The mission of RHHP..

The mission of RHHP is to provide a Christian community setting where persons of various cultures learn from each other, the surrounding neighborhood, and life in Baltimore city. We believe that people's lives are blessed by being part of faith communities.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The RHHP spring work day

Amy doing some serious cleaning...
This is what happens to old caulking...
Joseph creates order out of chaos..
What is the quickest way to get the grill from here .... here? Letting gravity do the work.

loading up...

Off to Sissons Street..
Yesterday was our spring work day. We accomplished much in just a few hours. In addition to the usual round of deep cleaning of areas not normally cleaned (Stephanie cleaned the grimy wall and floor around the stove while Joseph cleaned up the bike room) we focused on hauling out junk. In a few short hours, we managed to rid ourselves of some long standing irritations around the house that had never been annoying enough to spur us to take action, until now. I think most of you will be able to identify with that.

Jeff and Remi made a trip to the Sisson Street transfer station with a load that included a dryer that no longer worked defunct barbecue grill that had been sitting on the deck for several years. Both items were taken off their hands by others while waiting in line at the Sisson Street station!

It was good to labor together. Many hands made light work. House members who were not present either completed the tasks of their choice before yesterday or will complete their tasks in the days to come.

These were formerly bunk beds for the YES program.

John carrying a board to his house a block away.

John unloading lumber

Marcus and Jeff unloading lumber

Jeff, Marcus (former RHHP resident) and John taking a breather

We also removed most of the lumber that have been piled up in the attic for several years. These were clean 2x4s and other boards that were once the bunk beds for the YES program. Laura and I made numerous trips to the attic and we managed to clear out most of the piles. We also got in our workout for the day.

The lumber went to our neighbor John Sezikeye down the street. (Mike, another neighbor, took a few boards to use in his garden.) John owns a number of houses in the neighborhood and rents out rooms (at very affordable rates)  to refugees who need housing. He is renovating the basement in one of his houses on Eutaw Place and will put the lumber to good use. Thanks to Jeff for the use of his truck.

Andre securing the load
Many thanks to NBMC member Andre Hackman who repaired our lawn mower. He brought it back yesterday morning but did not realize that the reward for his good deed was load of junk for him to take to the dump. By the time he left he had close to a full load. I do not think the apostle Luke had this in mind when he wrote in Luke 6:38, " give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” We certainly pressed down and shook! Andre took care of the running over part with some bungee cords. Thank you again, Andre, for sharing your skill and your time with us.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Bad stuff" still happens in Reservoir Hill

Reservoir Hill, still a wild neighborhood   Despite the positive changes in our neighborhood, the underlying problems remain intractable. If it is any comfort, this incident happened at the fringe of Reservoir Hill on a corner that most residents would not consider Reservoir Hill but rather to be along the North Avenue corridor where much of the action happens. It is about 4 o4 5 blocks from RHHP.

The incident tied up traffic in the area for a couple of hours. I happened to on the way home on the #5 and it had to take a detour. Jeff, our house mate was stuck for an hour and a half just blocks from our house.

Two shot at Reservoir Hill intersection

City police investigating afternoon violence

April 06, 2012|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun
A city police officer who heard gunshots Friday afternoon quickly responded and saw a man shooting a handgun, and the officer fired at least one round himself before the gunmen escaped, according to a department spokesman.
Police said the armed man jumped into the passenger seat of a silver-colored car that sped away from West North Avenue and McCulloh Street about 3:15 p.m., leaving behind two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

The intersection of McCulloh and North Avenue as seen from the #5 bus that takes me to work each morning.
A couple of months ago, some men in a car who were pursued by cops in a high speed chase on Whitelock, (right in front of our house). The fleeing car lost control and hit a couple of women waiting for a bus. Residents in our house went to the assistance of the victims while the ambulance was on its way. We later heard that one of the victims died.

Here are the markings denoting where the victims of the accident when they were struck  as a result of a high speed chase.

At the same time, good things continue to happen in Reservoir Hill. While I was working out in the garden last Saturday, a gentleman stopped by to ask for directions to an address on Madison Street one block west of RHHP. He is a personal chef and caterer specializing in Italian cuisine and was looking to lease a place to start a cafe. About a year ago, I had met a young couple who hoped to open a cafe on Madison Street and had been renovating the ground floor of their house. In the meantime, they had a child and must have decided that they could not raise a family and run a restaurant. I took the gentleman over to the address to look at it. He will try to locate the owner and try to negotiate a reasonable lease. I also took him to visit the Whitelock Community Farm and suggested that he contact the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council to ask for advice. I wish him the best in his pursuit. We need more entrepreneural spirit of the constructive kind in Reservoir Hill. Here is his website:

In the meantime, the Whitelock Community Farm is gearing up for another season.

RHHP Easter

Laura and Amy
Laura's Israeli pizza - olives and kernels of corn.

Wilted Swiss chard an garlic topping

Many RHHP residents were out of town for the Easter weekend. Those of us who remained had an Easter pizza dinner. Ellen made the crusts for the pizzas out of mashed baby lima beans and whole wheat flour. It made a delicious crust that was simultaneously hearty, chewy and crispy. Other residents contributed the toppings. It was the first house dinner for our housemate Remi who recently obtained his asylum and became a long-term resident. It was a happy occasion.

For dessert, we had the remnants of a brownie Easter bunny that she made for an Easter lunch potluck.

First harvest of the year

first harvest of Swiss chard of 2012
strawberries in pots

The recent mild weather has yielded its bounty in our garden at RHHP. Last year's Swiss chard produced the first batch of greens that ended up as topping on an Easter pizza. I hope that they will keep me supplied with greens until the new crop begins to produce.

 I also experimented with growing strawberries in pots. I transplanted them from the beds in hope that locating the  pots close to the house might make it sufficiently inconvenient to discourage the rats from devouring the berries before I get a shot at them.