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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: social services

Job seeker connecting with LabCorp representative at recent Healthcare Hiring Event at the Liberty Center on March 26, 2015Bryan Dunn, Marketing Specialist, Department of Economic & Workforce Development

If you live in the Randallstown area, you often drive down Liberty Road to go to Home Depot or Walmart, take the kids to the Randallstown Community Center or perhaps have dinner at the new Ruby Tuesday or Colin’s restaurant. One thing you may have missed is the life-changing work happening at Baltimore County’s Liberty Center, a formerly vacant grocery store on Offutt and Liberty Roads.

The Liberty Center is where over 11,000 people went to change their lives last year, with resources for anyone looking to hone a personal brand and compete in today’s job market.

Free to the public, Liberty Center focuses on career paths, not merely placing jobs. Liberty Center is where Candy Kriegar learned how to leverage her experience as a small business owner to land an administrative position with Utility Line Corporation.  It’s where Toyota Financial Services found Desitini Daniels, who went to Liberty Center to reboot her career after an employment contract ended.  RG Steel worker Robert Goode got the career counseling he needed to get hired as a welder.

 “We love what’s happening at Liberty.  Connecting job seekers with these amazing employers, that’s what it’s all about,” said Will Anderson, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

Since opening in 2011, there has been no shortage of success, just as there is no shortage of opportunity – all it takes is a visit, and a commitment to the future.

Baltimore County Economic and Workforce Development, the Community College of Baltimore County and Social Services collaborate to deliver services and customized programs that get results. Utilizing the facility’s 2,500 student capacity, CCBC offers courses that train people for marketable jobs, while Workforce Development organizes onsite recruitments to help connect people with businesses that are hiring.

Liberty Center is one of three free career centers in Baltimore County, conveniently located in Randallstown, Hunt Valley and Eastpoint.   A convenient Mobile Career Center brings job search resources to communities throughout Baltimore County.  Stop in anytime and see how our career centers can change your life. You might just find your next job. And your next career.

Get directions to a Career Center and access the Mobile Career Center’s schedule of stops.

Don’t miss out on CCBC Randallstown’s Community Open House at the Liberty Center.

Find out more about Career Training and Community Education programs at CCBC Randallstown April 18, 12:00-3:00 pm, 3637 Offutt Road, Randallstown, MD 2113.  For more Open House information call 443-840-4700.

image of woman with outstretched armsGregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE
Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Health Officer and Director, Department of Health

Are you someone who likes to start the New Year on a promising note? Have you fallen into the trap of making goals or resolutions that you cannot meet? Well, Baltimore County has a number of tools that may be just the thing for you!

If you live, work, or play in Baltimore County, use the following tips to become a STAR and shoot towards a healthier you. If some of the tips don't apply to you, don't sweat it. Instead, share them with someone you know who could benefit from them.

Stop Smoking

If you are thinking about quitting or want to quit, Baltimore County has a number of different programs at various times and locations that may work for you. And, even better our smoking cessation classes are free.

Take the Test

What you don’t know could hurt you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 13 to 64 know their status. You can get free, anonymous testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at a Department of Health clinic. Sharing this information is great, spreading an infection is not.

Adopt a Pet

Owning a pet can help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, it’s a great antidote for loneliness that can also increase opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.

There are numerous pets in Baltimore County that are in need of someone who will love and care for them. Consider opening your heart and home to an adoptable pet.

Remember to Schedule an Appointment

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Women can take care of their cervical and breast health by scheduling an annual mammogram and routine Pap test. These screenings may be available free of charge to income eligible women. Men, take care of the women you love, by reminding them to schedule these live-saving tests.

For more information about these tips, contact the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services by calling 410-887-BCHD (2243).

County sealSue DeSantis
 Homeless Services Administrator
Baltimore County Department of Planning

To the average citizen the word “homeless” often conjures up the vision of person pan handling on the corner, living in a tent in the woods or in shelter.  One might think to themselves that folks who are experiencing homelessness should pick themselves up, improve their lives, and get a job.  We often don’t think about or see the larger scope, the complex problems these individuals face or the many services that already exist and how those services are delivered.    

Baltimore County is making a daily difference in the lives of homeless men, women and children and County Executive Kamenetz is committed to not only continuing to support these efforts but to improving and building a stronger system that shifts our focus from shelters to long-term solutions. 

There are more than 550 men, women and children living in homeless shelters across Baltimore County on any given night and hundreds living in places not meant for human habitation such as cars and encampments.  The County with significant community support has devised a 10-Year Plan to shift homeless service delivery and as a result, prevent and reduce homelessness.

The plan, called “A Home for All,” began with an unprecedented community input process in 2010 and grew from the work of the Baltimore County Homeless Roundtable with significant input from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.  Subcommittees focused on Housing, Accessing Mainstream Resources, Homeless Prevention and Outreach, Coordinated Assessment and Data Management worked to create seven key strategies:

Strategy One:       Reconfigure the Crisis Response System:
Expand on the current coordinated assessment system and retool the emergency shelter system.

Strategy Two:       Targeted Prevention Assistance
Focus prevention services on those most at risk of homelessness through careful selection and connection to mainstream resources.

Strategy Three:     Rapid Re-Housing
Create a “housing first” approach that combines affordable and permanent housing with supportive services.

Strategy Four:      Accessing Mainstream and Community Resources
Increase connections to mainstream resources in order to create a means for housing and self-sufficiency.

Strategy Five:       Permanent and Supportive Housing
Create new permanent supportive housing units Countywide.

Strategy Six:         Improved Data and Outcome Measures
Build on the existing performance measurement structure through the creation of system-wide data standards and reporting requirements.

Strategy Seven:     Resource Allocation
Align funding sources around common outcomes including housing and supportive services.

Making it Happen:

The Homeless Roundtable, in coordination with these committees, is tasked with carrying out these action items and assuring that the County is moving forward to put in place systems which will result in the reduction and duration of homelessness for residents of Baltimore County.

Baltimore County is committed to realizing the goal of preventing and reducing homelessness, and as a result, has funding to begin to implement a number of the strategies shown above. Specifically, funds have been identified for the following programs:

1.     Pilot Shelter Diversion - The primary goal of the pilot diversion program will be to work with individuals and families seeking shelter to find alternatives to entering the shelter system.

2.     Rapid Re-housing Through this program, families receive housing counseling, assistance in securing housing; time limited rental assistance and case management in order to ensure housing stability. 

3.     Increased Outreach -  Prologue’s Street Outreach Team serves the most chronic and vulnerable homeless population in Baltimore County; those individuals and families living on the streets, in cars and in other places not meant for human habitation. Additional funds will allow for the addition of 1.5 outreach workers to provide outreach and case management, and for the Outreach Center to be open an additional day.

4.     Job Navigator -Perhaps the most significant barrier to obtaining and retaining permanent housing is the lack of adequate income.  To help address this root cause of homelessness, the County has provided funding for a Career Navigator, through the Department of Economic and Workforce Development.  The Career Navigator will work primarily at the shelters and focus solely on employment. 

Moving Forward:

The Homeless Roundtable is close to completing implementation plans for each strategy.  These plans include goals, action steps, planned partnerships, outcomes and performance measures and plans for resource allocation.  These plans will serve as the pathway to preventing and reducing homelessness.

For questions regarding the plan and future efforts, please contact Sue DeSantis, Homeless Services Administrator, Baltimore County Department of Planning, 410-887-2886.

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