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Water and Warmth: How to help the homeless in Baltimore

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In Baltimore, there is a massive homeless population. As of 2016, there was roughly 30,000 homeless people. This was about a 6% rise in homeless people from 2015. This is only the number they could count, there is almost certainly many more people who have not been counted. They have many struggles. Food, water, shelter, clothing, and above all they struggle to find a job.

What about the rest of the country?

Homelessness is a problem that will likely never be solved. It is a large expense for the local, state, and federal governments. But even thought they are trying to help homelessness continues to be a problem. For example, in Seattle the homeless population has been on the rise since 2012. In an interview with a homeless man in Los Angeles he highlights the horrors of living on the street and why he can not just “get a job.” This is not just local to the Baltimore or the United States, it is a global issue we have to tackle with kindness. So many times I have seen homeless people mistreated and we often hear stories in the news of this. In my experience, if you treat homeless people with dignity, respect, and kindness they will treat you the same way.

How can we help?

Homeless Statistics from Maryland in 2016

You can always donate to the many homeless shelters and volunteering is always a great way to get more personally involved and does not require any money. However, I have a lot of experience with homeless people from volunteering at a local shelter. There is two things that they can always use: water and socks. Both of these things are cheap and easy to distribute. For the many people who commute through the city everyday instead of giving a homeless person a dollar or some spare change lying around, which they can spend as irresponsibly as they desire, give them a pair of wool socks or a bottle of water. If even a small percentage of people participate in this initiative, there will be widespread effects. If we can do this we can propel these people, who are fighting for their lives on the streets,

Sources cited:

  • Anneli, Joseph, et al. 2016 Annual Report on Homelesness. 2016, health.maryland.gov/mhhd/Documents/2016%20Annual%20Report%20on%20Homelessness%2010.13.16.pdf.
  • Beekman, Daniel. “Seattle-Area Count Finds ‘Huge Spike’ in Homelessness.” The Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 1 Feb. 2016, www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/count-of-seattle-king-county-homeless-finds-4505-people-sleeping-outside/.
  • Wenger, Yvonne. “Advocates Work to Find Housing for Homeless at Downtown Encampment.” Baltimoresun.com, 10 Dec. 2018, www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-xpm-2013-03-06-bs-md-ci-homeless-housing-20130306-story.html.

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COMMENTS: 2
  1. April 25, 2019 by Laura Reysz Reply

    Matt, I love your commitment to this project! Your passion definitely shows through. Do you have any idea about the number of people who donate water and socks to homeless? Also, do you have links to this project or others throughout the country? Thank you for addressing this issue.

  2. April 29, 2019 by Graham.Wolff Reply

    Hey Matt! I love your presentation and your attitude towards change. Is Baltimore the only place that has a homless population this high? Also do you know of any fundraisers that we can donate to? Thank you!

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