Cumberland Times-News


August 26, 2013


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.


Text Only
  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014