August 14, 2020, Baltimore, MD – After an explosion took the lives of two and displaced over 200 more, CASA has tirelessly supported a humanitarian relief response on the scene. Alongside the Red Cross, NLife Community, and many grassroots and faith based efforts, CASA has offered families meals, donations, and interpretation services. In addition CASA helped liaison for Baltimore City and the Red Cross temporary housing. Close to 30 CASA members were amongst the over 200 displaced. The explosion took place Monday, August 10, in the Northwest Baltimore community, on the four year anniversary of the Flower Branch Apartments explosion where eight lost their lives.

“The explosion that occurred in the neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore is a terrible tragedy; this is a community very dear to CASA,” said Lydia Walter-Rodriguez, CASA’s Baltimore and Central Maryland Director. “We have been here since Monday supporting daily with much needed resources and services, in addition to supporting non-English speaking community members with needed interpretation. However, what the community is demanding in the long-term is accountability, as tragedies like this one disproportionately affect Black and brown communities. The explosion stole loved ones from families, with perhaps more to come. Holding in mind that this explosion fell on the four year anniversary — to the day — of the Flower Branch tragedy, we also push for more oversight of utility companies. CASA calls for a full investigation to assess the cause of the explosion and, if injustice is found, those responsible must be held accountable.”

“Our hearts are deeply troubled, but we are keeping the faith: we will make it out of this,” said local Pastor Rodney Booth. “I am inspired by the unity that has been brought together amongst all people in our community. We have been filled with love from those of every nationality in Baltimore that have stepped up to lead grassroots community relief efforts.”

Anyone displaced by the explosion can receive food, donations, mental health support, and also sign up for temporary housing at the community refuge zone: 6798 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215, located behind the Applebees in the mall plaza. Anyone looking for support and who cannot currently enter their home can call CASA Baltimore at 410-732-7777. Anyone looking for mental health trauma support who was impacted by the explosion can call the Red Cross mental health support number at 1-800-985-5990. The public can donate to families affected at:

A vigil is being organized by the community on Monday August 17 at 7:30pm, one week after the explosion. The vigil will begin at the refuge zone at 6798 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215.