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Baltimore receives HUD grant to end youth homelessness

Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 17:20:18-04

BALTIMORE — Brittany Lawrence is a mother of four; she is homeless–out on the street if not for a youth opportunity center named ‘Yo Baltimore’ on the city's east side.

"This is everything yes,” Lawrence said, “I've been here since 2012 and it is just like family to me. I am welcome at any given time. I am here Sundays and Saturdays as well so ’Yo Baltimore’ is my home please."

Otherwise – she nor her kids would have one.

Brittany is one of about 15 hundred homeless youth in this city, although some believe that number is five times that.

So, she and others were happy to hear that Baltimore was chosen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a $3.7 million grant to better address the issue.

Baltimore Mayor Young was flanked by both U.S. Senators, representatives and local council people as they spoke about how important it was to land this grant and push to end youth homelessness.

"We want our young people to be able to focus on their future,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “We don't want them having to spend their time worrying about whether they are going to have a safe place to live and really that is what this is all about."

And earlier this week...Baltimore got another boost from the feds, this time aimed at reducing violent crime.

Members of 18 law enforcement agencies housed together in Baltimore will assemble a strike force team to go after violent crimes rooted in gang and drug activity.

The federal government will fund it, but Baltimore County will manage it.

U.S. Attorney Robert Hur announced the plan flanked by just about every interested party except Mayor Jack Young.

Still -- in his first comments since the strike force announcement -- the mayor says he'll take the help.

"I was really happy that, that happened. I know that they had a press conference, but at that press conference I had already had something already on my schedule and it was late coming to us but our police commissioner was able to go there."

Young says he will take the help and seek more of it.

He also says he scheduled his own meeting with Hur Friday afternoon to hear the details of this strike force and how it will help reduce violence crime in Baltimore.