On November 2nd, at 1880 Bank, Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) closed on the purchase of Easton’s Promise, located at 107 Goldsborough Street. The Shelter has been leasing the property since autumn of 2014 as it awaited the end of a lengthy appeal process related to its permit to operate at that location.
The original permit was awarded on June 29, 2014 by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) in Easton. The decision was appealed to Talbot County Circuit Court, where it was upheld on April 16th, 2015. The permit was further appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, who upheld the BOZA and Circuit Court decisions on September 15th of this year.
During the appeal process, TIS moved forward with determination, and has assisted 112 people, including 18 families with 36 children. They are currently hosting 13 individuals, including 7 children who range in age from two weeks to nine years old. The timing of the purchase is fortuitous, having occurred on the second day of Homelessness Awareness Month.
“We are relieved to have possession of Easton’s Promise, and to finally be able to focus 100% of our energy on working with our partners and supporters to prevent homelessness on the Eastern Shore,” said Gail Benjamin, Vice President of the shelter’s board, who signed on behalf of TIS at the closing.
“We are so grateful to Carla and Pete Howell for their incredible patience, and for allowing us the opportunity to help so many people while we awaited the end of the appeal process. No one could have predicted that it would go on for more than two years, and they are wonderful for standing by us and letting us make Easton’s Promise our home in the interim. We could not have done any of this without them.”
“Our pro bono attorneys have been amazing throughout all of this, as well,” added TIS Executive Director Julie Lowe. “Mike Kopen worked tirelessly for two years making sure that our permit was upheld, and Dick White has been with us for many years providing sound advice and assistance and working with us through the process of purchasing Easton’s Promise. Thanks also to Kevin Moran and 1880 Bank for making this happen so quickly.“
Lowe went on to express gratitude for the outpouring of support the shelter has received from the community. “We received an incredible offer from our anonymous donors over two years ago, and it was the catalyst for what we have built at Easton’s Promise. There are no words to express how thankful we are, not only for their financial support, but for the confidence they had that we would rise to the occasion. And we have an army of big-hearted volunteers and donors. What they may not realize is that, when they donate, or cook dinner, or organize an event to support us, or simply treat our guests with dignity and respect, what they are really doing is changing lives. They are giving our neighbors the stability, support and confidence they need to move forward and regain their independence.
“Now that we own Easton’s Promise, our journey is just beginning. We will need their help and support now, more than ever, to fulfill our mission.”
To learn more about Talbot Interfaith Shelter and how you can help, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org or contact Julie Lowe at 410-310-2316.