Camp83 residents want better solutions to homelessness

BALTIMORE - UPDATE | Advocates on scene say residents of Camp83 have moved their belongings out of their tents and are not on site, minutes before the city's deadline to evacuate.

Baltimore City has set a 8 a.m. deadline for the residents of Camp83 to leave their home under I-83, the Jones-Falls Expressway. 

At 7 a.m. Advocacy group, Housing Our Neighbors, community members, students, and people experiencing homelessness are gathering at the encampment to to be a visual display of what they say is the "city's lack of investment in the resources that are necessary to end homelessness in Baltimore."

Housing Our Neighbors wants the city to work to provide permanent, affordable, supportive housing, along with mental health and addiction treatment.

The groups said in a statement that the City is "mistakenly wasting time and energy on temporary Band-Aids to assuage their consciousness of not being good stewards to the most vulnerable residents of Baltimore City experiencing homelessness when vital City resources are being allocated to provide $1 million dollars to bail out the failing Hilton Hotel."

Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke is introducing a resolution calling on the city to store the campers' belongings and to put them up in motels temporarily or to extend the deadline by three months. Private advocates had come forward with temporary housing.

At the eleventh hour Thursday, less than 24 hours before the eviction deadline, private advocates had come forward with temporary housing.
"It's coming together," said Clarke, "I think that we will have everyone under roof with heat by the time 8 o'clock tomorrow morning comes."

That's good news for the camp's mayor, Nathan Quarterman, who says the shifting hours, rules and treatment that come with city shelters made the site across from Central Booking look like a paradise.
"I understand about rules, but to me that is no different than being over here," said Camp83 resident Quarterman as he motioned towards the jail, "The only difference is you don't have bars, sir."



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