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Why can't the richest state end homelessness? [Letter]

Unemployment and LayoffsSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

It was a bit sad to read about Baltimore City's homeless on the front page ("City's homeless line up, even as count is down" (Dec. 2) and then right underneath a story about Columbia spending more than $5 million to create a new park ("Columbia park plan has a butterfly theme"). Why with all the money some people have in this state can't more be done for the homeless? How about spending the $5 million to create more homeless shelters or help up grade the existing ones?

This isn't just a Maryland issue but national one. I read all the time about big companies spending millions on frivolous things, so why can't they give more to help the homeless? We need to give money to organizations that help the homeless, who many are also jobless, to obtain a skill so they can start working again and break the cycle that puts them homeless in the first place. When I was unemployed I was excited to learn that I could take classes through the unemployment training centers to obtain skills to help me get another job. Sadly that too ended when the city decided not to allow the money to go to those organizations. That left many still unemployed who really want to work but cannot afford the high cost of those classes on their own. It would be a win-win situation if big companies gave money to help fix up some of the many abandoned houses in the city to be shelters, hence taking care of two problems at once.

Of course, handing out food stamps, housing vouchers, free phones, free health care and all the other "free" things some people receive does not help. If I was able to get all those free things I wouldn't want to better myself either. There has to be something more that can be done, and first it starts with getting the homeless safely off the streets and then getting the government to use its time and money where it truly needs to be.

Daisy Sudano, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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