Baltimore County News
Part of statewide effort to strengthen services
Baltimore County has joined a statewide effort to contact and survey young people who are homeless or struggling with serious housing issues. The statewide effort, known as Youth Reach Maryland, has engaged 10 regional partners and seeks to strengthen knowledge of and services to youth under age 25 who are not living with a parent or guardian and face an unstable housing situation that may be viewed as homelessness. The County's effort to contact this constituency will continue through April 2.
The County Department of Planning and the non-profit Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless (BCCH) are leading the County effort, working closely with service providers and institutions, including soup kitchens, homeless shelters, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The County and its partners have assembled a network of people, including youth ambassadors, who will visit key locations, reach out and survey the select youth population over the two-week period.
Homeless youth may often go uncounted
Advocates for the homeless believe that independent youth and young adults under age 25 who are struggling with housing are often a hidden population that goes uncounted. Youth Reach Maryland seeks to improve the count and deepen knowledge of a unique, challenging constituency.
Maryland's effort to improve outreach to homeless youth began in 2013, when the legislature made it a priority to improve the frequency and accuracy of counting the state's unaccompanied homeless youth. It established the Task Force to Study Housing and Supportive Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, which recommended a Youth and Young Adult Count of Unaccompanied Homeless. This later became the initiative known as Youth REACH (Reach out, Engage, Assist, & Count to end Homelessness) MD. The state effort is now led by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Learn more about Youth REACH Maryland
Those interested in learning more about Baltimore County's Youth Reach effort are encouraged to contact Terri Kingeter at email@example.com or visit the following web links:
Youth Reach Maryland: http://www.youthreachmd.com/
Pledges regional cooperation
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued the following statement on the eve of Mayor-Elect Catherine Pugh's inauguration:
“With congratulations to my good friend Catherine Pugh as she becomes Mayor of the great City of Baltimore, I also reaffirm Baltimore County’s commitment as a regional partner to address issues of job growth, education, transportation, housing and public safety. The future of Baltimore City is bright and I look forward to working with Mayor Pugh to build that future.”
Public hearing and information session set for December 13
Baltimore County invites non-profit organizations, government agencies and the general public to a meeting to discuss upcoming funding opportunities and spending priorities for housing and community development programs. The meeting, to be led by the Department of Planning, will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13 in the basement (Genesis Hall) of St. Pius Church, 6428 York Road, Baltimore, MD, 21212.
Citizens and organizations will be asked to express their views on needs and spending priorities related to housing and community development for the coming fiscal year, 2018, during a public hearing that will begin at 10 a.m. Following the public hearing, County staff will discuss the process through which organizations may apply for grant funding. The bulk of the funding to be discussed is made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which allocates funding annually to Baltimore County. HUD funds include Community Development Block Grants and Emergency Solutions Grants. Additional support comes from state and County funding. The County disburses much of this funding through a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Planning.
County staff will also invite interested citizens to learn about and consider joining the Homeless Roundtable, the County's advisory group that helps guide policy on homelessness. The Homeless Roundtable supports the County Continuum of Care and the efforts of Baltimore County government in the allocation of public funds to prevent and reduce homelessness in the County.
Grant funding opportunities are targeted to:
Homeless Services – projects that prevent homelessness or assist those who are currently homeless.
Public Services – projects that address the needs of low-income citizens in the area of employment, crime prevention, child care, health and welfare, education, substance abuse, energy conservation or recreational needs.
Capital Projects – for the removal of architectural barriers for persons with disabilities.
Generally, one-year grants will range in size from $15,000 to $200,000. Applications are due by 2 p.m. February 7, 2017. To learn more, visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/grants/index.html