Workforce Development Created

#248 Tech to Support Squeegee Alternative Plan

The "Squeegee Kids" who offer windshield cleaning in exchange for money on Baltimore street corners are a symptom of larger problems of poverty and absenteeism among Baltimore youth. They are also often in unsafe situations and can be a source of tension for other Baltimore residents. For example, a squeegee kid reported having a gun drawn on him, and property owners near the corner of President and Lombard wrote the mayor to vent their frustrations with the squeegee kids (source: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/plan-to-help-kids-get-off-of-corners-in-baltimore-city/29070688).

Champion Name

Tisha Edwards

Location

Corner of President and Lombard streets, other corners in Baltimore

Timeline

Oct 24, 2021

Today

Sep 25, 2019

Created

Why it matters

It's estimated that about 100 children are trying to make money in Baltimore by squeegeeing cars. When Mayor Young met with some of these youth, some told him that they have to choose making money over going to school because they can't afford to live without their own source of income. Finding alternative ways for these youth to get financial support without missing out on education is important to addressing cycles of poverty for the next generation of workers in Baltimore (source: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/plan-to-help-kids-get-off-of-corners-in-baltimore-city/29070688).

What does "good" look like?

Good looks like programs that allow squeegee kids to attend school, leave corners, and access resources without missing out on bills and meals because they are unable to earn money (source: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/plan-to-help-kids-get-off-of-corners-in-baltimore-city/29070688).

How could technology solve this?

Technology can be used to gather more accurate data about squeegee kids, as well as to better gather their side of the story being told about them in Baltimore. It can also be used to support the Squeegee Alternative Plan being spearheaded by the Mayor's Office of Children and Family Success by giving families more resources (source: https://www.wbaltv.com/article/plan-to-help-kids-get-off-of-corners-in-baltimore-city/29070688).