Our Neighborhood

Paul’s Place is located on Ward street in Pigtown, a neighborhood west of downtown Baltimore, and additionally we serve the following adjacent neighborhoods: Poppleton, Southwest Baltimore, Morrell Park, and Westport.

In the 19th century, Southwest Baltimore was the heart of the industrial revolution in Baltimore and the birthplace of the B&O Railroad. Brickyards, factories, and waterfront businesses employed thousands of workers whose families populated the distinct row houses of the area. As the 20th century progressed, industrial activity in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods and in Baltimore City declined; businesses closed, and individuals with means gradually moved out of the city.

Visible remnants of that history remain with Mount Clare Mansion in Carroll Park and the majestic rail cars at the B&O Railroad Museum. Today, predominantly African-American communities are marginalized, and the socioeconomic realities of the mid-20th century remain the everyday experience for residents in Southwest Baltimore.

According to the United Way ALICE Project, the survival budget for a household of four living in Baltimore City is $69,672 which requires a full-time wage of almost $35 per hour. In Southwest Baltimore, 60% of families earn less than $40,000 forcing them to rely on community resources and public benefits to meet their basic needs.

While the median household income in Baltimore city has increased from $38,346 in 2014 to $44,262 in 2016, the median household income in Southwest Baltimore has decreased during that same time period from $35,793 to $31,813.

In the five neighborhoods of Southwest Baltimore, an average of 42% of children live in poverty. As a result, their families are forced to spend a large portion of their energy and resources meeting the basic needs of their family – food, shelter and clothing. This leaves parents and other caregivers with limited capacity to provide children with the safety, support, and encouragement they need to thrive.

Employment is a key driver of increased economic stability, but there are many barriers making employment difficult to obtain. Currently, minimum wage jobs do not pay enough to cover household monthly expenses in Baltimore, and there are limited entry-level jobs that pay a living wage for individuals without a bachelor’s degree. With almost 30% of adults over 25 lacking a high school diploma or equivalency in Southwest Baltimore, there is a large cohort of adults who need additional training to fit into today’s job market.

The 45,000 residents of Southwest Baltimore live with the debilitating consequences of generational poverty, violence, and limited opportunities. Paul’s Place welcomes these community members daily to meet their basic needs and encourages them to take advantage of our many resources.

Sources: Vital Signs 14, 15, and 16 (Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance), National Equity Atlas, United Way ALICE Project (2018), The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore (CFED, 2017)

Additional community information is available at:
Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance Community Statistical Profile