By Mark Furst, President & CEO
“But this is my house, the one I asked Mr. Kringle for. It is! I know it is! My room upstairs is like I knew it would be!” -Miracle on 34th Street
When you think about enjoying a warm and memorable holiday, it’s a safe bet that it involves friends, family and that special place called home. Home is where the spirit of family and the holidays lives.
For many families across central Maryland, that picture of home isn’t warm and bright. Home may be the inside of a car, a relative’s couch or even a cot at a homeless shelter. If a family is lucky enough to find room in a shelter, there’s a good chance they’ll be split up if they have a large family, teenage sons, or a father.
One-of-a-kind event bringing help, hope and momentum to hundreds
Melinda Jones beamed as her hair was lathered up with shampoo and cut for the first time in a long time. Nearby, her 17 year-old sister Karen was being examined by an optometrist and received her first pair of glasses. And around the corner, their mom Christina was obtaining copies of birth certificates for her children, a state photo ID for herself, and an updated resume on a new flash drive.
If you’re not homeless or about to be, chances are you’ve never heard of Baltimore’s Project Homeless Connect, made possible in part by United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM). The one-of-a-kind event makes it easy for members of our homeless community to navigate a network of services by making everything available -- all in one place at one time. Most services are provided on the spot, ranging from health screenings, dental treatments and housing assistance, to personal hygiene and food.
You may now miss the opportunity to tour the White House or see the Navy's Blue Angels perform their aerial acrobatics -- thank sequestration. If you find yourself waiting in longer security snake lines at the airport, thank sequestration.
Inconveniences and delays are bad enough, but the recently imposed across-the-board five percent federal budget cuts are starting to have much deeper, and perhaps lasting effects. What happens to the health of our nation’s food supply and our food exports when USDA inspectors are furloughed? Sequestration will affect much of the federal civilian workforce and will hit Marylanders and our economy especially hard.