Red Lion’s new Baltimore hotel helping city’s homeless

Homeless Baltimore Project Wake Up Call

Most hotels lead up to a grand opening with press releases about the glitz and glamor and amenity-rich aspects of their new property.

But as it readies for the August 1 opening of the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor – the first hotel in the new upscale Hotel RL brand – RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) is promoting a social responsibility project to help the homeless.

RLCH has partnered with Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless and created a fundraising campaign called Project Wake Up Call: Baltimore Uncovered.

In advance of the hotel opening in Baltimore, RLCH asked photographer Ian Tong to  go out into the city and make portraits of homeless people and their living situations.

Project Wake-Up Call

“Homelessness is an issue that affects every city in the country,” said RLHC President & CEO Greg Mount, “We’re in the shelter business, so working to combat homelessness is as an organic extension of who we are as a company and as caring, hospitable individuals.”

You can see a gallery of the photos here – and you can join the hotel in supporting Health Care for the Homeless, a Baltimore nonprofit health clinic, by donating on this site.

Donations of $100 or more will be acknowledged with a one-night stay at the hotel between August 1, 2015 – October 31, 2015.

RLHC plans to repeat the Project Wake Up Call fundraising partnership program in other cities where it plans new Hotel RL properties.

(Photos by Ian Tong; courtesy RLHC)

Denver Int’l Airport collects spare change for homeless

Many travelers dump the loose change in their pockets into the security bins at airport security checkpoints and often leave some of that change behind when gathering up their belongings on the other side.

In fact, according to the TSA, during 2012 approximately $531,000 in “undeclared money” was left at security checkpoints at the country’s 450 airports.

Congress decided in 2005 that TSA can keep that left-behind change and use it for security operations, but with Monday’s unveiling of collection containers at several checkpoints, Denver International Airport is asking travelers to instead donate some of that change to Denver’s Road Home, an organization that helps the homeless.

Mayor donates to Denvers Road Home at DIA

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock was the first to donate spare change to help the homeless at a Denver International Airport (DIA) security screening checkpoint. (Photo courtesy DIA)


The program is rolling out with four containers: one at the south security screening checkpoint, one before the north security screening checkpoint and two before the A-security screening checkpoint.

Denver International Airport has a good track record of collecting money to help the city’s homeless. In late 2007, more than a dozen parking meter-style collection stations were placed at various spots inside the airport and so far more than $10,000 in donations has been collected.

What do you think: should there be collection jars for local non-profits at all airport checkpoints?

Would you donate?