In 2010, our organization’s search for a home was found in 1407 Fleet Street, Baltimore, the “Broom Corn Building.” Thanks to a generous benefactor, we were able to purchase and renovate this amazing building, respecting its unique history whilst incorporating as many elements of green sustainable building practices as possible and working with Feng Shui principles.
This 1913 renovated soap factory stands at the intersection of divergent neighborhoods – Harbor East, the new “ground central” of Baltimore that is a vibrant business/residential/retail waterfront development; Perkins Homes, a low socio-economic housing project; Little Italy and Fells Point, both well-established row home neighborhoods; and the economically challenged areas of East Baltimore. The building is strategically located less than three miles from the Johns Hopkins medical and school of public health campus, the University of Maryland medical and professional schools campus, and Mercy, Bay View, and Harbor hospitals. We are also within an hour’s drive of both the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Given our many research projects and collaborations over the years, this proximity has been instrumental in the success of our programs.
From this vantage point, we’ve been able nurture strategic partnerships and connect with our diverse local community. It has also enhanced the physical setting of our workdays and our ability to collaborate, helped us nurture our Scholars and Fellows program, and expanded our capacity to host forums, trainings, and lectures.
Our ground floor space includes a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and an incredible event and exhibition space, while our offices and meeting spaces are located on the third floor. We currently lease open spaces on the first and second floors.
As we look to the future of this unique space, we are actively exploring ways it might be used to bring together like-minded organizations, nonprofits, and practitioners working on innovations in health and healing to benefit the community.
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad.
When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.)
“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.”
Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”
In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding.
There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors.
“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”
Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.
Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.
Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.