Address books to help those with no address

Sale to raise funds for the homeless in Baltimore County

January 03, 2000|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County is selling address books to raise money to help adults and children whose poverty, mental illness or drug addiction keeps them address-less.

The book, called "let's address homelessness," is selling well at $10 a copy, officials said.

County officials hope that the books -- filled with photographs of homeless adults and children, drawings, testimonials, statistics and inspirational sayings -- will raise about $30,000 to aid the homeless.

Pleasant Plains Elementary School was among the groups that helped to produce the books. Pupils there sold $1,500 worth of tickets to a sock hop and a question-and-answer session with Orioles coach Elrod Hendricks.

"We look at it as something we should be doing to raise the awareness level of the children," said David Shauck, a teacher and administrator at the school.

"Now, when our kids hear about homelessness, it's not so nameless and faceless," he said.

The county has 200 beds for homeless people and two shelters for emergency use during freezing weather. But some adults and children in the county don't have regular shelter.

Part of the problem is that a booming economy has obscured the issue.

"Times are good, and when that happens, and more people who are at the lower end of the economy are working, we lose sight of people who just haven't been able to hook onto the boom times that the rest of [us] are enjoying," said Maureen Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services, which contributed $3,500 to publish the books.

The Baltimore County Board of Education added $1,500.

Photos in the address book were taken by Nancy Arsenault, Chantal Dussuel, Todd Fry, Jessica Green, Stacie Marshall, and Nicole Martyn -- student photographers with the University of Maryland, College Park's Photo Outreach Program.

Moments caught by photographers at homeless shelters around the county include a joyful child turning a cartwheel, a pensive pregnant woman and a group of smiling men.

The address books include touching testimonials. One child wrote: "My stepfather hit my mom. And my mom said she is calling the police. And then the police came. And he slapped her. And she took his glasses so he couldn't see her and hurt her."

To purchase an address book, call 410-887-3763 or 410-853-3501.

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