Community Taking the Lead

Trust and belief are at the base of our work to create development without displacement and zero waste in Baltimore. Trust in one another is required to struggle day after day for a vision for a system that we believe will better serve communities, workers and our planet. As a way to bring us all closer together we want to share stories of who we are and why we do this work. We also invite you to share more about who you are and why this struggle for permanently affordable housing and a zero waste City without incineration matters to you. Reply back to with your story!

Carlos Sanchez is a high school student at Benjamin Franklin and is a leader with Free Your Voice and the South Baltimore Community Land Trust. Carlos is taking action now by presenting to dozens of Community Associations across the City on his vision for a just transition to Zero Waste to invite more residents and workers into the effort.

Hi, I am Carlos and I live in the Lakeland community in South Baltimore. I have been living here for my entire life from the day I was born. Lakeland means so much to me for that same reason. Being here for quite some time, I’ve made tons of close friends and have family that lives around here.

I remember after my parents’ work accident they were physically incapable of working. I can remember looking in my parent’s eyes as they looked in mine. I could literally see all the sadness, stress and pain in their eyes. There were tons of envelopes; reminders of how much money they owed and that we could lose our housing. Even with that they still tried their best to make me and my brothers happy. It got to the point where we didn’t even know where our next meal was going to be coming from or if our rent would be paid. My oldest brother worked hard and did his best to make enough income– even still it was hard. I know that we aren’t the only family that has gone through this. There are thousands of families that have to worry about rent being too high on top of their other household expenses.Not only are people in my community facing eviction but we are facing health damages because of pollution. I was born with asthma and I know many friends, cousins, nephews, nieces who still have asthma and it restricts them from doing things they want to do like playing sports or just playing with their families. This is why I joined Free your Voice and work with the South Baltimore Community Land Trust because I want to help make a difference. A difference where no one will have to worry about rent being unaffordable or not having clean air.Free Your Voice is fighting for Clean air, Affordable housing and our human rights! We will create affordable housing that will stay affordable forever. We live in a society that looks down on communities of color and low income. We created the Zero Waste plan so that we can give the communities and the city what it needs: Good jobs, clean air, and clean safe communities. We will actually put the people and the community first!Remember to sign on to our call to action because right now we are working to get all food out of the waste stream in Baltimore through the development of local compost infrastructure. This will help us end our city’s decades long reliance on trash burning incineration. It will create good union jobs for local residents. It will reduce climate change causing methane while producing soil healing compost. It is achievable and will make next steps in our Zero Waste transition much easier. But make no mistake it will not happen without ongoing organized and sustained pressure.Thank you for your commitment and support to grow the movement in Baltimore and beyond.

Need Housing?

Start now by filling out our Housing Application Form. We will follow up with you and do our best to support you in your journey.