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United Way of Central Maryland launches fund to aid those affected by Key Bridge collapse

BALTIMORE, MD—United Way of Central Maryland has announced the creation of its “Bridging the Gap Fund.” The fund will support efforts in eviction prevention, food access, and other mid- and long-term needs of those affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

“We are united for our neighbors, and our hearts are with the victims of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “As we’ve been working with our partners on the ground to understand what is needed, we are also taking into account our learnings from past disasters. What we know is that emergencies like this aren’t over in a day. They have far-reaching effects on the health and well-being of people, communities, and our economy.”

United Way has worked for years in some of the communities anticipated to be most affected by this tragedy, like Brooklyn/Curtis Bay and Dundalk. These are neighborhoods already facing deep needs.

Baker added, “We anticipate that the repercussions of this catastrophic event will play out in our communities over the next months, maybe years. Our goal with the Bridging the Gap Fund is to provide support for immediate needs, but also to support our neighbors and the neighborhoods they call home well into the future. We will remain connected with our partners and community members as needs shift.”

Those affected by this event – or anyone in Maryland – can call United Way’s free 211 Helpline, which directly connects calls to critical supportive resources and services. 211 Call specialists speak multiple languages, including Spanish, and can direct callers to food, shelter and other urgent needs. 211 is available 24 hours a day, 7, days a week. In addition, United Way’s partner, Pro Bono Counseling Center, offers free mental health support at 410-598-0234.

Additional information is available at United Way’s “Bridging the Gap” website.

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