Saturday, March 27, 2021
Jennifer Franciotti, WBAL-TV
A new grief counseling center is opening this spring in east Baltimore to help residents in the city deal with loss. During a pandemic, officials say the need is greater than ever.
“Especially today, because of COVID, the pandemic, people are having multiple, multiple losses,” said Annette March-Grier, president and co-founder of Roberta’s House.
Helping children and adults cope with loss is what the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building at Roberta’s House is all about. Its new location on East North Avenue is years in the making. March-Greer said it will be able to help more people than ever process their grief.
“The sense of being overwhelmed and the multiple losses that people are experiencing today are really causing an emotional, mental, psychological and physical crisis,” she said.
The 22,000-square-foot facility is a state-of-the-art center in east Baltimore that provides free bereavement counseling to anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one.
“We can have multiple programs. We used to just have two family counseling rooms, we now have seven,” March-Grier said.
The new space includes an expression room theatre to help kids work out their emotions.
“We can conduct family graduations and ceremonies, and our adolescents and teens can have plays and performances,” March-Grier said.
It also includes a space for kids to create art to help the healing process.
“Each age group can have its own space: Kiddles, middles and teens,” March-Grier said.
They are hoping to provide all services in June when more people are vaccinated. For now, services are mostly virtual.
Roberta’s House is named after March-Grier’s mother, Roberta. The family started March Funeral Home in 1957 at the location. They’re now located across the street within view of a new home to help thousands touched by violence, tragedy and a pandemic.
“To share that love and compassion, that is so needed in our community and to help people to heal,” March-Grier said.