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Baltimore’s Public Transportation Problem

 If you are from Baltimore, it might not come as a shock when we say Baltimore’s public transportation system is lacking in many ways. Baltimore has only one subway line that runs from east to west and one rail line that runs from north to south. These two systems only intersect in one place, making it very hard to go from point A to B without having to make many stops and detours along the way.

The buses in Baltimore are another part of this problem. The time it takes to commute on buses directly impacts our residents here at WHC. We view three or more doctors appointments in one week as an “activity” because of the time it takes our residents to get to these appointments. One doctor’s appointment can take up most of a resident’s day because of public transportation.

The bus stops are not widely spread out and the routes are not adequate to transport those who need transportation. Not only that, but bus passes are a great expense ($68/month) to someone making minimum wage, who cannot afford extra expenses.

All of these issues leave Baltimore with a serious public transportation issue that strongly impacts those who need mobility most. For those who do not have a car and cannot afford to Uber everywhere, a well-oiled bus and subway system is necessary to get around. As a community, we need to raise our voices to the city of Baltimore to let them know that something must be done about public transportation.

Beth Benner’s Windows of Opportunity Speech 2018

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we believe that there are No throw away people.

Not even if they’ve been homeless.

Not even if they’ve struggled with mental illness or addiction.

Not even if they have kids.

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we help women and their children …

  • Get housed
  • Stay housed
  • And we help them obtain the tools & skills they need to stay housed forever and have a chance for a healthy life.

We believe … people should have a safe and stable home to live in while they work on the issues that led to their homelessness.

We believe … people with disabilities, mental health concerns, and addictions can best address those concerns when housed with no timelines or program required expectations.
We believe … when they can have faith in keeping their home without fear of losing it, then with our support and their hard work they can best address the problems that led to their homelessness.

At the Women’s Housing Coalition, we believe in giving people Another Chance.  

That’s why 100% of our residents, formerly homeless individuals who struggle with a variety of disabilities are given just that … Another Chance.

We can’t do that without you!

With your help, our residents have a HOME, for less money than remaining homeless in a shelter. Some bring their children with them, and we make sure those kids get the supportive services they need, too.

Our housing program also reduces healthcare costs for the individual and for the community as a whole … because people who have a home don’t use the emergency room to get healthier. We also help them navigate the health care system before there’s a crisis.

If you take our entire budget – which runs all of our buildings, pays rent to our landlords, pays our staff, covers our program and administrative costs, and divide that by the 124 people we house at any point in time, we spend only $15,600 per person per year.

Permanent supportive housing is more effective and cheaper, over a year, than the cost of providing beds in a shelter. Plus, it’s more dignified and, most importantly, permanent.

Last year, our 98 slots supported change for 125 different households. We operate 4 housing buildings in Baltimore City. Beyond that, we work directly with landlords to provide additional rental homes for the rest of our residents.  

Last year, because of changes in the federal HUD program, we housed more of the most vulnerable and most needy residents than we’ve ever served before. On average our residents have incomes well under $10,000 and have multiple disability diagnoses. This means they are dealing with multiple issues that led to them becoming homeless. In response, we’ve added more intensive staffing and life-skills programs to keep everyone safe and stable. It takes a lot of time and hard work on both sides.

That means our needs are greater than they’ve ever been. And the lives of the women you just met are, quite genuinely, hanging in the balance.

We need you to …

Be a superhero of change!

We need you to …

Protect the WHC’s mission and help other people experiencing homelessness get stable housing and supportive services!

We need you to …

Open your hearts and …PowerUP!  

PowerUp with WHC and become a Superhero of Change.  

You can PowerUp by:

  • Becoming a corporate volunteer partner
  • Sharing our message and mission so more people know more about WHC.
  • Making a direct donation.

For example, if 200 more people made a $75 donation, that’s the equivalent of housing 1 additional person for an entire year for $15,000.  Now that’s the Power of Powering Up.

Ms. Jane, a former WHC resident, recently sent me a letter. Prior to becoming involved with our housing program in the early 2000s. Ms. Jane experienced homelessness due to untreated mental health issues.

Jane wrote, “With the help of WHC’s housing and support, I was able to …

  • Get my mental health problems under control
  • return to school
  • obtain a master’s degree
  • and move into my own apartment.”

She eventually left the program and maintains her own apartment.  She attached a $400 check in honor of her retirement indicating,

“As a remembrance to the WHC for the support you provided me in my time of need … I want to help brighten the lives for some of your current residents.”

The gifts you give will do more than just brighten lives. They will, without exaggeration, make those lives, possible.

And for that, we thank you.