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Down on the Corner

Down on the Corner

It's four p.m. on April 22, a beautiful spring day in Baltimore. At the corner of Mount Royal and North avenues, a group of seven people are working in traffic. Dressed in yellow T-shirts, they carry five-gallon buckets with orange tops. When cars stop for the red light, they ask drivers for money.

"We're raising money for a recreation center," one of the young women says as a reporter and photographer approach. "I started yesterday."

The girl probably did start yesterday, but the group—and others that appear to operate much like it—have worked this corner for years. Some neighbors are unhappy about the constant soliciting. They say...