CAM Construction was selected as the CM to complete the construction of the new 52,000-square foot, three-story structure for Our Daily Bread, located near Baltimore’s prison. The building was designed by CSD Architects as the new home of four of Catholic Charities’ important programs, and the space will assist Baltimore’s challenged residents in becoming self-reliant through employment. This brick, decorative block, and cast stone structure includes the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, dining room, storage areas, classrooms, large and small conference rooms, phone/privacy room, dormitories, and residential apartments for up to 60 men.
Outdoor amenities include open space areas, a basketball court, and a garden, which enhances its urban setting. As a testimony to the importance of the project, the September 2005 groundbreaking ceremonies brought together the Governor, Cardinal William H. Keeler, directors and trustees for Catholic Charities, and three of the four living Mayors of the City of Baltimore.
The Our Daily Bread soup kitchen annually serves nearly 250,000 hot meals to an average of 683 guests. Opened in 1981, and now relocated to the Fallsway corridor, Our Daily Bread is able to provide food for more guests than ever before. The Christopher Place Employment Academy, which occupies the third floor of the new structure, provides an intense 18-month residential job-readiness, education, job placement, addiction recovery program, and follow-up services. Complementing the Christopher Place program is the St. Jude’s Employment Center, which affords walk-in aid to those seeking job readiness skills and employment referrals as unskilled or low-skilled workers.
The Samaritan center, also located in the new structure, is a joint emergency services program between Catholic Charities and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which annually assists City residents with eviction prevention support, utility assistance, and traveler’s aid, as well as referrals for health providers, addition recovery, and housing services.
The Our Daily Bread Employment Center was funded by Amazing Grace: the Campaign for Catholic Charities, and it received both State as well as City funds. The construction contract required MBE participation, which is unusual for a private project, but CAM ably met the requested goal.
Construction proved challenging when an unexpected and large building foundation was found below the surface of the site. Extensive excavation of up to 20’ in depth, during one of the rainiest seasons in City history, was required to complete this project.