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Work is nearly done on the gas leak at Poe Homes, now residents say it's time to fix the crime problem

Poe Homes Gas
Posted at 10:06 PM, Jul 26, 2021

BALTIMORE — Residents at Poe Homes in Baltimore were left without gas for three days after an underground leak was discovered Saturday morning.

Crews spent the past three days making repairs. At 4:00 p.m., a spokesperson for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) said service should be back to normal "within the next 24 hours".

An HABC worker who was at the site said all units could have their gas back on by midnight once crews finish relighting each stove on the property of about 280 units.

As of 9 p.m.. Monday, it's unclear if residents cooking gas has been restored.

The issue is one of many problems the community has faced over the years. In 2019, a water main break left residents without water for about five days.

However, Leslie Ware said he and other neighbors' main concern is the crime that continues to plague the area.

“This is not a third world country for little children to wake up with blood and brains on the street to walk over," he said.

Ware said it’s been "miserable" not being able to use his stove since Saturday but called it the least of the worries because of the shootings and killings in the area.

“We call Lexington Street murder row," Ware said.

Ware, who is the former president of the Poe Homes Tenant Council, said he and his neighbors have brought their concerns about crime to the city, but he said nothing is being done.

"They have money for parking lots. They have money for a new office. They have money to put in gold cone. They money to put in fences," he said. But they don’t have any funds to give their residents a reasonable amount of safety.”

Ware said he and many of his neighbors are now considering putting their rent money into an escrow account to force the city to address their concerns.

"They might throw one of us out, but I like to see them throw us all out at the same time," he said.

He said the living conditions because of the violence are deplorable

Ware said it’s about time for a change.

“My only question is to them if your mother lived down here and you was in charge would you not change the conditions. Would you want your mother living like this?

A spokesperson with HABC sent us a statement, which addressed the concerns from Ware and other residents.

"We agree with our residents that they deserve an expectation of security, and we are doing everything within our power, including working closely with Baltimore City Police, to address these issues," said spokeswoman Ingrid Antonio.

The statement continued, "Tragically, our city is experiencing unacceptable levels of violent crime. Most criminal incidents in question do not happen at Poe Homes but rather in the surrounding community. When crime does find its way onto our property, as it did recently, the actors typically are not Poe residents. We plan to continue to work with and listen to residents at Poe Homes and the surrounding community to seek solutions to this plague of violence together. Poe residents are good people just trying to live without fear. We stand with them."