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Keyword: shelter

Applications for Over $350,000 in Federal Funding Available to Community-Based Organizations Open Until June 11

Baltimore County has issued a call for grant applications from County, community-based organizations that provide services related to food or shelter. The grants will be distributed as part of the federally-funded Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).

“We know so many residents are struggling to address their families’ basic needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County executive Johnny Olszewski. “These grants can go a long way toward supporting those organizations that are helping to serve our most vulnerable residents during these challenging times.”

The EFSP program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of food and housing insecure people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter. The program supplements and expands the ongoing work of local social service organizations to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals, families and households who are experiencing or at risk of hunger and homelessness

Typically, the County receives a formula set-aside from the State’s annual allocation of EFSP funds—this year’s amount being $209,176. Through the CARES Act, Congress has authorized additional funding for the program this year. As a result, Baltimore County has received $368,039 to distribute to County nonprofits.

Use of EFSP Funds

EFSP funds may be used to provide services, including:

  • Food in the form of served meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter, a hotel or motel, or another offsite shelter facility, limited to 30 days assistance per individual or household.
  • One month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or utility assistance.
  • Transportation costs associated with food or shelter.

How to Apply

In keeping with the emergency nature of this program, the local EFSP board created a simplified funding application for organizations to apply to the Local EFSP Board.

To receive an application, email Applications are due on Thursday, June 11, at 1 p.m. The National Board will issue grants to local organizations that are recommended for funding by the Local Board.

2018 to 2019 Plan Prepares for Activation Prior to November 15 if Weather Conditions Dictate

When the temperature forecast calls for freezing weather (below 32 degrees) Baltimore County activates the Freezing Weather Shelter Plan. This plan was put into effect as of November 1, earlier than in prior years when the Freezing Weather Shelter Plan did not take effect until November 15. This means that if the temperatures fall, Baltimore County stands ready to protect our constituents from the dangers of freezing weather by opening shelters.

“While we do not know when the temperature will drop to freezing levels we are prepared to serve people who will need to seek shelter from the cold,” said Dr. Gregory Branch, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. “Last year we saw earlier bouts of cold weather. Our shelter activation plan takes that possibility into account and we are ready to serve Baltimore County residents who might need to seek a warm haven from the weather.”

Cold Weather Locations

As always, there are public facilities that are open during the day where people are encouraged to go to stay warm. Libraries, senior and community centers, shopping malls and places of worship make great respites from the cold weather. The County emergency shelters will be open from 6 p.m. until 9 a.m. on evenings when the temperature is below freezing.

Shelter locations include:

  • Eastern Family Resource Center            
    9150 Franklin Square Drive                                    
    Rosedale, Maryland 21237
    Map This Location
  • Westside Men’s Shelter
    309 Redwood Circle
    Catonsville, Maryland 21228
    Map This Location

Individuals are encouraged to call the County’s new resource and referral line at 410-887-TIME (8463)—option 2, to confirm activation and bed availability at these locations. Residents should arrive no later than 10 p.m. Additionally, under severe weather conditions when County offices are closed, shelter activation may be extended to include daytime hours. 

Cold Weather Reminders

The combination of low temperatures and wind chill constitute a threat, especially to certain groups of people, including older adults, children and people with respiratory or other health problems. If you are in danger or experiencing severe health issues due to the weather, call 911. Below are some basic tips to help you and your family get relief from the cold and stay safe.

Be Cautious and Prepared

  • Make sure that you have a 72-hour kit.
  • Check on the elderly and chronically ill.
  • Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure follow your doctor’s advice about exercising or working in the cold.
  • If you are hiking, camping or skiing during cold weather, avoid becoming overtired. Be extremely careful when walking in icy areas. Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered paths.

Eat Right

  • Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer.
  • Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages as they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Drink warm beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, consult your doctor.

Dress Warmly and Stay Dry

Adults and children should wear:

  • A hat, scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
  • Sleeves that are snug at the wrist
  • Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
  • Water-resistant coats and boots
  • Several layers of loose-fitting clothing if you are going to be outside

Don’t Leave Your Pets Outdoors

  • During extreme weather, bring your pets indoors.
  • Remember to have an emergency plan for your pets. Most shelters do not allow pets.

Revised September 11, 2017