BALTIMORE | Baltimore trying to stem decades-long disappearing act

BALTIMORE | Baltimore trying to stem decades-long disappearing act

BALTIMORE— LaShelle Rollins’ rental house in West Baltimore is wedged between a line of derelict properties valued only by street gangs, drug addicts and firefighters conducting arson drills. Even though her family’s $700-a-month address sits across from a public school, they are among the only occupants of this desolate block.

Life in an emptied-out, rundown cityscape is a slog and Rollins is worn out by all of it: The sounds of late-night interlopers stomping down the stairs of a musty wreck next door; a constant fear of fire set by vandals; the social isolation; the rats.

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