Homeless allowed to stay on street during Baltimore's post-riot curfew

The street, sidewalk and benches considered "home" to Baltimore's homeless during citywide curfew.

The street, sidewalk, benches and steps were considered "home" to Baltimore's homeless population during the post-riot curfew, according to city officials.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake implemented a citywide curfew, beginning the day after the rioting that hit West Baltimore and other parts of the city.

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke wrote in emails obtained by The Baltimore Sun to various officials to find out what would happen to protect the homeless from facing penalties for being out on the street during the curfew.

"I am ashamed to say, I do not know," Clarke wrote to the woman who asked the question. "Trying to find out right now."

Dawn Kirstaetter, deputy mayor for human services, advised top city officials that the police department was considering the "street/sidewalk/ bench/ tent/ step" as a home base for the city's disenfranchised.

Adrienne Breidenstine, who leads the Journey Home, the city's 10-year plan to end homelessness, told one of Rawlings-Blake's top aides that officials were working to provide services to the homeless throughout the unrest.

Breidenstine wrote on April 30 that the Mayor's Office of Human Services was working closely with police to "ensure that they do not target our folks."

"We've gotten good feedback from our provider community on police interactions with our folks over the past several days," she wrote.

ywenger@baltsun.com

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