This website: The Last, the Least, and the Lost is an extension of my May 2016 graduate thesis, Helping the Last, the Least, and the Lost: Compassionate Planning for Baltimore’s Unsheltered Homelessness. I examined the condition of unsheltered homelessness in Baltimore and chronicled the lives of ten people who lived in a homeless encampment west of the downtown central business district. I documented their perspectives in the hopes of informing urban planning practices concerning homelessness and the governance of public space. My paper argues for Baltimore City to develop more compassionate communication and public health policies for dealing with unsheltered homelessness and existing encampments. City officials should also consider supportive housing solutions that range from temporary to permanent, which can be used to improve living conditions at existing encampments and future sites across the city. While the physical needs of unsheltered residents need to be addressed, their emotional needs cannot be forgotten. Planners can help fulfill these needs through planned and unplanned interactions with the unsheltered homeless.
The author: Hi, my name is Laura Bianca-Pruett. I’m 30 years old and live in the Old Goucher neighborhood in Baltimore City, MD. I have always had a heart for people experiencing homelessness, but really started to get involved in grassroots advocacy in Baltimore in 2016. I’m a member of local grassroots group Housing our Neighbors (HON) and am starting a mentoring program at Dayspring Baltimore this fall.
When I’m not working on this site, I’m probably working on either MD Roads, OpenStreetMap, or Mapillary with my husband Mike. I work as a transportation planner and I am a self professed “roadgeek” and expert in Baltimore transportation geography and planning history.