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Cash assistance available to port workers impacted by Key Bridge collapse

Salvage operations continue at the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse site as workers prepare to remove a large section of the bridge from the bow of the container ship Dali, on May 8, 2024. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Port workers affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge can apply for cash grants from a local nonprofit’s fund starting Friday.

Those who worked at the Port of Baltimore as of March 26, the day the bridge fell into the Patapsco River effectively closing the waterway to shipping traffic, are eligible for one-time payments of $1,000 a person. Eligible employees include union workers, independent contractors, solo owner-operators and those who are self-employed and work at the port’s terminals.

The money comes from the Baltimore Community Foundation’s Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong Key Bridge Fund which the nonprofit created shortly after the Dali cargo ship crashed into the Key Bridge killing six construction workers.

As of Friday morning the fund had $15.4 million, according to Ellina Buettner, a spokesperson for the program. It is still accepting donations at the Baltimore Community Foundation’s website. Donors include the Baltimore Ravens, the Baltimore Orioles and Verizon, she added. Baltimore-based CFG Bank gave $50,000 to the fund and plans to raise an additional $1 million with the help of customer donations.

“The people of our state are stepping up and proving what it means to be Maryland Tough and Baltimore Strong,” Gov. Wes Moore wrote in a statement Wednesday. “We will continue to do everything we can to support Marylanders affected by the bridge collapse.”

Port workers can find applications online by going to CASH Campaign of Maryland’s website, a nonprofit that is partnering with The Baltimore Community Foundation to distribute the funds. In-person applications can be completed at Community Assistance Network at 7900 E. Baltimore Street in Dundalk in English or at City of Refuge — Baltimore at 3501 Seventh Street in Baltimore, Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency at 613 Global Way in Linthicum Heights or The Department of Labor’s Port Worker Assistance Center at 2501 Broening Highway in Baltimore in English or Spanish.

Those approved will receive their funds within two weeks.

“The impact of the Key Bridge collapse extends well beyond the rebuilding of the bridge and reopening of the port,” said Shanaysha Sauls, president and CEO of The Baltimore Community Foundation, in a statement Friday. “We also have the responsibility to rebuild the port communities in a way that creates sustainable economic opportunities, provides for a more resilient workforce, and improves the quality of life for those in and around the bridge area.”

The foundation has two other grant programs to assist those impacted by the collapse. One provides funding to community organizations helping first responders at the bridge collapse site. Another assists local organizations aiding other communities affected by the loss of the bridge. Those include Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex in Baltimore County and areas around the bridge in northern Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City.


© 2024 The Baltimore Sun

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