How Black Women Build Baltimore is restoring homes for the future

One house at a time, one homeowner at a time


“I want Black women to thrive and for me I've been able to do that through real estate and understanding how to work on my own house," said Shelley Halstead.

Shelley Halstead is the founder of Black Women Build Baltimore, a homeownership initiative teaching women to turn vacant properties into their future homes.

Women are taught carpentry, electrical, plumbing and given firsthand experience in real estate.

Quanshay Henderson became the first homeowner in her family through the program.

“For me it's really about being rooted in something. So to not have a home or not have a place that’s officially yours or staying with family, or whatever the situation might be. To move from that and then come to a position of stability is phenomenal," said Quanshay Henderson.

To support Halstead’s mission, Kelly Clarkson surprised her on the Kelly Clarkson Show with $50,000.

“I know you're in the middle of building three new houses, so to help you with supplies, a new truck and whatever else you need, I'm just gonna give you $50,000," said Kelly Clarkson.

“$50K is, um, that blew me away. It really did,” said Halstead.

Her next goal is to build a community office and tool lending library to further support her builders. “My hope would be that instead of seeing these as something that needs to be wiped away and with something new, is that we can regenerate from within.”