The President of Roberta’s House, Annette March-Grier, speaks with Dr. Gloria Horsley about the organization’s mission and what it’s like being the only grief center in Baltimore. Founded in 2007, Roberta’s House is in the heart of an urban community that has a lot of violence, drug usage, and health concerns. All free services are available to children and families. The organization serves children as young as five years old.

Kids need support after a loss, and also to be visible. They need someone to help give them a voice. The importance of expression can be easily overlooked. Today in Baltimore, a lot of the violence is an outburst of anger. A lot of people who are suffering are invisible. Trauma is grief unexpressed, and this organization is helping to educate families, businesses, and corporations to understand that people need to express their pain in positive ways in order to heal.

Community Healing

There’s a lot of work in getting their mission visible. Being a part of the cause is something more and more local businesses are getting involved with. Expressing your anger in healthy, constructive ways while creating meaningful memories is important. You can turn pain into passion, but young people need help directing that energy. It can be transformative and turn into a positive outlet.

Teachers and counselors in the Baltimore area are familiar with the organization and can help connect kids with Roberta’s House. There are also resources online, and anyone is welcome to come into Roberta’s House to learn more about the myriad of free programs. March-Grier encourages anyone who needs help after a loss to reach out. Sometimes you need to take direction of your own healing process, and for kids this can be tough without adult guidance.


Heidi Horsley

Dr. Heidi Horsley is a licensed psychologist, social worker, and bereaved sibling. She co-hosts the award-winning weekly cable television show and podcast, Open to Hope. Dr. Heidi is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and an award-winning author, who has co-authored eight books, and serves on the United Nations Global Mental Health Task Force. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for the Tragedy Assistance Program, the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and Peace of Mind Afghanistan. She served on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, and for 10 yrs. worked on a Columbia University research study looking at traumatic loss over time in families who lost a firefighter in the World Trade Center.

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