SIGN ON: Baltimore City COVID-19 Housing & Food Emergency Protections

Re:  COVID-19 Housing & Food Emergency Protections

Dear Mayor Young, Council President Scott, City Council Members, and Governor Hogan, 

We the undersigned request that the Mayor, City Council, and Board of Estimates take the following actions to meet the emergency housing and food needs of our most vulnerable residents during this time of National and State emergency:

  1. Rapidly rehouse our vulnerable neighbors who frequent emergency shelters and homeless encampments in hotel rooms, permanent housing, and permanent supportive housing for those who choose;
  2. Commit city resources to eviction prevention, including emergency rental assistance and energy/utility assistance; 
  3. Explore implementing full and immediate rent and mortgage forgiveness for all residents for six (6) months or until adequate and permanent assistance provisions are in place and readily accessible; and   
  4. Supplement and expand emergency feeding programs for City residents for six (6) months or until adequate and permanent assistance provisions are in place and readily accessible.

People experiencing homelessness are often in close proximity to other people in shelters and encampments, have less access to resources to maintain good hygiene, and have a higher rate of chronic illness that puts them at heightened risk of contracting, spreading, and having more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Our neighbors experiencing homelessness must have the same opportunities to limit their exposure and maintain stringent hygiene practices, both for the wellbeing of every member of our community and to prevent the spread of a much greater public health crisis. 

Most shelters are crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation.   High touch surfaces also are prominent. After exposure, symptoms of the virus can take anywhere from two to 14 days to become apparent.   Hotel rooms, however, are going empty and workers are losing wages. As the City owns the Hilton Hotel, this accommodation may be less costly than most.  Permanent rental options can be secured with city funds as well.

As you know, Baltimore City Code, Art. 1, Sec. 39-1 et. seq. requires existing and proposed city actions to meet equity tests relative to race, gender, sexual orientation and income.  The City’s latest point-in-time count report showed that 70% of those in emergency shelter are Black or African-American, and 3% of Hispanic/Latinx. If Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native and multiple race individuals are added, 77% of those sheltered in the City are racial minorities.  Seventy-two percent of those counted were men. All are destitute. 

Preventing evictions that will likely result in homelessnes should also be a major priority for the City in this emergency.  While evictions and foreclosures are postponed at the moment, we anticipate an onslaught of eviction and foreclosure actions as soon as the Court of Appeals lifts the postponement.  Approximately 52% of Baltimore’s households are renters. Fifty three percent (53%) of city renters (58,716) pay more than one-third of their income in housing, which is considered unaffordable.  Low-income homeowners, like renters, are in a similar affordability crunch. Forty percent of city homeowners pay more than one-third of their income in housing. These households are already on the edge of foreclosure and subsequent eviction, and many will be pushed over the edge by this pandemic. 

Increasing shelter occupation for families, children and vulnerable adults that will result from evictions will only exacerbate this public health crisis. Considering the statistics above, a failure to act is placing a greater burden on the African American and minority communities of this City to face this pandemic, and actually placing them in harm's way. It is common knowledge that Black mothers are most likely to  be evicted, even compared to whites in the same socio-economic status. A failure to prepare now to provide extensive eviction prevention assistance is a race equity issue.   

Another source of immediate relief for renters and homeowners could be mandated rent and mortgage forgiveness in which the landlord or bank foregos rent or mortgage payments for a specified period of time.  Other jurisdictions are exploring this option to provide immediate relief to working class families, and Baltimore should do so as well.

Finally, feeding programs already designated may run short of staff and supplies.  We implore you to use funds to keep the programs open, with expansion to geographic areas most isolated (i.e. South Baltimore, Westport, Cherry Hill, Mt. Winans, Lakeland, Curtis Bay, Brooklyn). 

The City should use its Budget Stabilization Fund (“Rainy Day Fund”), roughly $90 million,  and other available resources (including short-term borrowing) to meet many of these urgent needs.  We understand the Rainy Day Fund is designed to stabilize a budget that has been impacted by a shortfall in revenues and/or an unanticipated and uncorrectable emergency expense.  These are emergency expenses that will save lives and contribute to the overall economic recovery of the City -- including the City’s revenue -- and are warranted by this emergency.  

Respectfully Submitted, 

 

cc:

Dana P Moore, Acting City Solicitor, dana.moore@baltimorecity.gov 

Matthew Garbark, Acting Director, Dept. of Public Works, Matthew.Garbark@baltimorecity.gov 

Joan Pratt, Baltimore City Comptroller, Joan.Pratt@baltimorecity.gov

Jerrianne Anthony, Dir. of Mayor’s Off. of Homeless Servs., jerrianne.anthony@baltimorecity.gov

Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Health Dept. Commissioner, bchd2@baltimorecity.gov

Michael Braverman, Commissioner, Dept. of Hous. and Comm. Dev., Michael.Braverman@baltimorecity.gov 

The Hon. Barbara Waxman, Admin. Judge, Dist. Ct. of Md. for Balt. City, Barbara.Waxman@marylandcourts.gov 

Sheriff John Anderson, John.Anderson@baltimorecity.gov 

 

SIGNATORIES (LIST UPDATED DAILY)

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

Councilman Ed Reisinger

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clark 

Councilman John Bullock 

Councilman Ryan Dorsey 

ORGANIZATIONS

Baltimore Peace Action
Baltimore Chapter Veterans For Peace
Baltimore 350
MD Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
The Open Door
Instituto SUSTENTAR de Estudos e Pesquisas em Sustentabilidade
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
Platinum Realty Advisors
Homeless Persons Representation Project 
Catholic Community of St Anthony of Padua, St Dominic & Most Precious Blood
B'More Clubhouse
Youth Empowered Society (YES Drop-In Center)
Johns Hopkins University Sit-in
Showing Up for Racial Justice Baltimore Chapter
Open Justice Baltimore
SPARC Center
Baltimore City Green Party
Partners for Dignity and Rights
Echotopia LLC
Advocates for Children and Youth
Hawn Therapy and Consulting
Housing Our Neighbors
St. Vincent de Paul Church
Oak Hill Center for Education And Culture
National Lawyers Guild Maryland Chapter
Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America
Equal Access language services
Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl
Moorish Science Temple
Asylee Women Enterprise
Our Revolution Baltimore City/County
Disability Rights Maryland
MD Heroin Awareness Advocates
MPAC- Maryland Peer Advisory Council
Sunrise Movement Baltimore
YWAM Baltimore
Twist Fells Point
Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition
United Workers
South Baltimore Community Land Trust 

 

INDIVIDUALS

David Rodwin
Charlotte Keniston
Anna Simons
Sarah Tooley
Shira Wolf
Isaac Dalto
Aimee Pohl
Aryah Fradkin
Heather Hax
patricia halle
Jeanne Sears
Margaret Flowers
Ursula Populoh
M Carlisle
Zafar Shah
William Barry
Betty Robinson
Mary Kambic
Arlene Ogurick
Chauna Brocht
Nancy Assero
Richard Bruning
Chelsea Hayman
Heather Kangas
Lauren Siegel
Ann Kennedy
Jason Castonguay
Kate O’Bannon
Andrea Calderón
Susan Sprouse
Sophie Reverdy
George Ciscle
Katharine Rylaarsdam
Daniel Sparks
Mary Reardon
Colline Emmanuelle
Robin Bingham
Nicole King
Marilyn Julius
Nathan Mishler
Debbie Woolley
Christopher White
T Hamboyan Harrison
Nicole Fabricant
Iletha Joynes
Robi Rawl
Rosalie Dance
Jonathan Law
Danielle Longchamps
Ryan Flanigan
Laura Menyuk
Charlie Cooper
Bonnie Lane
Haley Sweet
Valeska Populoh
Amanda DeStefano
Sergio España
Christina Gatto
Jonathan Rochkind
Jennifer Curtis
Jeff Brunell
Amanda Fox
Lois Hybl
Keisha Allen
Brittney Baltimore
Todd Cherkis
Anton Woronczuk
Laudia Leight
Laur Cohen
Matt Hill
Michele Levy
Michael Pesa
Denise Lytle
Sailor Holobaugh
Gregory Sawtell
Allyson Mattanah
Carol Rice
liz carey
Tyler Quinn
Alexa White
Miriam Avins
Karie Firoozmand
Deborah Smith
Chris Merriam
Claude Guillemard
Sandy Robson
Jean Zachariasiewicz
Stephen Thomas
Michael Palumbo
Megan McShea
Natalya Brusilovsky
Mary Bunting
Dennis Moore
Matthew Yake
Nina Minadakis
Jenny Sorel
Stephanie Pettaway
Emily Parker
Martha Barss
Hilary Flores-Hebert
Daniela Beall
Shannon Epps
Kimberly Singletary
Herminda Morales
Dwanda Farmer
Berenike Carstarphen
Mimi Cukier
Audrey Rogers
John Schmidt
Kevin Muhitch
Jeff Garrett
Nava Rastegar
Nancy Paris
Jarrett Farmer
Danielle Roberts
Terrel Askew
Ebonie Williams
Annie Weisburger
Mary Pat Clarke
Nancy Newman
Peter Matchette
Amy Tarleton
Amelia Hazen
Liz Hoey
Echo Leaver
Graham Coreil-Allen
Rebecca Armendariz
Margaret Epps
Claire Knezevic
Andrea Fraser
Rachel Viqueira
Jb Kenney
Sharon Davlin
Imani Stewart
Gerardo Benavides
Shantress Wise
Silvia Cohn
Erica Cerquetti
Cinder Hypki
Ariel Mcintosh
Michael Magrogan
Alison Howland
James Muratore
Joshua Espinoza
Betsy Krieger
Brian Dolge
Camille Wathne
Rachel Bollens
Michael Jacko
Askew Sanders
Elizabeth Hasan
Mary Retired
Taka Ono
Khadija Adell
Lydia Pecker
Maria Smaldone
Khalilah Harris
Mollie Fein
Michelle Hudnall
Spencer Ellsworth
Rust Coleman
Lauren Coleman
Joanna Brandt
Andrew Hinz
Carolina Paul
Craig Bettenhausen
Patricia Taylor
Sanaa Balghiti-Myers
Benjamin Glass-Siegel
Alice Barry
James Fulwiler
Mary Elieisar
Louise R Wright
Mary Triandafilou
Gassoh Goba
Alexander Haworth
Rosanne Liebermann
Kelly Curtis
Lara Clayborn
Bridgette Webb
Brian Johnson
Arielle Boyer
Angela Shaneyfelt
Laura Redfurn
Tisha Guthrie
Sherri Addison
Rebekah Horowitz
Lauren Goodsmith
Ellen Hutton
Bill Arey
Patricia Davila
Anushka Aqil
Fleesie Hunbard
Linda Kohler
Geoffrey Berryman
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Susan Dorsey
Elizabeth Rasmussen
Isabel McLain
Ava Hawkinson
Evan Drukker-Schardl
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Mira Wattal
Odessa Prater
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Danielle Austin
Jesse Chladil
Jennifer Spencer Heilman
Erin Schoeneman
Sarah Prescott
Susan Tuberville
Bernard Jones
Lee Domeika
Charles Whittington
Kristin lilly
Michael Dalto
Sharon Alkalay
Augusta Gribetz
Safiyyah Okoye
Ellis Woodward
Gracie Greenberg
Erika Sorg
Ira Adams
Alexandra Lazerow
Nadiyah Patterson
Sally Dworak-Fisher
Emma McGlennen
Gabrielle Thacker
Sam Wu
Hannah Lin
Jan Angevine
Helen Langa
Meleny Thomas
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Elsa Haarstad
Tj Butler
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Julia White
Toby Harris
Anna Haraseyko
David Reische
Matthew Shudtz
Hannah Kang
Anne C.A. Wilson
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Peggy Meyer
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Michelle Rockwell
Kira Gardner- Marshall
Brian Gregory
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Ky Swann
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Alyson Hatfield
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Morgan Thapa
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Chris George
Matthew Lewis
Kelsi Loos
Teresa Leslie
Onyinye Alheri
Melia Jannotta
CrumforCityCouncil
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Robert Jackson
A New Way - Dante Swinton for Baltimore City Mayor
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Joe Weiss
J Little
Brandy Baker
Ian Schlakman
Colleen Davidson
Olivia Chalkley
Joseph Mee
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Myahni Roman
Cara Dudzic
billy carnes
Alex Holt
Kushan Ratnayake
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Christopher Morgan
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Zach Zwagil
Matt Hodel
Mel Moore
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Kirsty Hambrick
amelia buttress
Carling Sothoron
Beth Emmerling
Lindsay Hammond
Amy Rose
Shawna Murray-Browne
Richard Elliott
Jay Kristensen
Amanda Morgan-Henry, LCSW-C
Latarsha Ellett
Tazkia Shah
Rana Saeed
Camille Seaberry
Chrysanthemum Desir
Jorge Santos
Aaron Smith
Eric Sipes
Danielle Pelaez
Mary Runk
Aubrei Barton
Ashleigh Kristensen
Amanda Benjamin
Vanessa Lee
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Jason Metcalfe
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Motzi Bread
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Christina Ralls
Adam Koren-Roth
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Harriet Smith
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Suzy Wright
Jessica Cassidy
Noelle Dubay
Jill Harrison
Michael Bjerngaard
Caroline Wexler
Nola Krosch
Muhammad H
jaime tebas
allison Saft
Olivia Bouton
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Samuel Humiston
Alexander Rediger
Chris Blocher
Timmy Reed
Rodriguez
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Richard Drews
Ashley Woolard
Maria Smith
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Inokentiy Aksentiev
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Malcolm Heflin
Patricia Cobb
Cynthia Miller
Denise Hesselton
Freda Mohr
Sunny Shin
Amy Harlib
Virginia Wirtz
Karen Brown
Amy Haesler
Ann Feild
Kelly Sprenkeling
colby sangree
Daria Pugh
Christopher Schlaich
Crystal Guengerich
Charles Herrick
Philip Smith
Jenelle Legge
Rebecca Sigman
Brian Martindale
Laura Mason
Robin Rhodes
Emily Feinberg
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Mary Jane Daley
Lauren Lamb
Adam Bezold
Anna Reganis
Elizabeth Baron
Sharron
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Salma Sharaf
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Kelly Barnes
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Zac Lawhon
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Klara Cachau-Hansgardh
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Elizabeth Flyntz
Jennifer DeRose
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Jonathan Jacobs
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Sarah D'Adamo
Odette Ramos
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Grace Smith
Claudia Balog
Joseph Neumann
Laurel Ady
shivani pandya
Brad Deason
Philip Glaser
Bret McCabe
Jordan Haven
Josh McCready
Ashanté Reese
Madeline Wells
Thea Kammerling
Taryn Tranby
Rachel Vann
Cameron Falby
Atticus Hebson
Conor Bean
Leana Houser
Dan Scott
jamison murphy
Louis Malizia
Jessica Herceg
Eileen Yu
Rosemary Asquino
Anastasia Kupstas
Jessica Weber
Runners4Justice
Eyrika Rucker
Alex Parry
Josh
Jennifer Doll
Gabriella Marang
Suzanne Phillips
Leon Colbert
Melika Carr
gaby nair
Charmingtons
Amanda Rothschild
Kevin Moreno
Tyler Mendelsohn
Andrew Harnden
Almut Slizyk
Siri Ming
Harel Newman
Annie Rouse
Sara Eisenberg
Mary Wilkinson
Allison Clayton
Seth Knight
Tom Hemmingson
Aaron Blickenstaff
Linden Tebo
Emma Cytrynbaum
Nicholas Johnson
Jake Carlo
Chelsey Dambro
Becky Bauer
Ben Taylor
Kate Ellis
Allison Franklin
Kimberly Long
karen Whittington
Morgan Dowty
Esther Chapman
Grant Scarboro
Elizabeth Ensz
Stefani Levin
James Foster
Krstina Lewis
Carrie Beha
Jason Weixelbaum
Alyssa Bernblum
Margaret Schneider
Deward Stepleton
Julie Kennedy
Daniel Motz
Eve Roberts
Felix Perez-Lugones
John Bernet
Scott Klinger
Briana Ciccarino
Alex Borleis
Adam Smith
Mary Monaco
Sojung Kim
Patricia Bahr
Turquoise Baker
Jamie Lee Fontaine
Talia Katz
Ben Ogedegbe
Max Fisher
Alessandro Zannirato
Lisa Mathias
Alicia Fitzgibbon
Dylan Thackston
Brittany Baird
Guy Hollyday
Jeffrey Hill
Katie Shlon
Jonathan Holtzman
Sungmey Lee
Mary Dunnigan
Casey Lane
Abby Cocke
Suzanne Thackston
Daniel Kelly
Jaime Marshall
Lauren Richardson
Amy
Greg Masters
Laura Cisneros
Kim
Janie
Romana Miller
Amanda Qu
Drew Dollinjer
Nicholas Farinacci
Joanne Clayton
Cyril Creque-Sarbinowski
Melissa Diamond
Rebecca Chenault
Joseph Mangino
Nancy Beatty
Michael Aderman
Haylee Worm
jeanne mccauleu MD
Ian Goldstein
Andrew Myers
Brian Levy
Isabela Kopp
Kaitlyn Golden
Patrick Evans
Kate Smith-Morse
Jacob Hamer
Em Worrell
Maeve Rose
Ashley Young
Nikki Heller
Suzanne Walker
Sheila Helgerson
Oz Amram
Jeff Singer
Tiffinee Scott, MPAC
Nathalee Tarver
Mpac Jones
Cassandra Bigelow
Anjana Muralidharan
Abbey Peko-Spicer
Janice Marable, MPAC
Kelly Baker Wiese
Madeleine Pope
Mickey Dehn
Elias Schutzman
Alicia Puglionesi
Will Anderson
jack flowers
Sarah Matas
Karen Wabeke
Kim Flash
Christy Gordon
Joshua Davis
Brianna So
Kristi Wilson
Julie Raphel
Kim T
Nithin Paul
Matt Parsons
Jacob Budenz
Amanda Minton
Gregory DiFranco
Melvina Crayton
Nicole Campion Dialo
Ava White
Michele Rosen
David Lopez
Pete Julius
Rahima Schwenkbeck
Sarah Lance
Katherine Grasso
Duncan Watts
Yajing Huang
Alicia Alston
Jamie Spitzer
Jo Ann Robinson
Valerie Hall
Tripti Soni
Jooyoung Lee
George Bourozikas
Ruth Dottin
969 SIGNATURES
GOAL: 100 signatures

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