Plan to End Homelessness

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Plan to End Homelessness. Community Action Council of Howard County, Bita Dayhoff. Poverty in Howard County. Poverty In Howard County. Over 12,000 individuals live in Poverty. 12% of students in the school system receive Free and Reduced Meals Almost 1,000 eligible students do not apply. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Over 12,000 individuals live in Poverty.

    12% of students in the school system receive Free and Reduced Meals

    Almost 1,000 eligible students do not apply.*

  • Homelessness*

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  • According to Point in Time survey conducted 1/27/2010221 Homeless persons in Ho. Co.

    106 persons were in temporary housing88 Unsheltered

    Last year, Grassroots and Bridges to Housing Stability turned away 4200 (duplicated) requests for shelter.*

  • WHY:Loss of Income and/or Loss of JobForeclosureAddictionMental Illness or Physical DisabilityMedical CrisisDomestic DisputeOverwhelming DebtTransitioning from hospital, mental health care, detention, nursing home, aging out of foster care.

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  • Federal, State, and County governmentFunding and regulatory mandate

    Howard County GovernmentMental Health AuthorityDept. of Citizen Services Dept. of Housing and Community Development Service Provider:Housing Choice VoucherAffordable Housing Programs

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  • Cold Weather Shelter

    Day Resource Center

    St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church*

  • *Financial Assistance and Case Management

  • Provides Housing and Case Management for 18 families

    Assessment and Stabilization services

    Money Management Coaching

    Referral for Financial Assistance and Legal Aide

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  • Operates four houses for up to 28 personsCounseling Outreach and Community EducationLegal RepresentationIn FY 2010 Served 108 persons in emergency Shelter*

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    *We have heard it said often that Howard County is one of the wealthiest Counties in the US. In fact, it is. Howard County ranks #3 in the nation in median household income of slightly over 101,000 and first in the state of Maryland. Additionally, we have received national recognition and accolades for what makes us wonderful. School system, library, recreation and parks and much much more. However, despite this level of affluence and quality of life which attracts people to the county not only nationally but internationally, the county still has its share of population in need. We have over 11,000 people living below the poverty line and over 12% of students in the school system receive free and reduced meals while 1,000 who are eligible do not apply.*But probably one of the most devastating effects of poverty is in the county is homelessness.In a country and county as affluent as we are, we hope that no one should have to sleep on the street.We believe having a decent and affordable place to live should be a right of every person.

    *So do you think we can do our best to prevent homelessness?Lets everybody say YES we Can*In order to begin to solve this problem, we must first have an understanding of its scope.According to a Point in Time survey conducted by Committee to End Homelessness, on 1/27/2010, there were 221 persons homeless on that day. 1 12% increase over the survey conducted a year earlier.This number includes both sheltered and unsheltered persons.

    *The homeless comprises a diverse group of individuals and families. They may be individual adults (mostly males); females and children (single female head of household with children under age of 5 and low income); working families who do not earn enough money to cover increasing cost of living; and fragile families, as well as victims of domestic violence, or unaccompanied youth.

    There are a vast number of reasons for becoming homeless or choosing to remain homeless they include:

    *Howard county demonstrates excellent commitment in responding to the needs of the homeless and understands that in order to succeed we must have a community wide approach to the problem. As such, in Howard County there is a great partnership among government, the faith community, and the non-profit entities, as well as the private sector.

    *Federal and State government provide grant funding either directly or indirectly to organizations serving the homeless population. In addition, they establish rules and regulations by which the funding must be distributed. Howard County government not only provides funds and regulatory mandates but also engages in provision of direct services through the Department of Citizen Services which provides permanent supportive housing for 15 families and 24 individuals with disabilities. In addition, the Mental Health Authority operates supportive housing for 10 individuals. And the Department of Housing and Community Development which manages the Housing Choice Voucher (formerly known as the Section 8 program) as well as the affordable housing programs.

    *As President Obama said last year, "No matter how much money we invest or how sensibly we design our policies, the change that Americans are looking for will not come from government alone." And that is where the faith-based community fits in. Since the rise in homelessness in the 1980s, faith based groups have been on the front line addressing the issue. In Howard County the faith community is the host of the Cold weather shelter whereby beginning mid- November to Mid-March, on a weekly basis local faith-based organizations host up to 25 homeless persons.In addition, the Day Resource Center, through the support of the faith community, provides basic needs for an average of 60 persons per day.St. John Evangelist Catholic church provides two houses for homeless families.

    *Often nonprofits are asked to take on an increasing share of societys most important and difficult work. And every day, despite great challenges, non-profits deliver on that promise. In Howard County some of the nonprofits managing homeless or homeless prevention services include: Grassroots, Bridges to Housing Stability, Domestic Violence Center, and Community Action Council

    Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center manages a 51 bed shelter for families and individuals, in addition to supporting 6 families in motels, and providing oversight for the Cold Weather Shelter as well as the Day Resource Center.**For the past 20 years, the Community Action Council has worked hand in hand with others to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless. Those at risk of losing their homes are the focal point of our housing services and are supported through programs that include Eviction Prevention, First Months Rent, Security Deposit, One Month Rent (By the way I am pleased to announce that our One Month Rent program received The Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award from the Columbia Foundation last night we are very proud of that.)In addition, we also provide supportive services that include case management, financial counseling and energy assistance.Its important to talk a bit about energy assistance because in addition to providing an award granted by State government toward energy cost; CAC works with families to resolve their outstanding balances. This is a major issue if they are working toward moving to more affordable housing. They cannot establish an account until all their past due balances are resolved.We also support families who are in subsidized housing with water and energy cost because being turned off will cause them to be evicted from their homes.

    *Specifically, in FY 2008 and 2009, CAC assisted approximately 300 families (that is almost 825 individuals) with Eviction Prevention or Rental assistance. In FY 2010, the number of families increased by 11% to 327. *And in the first three months of FY 2011, CAC has helped 120 families from being evicted or moved them into more affordable housing. As depicted in the chart, since 2008, the demand for housing services has continuously increased. Yet, we experienced the highest increase from last year to this year. The number of families seeking assistance in the first quarter of this fiscal year is 48% higher than same period last year.It is important to note, that CACs turnaround time for eviction cases is at times less than 8 hours. There are times where families present themselves the day before a 10 am eviction time the next day.*Each of us, I am sure, accepts the proposition that in this wonderful country and such great county, no one should have to be homeless. We will continue to proactively work toward ensuring that those who can and want to work, find work that pay a wage which enables them to support their families. We will also work to ensure that there is affordable housing in Howard CountyIt is always heartwarming to know that in Howard County, there are people, agencies, and government officials committed to alleviation the pain of homelessness as well as helping people from becoming homeless.

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