What’s happening?

Four housing organizers and homelessness prevention advocates delivered a letter to Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott last week asking him to set aside $126 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support six projects led by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, reports Fern Shen for the Baltimore Brew. 

Anthony Williams, of Housing Our Neighbors, said the need is urgent as the city is shutting down its COVID-related program that currently places hundreds of people in hotels. 

What are the six programs that the advocates want funded? 

  • Housing accelerator fund 
  • Homelessness diversion program 
  • Rapid resolution program 
  • Purchase of housing facilities 
  • Housing navigation and recruitment support program 
  • Shelter demobilization program 

You can read more about the initiatives here and here

Anything else I should know? 

Baltimore officials received a total of $641 million from ARPA. So far, Mayor Scott has announced allocations of $80 million for the city’s response to COVID-19, $50 million toward gun violence prevention, and $35 million to close the city’s digital divide.

As for the remaining funds, Shamiah Kerney, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs, says her office has received 500 project proposals thus far. 

You can read more here