Fellow Profile

Fellow

Lydia Watts

Lydia Watts

Focus Areas: Violence

Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Baltimore, MD

Fellow

Lydia Watts

Lydia is the Executive Director of the Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center. She created the staffing and programmatic structure, developed processes of intake and partnership, and created a vision of the impact it hopes to have on the communities it is serving. ROAR’s staff includes Lydia, three other lawyers, a paralegal, two social workers, and a part-time community health nurse. The organization has been accepting clients since mid-February 2019 and has been fully staffed since June 2019. As of November 2019, ROAR has assisted 146 people who live in Baltimore City, a number that has more than doubled in the past months.

The Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center is “one-stop-shop” in Baltimore City where survivors of crime can access a full range of wraparound legal services, therapy, case management, and community nursing care. ROAR aims to co-create with survivors a community in which people who experience crime or systemic injustice are empowered to achieve their own sense of justice, healing, and well-being. ROAR intentionally connects with communities that are at highest risk of being victimized and are the least likely to engage with law enforcement, which includes people who are living in poverty; people experiencing homelessness; those with substance use and/or mental health disorders; survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; the elderly; LGBTQIA; and youth between the ages of 12 and 24.