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Keyword: homeless

Youth Reach Maryland is Part of Statewide Effort to Reduce Homelessness

Baltimore County is seeking to contact and survey young people under age 25 who are struggling with homelessness or unstable housing. For the next two weeks, County Department of Planning staff and their non-profit partners will be taking extra steps to locate youth with unstable housing situations in order to estimate the number of people who make up this vulnerable population and gain a deeper knowledge of the challenges they face.  

The County is participating in a statewide effort, known as Youth Reach Maryland, to contact and survey young people who are homeless or struggling with serious housing issues. This effort has engaged 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 begins Monday, March 12, and continues through Sunday, March 25. The County Department of Planning and the non-profits Prologue, Inc. and 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, hopefully, survey the select youth population over the two-week period.

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.

Those interested in learning more about Baltimore County's Youth Reach effort are encouraged to contact Terri Kingeter at tkingeter@baltimorecountymd.gov or visit the following web links:


$26 Million Facility Includes Expanded Homeless and Transitional Shelters, Community Health Services 

Dozens of homeless advocates and health service providers cheered this morning as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the grand opening of the County’s new and improved Eastern Family Resource Center (EFRC).

“I believe that the true measure of a government is how we treat the downtrodden - those who are most vulnerable,” Kamenetz said. “We consider it a vital responsibility to provide a social safety net for people who need it, and that is why my administration invests about $40 million each year in our social safety net, including building two modern full-service homeless shelters.”

“This new facility will help countless people in eastern Baltimore County, whether they are homeless or need low-cost health and dental services for their family,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.

Expanded Shelter Operations

The new $26 million, 80,000 square-foot, three-floor facility is located on the campus of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center and replaces an outdated facility. The former EFRC housed 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 EFRC replaces and expands the previous shelter for women and families that served 250 people, and offers three shelter operations, including 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 expanded center supports the County’s 10 Year Plan to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness. The shelters are operated and staffed by Community Assistance Network in partnership with Baltimore County.

The new shelter space in the EFRC was designed specifically to meet the needs of those who will be served in the shelters, including child care and child development space, as an outdoor play area and space for workshops and educational activities. The shelter will also allow for enhanced program collaboration with the addition of flexible office space for partnering agencies.

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 $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 previous Eastern Family Resource Center is incorporated into the hospital campus and MedStar gave the County the 3.9-acre parcel of property for the new center.

Expanded Health Services

The new building allows 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 houses 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. 

The new facility also allows the County to expand health services to people who are homeless through its partnership with Health Care for the Homeless. The expanded space allows them to increase the capacity and scope of services to homeless people in Baltimore County, including expanded primary care, behavioral health and supportive services.

Westside Men’s Shelter Opened in July of 2015

In July of 2015, the County Executive Kamenetz 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 also operated and staffed by Community As


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017