Four questions for Sandy Jenkins, Johns Hopkins' Live Near Your Work program coordinator
1. What's at the top of your to-do list?
To continually promote Live Near Your Work so that employees can apply for grants early in the fiscal year. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important for employees thinking of buying a home in Baltimore to start the process as early as they can. I also partner with community associations to plan and conduct the walking tours, which are a great way to get a feel for the homes and amenities in specific neighborhoods. Other items on my radar are to work with the Latino Alliance to reach Latino employees, and to find ways to reach employees who don't have access to computers.
2. What keeps you up at night?
Some employees may not make it through the process because they have additional steps to take before they'll be eligible for a mortgage, such as paying down debt or improving a credit score. And some employees may not be able to use LNYW funds because they signed a housing contract before contacting me. And, unfortunately, sometimes deals fall through. I worry about each sale until settlement has taken place.
3. What's in store 10 years from now?
Johns Hopkins has a long history of strong partnerships with Baltimore City. I hope that LNYW will continue to be an important feature of that partnership. It's hard to say what LNYW will look like in 10 years; at this point, we don't know how the grant amounts might change over time.
4. Tell me something I don't know about Johns Hopkins.
Since fiscal year 2009, more than 350 Live Near Your Work grants, totaling over $3 million, have been awarded.