Pubdate: Sat, 25 Jun 2005
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2005 The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Author:  Clare M. Gorman


The Sun's article "City census finds a rise in homeless population"
(June 13) reported that 40 percent of the people who participated in
the homeless census are homeless because of a health problem.

While many addicts are not willing to identify or report their
addiction or identify it as a health problem, my experience is that
many of the health problems encountered, and the homelessness that
results, stem from a root cause of addiction - either to drugs or
alcohol or often both - that affects an addict's mental and physical

While affordable housing is an important need in Baltimore, the
availability of and access to drug and alcohol addiction recovery and
treatment programs are equally important.

An addict who is spending all of his or her money on drugs or alcohol,
who is unable to become steadily and gainfully employed, is not going
to be able to afford or maintain a residence no matter how
"affordable" it is.

We must begin to address the primary root causes of homelessness,
including addiction and mental illness, to truly make an impact in the
lives of the majority of Baltimore's homeless.

Clare M. Gorman

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin