Remembering the Homeless

As you may have noticed we here at St. Ambrose Housing Aid have been on a bit of a hiatus from the blogging world. In the spirit of the New Year we have settled on a resolution for 2012: start blogging again. We hope that you will continue to turn to “Talk to St. Ambrose” for timely information as it relates to housing and neighborhood preservation in Baltimore. Rather than wait to get started on our New Year’s resolution let’s jump right in to another post.

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Last week on December 21st, the longest night of the year, people in over 150 cities across the country gathered to observe National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. The event remembers those who have died without a secure place to live and to recommit to the urgent task of ending the conditions that create homelessness. Stop Homelessness and Reduce Poverty (S.H.A.R.P.), a coalition of service providers and advocates in Baltimore City working to end the injustice of poverty and homelessness, organized the memorial service in Baltimore. During the Memorial Service the names of all 111 people who died homeless in Baltimore this year were read aloud in remembrance. The Baltimore Brew provides video coverage of the event here and the Baltimore Sun features reflections from Memorial attendees here.

The homeless population in the City is trending upward. Since 2005 the homeless population has jumped from 2,943 to 4,088 in 2011 according to the Baltimore City Homelessness Point in Time Census Report. People who are homeless face many challenges including, but not limited to low incomes and barriers to securing employment or disability assistance, affordable housing, and healthcare to manage both acute and chronic conditions.

It is necessary to assist in securing housing as well as supportive services as individuals and families transition out of homelessness. Baltimore’s ten-year plan to end homelessness, The Journey Home, launched in 2008 aims to take on the complexities of getting people off the streets and into permanent housing by addressing the root causes: affordable housing, comprehensive health care, sufficient incomes, and preventive and emergency services. The annual outcome reports issued by Baltimore City demonstrate progress in delivering services to the homeless even as financial resources were scaled back in light of tough economic times.

It will be an uphill battle to reach the program’s goal to end homelessness by 2018, but with the help of businesses, not-for-profits, faith-based organizations and community members we can certainly make a difference. What you will you do this year to help address homelessness?

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3 thoughts on “Remembering the Homeless”

  1. The team members at Whole Foods Market in Mt Washington donated over 150 pounds of winter clothing and blankets to Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore. This was a simple and easy process. Many team members said it helped them clean out their closets and they felt it was a good way to pass on out grown children’s clothes.
    The items were collected over a 12 day time span and then taken to HCH’s facility. These items have now been distributed to clients and clients’ family members. I challenge other organizations to do something similarly to help the homeless.

  2. It is so great to hear that the team members at Whole Foods were able to mobilize and donate so many coats and blankets to Health Care for the Homeless! I am sure the warm blankets and coats are truly appreciated as the temperatures fall in Baltimore. These sorts of actions are possible with a little extra coordination with service providers, time and effort.

  3. Most of these 10 year plans are all a scam. If you look at their founding documents they all contain the same language which is “appropriate and affordable.” The largest portion of the homeless population are single men who need immediate permanent employment. If they had that employment then they could get market rate housing and not even need this 10 year plan.

    The catch is that none of this 10 year plan housing is free at all. So if you are a homeless male and cannot find a job you’ll never qualify for the 10 year plan housing because in order to get this housing you have to pay. If you’re homeless without a job tell me how exactly can you pay? It’s not possible. That’s why I call BS on all of these 10 year plans. In fact many cities have ignored the plans and have no intention of seeing them through. It’s all BS.

    These 10 year plans do not intend to replace homeless shelters with some type of “housing first” intake system. The shelters will always exist with all of their crime, diseases, harsh atmosphere and prison mentality. I have sat on some of these 10 year plan councils and investigated them very carefully and I can say with almost 100% accuracy they are a total fraud.

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