March 7, 2019           
Work to Revitalize Health Care Services in West Baltimore Moves Forward
The Hebrew Orphan Asylum building will be renovated to become the permanent home of the  Maryland Crisis Stabilization Center and other medical services
BALTIMORE  - Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB), along with Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, the Baltimore City Health Department and Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC), begin renovations to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 8.

The groundbreaking will take place Friday, March 8, at 1 p.m. at 2700 Rayner Avenue, Baltimore, Md., 21216.

When complete, the renovated building will be the permanent home to the Maryland Crisis Stabilization Center, which will provide short-term crisis stabilization and sobering services for people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When the center moves to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum it will be able to serve up to 35 individuals at a time.

The center's goal is to ease the burden on the city's emergency rooms while connecting patients to medical and social services that will aid in their recovery. The center has been operating as a pilot program at Tuerk House, a substance use treatment facility located next to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

Across the state, emergency department admissions for drug and alcohol have been steadily increasing over the past several years. In Baltimore City, there are over 16,000 visits to emergency departments for alcohol and/or drug related diagnoses annually, with more than 50 percent of those visits by Medicaid recipients.

"The Stabilization Center provides an alternative to costly hospital services by effectively diverting people to care in the community ," said Crista M. Taylor, president and CEO of BHSB. "We are already seeing positive results for people coming through the pilot program. This innovative approach promotes recovery and resiliency, by linking people with substance use disorders to treatment and support services that will help them in their recovery. We are excited to see such an important part of our city's history become the new home of the Stabilization Center."
The Hebrew Orphan Asylum has served as an anchor in the Greater Rosemont community for more than 100 years. Originally built in 1876 as an orphanage, the building eventually became part of West Baltimore General Hospital. It has been vacant since 1989. Coppin Heights CDC and its development partners are undertaking a $17 million renovation.

"This innovative approach to treating those in the grip of addiction will give hope to them, to their loved ones and our City," said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. "We are delighted to partner with Behavioral Health System Baltimore, the State of Maryland and the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation to transform this piece of our city's history into a modern-day health care resource for the community. Improving the health of our communities across Baltimore necessitates providing a path for those held back by crippling addiction. This new Stabilization Center will do just that."

The renovated building will also lease space to other medical service providers, bringing much needed medical and social services to the Greater Rosemont community. The project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2019.


Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB) is a nonprofit organization established by Baltimore City to perform the governmental function of managing Baltimore City's behavioral health system-the system of care that addresses emotional health and well-being and provides services for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. As such, BHSB serves as the local behavioral health authority for Baltimore City and works to improve access to a full range of quality behavioral health services and advocate for innovative approaches to prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery to help build healthier individuals, stronger families and safer communities in Baltimore City.