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Keyword: kevin kamenetz

$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square-foot, three-floor facility is located on the campus of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center and replaces an outdated facility.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


Hundreds Cheer Honorees at Awards Luncheon

At today’s 27th annual Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Awards ceremony, an enthusiastic crowd helped to recognize the achievements of eleven individuals, employers, advocates and organizations for their outstanding achievements and contributions.             

The Commission on Disabilities provides support and advocacy for County residents with disabilities and works to ensure that County programs, buildings and services are open equally to all persons, regardless of their disabilities.  In addition, the Commission provides resources and referrals on obtaining services not only from the County but through programs offered by the state and federal government. 

“Healthy communities thrive because they have people who care, who get involved and who look out for the needs of their neighbors,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We are pleased to recognize the efforts of some remarkable people living with disabilities in our communities and the people who help them in their journey.”

This year’s honorees include:

  • Jessica Solomon of Goucher College, winner of the Education Advocate of the Year Award;
  • Kayla Burroughs of Rosedale, winner of the Student of the Year Award;
  • Patricia Lane-Forster of Essex, winner of the Teacher of the Year Award;
  • Amy Smolenski on behalf of PDP Group of Hunt Valley, winner of the Employer of the Year Award;
  • Crystal Brockington of Towson, winner of the Employee of the Year Award;
  • Biliana Borimetchkova of Timonium, winner of the Art Accessibility Award;
  • Mat Rice of Towson, winner of the Statewide Advocate for Change Award;
  • Jennifer Hobbs, Pathfinders for Autism, winner of the Media-Public Awareness Award;
  • George Bollock of Fallston, winner of the Volunteer Award;
  • Richard Gnibus of Middle River, winner of the Disability Advocate Award;
  • Wanda Brown of Dulaney High School, winner of the Chairperson’s Special Award.

A few interesting stories…

Patricia Lane-Forster is an art teacher at Ridge Ruxton High School who serves students who are severely disabled, both intellectually and physically. She finds ways to adapt art projects so that students can complete the work independently, regardless of their ability. For example, she has developed methods through which nonverbal students can communicate color, texture and style preferences. For students with limited mobility, she incorporates robotics into the art class so that every student can make a mark on paper or canvas with the touch of a button.

Mat Rice, an individual with disabilities, has been at the forefront of self-advocacy in the legislature and in teaching other individuals with disabilities about how to advocate for themselves. Rice graduated from the Maryland School for the Blind and Parkville High School and went on to work as the Public Policy Specialist for People on the Go of Maryland. He has been instrumental in advising legislators on issues that affect the quality of life for people with disabilities in Maryland.

George Bollock has been a volunteer with the Oriole Advocates since 1991. He became a chairperson and “cheerleader” for a program known as the Challenger Baseball League, in 2010. The Challenger Baseball Program offers a variety of adapted baseball opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Bullock has provided more than 800 tickets each year for the athletes and their families to enjoy a game at Camden Yards during “Challenger Night.”

Wanda Brown, who teaches an engineering class at Dulaney High School, has led her engineering students through a standard engineering design process to create what is known as “chariot” for a young boy named Chandler who has Cerebral Palsy. The “chariot” is essentially a wheelchair bicycle hybrid that helps him exercise his limbs while being pushed outside in the neighborhood by his parents. This is just the most recent of eight projects for children with disabilities that Dulaney High’s engineering class has completed under Brown’s leadership. 


Department of Health and Human Services Invites all Baltimore County Residents to Super Saturday Clinics

Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced the County’s Super Saturday, free flu vaccination clinics.

On Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the follow locations in each of the seven councilmanic districts:

  • Drumcastle Government Center
    6401 York Road, First Floor
    Baltimore, Maryland 21212
     
  • Dundalk Middle School 
    7400 Dunmanway
    Baltimore, Maryland 21222
     
  • Hereford Middle School
    712 Corbett Road
    Monkton, Maryland 21111
     
  • Lansdowne Middle School
    2400 Lansdowne Road
    Baltimore, Maryland 21227 
            
  • Randallstown Community Center
    3505 Resource Drive
    Randallstown, Maryland 21133
     
  • Middle River Middle School
    800 Middle River Road
    Baltimore, Maryland 21220
     
  • Pikesville Middle School
    7701 Seven Mile Lane
    Pikesville, Maryland 21208

Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.

“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the County, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine - even if they were vaccinated last year - since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.

“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”

For more information on Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-BCHD (2243) or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/flushot


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017