Just before the holidays, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration sought to make sure we remember the homeless on Wednesday. The mayor announced more vouchers to help house people in need, and a city official called on landlords to help, too.
Rawlings-Blake said the city would be adding funding for 200 new vouchers available in Baltimore as part of an approach called Housing First. Officials are also readying about 110 units linked to a model that targets chronically homeless people and connects them with services called permanent supportive housing. The number of vouchers available for people returning from incarceration is also increasing by 50 vouchers. Rawlings-Blake said the city is also increasing outreach staff.
Providing more vouchers is only part of the puzzle.
“Government cannot do this alone,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Mayor’s Office of Human Services Director Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey also called on landlords to accept vouchers so potential tenants could have more of a choice.
“It’s often difficult to get landlords to participate because there are some people who don’t necessarily want an individual who they know is homeless in their property,” Duval-Harvey said.
City stats indicated more than 2,400 people were homeless at last count.
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