Gaddy asks schools to help homeless

March 07, 2000|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

East Baltimore homeless advocate Bea Gaddy introduced her first legislative initiative yesterday, a resolution asking city schools to provide transportation for homeless children.

Gaddy, who in November was elected to represent the city's 2nd Councilmanic District, said the school system does not provide homeless children with free transportation as required by the federal McKinney Act of 1987.

The nonbinding resolution asks that free transportation to and from school be granted to homeless children within 48 hours of a child entering a shelter.

Gaddy said that when students become homeless, it can take up to two weeks to get them into the school transportation system.

School officials said that a transportation plan is in place for the 2,000 to 2,500 homeless students.

"Our homeless population is not treated any differently than any other students transported by yellow school bus," spokeswoman Vanessa Pyatt said.

In other action, the council introduced a resolution asking the state to extend $2.5 million in loans to the Great Blacks In Wax Museum Inc. for acquisition, demolition, repair, renovation, expansion and reconstruction of its property.

The museum on North Avenue is one of the nation's chief African-American tourist attractions.

Council President Sheila Dixon introduced an ordinance that would provide $215,000 to upgrade the computer system for the council and council president's office.

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