April 29, 2009

United Way's cuts will help homeless

We applaud the United Way of Central Maryland for its decisive action to ensure that more financial resources go directly to those most in need ("United Way eases fees for designated gifts," April 19).

At Health Care for the Homeless, demand for our services is up as more low-income Marylanders make impossible choices among health care, food, rent, transportation and other basic needs. Indeed, this year, we've witnessed a 15 percent increase over 2008 levels in the number of individuals seeking our services for the first time.

The United Way's voluntary move to slash administrative fees means that more of the money given to us through workplace campaigns will directly support our work to end homelessness.

The United Way's elimination of vacant positions and its mandatory furloughs signal its willingness to join its nonprofit and public partners in doing more with less.

Now is the time for public policy to match private-sector philanthropy.

Federal and state efforts to increase access to health care, affordable housing and livable wages must complement added private-sector generosity.

Jeff Singer

Kevin Lindamood, Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, the president and CEO and a vice president of Health Care for the Homeless, Inc.

Pollution still fouls future crab feasts

The editorial "Not a feast just yet" (April 21) accurately describes the current state of the threatened blue crab and the measures Maryland and Virginia have instituted to protect it.

However, the editorial understates the adverse effects of the measures on commercial crabbers and the importance of reducing pollution to the long-term health of the crabs and the bay.

Carl Tobias, Richmond, Va.

The writer is a law professor at the University of Richmond.

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