5 Years After 'The Wire,' Nothing Has Changed For Baltimore's Poorest Neighborhoods [PHOTOS]

Kids roam the streets of one of Baltimore's poverty stricken areas

The popular HBO series The Wire introduced us to the grim reality of drugs, gangs, and life in poverty in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was filmed in and around the city from 2002 to 2008, using its urban grit as a natural backdrop, and it featured local residents as extras and even in small supporting roles.

Five years after the show wrapped, it seems that nothing has changed for Baltimore’s poverty-stricken neighborhoods, dark streets and boarded houses.

AP photographer Patrick Semansky captured that state of the city’s poorest areas in a photo essay this month.

Baltimore has lost nearly a third of its population since its peak of about 950,000 residents in the 1950s.

In this April 8, 2013 picture, two young men walk through a neighbourhood of vacant row houses in Baltimore. Baltimore has lost nearly a third of its population since it peaked in the 1950s, and today an estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

More than 4,000 people are homeless. Some choose shelters, other become squatters on abandoned properties. In the picture below, two homeless men eat ice cream cones across the street from a block of vacant row houses.

In this Tuesday, April 9, 2013 photo, two homeless men who gave their names as Earl, right, and Angelo, eat ice cream cones across the street from a block of vacant row houses in Baltimore. A biennial census of Baltimore's homeless population that is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development counted more than 4,000 homeless people in 2011. Some choose to seek shelter in the city's estimated 16,000 buildings that are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A homeless man displays a pin that holds his jaw together, which he said he received after being beaten and robbed while sleeping in a vacant row house, seen behind him, in Baltimore.

In this April 9, 2013 picture, a homeless man who gave his name as Angelo, displays a pin that holds his jaw together that he said he received after being beaten and robbed while sleeping in a vacant row house, seen behind him, in Baltimore. A biennial census of Baltimore's homeless population that is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development counted over 4,000 homeless people in 2011. Some choose to find shelter in the city's estimated 16,000 buildings that are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

One in four people in Baltimore live under the poverty line.

In this April 9, 2013 picture, a woman pushes a boy in a stroller past graffiti on a wall in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Today an estimated 16,000 buildings in Baltimore are vacant or abandoned.

In this April 4, 2013 picture, a group of boys walk past a partially collapsed row house in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Many properties have been left to the elements. In this April 3, 2013 picture, two row houses, one boarded up, the other occupied, are surrounded by vacant lots at dusk in Baltimore.

In this April 3, 2013 picture, two row houses, one boarded up, the other occupied, are surrounded by vacant lots at dusk in Baltimore. Baltimore has lost nearly a third of its population since it peaked in the 1950s, and today an estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished.

In this April 8, 2013 picture, a boy shoots a basketball into a makeshift basket made from a milk crate and attached to a vacant row house in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. An estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The unemployment rate for Baltimore jumped from 6.9 per cent in December 2012 to 7.5 per cent in January 2013.

In this April 4, 2013 picture, a man walks past boarded up row houses and vacant lots in Baltimore. Baltimore has lost nearly a third of its population since it peaked in the 1950s, and today an estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The number of jobs in largely low-paying industries (retail and food service) grew more than 60 per cent in the region between 1980 and 2007, while jobs increased 36 per cent in middle-wage fields and just under 10 per cent in high-wage fields, according to a Brookings Institution study.

In this April 4, 2013 picture, children play kickball on a vacant lot alongside a blighted row house in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Read about the Brookings Institution study at The Baltimore Sun.

Last year one in four households in Baltimore receive food stamps.

In this April 8, 2013 picture, a boy whose family asked that he not be identified plays across the street from a partially collapsed row house in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Read more at The Baltimore Sun.

83 per cent of children enrolled in the Baltimore City Public School system qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

In this April 9, 2013 picture, a student walks past vacant row houses to a waiting school bus as school gets out for the day in Baltimore. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 per cent of American children are impoverished. An estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Read more at The Baltimore Sun.

West Baltimore has seen 15 murders for this year so far – half of its total for all of 2012.

In this March 29, 2013 picture, vacant row houses line an empty street at dusk in Baltimore. Baltimore has lost nearly a third of its population since it peaked in the 1950s, and today an estimated 16,000 buildings are vacant or abandoned. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Read more about West Baltimore's homicide rate at The Baltimore Sun.

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