Homeless Children – Across the Nation and Here in Baltimore

homeless (Photo credit: Bagunçêiro)

Across the nation, The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single young adults (up to age 24) experience a homelessness episode longer than one week – and while it’s difficult to track homeless youth, it is estimated that 380,000 are under 18 years old. Here at home, the number of Baltimore City Public School students identified as homeless doubled between 2008 – 2013; with 2,716 homeless students identified in the 2012-13 school year.

Children are considered homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence including:

Sharing …read more

Is Ceasefire Baltimore’s Answer?

Baltimore has seen 33 murders this year. We are 44 days into 2014. After a more hopeful 2012 where Baltimore had its 2nd lowest murder rate* since the late 1980’s this is particularly striking. Communities are reeling and wanting answers. I was at a community meeting last night that had over 500 participants. Mayor Rawlings Blake has recently announced new crime fighting strategies in her State of the City address like implementing Operation Ceasefire and opening 24 hour Youth Connection Centers.

Operation Ceasefire had three components. Recognized gang members would be brought in under probation or parole …read more

It Takes More than an Extra Can of Pumpkin

As we all prepare to feast with family and friends, I am always drawn to thoughts of hunger in America. Over the years I have helped collect food for many projects at churches and other organizations to provide Thanksgiving meals to families that wouldn’t have any feast without help. Of course, we all know that the food banks and charities that help with the hunger epidemic all year round really need more help in the summer when all of the children are out of school. So I am always challenged with remembering to organize a food drive in the hot …read more

The Arc of History Bends towards Access for Everyone

For 35 years, “care” has been at the center of Baltimore-based healthcare provider, Chase Brexton’s mission. At their Cathedral Street location, they have served thousands of community members in the areas of medical care, behavioral health, dental care, pharmacy services and specialty services, to name a few.

Chase Brexton Health Services groundbreaking (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

For months, we have watched as the beautiful old Monumental Life Building on Charles Street was transformed into Chase Brexton Health Services’ new home. The 178,000 square foot building allows the service provider to throw open its doors even wider, and to better honor …read more

Overcoming the Prison Epidemic

Prison Bar(code)

Baltimore City detention center has made headlines after a scandal revealed the inmates were running the show and had been employing guards to smuggle in cell phones, food and drugs. Mother Jones recently produced a list of the top 10 worst prisons and the horrors that occur within their walls. In Louisiana, one in 86 adults is in prison. After release, ex-offenders are 38 times more likely to be unemployed than non-offenders.

Violence in prisons is nothing new; any TV show from OZ to The Wire will tell you that. In 2003, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act, …read more

The More You Know: Make your money red too

Money… (Photo credit: jah~)

We vote with our wallets. We affirm organizational missions and business practices over and over again based on where we spend our money. This creeps up suddenly, and while we think we know the image and corporate and social responsibility efforts of a particular company, we can often be mistaken. Among my family and friends we eliminated consumption at retailers like Walmart years ago, and opted for Target instead. Yet, in 2010, when news broke of Target’s giving to an anti-gay political group, we were at a loss, “Wait, we can’t shop at Target now …read more

Victory for Maryland Youth Advocates

The Just Kids Partnership seeks to ‘gather information and promote the discussion of effectively addressing crime allegedly committed by Maryland youth’. Campaign Consultation selected the Just Kids Partnership as a GIVE 5 recipient in 2011, and this week we are featuring a guest post telling the story of their recent victory protecting juveniles in the Maryland justice system.

After years of community opposition, organizing and advocacy the state has decided to not move forward with the construction of the proposed Baltimore City jail that would have housed youth charged as adults. This is a huge victory for the youth …read more