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'Long journey home' will be even longer under city's plan to end homelessness

Hat's off to The Sun editorial board for bringing to light the critical need to end homelessness in Baltimore ("The long journey home," Mar. 11). However, anyone looking at Baltimore's revised 10-year plan to meet that goal would be hard-pressed to call it an "action plan."

Indeed, the revised plan does contain specific statements about creating permanent supportive housing. But it provides no explanation of how those housing units will be funded or developed — or which city agencies will be responsible for their creation.

Here's an example. As the media reported after a Feb. 14 community meeting where the revised plan was unveiled, city Housing Authority Deputy Director Anthony Scott complained that his agency, which has the most housing resources, was denied any meaningful opportunity to provide input to the draft plan.

As your editorial noted, the City Council has scheduled a hearing to focus on the 10-year plan. This will give the community an opportunity to articulate why meaningful solutions to end homelessness — such as specific agency commitments of resources — are critical.

One need only look to the recent debacle over Camp 83 ("Homeless Eviction Plan Criticized," Mar. 5) to see why a strong community-supported plan is necessary.

As it stands now, the proposed 10-year plan to end homelessness in Baltimore is weak — and the city should not be allowed to hide behind it.

Antonia K. Fasanelli, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project, a nonprofit law firm.

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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