Baltimore squeegee kids find work, risks, cash at stoplights

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In a photo taken Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, Nathaniel Silas walks through stopped traffic at a red light while looking for cars to squeegee in Baltimore. A debate over Baltimore’s so-called squeegee kids is reaching a crescendo as the city grapples with issues of crime and poverty and a complicated history with race relations. Officials estimate 100 squeegee kids regularly work at intersections citywide, dashing into the street as red lights hit to clean windshields in exchange for cash from drivers. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BALTIMORE, MD (AP) — A debate over Baltimore’s so-called squeegee kids is reaching a crescendo as the city grapples with issues of crime and poverty and a complicated history with race relations.

Officials estimate 100 squeegee kids regularly work at intersections citywide, dashing into the street as red lights hit to clean windshields in exchange for cash from drivers.

They’re ages 14 to 21, and most are black.

Some drivers consider them a nuisance, and the windshield-washing is illegal though widely practiced.

A program aims to mentor and train squeegee kids for jobs, but not everyone’s interested and the program is funded only through summer.

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