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Episcopal charity The Ark keeps afloat for homeless kids’ sake

Episcopal charity The Ark keeps afloat for homeless kids’ sake

In The Baltimore Sun, Jean Marbella writes about The Ark, a program of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland.

The Ark, the only state-accredited preschool for homeless children in Baltimore City, was faced eviction this summer when the building it was located in was sold. After a bit of a storm, however, The Ark eventually settled down into the “clean, bright, positive space” at Johnston Square Elementary School.

So good on Johnston Square, and congratulations to the dove aboard The Ark for coming back aboard with an an olive leaf. But if anything, Marbella says, resolution of one simple story relating to homelessness leaves us with many more irresolvable details about poverty.

In a city with such a persistent underclass, even this jump in the poverty rate — 20 percent in a year’s time — doesn’t provoke much more than a few shakes of the head. Maybe it’s just too hard to wrap your head around that much misery, or what exactly to do about it.

Or maybe it’s just easier to assume the poor got there on their own — never mind the crushing recession that has helped to add to the largest number of impoverished people since the census started tracking them — and they’re just going to have to get themselves out of it on their own, too.

But it’s harder to dismiss the most tragic part of the new census numbers — that 37 percent of Baltimore children live in poverty.


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