Direct cash assistance flowing to Port of Baltimore workers affected by Key Bridge collapse

Two Maryland nonprofits are making sure workers at the Port of Baltimore are getting needed financial assistance in the form of one-time payments of $1,000.

The Baltimore Community Foundation and the CASH Campaign of Maryland announced the effort Friday morning.

“We just want to say thank you” to the thousands of workers whose “hard work is so important for our economy, for our region, for literally making us go,” Robin McKinney, CEO of the CASH Campaign of Maryland, told WTOP.

McKinney explained the money is available from the Maryland Tough, Baltimore Strong Key Bridge Fund that was announced in the immediate aftermath of the bridge collapse in March.

McKinney said the direct-cash assistance is vital, especially for those who work at the port, but are self-employed, such as truck drivers or freelancers “who are often left out because they’re sole-proprietors or 1099 workers,” she said, referring to the tax status of independent contractors.

In a news release, Shanaysha Sauls, president and CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation, said the direct-cash payments have a powerful ripple effect.

“When people receive cash assistance, they can establish their own priorities, and that empowers them to procure food and other essential supplies from local businesses,” she said.

Applications are being processed at four different locations in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, and staff are available to assist in English and Spanish. Applicants will have to prove that they were employed at the Port of Baltimore’s public and private terminals.

The one-time cash payments are being offered to supplement the Port of Baltimore Worker Support Program that’s administered through the Maryland Department of Labor.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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