This post was originally published on Afro
By Tashi McQueen
Take a five-mile drive through Baltimore and you can’t help but notice how wealth is disproportionately dispersed throughout the area. Though Charm City is home to the affluent communities of Charles Village, Harbor East, Canton and Gilford, it’s also home to more than 14,000 abandoned homes on hundreds of long-forgotten blocks.
The high-end neighborhoods quickly give way to homeless encampments sprawled across the D.C. area. Last year, the point-in-time count done by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services also found that on a random February night in Baltimore, more than 1,500 people were sleeping on the street.
Kindled by poverty and fanned into flames by economic inflation and COVID -19, homelessness is an American firestorm, and it burns brightly in Baltimore. A snapshot of that dilemma is now emerging, according to social researchers and anti-poverty advocates.
Nearly half of Baltimore’s residents live below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, according to information from Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) researchers, who found recently that more than half of the city’s poor live on annual incomes that are at or below 50 percent of the national poverty line. Data also shows that more than one-third of children in Baltimore City live in low-income households.