guide us. We ended up succumbing to the wrong influences, including drugs... and whatever it took to buy those drugs. I went to jail, went to treatment, and eventually came out on the other side of that darkness. But sometimes it’s the journey that informs us the most; our failures that make us capable of helping others to succeed. 

OUR SOCIETY HAS CREATED a lot of structures, policies and practices around children and women—and I always say this: it's for all the right reasons. But I believe fatherhood is our best anti-poverty strategy.  Children who grow up without dads are more likely to be depressed, drop out of school, become teen parents and use drugs and alcohol. In fact, there are executives sitting in board rooms right now, using stats about third graders as ammunition to convince legislators to build more prisons.  How bleak is that?   At the Center for Urban Families, we offer a brighter alternative for kids and adults.  We give our members the tools they need to become present, capable, loving co-parents regardless of whether or not they’re in a romantic relationship. We also help them develop skills to secure and keep living-wage jobs so they can create healthy, stable families.  

them to change their own lives or shifted their perspective. When change multiplies, possibilities become endless. If we could build a whole community of adults who are able make that transition and drop them in a Sandtown-Winchester, we could change the trajectory of that neighborhood in a heartbeat. No criminal justice intervention required. WE HIRE EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE at CFUF, including many who’ve graduated from our own programs. These folks aren't just living examples of lasting change, but they are also adept at providing trauma-informed care that enables our members to release years of emotional damage and become whole again. This work is deeply rooted in what  the disintegration of the family has left behind. We provide the authentic love every human being, regardless of age, craves and deserves.

SO OUR WORK LOOKS AND FEELS different than many organizations. We’re not serving cuddly little people here. But once you strip away the adult facade, you get a glimpse at who they once were as children. It is truly beautiful to watch these transformations in progress.  

There are lost children like these in cities all across America. They have no real connections; no sense of belonging.  But the truth is, they belong to all of us. And our future as an organization, a city and a nation is inextricably linked with theirs in ways it has never been before.

Our members' accomplishments have exponential impact. Time and time again, their family, friends, coworkers and employers tell us how their new attitudes have inspired

That’s why I continue to walk the walk with our members and staff each day. I hope you will be inspired by their stories and invite you to join us on that journey.



Wayne Cooper JUMPSTART CASE MANAGER Over the last 15 years, I have developed a reputation for managing some of the toughest cases at CFUF. Primarily that’s the returning citizen population—guys who’d rather cuss and storm out than risk trusting another human being. I make a deal with them. I say, “Before you walk out that door and give up a real opportunity, come see me.” Usually they do. I went to prison early in life, so I understand where their anger, frustration and lack of focus comes from. I can talk to them about their aspirations and fears—how they’re putting up a front, when they really want to be somebody else. Oh, man! I get on the young guys’ nerves. I’m always teasing them, making them read books, making them look up words in the dictionary... But that’s just my way of showing I care. I’ve seen lots of success stories. Like my mentee Charles who walked in with no more than a high school diploma. Got his first job working in a chicken freezer, then came back to do JumpStart and our pilot program at The Foundery. Now he has a job that pays over $17 an hour—with stock options. Working with these guys, I’ve become a better man, a better father, a better husband, a better everything. I’ve learned the more you give, the more you get.


Moses Hammett ORGANIZATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER I’M AN O.G. One of the original guys who’s been with the Center for Urban Families since it began. When I look back over the years, I think the greatest gift has been how many people have shared their lives with me. So many transformations. Our staff is supportive but we don’t give our members everything. We give them the tools they need for selfdiscovery. We find the key that unlocks the creativity and talent inside of them that hasn’t been nurtured in the past. During a recent STRIVE orientation, one of the participants stood up to say his name. I’d heard that name before. Turns out this young man’s father was one of my childhood friends—a Marine

who was killed in combat when his son was just an infant. He came up to me afterwards to ask a favor: “Will you please tell me about my dad?” So I gathered a bunch of guys from the old neighborhood in West Baltimore, and we met him for lunch. We sat together for hours—laughing, crying, telling stories. It helped him immensely. (It helped us, too.) We’ve all been cheering him on ever since. Now he has a very successful career working for a property management firm. I can’t put into words exactly how it feels to help people fill the hole in their hearts for a living. I just know it’s the thing that makes mine beat.



Lavatte David STRIVE TRAINER Back in the nineties, I was off the chain. A total rebel. I ended up in jail in Virginia. And when I got out, I asked my mom if I could move back home to New York to turn my life around. She said yes, under one condition. To live under her roof, I had to enroll in a program called STRIVE. During the first week, I thought, “She must hate me to make me do this!” STRIVE is no joke. It’s hard work; it’s emotional work. At first, when someone confronts you about the things you’re oblivious to that are holding you back, you get angry. You break down. But that’s necessary to help people build themselves back up in just three weeks. I love when our alumni come back to tell me the program worked. How they’re using the skills they learned, or dusted off, to succeed in the workplace. How they just accomplished a big milestone, such as getting a promotion or buying a new car. I just had a milestone myself. A few weeks ago a letter arrived in the mail. It was a full pardon from the governor of Virginia restoring all my rights, including the right to vote. That’s a box I’ll look forward to checking next year.


Kate Wolfson

PROGRAM MANAGER | STRIVE FUTURE LEADERS A FRIEND RECENTLY ASKED me to describe the young men and women I work with in STRIVE Future Leaders My response: “How much time do you have?” They’re smart, creative, funny, curious, innovative, humble, loving… The list could go on and on. Unfortunately, most of them also have experienced significant trauma in their lives—either at home, on the streets, or as part of the criminal justice or foster care systems.

and explore, to have fun, to practice making decisions, and to recover from mistakes. We give them access to community service projects and internships so they can figure out what they really enjoy doing. And we stick with them for the long haul. It makes me proud to see these kids putting in the hard work to change themselves and support one another. On any given day, I’ll hear SFL alumni walking down the halls--giving each other high-fives and shouting “Future Leaders in the house!”

I think the myth of childhood is that it’s this happy-go-lucky time of innocence. To know that we’ve helped some of But the reality is these kids had to grow the most disconnected youth in this up way too fast. city feel part of something bigger than themselves… That’s what makes my job So we provide a safe space to learn so rewarding.



Wendy Camilla Blackwell SENIOR MANAGER PRACTITIONERS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE The thing that gets me jazzed is when our cohorts in the Practitioners Leadership Institute have “aha” moments. You can see it in their faces. Something just clicks and they start to think more expansively or see how the curriculum relates directly to the work they do in their communities. One of my favorite modules is called Resilient Leadership. It’s a tiny chapter but it reverberates throughout the fellowship. I teach it from the perspective of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” which is the most complex piece of music played on one instrument. Coltrane said he would take each note and play it from both ends. Human service practitioners do that every day. Their work requires tremendous empathy and strength. Their stress levels can be as high as first responders. So we talk about self-care strategies, how to recognize the signs of vicarious trauma. How to support one another as colleagues and organizational leaders. It gives me joy to think of the cumulative impact our PLI grads will have on fathers and families across America. It’s like we’re composing a symphony of change.


Catherine Pitchford SENIOR MANAGER | ECONOMIC SUCCESS OUR MEMBERS ARE THE REASON I get out of bed in the morning. They give me energy. They keep me grounded. They teach me things I need to know, like about social media and what’s new on the streets, from fashion trends to the latest drug lingo. Usually I’m nice and play a motherly role, but sometimes I have to give them the business. We keep it real here. I’m not above getting out of my car to ask a member what they’re doing hanging out on the street corner at night. You should see their friends’ reactions, like: “Who is this lady?” I just hand them my business card and say, “Come see me.”

Once young people see that you care, it opens up the lines of communication. They’ll share their hopes and dreams; what they want most for their lives and their families. And they will talk about their struggles, whether it’s being overlooked for a job because they have a record or the lack of training programs for guys who want to work with their hands. Our members are some of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals I’ve ever met. It crushes me when life makes them feel like nothing. But I always tell them, “Hold on. Keep trying. You’re just one opportunity away from the something you’re meant to become.”


A comprehensive approach to help members find, keep and succeed in living-wage jobs.

STRIVE BALTIMORE is an intensive 3-week workshop that combines tangible skills, such as resume writing and interviewing, with attitudinal training that empowers our members to overcome any personal barriers to employment. STRIVE FUTURE LEADERS is a new 6-month program for justice-involved youth, ages 18 to 24. The program starts with self-discovery, a personal assessment and goal-setting, then transitions to career exploration, community service and job-readiness training. Social-emotional learning and leadership training are incorporated in accordance with the latest work on youth development. FAMILY STABILITY

Core interventions and education to strengthen Baltimore families.

THE BALTIMORE RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD PROJECT (BRFP) is a 3-month cohort that helps low-income fathers overcome issues with child support and employment, while focusing on the skills they need to become great parents. COUPLES ADVANCING TOGETHER (CAT) is an 8-week workshop that helps couples move toward stable relationships and family-friendly career planning designed to improve their economic circumstances and provide lasting support for family units. PERSON-CENTERED PRACTICE

A way up for Baltimore’s most disenfranchised citizens.

PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING helps members establish firm control of their lives and

manage their climb toward stability and economic success. PCP is a living process that evolves and adjusts to each member’s changing needs and circumstances, over a 3- to 6-year period, to produce a permanent outcome—a stable, economically successful life.


How we keep our impact growing across the country.

PRACTITIONERS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (PLI) is a national initiative designed to help communities across the U.S. improve outcomes in the areas of responsible fatherhood, workforce development, family strengthening and black male achievement. From an 8-month fellowship to our annual PLI Summit, we connect human service professionals to top content experts, philanthropists, policymakers and other key stakeholders—and give them the tools to grow their leadership skills and capacity.

CENTER FOR URBAN FAMILIES CFUF has been like my backbone. You've given me the strength to become a better partner, father and man.


- Justin Wilkes, CFUF alumnus



Total full-time job placements from 2010 through 2016

LIVES TOUCHED Since 1999, we have helped more than 28,000 men and women who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

CFUF's 32,000-square-foot, state of the art facility anchors our West Baltimore neighborhood and features training centers, a technology lab, childcare, a professional clothing closet, and one-on-one consultation spaces.  

I was a caterpillar when I came to CFUF. I needed a group of people who believed in me so I could believe in myself. You saved my life. - Christi Levy, STRIVE grad

We're moving families forward. $9.25 Maryland Minimum Wage



Average starting wage  for STRIVE graduates

Average wage, members who received advanced skills training + were placed in construction jobs


Average wage of members who received advanced skills training + were placed in healthcare jobs

$17.50 $15.13

Average wage, members who received advanced skills training  +  were placed in healthcare jobs

      SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPANTS IN OUR              FATHERHOOD PROGRAM EARN                  FUN OUTINGS WITH THEIR KIDS. Children have parents                     WE GO TO THE MOVIES, THE  whose lives have been                     CIRCUS, THE AQUARIUM, ART touched by CFUF.                   MUSEUMS AND MORE.                   www.marketinghelps.co


EXPENSES Program Services 73% Support Services 27%



ASSETS $1,247,332

Grants and contributions receivable, net


Pledges receivable, net


Prepaid expenses and other assets


Property and equipment, net Total Assets

4,562,107 $7,517,213

Liabilities Other Payables Total Liabilities

$398,167 356,996 $755,163



Temporarily restricted


Total Liabilities and Net Assets





$6,762,050 $7,517,213



4 2016

CHANGES IN UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS Revenue and Support Government grants Grants Contributions and special events Investment income Total Revenue Net assets released from restrictions

$1,453,494 1,443,682 795,366 718 $3,693,260 1,965,361 $5,658,621

OPERATING EXPENSES Program services: Workforce development Training and technical assistance Responsible fatherhood


Total Net Assets


Total Revenue and Support

LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Accounts payable and accrued expenses

Grants Government Contracts


2 2016

Cash and cash equivalent

Chart Title

Families Client and alumni services Total program services

1,214,566 473,716 1,274,660 715,679 656,564 $4,335,185

Support services: Management and general


Development and special events


Support Services, excluding non-cash expenses Depreciation Total support services Total Operating Expenses

1,297,358 54,674 1,352,032 $ 5,687,217

Change in Unrestricted Net Assets


Changes in net assets


Net assets, beginning of year Net Assets, End of Year

8,073,299 $6,762,050

Imagine if each of us cared for someone else at least as much as we care for ourselves.  Disrupting poverty  is possible when the will to care exceeds the apathy to even try.



Profile for Center for Urban Families

CFUF Impact Report (2017)  

An inside look at our how our members, supporters, and staff are partnering to disrupt poverty for families in Baltimore.

CFUF Impact Report (2017)  

An inside look at our how our members, supporters, and staff are partnering to disrupt poverty for families in Baltimore.

Profile for cfuf