Homeless in Charm City – Notes on Corruption and Waste

Comrades Carlo and Lee

Capitalism does not seek to provide for everyone except those who own, and the evidence for that is never clearer than with the issue of homelessness. According to the Baltimore nonprofit, “Healthcare For The Homeless”, there are nearly 3,000 people houseless in our city, however these figures are debated. What we know concretely is that the city of Baltimore does not care about unhoused people nor does it intend to do anything about this persistent problem, which is directly tied to the continued existence of Capitalism-Imperialism. We arrived at this conclusion after a series of interviews with Houseless individuals and the Homeless Outreach Team organized and paid for by the city, along with study of Marxist classics on the housing question. The purpose of the Homeless Outreach Team is to act as a political football, a convenient token program for the elites to drag up and point to if they are asked about the topic. The team claims they are materially assisting the homeless and targeting healthcare costs, affordable housing, living wages, etc. to do this. However, a quick look at The Journey Home Project, the shell nonprofit organization the city uses for homeless services, shows how hollow the city’s words are. The tax returns show a story of negligence and volatile funding, sometime running a negative balance and other times positive, with no employees and all money being used to pay for unnamed assets.

A normal corporation has employees, and expenses, but the shell non-profit run by the city has neither. We wanted to look into what kind of asset costs nearly $320,000 and disappears the year after its bought. When we spoke to a representative of the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, she explicitly admitted that they did employ 6 people. She expressed she did not feel underfunded or understaffed. However, she did not explain how the money was being spent, nor could she provide any examples of the city helping anyone. We went into the field to investigate, and there we met Larry, an older man who had been homeless for 20 years. He denied ever seeing any representative from the city, adding that it was mostly people in cars or passersby who looked out for him. We spoke to Larry about what he thought the city was doing with the money meant for him, and like us, he was puzzled. Larry said he refused to visit the shelter due to a history of abuse he suffered there, starting as a child. The very same kind of trauma often ignored in colonized populations.

We are puzzled by the mystery of the ghost outreach team which is allegedly “out there every day”, according to their representative. If the city cared about this population, why is there no tangible evidence? Why do these tax returns look like they were written the night before they were due with figures unaccounted for? When we emailed the outreach team for a follow up, our email went unanswered. While FTP Baltimore unravels this contradiction, we will continue to provide free food daily to those in need to find a solution to this pressing issue.

We demand, unequivocally, the city show us the receipts!

Combat houselessness with revolution!

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