City workers go door-to-door to help residents find employment

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It’s all hands on deck in Baltimore when it comes to fighting crime. The mayor is calling on city agencies to help come up with solutions, and one of them is getting people work.

Weekly all of the city’s agencies fan out together going door-to-door to help residents with the layers of issues plaguing them. But if they can chip away at each one, one by one things can get done. This is a look at getting people jobs.

Lakeia Funderburk is a senior youth advocate for the mayor’s Office of Employment Development. She and others are going door-to-door in Baltimore letting people know they can help get them jobs. She succeeded in getting two people at one house to sign up to come to a career center.

Keepler Gordon, 19, said he lost his job after being in a car accident and needs help.

“This is the first time someone has come to me publicly and wanted to help me, you know, that was a nice thing,” Gordon said.

Program manager Kerry Owings is in those 8 a.m. meetings with the mayor and other agencies at police headquarters where they discuss ways every agency can make a difference. He said going directly to the residents is the way to bring people in.

“If they like you, they’ll come see you. If you can tell them what they need, or let them know that you can help them get where they want to be, they’ll respond,” Owings said.

In the west Baltimore neighborhood there are few prospects or ideas about how to make lives better. Owings said the initiative can change that and help the city at the same time.

“When people are productive, there’s less time for anybody to commit crime. People have hope, and that’s what we’re trying to build in people, that hope in the future,” Owings said.

So far, the mayor’s Office of Employment Development has signed up more than 2,500 people, who will come into their centers to get started on building a career.