BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Jack Young believes he has a solution to end issues related to Baltimore’s squeegee kids, but it won’t be cheap.
After spending two months talking to squeegee kids, community members, business owners and education professionals, the Baltimore mayor’s office of Children and Family Success has released a nearly $1.2 million plan to help deter the youth from working at city intersections and redirect their energy.
The Squeegee Alternative Plan hopes to immediately address issues related to the squeegee kids and then give them the support needed so they can get back into school or get a job.
The city will deploy bike patrol police to the intersections with the most reported complaints about squeegee kids to ensure the community’s safety, including the squeegee kids themselves. The city has also hired two full-time staffers at the cost of $120,000 to recruit youth off intersections and into the Connect-2-Success program which will link city youth with mentors.
The city will also have their Youth Support Services Manager work with the children to ensure they have the documentation necessary to either enroll in school or get a job.
They will also mandate that eligible children meet with resources at Baltimore City Public Schools to ensure they have the support they need to complete their education. The city will also link parents and guardians with services they may need to help support their family.
The city is also helping to link teens up with jobs through their Earn-As-You-Grow program.
Longer-term, sustainable solutions include establishing a 311 assistance protocol that allows commuters to call for assistance and triggers youth outreach, link the teens with mentors long-term and establish a pop-up Youth Connection Center.
Read the mayor’s full plan: Squeegee Alternative Plan