Pugh releases plan to reduce homelessness | WYPR

Pugh releases plan to reduce homelessness

Oct 11, 2017

Credit Charlie Wambeke

  

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released her $350 million plan to reduce homelessness in the city today, but at least one homeless advocate sharply criticized it.

The 26-page plan drafted by a homelessness workgroup, recommends increased affordable housing, eviction prevention, improving the capacity and quality of family shelters and services and promoting a housing first model.

Terry Hickey, director of the Mayor’s Office of Human Services, said the plan is to not let people get stuck "in any part of our homelessness system."

"So it is getting people off the streets quickly, giving them emergency shelter space or alternatives to shelter,” he said.

In the past, the city has relied solely on federal funds, but Pugh says businesses have a stake in this, too.

“It is realistic to expect state, federal, city, philanthropic and business communities, and national foundations to participate in this," says Pugh. "Absolutely.”

But Christina Flowers, a homeless advocate, was very critical of the plan.

“That’s not a plan!" she huffed.

She claims her organization, Real Care Providers Network, has housed 600 people in five years.

“It didn’t take me $350 million," says Flower.

The city has approximately 3000 people that are homeless. In the coming weeks, Pugh will be releasing more details on her plan to construct more affordable housing.