The Problem

Homeless Person on the Street

The Numbers



    On January 25, 2011, the City of Baltimore yielded a count of 4,094 homeless individuals.1

    That’s more than four times the number of beds at Johns Hopkins Hospital.


    Of the sheltered population, 34% were women and almost a third of them had children with them in the shelters.1

    On that one night, there were 384 children in Baltimore without a home.



    In 2010, programs for those experiencing homelessness in Baltimore served 23,902 people.2

    In 2010, the average attendance per game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was 21,662.


    Of those men, women and children, 9% of them (2,155) met the definition of chronic homelessness -- someone with a disabling condition who has been homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.2

    That number of people could almost fill the Hippodrome Theater. 



    In Fiscal Year 2009, there were 20,085 occasions on which people were refused shelter in Baltimore City due to lack of space or funds.3

    That number of people could fill the Comcast Center for a Terps basketball game. 






Homelessness and Housing



    The current Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Baltimore and surrounding areas is $1291 per month.4

    That’s about the same as the per-person cost of a 7-day cruise from Baltimore to the Caribbean


    Assuming a 40-hour work week for 52 weeks a year, the hourly wage necessary to afford that apartment is $24.83.4

    Minimum wage in Baltimore is about a third of that -- $7.25 per hour (less than the price of two lattes at Donna’s.)


    Maryland is the 4th most expensive state in the country for rental housing.4

    Behind only Hawaii, California and New Jersey.


Homelessness and Healthcare



    A study of emergency services usage in Baltimore found a strong connection between housing status and the frequency and number of visits to emergency rooms.5

    In an examination of three emergency rooms, the top 20 ER users accounted for 2,000 emergency room visits in one calendar year – at a total cost of $1 million.  18 of those 20 top users were homeless at some point in the year.5

    The most frequent user visited two emergency rooms 185 times in a year – that’s about every other day.5


Homelessness and Education



    Children without homes may be forced to change schools frequently, causing declines in educational achievement.6

    Homeless children are more likely than their low-income peers to drop out of school, repeat a grade, perform poorly on tests in the classroom and suffer from learning disabilities and behavioral problems.6



    1. Sources
    2. 1Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Human Services. (2011). Data provided upon request.

    3. 2 Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Human Services. (2011). Data provided upon request. Definition of Chronic Homelessness is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    4. 3 Maryland Department of Human Resources. (2011). "Annual Report on Homelessness."

    5. 4 National Low Income Housing Coalition. (2011). "Out of Reach 2011: Renters Await the Recovery."

    6. 5 Dipietro, B.Y. (2009). Living in the ED: The impact of homelessness on the frequent use of emergency departments in Baltimore City. Proquest Dissertations & Theses, 3324649.

    7. 6 Center for Housing Policy. (2007) The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education: A Research Study.