Key Issues

Get educated about homelessness.

  • In January 2015, there were 564,708 people without homes on any given night in the United States.
  • Of that number, 206,286 were those in families, and 358,422 were individuals.
  • About 15 percent of this homeless population – 83, 170 – are deemed “chronically homeless” individuals (those who have experienced homelessness for over a year, have experienced episodes of homelessness at least four times in the last year, and has a disability)
  • About 2 percent – 13,105 – are deemed “chronically homeless” members of a family (if your family is homeless and one member meets this criteria, you are considered “chronically homeless” as a whole)
  • About 8 percent of the homeless population – 47, 725 – are veterans.
  • According to Veterans, Inc., the number of Vietnam-era veterans that are now experiencing homelessness is greater than the number of soldiers who died during the war.  (information gathered from My Brothers Keeper)

 

How Many People In Baltimore Are Homeless?

According to Health Care For the Homeless, Inc. – at least 3,000 people in Baltimore will suffer from homelessness on any given night, tallying to over 30,000 people a year. Throughout Maryland, over 50,000 people will experience homelessness annually. These averages are compiled from information in a bi-annual census report, emergency and transitional shelter data and records of those who were turned away from shelters. There is no way to know the exact number of people who are experiencing homelessness in Baltimore, but it is likely higher than this average.

 

Issues Plaguing Baltimore:

Drug Addiction:

  • Baltimore is the heroin capital of the United States.
  • Government agencies estimate that as many as one in 10 of the city’s residents are addicted to the drug.
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the city has the highest per capita heroin addiction rate in the country. Estimates of the total number of addicts in the city vary, but experts agree it’s staggering.
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the city has the highest per capita heroin addiction rate in the country. Estimates of the total number of addicts in the city vary, but experts agree it’s staggering.
  • In a city of 645,000, the Baltimore Department of Health estimates there are 60,000 drug addicts, with as many as 48,000 of them hooked on heroin. A federal report released last month puts the number of heroin addicts alone at 60,000.
  • The problem in the city is so acute that the federal government has designated Baltimore part of what it calls a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, making it eligible for special federal assistance to local police.
  • More than 1200 people died from drug overdoses statewide last year. A number the state already shattered with close to 1500 back in September.

 

 

In the news:

Journalists in San Francisco, frustrated at inaction over the city’s homeless crisis, are planning coordinated coverage on the issue. Read more. New York Times, May 2016.

“Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless” — The emergence of an older homeless population is creating daunting challenges for social service agencies and governments already struggling to fight poverty.