Adopted as an initiative of Healing City Baltimore, BNN has been almost an entirely volunteer run effort. From the organizing team that has met twice a week, to the clinicians that have supported volunteers, to those making the phone calls themselves--nearly the entire effort was organized and executed without compensation. Between March, 2020 and May, 2021, 750 volunteers made more than 40,000 phone calls, connected with nearly 11,000 neighbors providing more than 1,200 resource referrals. An impressive 66% of neighbors requested ongoing phone calls for support and community connection.
The BNN story reflects the heart and soul of Baltimoreans. What began as a small group of citizens concerned about the mental health impact of COVID 19 quickly turned into a city-wide project for social solidarity involving 23 partner organizations, 4 academic institutions and several public agencies. While many lessons were learned, the most important take-aways from the BNN story include the triumph of unity and the resiliency of our neighbors.
By June of 2021, BNN team members were very happy to see that Marylanders were largely on their way to being vaccinated and communities were functioning at nearly pre-COVID 19 levels. After careful reflection on the nature of BNN and its impressive outcomes, members of the organizing team felt confident that BNN had run its course and as of June 1, 2021 BNN activities have concluded.