On January 28, Bill McLennan was recognized by the Southwest Partnership for his dedication to the communities of Southwest Baltimore in his nearly 15 years as Executive Director of Paul’s Place. The other inaugural Community Impact Award winners were Jane Buccheri of Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church in Pigtown, Dwayne Hess of Clay Pots, and Troy Staton of New Beginnings Barbershop. Congratulations to all of the Southwest Partnership Community Impact Award winners!
The Southwest Partnership created the Community Impact Award this year to honor dedicated leaders, devoted neighbors, and committed advocates who have made a real, positive, lasting difference in the Southwest Partnership neighborhoods of Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Roundhouse, Mount Clare, Pigtown, Poppleton, and Union Square.
Award winners shared the following five characteristics in their pursuit to make the Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods awesome, healthy, architecturally beautiful, diverse, cohesive communities of choice built on mutual respect and shared responsibility:
- Achievement in projects and initiatives that strengthen and support Southwest Partnership area residents, families, schools, businesses, organizations, and/or communities.
- Consistency in their commitment to community leadership and engagement.
- Longevity in support for neighborhood projects and initiatives.
- Collaboration with community members, businesses, organizations, institutions, and government agencies who may have differing goals to achieve a stronger community.
- Resource Development to increase community capacity.
For the last 15 years, Executive Director Bill McLennan has been at the helm working to establish Paul’s Place as a leader in the community and a catalyst for change. The impact of his leadership in the Southwest Baltimore communities includes:
- Paul’s Place has grown from an organization that addressed only basic needs, like access to food and clothing, into the dynamic and wide-reaching institution it is today, with comprehensive services geared towards providing guests a path to self-sufficiency.
- Through a strategic partnership with Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, Paul’s Place completely transformed the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Ward Street. Volunteers and staff raised over a million dollars in capital for the home improvement campaign, purchasing numerous properties throughout Pigtown and either coordinating extensive repairs or completely renovating and rebuilding the residences to prepare them for home ownership.
- The Executive Directors’ Roundtable, a group of Southwest Baltimore nonprofit leaders, convene regularly to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the community and work to find lasting solutions.
Under Bill’s leadership, Paul’s Place has become an invaluable resource for hundreds of Southwest Baltimore residents. Anyone who knows Bill can attest to his dedication and his unwavering support of the community that has persisted for more than two decades. This April marks Bill’s 15th anniversary as Executive Director of Paul’s Place. Before joining the group, he worked as Associate Director for the Maryland Food Bank for 7 years and after the move he worked hard to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations to increase access to healthy food in southwest Baltimore. After more than 22 years dedicated to the improvement of Southwest Baltimore, Bill shows no signs of slowing any time soon! Show Bill your support; honor his 15th anniversary with a gift to Paul’s Place in his name.