“Preserving Affordable Homeownership in Baltimore”
Bonnie Bessor, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together, will speak about the organization’s role in preserving affordable homeownership in Baltimore. Rebuilding Together Baltimore is a safe and healthy housing organization with a strong volunteer engagement platform. Since 1990, Rebuilding Together Baltimore has organized the repair work for more than 1,200 homes and community spaces in more than 30 neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Rebuilding Together Baltimore works in partnership with volunteers and communities to make homes warmer, safer and drier for low-income homeowners who are seniors, people with disabilities or families with children.
Bonnie Bessor joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore as Executive Director in 2004. Immediately prior, she worked at Associated Catholic Charities as a development officer for homeless service programs in Baltimore. She has also worked in housing and poverty advocacy organizations as a legislative advocate, community organizer, AmeriCorps program director, and volunteer manager. She began her career by serving people with chronic mental illness. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland. She is also a graduate of the Weinberg Fellows Program, an intensive leadership training program for nonprofit executives. During her tenure at Rebuilding Together Baltimore, Bonnie has been instrumental in growing the staff, budget and services of the organization, tripling the budget and increasing the staff from one full-time person (herself) to a team of seven. In that time, the organization has also expanded to include a robust energy efficiency program as well as year-round services. Bonnie serves on the advisory board of Baltimore County Volunteers, the volunteer engagement program for Baltimore County, Maryland. In 2011, she was honored as one of Baltimore’s Top Neighborhood Moms and was also awarded Executive Director of the Year by her peers in the Rebuilding Together affiliate network. She is president of her community association and lives in Baltimore City with her husband Les and their rescued dog and cat “Iggy” and “Rosie.”