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Baltimore has more than 16,000 vacant houses. Why can’t the homeless move in?

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on May 13, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Originally published on The Washington Post by Terrence McCoy on May 12, 2015.

BALTIMORE — Mark Council knows a thing or two about Baltimore. In his 55 years here, he’s lived numerous lives. He’s been a cook. He’s been a mechanic. And now he’s a homeless person, a position that’s afforded him his closest view yet of a problem that’s eating the city from the inside.

Council, a stocky man with a beard flecked with gray, sees the vacant houses on his way to the homeless shelter. The gutted facades are inescapable, he says, blanketing entire city blocks. He peers up at them and can’t help but feel frustrated.

“I look at all of these vacant houses, and I’m like, ‘I could be living in one of these houses,’ ” Council said. “I think, ‘We all, all the homeless, could be living in one of those houses.’ ”

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