By: Adam Schneider
In its final meeting of the year, the Baltimore City Council yesterday voted unanimously to dedicate December 21 as Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day in Baltimore. The resolution , introduced by the Council President and co-sponsored by the full Council, notes that “it is clear that homelessness in Baltimore is on the rise as we approach the halfway point of the City’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.”
“On December 21 – the first day of winter and the longest night of the year – Baltimore City will join communities across the country to bring attention to the struggle of people experiencing homelessness, to mourn the passing of our neighbors who, in life lacked stable housing, and to rededicate ourselves to ending the conditions that create homelessness,” said Baltimore City Council President Jack Young.
“Life on the streets quickly can turn to death on the streets, said Kevin Lindamood , President & CEO of Health Care for the Homeless, Inc., who addressed the Council. “Only by putting an end to homelessness itself can we stop the untimely deaths of our homeless neighbors. We welcome the resolution of our elected officials to work for a future without homelessness.”
“Everyone deserves to go home,’ said Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who moved to have the resolution immediately adopted by the Council. “It’s painted on the side of Health Care for the Homeless. As a fundamental matter of justice, everyone deserves to go home.”
The public memorial service will be held, beginning at 5pm with music, luminary lighting, and a period of quiet reflection, on December 21 at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor’s Amphitheater (the corner of Pratt and Light Streets) to remember those who died homeless in 2012. The service is organized by members of SHARP, a coalition of homeless service providers and advocates working to Stop Homelessness And Reduce Poverty.