First Blog Post

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View of MLK Encampment from Mulberry Street – February 28, 2017

Greetings! My name is Laura. I’m 30 years old, live in the Old Goucher neighborhood in Baltimore City, MD, and work as a transportation planner. I recently finished my master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at Morgan State University and wrote my thesis/capstone project on ways planners can help solve unsheltered homelessness, titled “The Last, the Least, and the Lost: Compassionate Planning for Baltimore’s Unsheltered Homelessness.” As part of this effort, I created an ethnography of several residents living in an encampment just west of downtown Baltimore. I spent countless hours with them and learned about their lives, goals, and desires. We shared food and friendship. I learned that while physical needs (like housing) are important, people living unsheltered have emotional and social needs, too.

This was never just a project to me – I genuinely care about the people I met, consider them friends, and still keep in touch with some of them.

I started this blog as a continuation of that effort. Unsheltered homelessness has become a serious issue in Baltimore that unfortunately isn’t going away anytime soon. My plan is for this blog to give the unsheltered homeless a voice and to help bring their plight to the forefront of Baltimore while also proposing solutions that would ameliorate their lives.

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