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Baltimore County Now

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Includes Expanded Homeless and Transitional Shelters

Dozens of homeless advocates and health service providers cheered this morning as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the official start of construction for a much needed replacement for the County’s Eastern Family Resource Center (EFRC).

artist's rendering of new centerThe new $26 million, 80,000 square-foot, three-floor facility will replace the outdated Eastern Family Resource Center. Both are located on the campus of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center. The new building is anticipated to open the spring of 2017.

“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,” said Kamenetz. “We must recognize them not as strangers, but as neighbors. And we must acknowledge the fact that, at any moment, things could fall apart in our own lives, and it could be us seeking shelter or living on the street.”

Healthy Partnerships

The County is funding $16 million of the cost of the new facility, with Medstar Health providing $5 million in support, along with a commitment of $5 million from the State of Maryland. The architect is Chris Parts of Hord-Coplan-Macht and the building contractor is CAM Construction.

Baltimore County and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center negotiated a land swap whereby the land housing the current Eastern Family Resource Center will be incorporated into the hospital campus. MedStar gave the County a 3.9-acre parcel of property, about a block away from the current center, which is currently being used for hospital staff parking.

Expanded Shelter Operations

The current Eastern Family Resource Center houses a shelter for women and families, as well as an array of programs operated through the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. The new facility will add two homeless shelters (men’s and transitional) and provide space for Healthcare for the Homeless.

“This facility will be so much more than mere brick and mortar to this community,” said Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Some will call it home, while others will view it as a place to receive medical care. But we all will see it as a beacon of hope, health and healing.”

The new Eastern Family Resource Center will include three shelter operations, including an enhanced shelter for women and families, serving up to 250 persons; a transitional shelter program for women and families, with a capacity of up to 38 persons; and a new shelter for men, with a capacity of up to 50 persons. The expanded center supports the County’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness.

The women and family shelter will have separate sleeping spaces for single women and families, as well as sleeping spaces for men that utilize the shelter as part of a family and for single dads with their children. The shelter will include child care and child development space, as well as an outdoor play area for children. Programming will be enhanced as a result of space designed for workshops and educational activities. The shelter will also allow for enhanced program collaboration with the addition of flexible office space for partnering agencies.

For those families that require additional time to meet the goal of self-sufficiency, a third floor transitional shelter is included in the design. This shelter will house approximately 38 persons, with each family housed in a private sleeping room, with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. 

Expansion of Health Services

The new building will also allow the County to expand health services to persons who are homeless through its partnership with Health Care for the Homeless (HCH). Expanded space for HCH will allow them to increase the capacity and scope of services to homeless persons in Baltimore County, including expanded primary care, behavioral health and supportive services.

The new building will allow the Department of Health to meet the growing needs of the community in a space that is thoughtfully designed for enhanced program collaboration. The building will house multiple Health Department functions, including Family Planning, Dental Services, the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, Immunizations, Substance Abuse Treatment, a Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic and the Infants and Toddlers Program. 

Westside Men’s Shelter Opened this July

This past July, the County Executive also opened a new 54-bed, $3.4 million shelter homeless shelter for men that incorporates functional amenities to better help residents receive the services they need and work toward independent living. The facility is operated and staffed by Community Assistance Network.

Red "Seasons Greetings" Bags

Baltimore County is making local shopping easier this holiday season with two hours of free meter parking.

Parking will be free at 1,735 meters throughout Baltimore County Thanksgiving weekend, November 26 to 29, and December 20 to 25. Meters will be decorated with red “Seasons Greetings” bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Overlea, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh and Dundalk.

"A little relief at the parking meter during the busiest days of the holiday season makes it easier to support locally owned shops and restaurants,” said Kamenetz. “These small businesses help support the neighborhood economy.”

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz encouraged local shopping in a video recorded along the Frederick Road shopping district in Catonsville. 

Free Holiday Parking Graphic

Central to Our Outstanding Quality of Life

From the stage of the historic Hippodrome Theatre in west Baltimore, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz called for County residents to come out and support the world class arts and cultural attractions in Baltimore City.

“Those of us who live in Baltimore County know how important the city is to the entire region. We benefit from the exceptional arts and cultural attractions just down the road from county residents,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Let’s stand together in support of our neighbors.”

Baltimore Arts Just Down the Road LogoKamenetz noted that last year Baltimore County residents visited Baltimore City arts and cultural attractions over 687,000 times.“That is why Baltimore County provided $2.8 million in grants this year to support arts, sciences and humanities non-profits in the Baltimore region. The Walters, the National Aquarium, Center Stage and the Baltimore Symphony are as central to our outstanding quality of life as the Orioles and the Ravens.” 

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake applauded this regional call to support Baltimore City cultural attractions.

“We are all one region. There is so much good in Baltimore City that is good for Baltimore County, and vice versa," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "I appreciate the County Executive's recognition of that fact and his efforts to encourage Baltimore County residents to support the amazing array of arts opportunities in Baltimore City." 

Special County Tourism Web Page 

Baltimore County has created a special page on its tourism website, with quick links to information about Baltimore City arts and cultural attractions. 

“I believe in leading by example. I look forward to seeing many Baltimore County residents in the city as my wife Jill, my sons and I continue to enjoy what’s special about living here,” said Kamenetz.  

City Arts Leaders Applaud Program, Invite All to Enjoy 

"Baltimore County has always provided the backbone to cultural Baltimore, via their passion, attendance and financial commitment to the arts. Nothing says, ‘One Baltimore’ better than the global language of arts and music,” said Rebecca Hoffberger, founder-director, American Visionary Art Museum. 

“We are delighted that County Executive Kamenetz is encouraging county residents to enjoy the city’s many wonderful cultural attractions,” said Clair Zamoiski Segal, chair, BMA Board of Trustees. “The BMA is looking forward to showcasing all of its beautiful renovations, gorgeous collection galleries, and new exhibitions—and we want to remind everyone that general admission is always free.”

 “We will always be grateful for the continuing support of Baltimore County residents,” said Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. “So many residents are members and visitors to the Zoo. We hear from visitors that they really enjoy spending time with their family and friends in the Zoo, unplugged from their computers and televisions, talking to one another about the experiences they are having here.”

 “I wish to extend a special thanks to County Executive Kamenetz and the County government for remaining committed to the arts in Baltimore City,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, the Andrea B. and John H. Laporte director of the Walters Art Museum.

 “We are grateful for the incredible support Baltimore County gives to Center Stage, especially in regard to our upcoming temporary move to Towson University,” said Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. “We’re looking forward to bringing professional theater to the doorsteps of Baltimore County residents, and welcoming them back to the city next year to a completely renovated building.”

“Port Discovery Children's Museum is proud to provide the children and families of Baltimore County the opportunity to connect purposeful play and learning through our educational, interactive exhibits and programs. We join County Executive Kamenetz in inviting you to come down and imagine, play, learn and grow in our nationally recognized children's museum,” said Bryn Parchman, executive director of Port Discovery.

“The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and we could not thank the residents and leadership of Baltimore County enough for being our biggest and most loyal supporters for an entire century! We welcome everyone to join us at the Meyerhoff this holiday season and beyond, and look forward to uplifting the hearts of our audience for many more years to come,” said Paul Meecham, president and CEO, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

$2.8 Million in County Grants Support City Arts and Cultural Organizations

Arts, Sciences and Humanities Organizations in Baltimore City Serving the Region–FY2016

  • American Visionary Art Museum         
  • Bach in Baltimore
  • B&O Railroad Museum                         
  • Baltimore Choral Arts Society
  • Baltimore Clayworks                            
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry             
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Baltimore Theatre Project                      
  • Center Stage
  • Concert Artists of Baltimore                 
  • Creative Alliance
  • Everyman Theatre                                 
  • Handel Choir
  • Hippodrome Foundation                       
  • Historic Ships in Baltimore
  • Jewish Museum of Maryland                
  • Living Classrooms
  • Lyric Opera                                           
  • Maryland Art Place
  • Maryland Historical Society                  
  • Maryland Science Center
  • Maryland Zoo in Baltimore                   
  • National Aquarium
  • Port Discovery Children’s Museum      
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum
  • Star Spangled Banner Flag House         
  • Walters Art Museum


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