Remembering Baltimore’s homeless who died this year: On the longest night of the year, National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is commemorated in Baltimore by a memorial service at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre. One hundred and sixteen people died in Baltimore as a result of homelessness, according to organizations which sponsored the event: Healthcare for the Homeless, Inc.; Baltimore’s Stop Homelessness and Reduce Poverty (SHARP) Coalition, the Coalition for Homeless Children and Families, and the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative (BHYI).
1. Tony Simmons, 53, who is homeless, says this is the third year he lost a friend. “There were seven of us. We started in 2012. All of us came to the shelter together. It was Dana [who died first]. Last year was Donald. This year is Mark Wilson. It’s down to four of us.” (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
2. The following remembrance was read by Adam Schneider with Health Care for the Homeless, Inc. “Dallas Warren was born into homelessness on May 1, 2013. She was a happy baby- a little bright spot- who brought joy to those around her in the shelter. She died homeless a mere nine months later- one week before her family re-secured housing. She died from complication from the flu- and from a sick society that permits its children to live and die homeless.” (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
3. Bottom row from left: Damien Haussling who was formerly homeless and now works for SHARP; Emily Torstveit Ngara, and Meredith Johnston listen to the speakers eulogize homeless men and women who have died. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
4. The following tribute was read for Daniel Mingle. “Daniel Mingle was a wonderful man to be around. His presence was invigorating, catching your attention as soon as he blew into the room -huffing and puffing with today’s story on his lips. He enjoyed traveling on the light rail, crafts, reading the newspaper, clipping coupons and finding deals on household items. The smile he wore was times infinity. He never let you know how much pain he was in, from the stage 4 cancer in his stomach. Everyone in the convalescent dormitory looked out for him on bad nights. We thought that we were helping him, when he was really helping us. He taught us about humanity, living each moment with dignity and respect, and how to seek wonders outside ourselves….” (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
5. “This evening we have gathered… to speak aloud the names and honor the lives of those of our brothers and sisters who have died due to homelessness….We express our sadness and grief that lives ended too soon. And we speak their names…. We speak their names because their names deserve to be spoken. We speak their names because their lives matter not only to us but to our creator. We speak their names as a constant reminder that we have a great work yet to do in ending homelessness in our city, our nation and our world.” Excerpt from speech by Rev. Jessica Statesman, Pastor of Old Otterbein United Methodist Church, who was one of several speakers at the service. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
6. Vanessa Borotz with Health Care for the Homeless, Inc. (HCH) spoke about Ina Jenkins who passed away this year. “Ina Jenkins was a remarkable young woman. She was a quiet, thoughtful person, with creative, insightful ideas and very talented at expressing herself…. Last year, around this time, she brought candy canes to share with fellow members of a group she attended at HCH. It was a small gesture that said a lot about her. She was wise for someone so young and generous for someone who had so little. After she died, we learned that she had graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland. Her life, full of promise, ended much too early but her memory is still very much alive.” (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD - In solidarity with the National Day of Anger, people gathered in downtown Baltimore to continue their journey for change. As they reached MLK Boulevard, marchers faced countless police lines as BPD tried to prevent their movement to M&T Bank Stadium and the Horseshoe Casino. As the rally moved on, the police continued to box marchers in at Battle Monument Park and eventually on North Avenue. At North Avenue, dozens of police and state troopers blocked protesters from going North, South, East, or West, with a police helicopter hovering above, loudly stating “This is an illegal assembly! Disperse now or you will be arrested!”. After 15 minutes of marchers asking police to let them leave, the line opened up and the rally continued a few more blocks north, where it ended with powerful words, unity, and hugs.