Humanim Announces Closure of Details Deconstruction, an Innovative Social Enterprise
BALTIMORE, MD – Humanim is closing its construction social enterprise Details Deconstruction after 8 years of successful operation. Details has been a pioneer in deconstructing vacant properties, salvaging materials and offering work opportunities to returning citizens and others with barriers to employment.
“Humanim has made the difficult decision to shut down operations at Details Deconstruction, an innovative social enterprise the organization launched in 2012,” said Humanim President and CEO Henry Posko. “As with all nonprofits, the public health crisis has created challenges for Humanim, and we are making tough decisions about sustaining programs during this unprecedented time.”
Details will finish out its existing contracts and is expected to end operations in July, 2020.
Since its launch in 2012 Details has deconstructed over 600 blighted properties in Baltimore and another 250 along the East Coast. It has salvaged nearly 2 million bricks and 1 million board feet of lumber, while accomplishing its social mission of training and hiring Baltimore residents with barriers to employment. In the last 8 years, Details has employed over 200 residents from some of Baltimore City’s most challenged neighborhoods, many of whom were able to use their training and experience to build a career in the construction industry.
Notably, Details helped bring the environmentally friendly practice of deconstruction to Baltimore City and the state of Maryland, through Project CORE – making Baltimore one of the first cities in the country to adopt a model of deconstruction for its demolition needs. A labor-intensive practice, deconstruction creates six to eight jobs for every one demolition job, while diverting up to 90 percent of building waste from landfills by salvaging the materials for reuse.
In 2018, Details and its sister social enterprise Brick + Board partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and national furniture retailer Room & Board to salvage and repurpose wood from Baltimore rowhomes into the brand’s reclaimed furniture line. The private-public partnership received national attention, culminating in the launch of the Urban Wood Academy, which teaches others across the country about using urban wood as a catalyst for social, environmental, and economic impact. Since then, other cities such as Philadelphia and St. Louis have expressed interest in replicating this model in their own cities.
“Humanim is deeply grateful to the state of Maryland, Baltimore City, the U.S. Forest Service, and several foundations for partnering with us on this innovative approach to community and workforce development,” Posko said. “Their support and investments have helped launch a deconstruction movement that is poised to grow around the country. Humanim will continue to share our lessons about deconstruction with private businesses and public sector agencies to help sustain this important industry.”
Among its accomplishments, Details was the winner of the Lapsis Medallion Award, The Daily Record’s Innovator of the Year Award, and Mutual of America’s National Governor Hugh L. Carey Community Partnership Award recognizing outstanding contributions of nonprofit organizations who are delivering solutions to critical challenges facing our country.
“Details has been a true success, generating jobs for people overcoming obstacles in their lives,” said Details Director Jeff Carroll. “Details has also helped establish deconstruction as a safer, smart and cost-effective alternative to traditional demolition, while productively reusing the valuable materials take from vacant properties. Our team has worked with other cities to advance their own deconstruction efforts, and Details helped put Baltimore on the map as a leader in this practice.”
“We at Humanim are deeply grateful to Details Director Jeff Carroll and his team for their tireless work creating and sustaining this innovative social enterprise,” Posko said. “Together, we created an industry, jobs, and helped Baltimore rebuild communities across the city. That is a legacy Humanim is proud of.”
Humanim is a social impact organization focusing on human services, workforce development, youth services and social enterprise throughout Maryland and parts of Delaware. Our mission is to support and empower individuals who face social or economic challenges — by building pathways to economic equity, opportunity, and independence.
A Humanim social enterprise, Details Deconstruction does what demolition can’t – create jobs and reduce environmental waste. A labor-intensive, green alternative to demolition, Details adheres to a triple bottom line business model that considers social, environmental, and financial impact. Every Details project diverts salvageable materials from overflowing landfills, and creates jobs for skilled crew members who have faced barriers to employment.