Neighborhood revitalization partnership celebrated

Cambridge resident Lynette Wongus shared her personal aspirations, finishing the sentence “If I owned an affordable home” with “I could leave a legacy for my family.”

Cambridge resident Lynette Wongus shared her personal aspirations, finishing the sentence “If I owned an affordable home” with “I could leave a legacy for my family.”

CAMBRIDGE — Once blank chalkboards are now filled with resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and for the future of the Historic Pine Street Neighborhood in Cambridge.

The chalkboard project was central to the purpose of the Community Resource Fair that took place on the lawn of Waugh Chapel on Aug. 22. The event celebrated the kick off of the Neighborhood Revitalization partnership between the City of Cambridge and Habitat Choptank and involved other community partners and resources. It was a unique opportunity for residents to come together to share their vision for the community with Habitat, the City and each other.

The Rev. James Whitaker of Waugh Chapel thanked those in attendance for coming together to take advantage of this opportunity, and asked God to bless the community and the work that Habitat is doing there. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley encouraged residents, “to all do something to support the neighborhood by working together to build a better Cambridge — a better community.” George Fox, president-elect of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank shared his enthusiasm for Habitat Choptank’s expanded toolkit of housing services which includes the Neighborhood Revitalization program that offers owner occupied repairs, in addition to rehabs and new construction.

“What is unique about the Neighborhood Revitalization program is that the work will be shaped by the people who live within the community. The community chalkboards drew a lot of attention, and we received positive feedback from many residents, including children who stopped by to share their visions,” says Habitat Choptank Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Rhodana Fields.

Painted on one chalkboard on High Street was, “When I dream about Cambridge, I see,” and in colorful chalk read messages like “I see progress” and “I see community.” Another chalkboard on the corner of Muir and High Street read “If this lot could be anything it could be a place to,” and was filled with statements from the profound to the practical, like “be a family” to “read.”

Cambridge resident, Lynette Wongus shared her personal aspirations finishing the sentence “If I owned an affordable home” with “I could leave a legacy for my family.” She added, “Without Habitat the dream of homeownership would be almost impossible for a lot of hardworking people. I believe it is important for people to own their own property, and to be able to leave a little security behind for their families.”

Ms. Fields adds, “The next step is to share the information we heard about housing needs, desires for the use of vacant lot space, and what makes the Historic Pine Street neighborhood a great place to live with the community.”

City of Cambridge Housing Specialist Yvette Robinson, will spearhead ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, nonprofits, and businesses who share the same vision to develop a collaborative plan to support the community’s aspirations and to create a better quality of life not only for the Pine Street Neighborhood, but Cambridge as a whole. She can be reached at

To secure funding for the Neighborhood Revitalization program in Cambridge, Habitat partnered with the City to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds through Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 76 local Dorchester and Talbot county families. Currently 15 homebuyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit

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