[Hpn] PROTESTS spur Baltimore to up HOMELESS funding 6-fold from $43K to $252,000 to $252,000

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 30 Dec 2000 01:02:32 -0800 (PST)

In wake of PROTESTS, Baltimore MD USA ups "HOMELESS funding" 6-fold from
$43K to $252,000.

SEE BELOW for a related news article, background LINKS & Letter to the Editor:

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Environmental Crisis Center / Charles J. Swiden, Director
1936 East 30th St. (near Harford Rd.)
Baltimore., Maryland 21218
410-235-7110 (Linda, Charles or Chayim)
EMAIL "Rabbi Chayim Levin" <ChayimLevin@Hotmail.com>

Earlier this month, [Baltimore's Mayor] was heavily criticized for his
comments after ordering private social service agencies to stop feeding
homeless people in front of City Hall.

During one protest, volunteers from Viva House held up banners that read
"Stop the War Against the Poor" and "Shame"...

FWD  Baltimore Sun - Dec 29 2000

HUD boosts funds to city
Homeless Services receives additional $6 million in U.S. aid; Budget hits
$27 million

By M. Dion Thompson
Sun Staff

Baltimore has received an additional $6 million in federal aid for the
homeless and will use the money to provide services "beyond a hot meal and
a temporary shelter bed," Mayor Martin O'Malley said yesterday.

The new money is on top of $8 million Baltimore already has received from
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The latest infusion of federal money raises the budget for the city's
Office of Homeless Services to $27 million, the largest amount ever, say
administration officials.

"If there's one thing all of us can agree on, it's that we can do a better
job of reaching out," said O'Malley.

The money will fund 10 new programs that will provide counseling, job
training, and substance abuse services for the homeless, as well as 72
housing units.

The city also has increased its funding for homeless services this year to
$252,000, up from last year's contribution of $43,000.

Yesterday's promise to increase the city's efforts was the second in as
many weeks for O'Malley, who some critics had come to see as being an enemy
of the homeless.

Earlier this month, he was heavily criticized for his comments after
ordering private social service agencies to stop feeding homeless people in
front of City Hall.

During one protest, volunteers from Viva House held up banners that read
"Stop the War Against the Poor" and "Shame," while dozens of homeless
people lined up in City Hall plaza for chili, hot dogs, fruit and cupcakes.

The city wants the private groups to move their operations to a city-owned
trailer at the Fallsway and East Madison Street, across from the Central
Booking and Intake Center.

Last week O'Malley said the city was preparing to set up a network of Day
Resource Centers to provide homeless people with public and private

Four existing centers will be expanded and two others will be added during
the latter part of next year.

City officials are looking for locations for the new centers.

A task force has put the estimated start-up cost at $4 million to $6
million for the six centers, plus $2 million in annual operating costs.
O'Malley has said he expects a lower cost.

The recent push to improve services for the homeless began after a city
truck accidentally ran over a homeless man who was obscured by steam as he
slept atop a manhole in the intersection of East Redwood and South streets.
The accident occurred just before 1 a.m. Nov. 22.

"It's not the stuff of ribbon cutting, or big headlines," O'Malley said of
the city's promised efforts. "It's just better coordination."

During yesterday's briefing by the mayor, the Rev. Lonnie J. Davis Sr., 49,
told his story of addiction and homelessness.

Now the founder and executive director of I Can Inc., Davis spent eight
months on the street in 1993.

"I could have went back to my family, but I chose not to ensnare them in
the problems I had with drug dependency," said Davis, who picked up a
heroin habit while on military duty in Thailand.

He said a combination of help from the Veterans Affairs hospital, the
American Rescue Workers shelter and readings from the Bible turned his life

His program runs an emergency family shelter in Reisterstown and a 58-bed
drug recovery program for men in the 2200 block of Greenmount Ave.

This year, I Can Inc. received a two-year grant of $1.2 million. Davis said
the program incorporates much of what he learned while fighting his
addiction. "I Can" is an acronym for "Individual, Character, Attitude and
Newness of mind."

"It's only through programs like this that I was able to develop and learn
what it means to be a productive citizen," said Davis, a Dunbar High School
graduate. "I've been reunited with my family."

Lonnie Davis Jr., 31, stood by his father yesterday. The younger Davis
called his father's recovery "a blessing."

[PHOTO caption] The Rev. Lonnie J. Davis Sr. (right), founder and executive
director of I Can Inc., talks about his experience with homelessness as his
son, Lonnie Davis Jr., listens.

FWD  Baltimore Sun - Letters to the Editor - 26 December 2000


Mayor Martin O'Malley's plan to open day centers will provide the homeless
with valuable services ("Mayor O'Malley plans day centers for the
homeless," Dec. 19). However, these services cannot replace those already
provided at City Hall.

The majority of people served at City Hall are minimum-wage workers with
jobs. They come to City Hall not only looking for a meal, but to see the
familiar faces of the friendly people who hand them out. Many of the
volunteers have been providing this service for years and have earned the
friendship and trust of those they serve.

Day centers would serve a different population, because only those without
jobs would be able to use their services.

It is insulting that Mr. O'Malley expects to relocate this service right
outside of the city's detention center. It suggests that that's where the
poor and hungry belong -- out of sight and with criminals.

What's even more upsetting is the idea that because the people being served
at City Hall are of low income, they sully the appearance of City Hall.

The residents of Baltimore and Mr. O'Malley should be asking themselves,
"How can we alleviate the problem of hunger in our city?" not "How can we
hide it?"

  Kelly Hendry
  The writer is a sophomore at Friends School of Baltimore.


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
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FWD  Baltimore Jewish Times - December 22, 2000
     Deborah Walike Staff Reporter
A crowd of approximately 100 activists and homeless people assembled in
front of City Hall on Monday, Dec. 18, braving the bone-chilling, 23-degree
Every day, twice-a-day, for the last  2 1/2 years, members of the
Environmental Crises Center - a non-profit homeless advocacy group - and
other organizations have been meeting in this exact location to distribute
meals to the homeless. Monday's larger assembly had gathered to protest an
official request from the office of the mayor to move the operation to
another location.

FWD  Baltimore Sun - Dec 19 2000
     News  /  Maryland
     By Gady A. Epstein
     Sun Staff
          In the midst of a flap over a ban on feeding the homeless in
front of City Hall, Mayor Martin O'Malley said Monday that he will
establish several daytime resource centers for the homeless throughout the

FWD  Baltimore Sun - 13 December 2000
     Officials want site for aid to homeless away from City Hall
     Order is termed 'an insult'

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