BALTIMORE — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the city, state, and country at record numbers, The Baltimore Station, an organization that supports individuals, primarily veterans, dealing with homelessness and substance use disorder by providing residential and community-based therapy programs, has created a unique partnership with the Crowne Plaza Baltimore-Inner Harbor, which is managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, to protect its residents from the virus and keep the vulnerable population safe while participating in the program. The partnership allows the organization to move its entire operation, including resident housing, counseling, and alternative therapeutic programming, to the 380-room hotel.
“Our number-one priority is to keep the men safe as we guide them down the road to recovery and this partnership allows us to do just that while ensuring they continue to receive critical programming and support,” said John Friedel, executive director, The Baltimore Station. “This is an operating strategy that is going to help us get through the pandemic. By taking the residents out of dormitory-style housing, we can more easily isolate individuals who may contract COVID and slow the spread if someone becomes infected.”
The hotel has designated five floors to the organization with room for future growth. The Baltimore Station will provide private accommodations to 60 residents from its South Baltimore and Baker Street locations and can expand its capacity to serve nearly 140 men depending on demand. In addition to providing rooms to each resident, the organization will use common areas and meeting spaces on its designated floors that will allow the residents to participate in group therapy sessions and alternative therapeutic programming such as chair yoga, letter writing, drumming, and art therapy while continuing to social distance and following mask protocols.
This new partnership—to bring all of the residents and programming to the Crowne Plaza—is an extension of the organization and hotel’s previous partnership, which allowed The Baltimore Station to place new intakes to its program at the hotel to quarantine as they awaited their COVID-19 test results.
“This is a win-win for both organizations—we have the availability and they have the need. Together, through this partnership, we can give these residents a home away from home where they will remain safe and comfortable while still receiving the services from The Baltimore Station,” said Adam Novotny, general manager at the Crown Plaza Hotel. “We are privileged to partner with an organization that does real, tangible work in the city and state for a vulnerable population and look forward to seeing how this partnership continues to grow.”
The Crowne Plaza continues to welcome guests to the property, whether visiting from out-of-town or looking for a staycation. In an effort to ensure guest and associates’ safety during this pandemic, the hotel is implementing IHG’s “Way of Clean” cleanliness standards, which was created with the guidance of a team of medical experts from the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and experts from Ecolab and Diversey.