[Hpn] Ending homelessness

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Thu, 17 Jan 2008 05:54:28 -0500


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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bal-ed.homeless17jan17=
,0,2983941.story

Ending homelessness
  January 17, 2008=20
Baltimore has set an ambitious goal with its plan to make homelessness =
"rare and brief" within the next decade. But as long as City Hall and =
its allies remain committed to the plan being announced today, this =
worthy goal should be achievable.=20

Generally, a lack of affordable housing, health care, high-paying jobs =
and comprehensive services keeps about 3,000 homeless people on =
Baltimore's streets on any given night. The plan focuses on sensible =
solutions with concrete benchmarks.=20

Within the decade, 500 units would be rented to individuals or families =
who have been homeless for a long time or who have multiple problems. =
The units would come with support services under the successful Housing =
First program, and 100 would be provided in the first year. At the same =
time, non-elderly people with disabilities would be given priority for =
subsidized housing vouchers. The plan also aims to remove local zoning =
barriers against housing for the homeless.=20


City officials also recognize that even with more housing, homelessness =
won't end without expanded Medicaid eligibility and increased access to =
medical care; substance abuse treatment on demand and a range of other =
services; and training programs and opportunities for the homeless to =
secure steady employment. A focused plan should help draw partners from =
the business and nonprofit communities to realize specific targets.=20

Mayor Sheila Dixon deserves credit for providing more than $1 million in =
city funds this year. That commitment from City Hall will have to be =
sustained if the plan is to be accomplished - and the city is to become =
a better place for everyone



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ial/bal-ed.homeless17jan17,0,2983941.story</A></H1>
<H1>&nbsp;</H1>
<H1>Ending homelessness</H1>
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<DL class=3Dbyline><SPAN class=3Dstory-byline></SPAN><SPAN=20
  class=3Dstory-titleline></SPAN><SPAN class=3Dstory-dateline>
  <DD>January 17, 2008</SPAN>=20
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<P id=3Dstory-body>Baltimore has set an ambitious goal with its plan to =
make=20
homelessness "rare and brief" within the next decade. But as long as =
City Hall=20
and its allies remain committed to the plan being announced today, this =
worthy=20
goal should be achievable.=20
<P>Generally, a lack of affordable housing, health care, high-paying =
jobs and=20
comprehensive services keeps about 3,000 homeless people on Baltimore's =
streets=20
on any given night. The plan focuses on sensible solutions with concrete =

benchmarks.=20
<P>Within the decade, 500 units would be rented to individuals or =
families who=20
have been homeless for a long time or who have multiple problems. The =
units=20
would come with support services under the successful Housing First =
program, and=20
100 would be provided in the first year. At the same time, non-elderly =
people=20
with disabilities would be given priority for subsidized housing =
vouchers. The=20
plan also aims to remove local zoning barriers against housing for the =
homeless.=20

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<P id=3Dstory-body2>City officials also recognize that even with more =
housing,=20
homelessness won't end without expanded Medicaid eligibility and =
increased=20
access to medical care; substance abuse treatment on demand and a range =
of other=20
services; and training programs and opportunities for the homeless to =
secure=20
steady employment. A focused plan should help draw partners from the =
business=20
and nonprofit communities to realize specific targets.=20
<P>Mayor Sheila Dixon deserves credit for providing more than $1 million =
in city=20
funds this year. That commitment from City Hall will have to be =
sustained if the=20
plan is to be accomplished - and the city is to become a better place =
for=20
everyone</P></DIV>
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