Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

August 26, 2013

Homelessness

Local problem growing worse

While local officials are not able to say with certainty how many people in Allegany County are homeless, an article in last Saturday’s Times-News leaves no doubt that the problem is not going away. If anything, it is growing worse.

According to a composite counted by local agencies that deal with homelessness, 153 people have no place of their own to stay.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Deanna Clark, speaking of homelessness in Allegany County. She has 15 years’ experience as director of housing opportunity for the Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission.

A number of agencies and organizations are in the thick of trying to help the homeless. Among them are the Union Rescue Mission, Allegany County Department of Social Services, the Western Maryland Food Bank and other local food pantries, HRDC and various agencies funded by United Way.

“I don’t know whether homelessness is increasing or not, but I know we are full,” the Rev. Dan Taylor of the Union Rescue Mission said. “We (provide shelter for) 300 men, women and children a year. Same number year after year, but the faces are different.”

Taylor and others believe much of the problem stems from the struggling economy and the lack of job opportunities. Another factor is the reduction or elimination of federal grants that subsidize low-income housing.

There are no easy answers to reducing the homeless population. What is clear, though, is that the social agencies and nonprofit groups who are trying to help the disadvantaged in our area need the community’s help more than ever before — especially given the cuts in federal aid.

The year 2014 will be an election year. It behooves candidates from the federal level on down to make the homelessness issue an important part of their conversation with voters.

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo