Winter is approaching and it’s one of the hardest times of the year for the Baltimore Homeless to find shelter as first-come, first-served becomes a competition on whether someone homeless has a bed for the cold nights. Under a recent system, someone homeless who gets a bed at a shelter can have the bed for a max of 90 days. The catch is claiming the bed by 4pm everyday.The system was created to reduce the line wait and encourage people to look for work and alternative housing during the winter days. It is challenging for shelters and city officials to tackle Baltimore homelessness, but there are ways to effectively help the Baltimore homeless this winter.
There are thousands of homeless in the city of Baltimore and when the temperatures drop it’s very important to find housing and jobs for the homeless. The city of Baltimore has a 10 year plan to end Baltimore Homelessness via an initiative called ‘The Journey Home’, having a goal to create permanent housing for the homeless rather than rely on temporary city shelters. Many homeless in Baltimore often complain some shelters are ill-equipped and not the cleanest environments.
Every winter there are casualties from exposure and hypothermia. Covering up with blankets is not enough when wind chills plunge to zero degrees. For those who see homeless on wind chill days and nights, you can call hypothermia hotline to alert patrols of someone in need when the temperatures drop. The patrols help the homeless find shelters and those who refuse shelter are given blankets, clothes and warm drinks.The patrol will check-in for those who refuse shelter. The number to reach patrol in Baltimore is 311 but there are other ways to help the Baltimore homeless. One way to help the homeless is assisting them in finding the right programs and shelters for them to receive support. You can even volunteer and donate to public health organizations who support the homeless and poor in the Baltimore area. Remember — they will know where your support will benefit the homeless most.
You can also donate essential items like winter clothing, toothpaste, clean linens, and first aid kits. The things we take for granted during our day truly make a difference to the homeless. Another great way to help the homeless is to create jobs for them. If you do not have the means to create jobs, you can train them on something you are knowledgeable about. More importantly, donate food. We all need to eat everyday. If you can donate food to the homeless or volunteer at a soup kitchen, do it. From supporting low-cost medical care to advocating for affordable housing, there are many ways to help the homeless. My Brother’s Keeper is here to help those most in need and we are as strong as our support. Our programs are based on community need as well as the grants available to us at the time. As our staff continues to work towards helping the community, outside help by way of donations and volunteers are always welcome! Become a part of something great and help make MBK where hope finds a home.
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meals, employment assistance, health services and youth programs, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.