Mayor Scott Revamps Squeegee Outreach Efforts with Focus on Supporting Disconnected Youth and Improving Public Safety
Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scott Administration Releases 90 Day Squeegee Action Plan to Connect Youth with Employment Opportunities and Develop City’s Long-term Strategy
BALTIMORE, MD (Tuesday, November 23, 2021) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, along with the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS) and the Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement (MOAAME), announced 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.
“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 Brandon M. 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.”
Over the next 90 days, the Scott Administration will intensify outreach and engagement efforts, expand our partnerships with employers and increase the opportunities available to our young people that squeegee. As part of this 90 day effort, Mayor Scott will launch a Boys and Men of Color Cabinet that will engage academic, business, and community partners to build a comprehensive strategy for connecting the City’s disconnected boys and men of color to opportunity. The new strategic framework will be presented to the public in early 2022.
“We are looking to develop a strategy that tackles this issue in a way that is humane, measured and addresses the safety and wellbeing of all stakeholders,” said Deputy Mayor for Equity, Health, and Human Services Faith Leach. “We know that many of the people who engage in squeegeeing are generating income for their families, be it for bills, toiletries, or the rent. We cannot leave disconnected youth out of the conversation. We have to bring them in and center our strategy around their concerns in order to get to the root of this issue.”
The 90 Day Squeegee Action Plan will focus on ways to holistically improve the quality-of-life of disconnected youth in three core focus areas:
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.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Scott and Deputy Mayor Leach to make sure we are addressing this issue the right way,” said Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement Director Dr. Andrey Bundley. “This 90 Day Squeegee Action Plan builds on our past efforts and doubles down on the administration’s commitment to prioritize Baltimore’s youth. My team looks forward to working with the administration to support and scale up our ongoing efforts.”
Since early 2020 MOAAME has:
- Re-engaged 43 youth into school;
- Secured birth certificates, social security cards and/or IDs for 29 youth;
- Employed 27 youth to distribute 10,000 meals as part of the City’s COVID-19 response;
- Registered 73 youth in the summer YouthWorks program;
- Placed 39 youth with permanent employment;
- Connected 50 youth with a Credible Mentor for intentional guidance and support.
The practice of young people freelance windshield washing (‘squeegeeing’) has been common at major intersections in Baltimore and other major cities since the 1980s.
Read the 90 Day Squeegee Action Plan on the MOAMME website: https://aamebaltimore.com/squeegee-action-plan/.