It is no secret that drastic weather temperatures put the lives of those living in the homeless community at greater risk. Homeless people die for various reasons year-round, but the threat of hypothermia in the winter months is a cause for extreme concern. My Brother’s Keeper would like to shed some light on the reality of homeless deaths in Maryland, as well as give you information on a Homeless Memorial Service being held on December 21st in Annapolis.
Statistics From Maryland’s 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness
Maryland’s 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness was prepared by Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness and published on October 1, 2016. The report reveals the following troubling statistics about homeless deaths in Maryland and more:
- Between 2007 and May of 2016, approximately 1,029 people experiencing homelessness died statewide
- 377 of those people died of natural causes, while 652 died of other causes
- 30% of those deaths took place in Baltimore City
- Deaths of the homeless increased by 26% during the month of January
- The number of counted homeless people in Maryland rose 6% between 2015 and 2016, increasing from 27,764 to 29,670
- Of the counted homeless in Maryland in 2016, 58% are African American, 34% are Caucasian, and 8% are Latino or other
- On average, 8.5% of those experiencing homelessness are veterans
- The Central Maryland Region makes up 74% of the total statewide homeless population
- Baltimore City makes up 54% of the homeless population in the Central MD Region
The report also indicates that, “According to the data, the leading cause of death among those experiencing homelessness is drugs or alcohol, accidents or other injuries and hypothermia. Hypothermia exists during the cold weather and can be a single cause of death or a contributing factor that leads to death. The risk of developing hypothermia is raised substantially by the use of alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and some medications as alcohol and other drugs that alter mood and cognition are associated with increased mortality from hypothermia.”
Honor Lives Lost at a Homeless Memorial Service December 21
The National Coalition for the Homeless encourages anyone nationwide to coordinate events for the 2016 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on December 21st. Please consider joining the Arundel House of Hope’s 4th Annual Homeless Memorial Service on Wednesday, December 21st at 4:30 p.m. in front of the State House, Lawyer’s Mall, Annapolis, MD. As their flyer states, “National Homeless Memorial Service is held each year on the longest night of the year, bringing attention to the tragedy of homelessness and remembering our friends who have paid the ultimate price for being without a home.” Click here for more info.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore
To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including addiction treatment referrals, prescription assistance, hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.