The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Homeless Dying in Baltimore

Jan 23, 2017

At a rally for the homeless in December, a speaker for Health Care for the Homeless pointed out that deaths of homeless people in Baltimore were up by 62% in the past year. Deaths of homeless people were already more than 100 a year in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Disgustingly, the number of dead went up to 165 in 2016.

Clearly being a homeless person, living on the streets, has all kinds of health care consequences. Increased risk of death is only one of them, if the worst. In addition, homeless people have mentioned dangers in the shelters that exist.

Only recently did Baltimore officials agree to open shelters when temperatures dip to freezing. Before that, the temperatures supposedly had to drop to zero degrees before shelters were opened.

And in the past year, the number of workers going out to help the homeless dropped from 14 to 7, thanks to a cut in funding by the Department of Health and Human Services. Or at least that is what the Baltimore Housing Authority said to reporters, to explain this drop in assistance.

The deaths of homeless people are a wretched symbol of the values of this society.