A Visit to Gilmor Homes; Remembering Radio Station WANN; Expungement Laws Offer Second Chances | WYPR

A Visit to Gilmor Homes; Remembering Radio Station WANN; Expungement Laws Offer Second Chances

Nov 27, 2015

A view of Baltimore's Gilmor Homes housing project.
Credit WEAA

We begin with a look back at a recent visit we paid to the Gilmor Homes public housing project in Sandtown-Winchester, the late Freddie Gray's neighborhood and one of Baltimore’s most disadvantaged communities. In late September, after women residents at the Gilmor Homes alleged that maintenance workers were demanding sex in return for doing routine repairs in their apartments, Maryland Morning host Tom Hall and producer Jonna McKone went to the Gilmor Homes to meet Perry Hopkins, an organizer with Communities United, a group that advocates on behalf of the residents.  In October, he took Tom and Jonna to visit Tyesha Harrell, who showed them around her apartment, which was in an appalling and dangerous state of disrepair.  After the Gilmor Homes visits, Tom spoke with Eva Rosen, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Poverty and Inequality Research Lab, and with Perry Hopkins, the community organizer who'd led our tour earlier this fall. 

Next, we revisit our profile of the pioneering Annapolis radio station that broadcast music for an African-American audience for 50 years, from 1947 to 1997.  Ephemera and objects from the trend-setting but now-defunct AM station, known by its call letters, WANN, are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History's new permanent exhibit called American Enterprise.

And we reprise producer Jonna McKone's visit to an expungement clinic in northwest Baltimore with Danielle, a Baltimore resident who was charged with a crime but never tried or convicted for it. Danielle is one of tens of thousands of Marylanders hoping to take advantage of new Maryland laws that allow charges for certain less serious crimes, and crimes that are no longer criminalized, to be expunged, or shielded from public view.  It can be a life-changing fix: carrying a criminal arrest record can adversely affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life:  employment and housing and even the right to vote.