During 100,000 visits in 2015, we helped 10,000 Marylanders move from crisis to stability. But the need for our services is greater than our reach—and it is growing. So we are going to where the need is. In December, 2015, we opened a clinic in West Baltimore, in one of the city's most underserved communities. It is the first full-service clinic the agency has opened from the ground up since first opening its doors in 1985.
A snapshot of our West Baltimore community
The Health Care for the Homeless clinic in West Baltimore is located at 2000 W. Baltimore St. The surrounding area represents one small piece of Baltimore’s vast west side. Yet it offers a revealing glimpse into this half of our city. The need—and the opportunity…
Our West Baltimore community is poorer than the city as a whole. The median household income is 40% lower, the unemployment rate is 75% higher and 52% of children live in poverty.
Our West Baltimore community has less safe and affordable housing than the city as a whole. Houses here sell for just 15% of the citywide average, nearly 2/3 of renters pay 30% or more of their income on rent and 27% of houses are vacant or abandoned.
Our West Baltimore community is less healthy than the city as a whole. People’s lives are 5 years shorter, children’s blood lead levels are 5x higher and the teenage pregnancy rate is 66% higher.
“There was a lot of flight. And the flight left a lot of blight. West Baltimore—it was kind of left behind. It was the forgotten community for a lot of years," says Ray Kelly, Director of Community Relations, No Boundaries Coalition. "We have so many vacant buildings where people stay but there’s no electricity or things of that nature. And it’s not recognized."
But the West Baltimore community is resilient. Since 2000, teen births have been reduced by half, households with incomes of $65,000 or more have nearly doubled and the percentage of young adults graduating high school has nearly doubled.
“There are generations older than me whose fondest memories happened on a street that’s overrun with drug dealers. They have a place in their heart for the community which they fought for 50 years. This is still their community,” Kelly says.
We look forward to partnering with West Baltimore community members and organizations, as well as our fellow service providers, to help our West Baltimore neighbors without homes move toward better health and stability.
Stay tuned for updates as we settle in!