Schedule your donation for Thursday, June 14. Help Healthcare for the Homeless win Twive and Receive.

Growing up, it may have been natural for you to go to the doctor when you were sick. Only later did you realized that others aren’t so lucky, especially families who are homeless.

Fortunately, for those families in Baltimore, Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) exists. HCH gives families without homes a place where they can receive comprehensive medical care and connect with other needed services, such as access to education, employment, and housing. HCH helps these families become healthy, happy, and housed.

Every morning at 4 am, people start lining up, perching on the stairs or sitting on the patio, waiting for HCH in Baltimore City location to open its doors. Social workers and nurses walk the line, asking questions, and ensuring that any emergencies are addressed.

When the doors open at 7:30 am, the line moves inside to a spacious waiting room with standard green chairs. Appointment order is set, and clients sit patiently, waiting their turn for an appointment with a doctor, a dentist, a psychiatrist, a social worker, or an addictions counselor.

The number of people relying on HCH for services is growing. A study from Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University showed that Baltimore’s homeless population increased 20 percent between 2009 and 2011, with the number of young people (13 to 24) who are homeless increasing by 50 percent.

Reminders of this increase show up across Baltimore, in the form of vacant houses and in the people asking for help from passing cars along major roadways. This made it natural, when learning of Twive and Receive, for us, a group of Baltimoreans who met through social media, to join together to support HCH and show that Baltimore is America’s Most Charitable City.

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