Baltimore County News
Welcome Addition to Affordable Housing
Baltimore County adds to its affordable housing stock with the restoration of 10 homes in the Winters Lane community, an historically African American community in Catonsville settled by freed slaves after the Civil War.
The $2.8 million project will restore the interiors and exteriors of five duplex residences. The buildings are more than 100 years old and now functionally obsolete.
Preserving a heritage neighborhood
“With the restoration of these homes, we take a substantial first step in revitalizing and preserving this historic African-American community and add to our inventory of affordable housing,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
The homes are owned by St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center Inc., a nonprofit with the mission of maintaining equal housing for low to moderate income people.
Century-Old Catonsville Homes to be Restored
The houses, on Shipley and Roberts avenues in Catonsville, will be updated to meet current building codes, expand and modernize living spaces and restore the exteriors. The work will maintain the historic character and architecture of the buildings, meeting requirements of the Maryland Historic Trust.
“We’re pleased and proud that these historic homes will be restored in the Winter’s Lane community. They are an important part of the character and heritage of greater Catonsville,” said Councilman Tom Quirk.
$2.8 million project
Baltimore County is supporting the project with more than $1 million in economic development funds. Additional funding comes from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loans and grants and a recently awarded $250,000 Community Legacy grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
North of I-695 and the Route 40 Interchange
A sanitary sewer overflow estimated at 20,000 gallons was reported by Baltimore County contractors to the Department of Public Works today at approximately 11:30 a.m., in a wooded area 1100 feet north of I-695 and the Route 40 Interchange.
The overflow was apparently undetected for an unspecified time due to its location in an unoccupied area off Winters Lane. An eight-inch diameter sewer pipe was discharging into a nearby storm water retention pond which drains into a tributary of Dead Run.
Utility crews were dispatched and immediately worked to locate and to remove the cause of the overflow – a blockage to the sanitary line. They pumped the pond to contain the flow and to prevent it from entering the stream. The blockage was removed and the flow was halted at 6:25 p.m.
Health Department to Monitor Water Quality
The Baltimore County Department of Health will monitor water quality at the sites and issue water contact advisories if necessary.
Advances County’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness
Men caught in the cycle of homelessness will be much better able to work toward self-sufficiency thanks to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s investment in a new $3.4 million shelter for homeless men on the campus of Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville.
“The reality is, the homeless among us are not simply strangers down on their luck—they are somebody’s father, somebody’s sister, somebody’s child,” Kamenetz said. “The opening of this new site for the Westside Men’s Shelter represents a significant step forward in our 10-year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness.”
Kamenetz and nearly a hundred homeless service providers, advocates and clients celebrated the grand opening of the modern 154-bed, 15,000 square-foot building, which replaces an outdated facility and incorporates functional amenities to better help residents receive the services they need and work toward independent living. The facility is operated and staffed by the nonprofit Community Assistance Network.
About the New Westside Shelter
The new shelter is designed to address barriers to independent living that homeless men may encounter. It includes:
- a resource and conference room with computer stations to allow residents to search for employment and housing, as well as space to hold workshops and classes
- a large fenced and gated garden area in the back of the shelter in which staff and residents will plant and grow their own fruit and vegetables
- a social room with new furniture, bookcases, and a television
- a commercial kitchen with new appliances and a spacious dining room
- a sizeable laundry room
- and, an exam room to be used by Health Care for the Homeless and the Department of Health and Human Services, so that residents can get important health services on-site.
The shelter, designed by Rubeling and Associates and built by North Point Builders, incorporates many “green” features, qualifying it for LEED SILVER certification.
County to Break Ground this Fall on a New Shelter for Women and Families
In addition to this new shelter for men, the County plans to build a new $25 million, 80,000 square-foot Eastern Family Resource Center in Rosedale that will include:
- an enhanced shelter for women and families serving up to 250 people
- a transitional shelter program for women and families with a capacity of up to 38 people
- and, a new shelter for men with a capacity of up to 50 people.
The building, slated for completion in March of 2017, will house various Health Department functions that support shelter residents, and will also include expanded space for Health Care for the Homeless.
Homelessness in Baltimore County
In 2014, Baltimore County received more than 6,600 requests for shelter, representing more than 3,100 individual households. On any given night, more than 745 men, women and children are housed in homeless shelters or living on the streets and in encampments throughout Baltimore County.
“A Home for All,” Baltimore County’s 10-year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness in our communities, was created with input from a diverse group of more than 60 local and regional stakeholders from both public and private sectors. It includes seven key strategies that have proven to be effective in reducing homelessness.
The plan focuses on systemic changes, preventing homelessness where possible, and rapidly rehousing people in shelters and permanent and supportive housing. The plan uses relevant data and better leverages existing resources to move people toward independence.
County to Create Community Sports Fields at Former Shelter Site
The site of the former homeless shelter will be transformed into a $1.3 million recreational site featuring an artificial turf field, lights and open space for the Catonsville community on the grounds of Spring Grove Hospital Center. Construction on these sports fields is slated to begin next spring and be completed by the Fall of 2016.
“This modern new facility is an important step forward in the County’s comprehensive plan to address homelessness by targeting its root causes,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk. “In the Catonsville community, we also eagerly await the new recreation fields that will be created on the site of the former shelter.”
Revised April 6, 2016