On Tuesday, November 23rd, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s administration released a 90 Day Squeegee Action Plan to connect youth with employment opportunities, improve traffic safety, and develop the City’s long-term strategic plan for supporting disconnected young men and boys. Mayor Scott’s Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS) and Office of African American Male Engagement (MOAAME) will spearhead the effort.
Mayor Scott explained the urgent need for this initiative in a press release:
“Seeing such a large number of young people on corners illustrates our failings as a city. This practice has been part of Baltimore culture for a long time, growing over the last 20 years to become more widespread, visible and divisive. We have to acknowledge the trauma, and challenges our youth that squeegee face,” said Mayor Scott. “I understand what many of these young men and women are going through. It is crucial that we look at this as a public health matter, look at the underlying factors that cause these young people to squeegee and provide wrap-around services to give them the support they need.”
The 90 day plan will focus on three core tenets:
1) Outreach and Engagement – MOAAME will deploy engagement staff to targeted intersections, host bi-weekly “Resources to the Corner” events throughout the month of December to connect youth that squeegee to vital support services, and facilitate community conversations between disconnected young people, businesses, and other stakeholders.
2) Youth and Motorist Safety – The administration will recruit, train, and deploy Traffic Control Staff to high-traffic intersections to ensure the safety of both youth and motorists. A 311 notification system will be established with 311, BPD and MOAAME to better target outreach to young people at busy intersections.
3) Connection to Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship – MOCFS will work with local employers to hire disconnected youth and develop a pilot program to provide young people a daily stipend for working day jobs throughout the city.
On Thursday, November 18th, MACo’s Board of Directors visited Baltimore City and discovered a number of community development projects led by the City’s resilient population. The Board also met with Mayor Scott and discussed many of the systemic issues facing Baltimore City and the collaborative approach adopted by the Mayor’s administration to address them: