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Preventing and Ending Homelessness

The Baltimore County Master Plan 2020 advocates for strengthening and sustaining vibrant communities. An important component of a vibrant community is one with a housing stock that is safe and secure for all citizens. Providing housing to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless is achieved through efforts that track, prevent and end homelessness.

Baltimore County Emergency Housing Voucher  Program

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by Congress, appropriating approximately 70,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs), totaling $5 billion nationally.  Of this total award, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated 62 EHVs to the Baltimore County Department of Housing and Community Development, to be distributed to members of our community who are the most vulnerable to homelessness.    

The vouchers are specifically targeted to assist individuals and families that meet at least one of the following eligibility categories:

  • Literally Homeless as defined by HUD
  • At risk of Homelessness 
  • Fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, or 
  • Recently homeless or having a high risk of housing instability. 

Prioritization

Each individual or family that encounters the homeless services system is in need, but due to the limited number of emergency vouchers awarded, the Continuum of Care (CoC) must ensure resources are prioritized to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Once documentation has been verified to ensure applicants meet the above eligibility criteria, further prioritization will be given to applicants who meet the following risk categories:  

  • Those who meet HUD’s definition of Chronically Homeless 
  • Those who have been involved with the Baltimore County homeless services system the longest 
  • Those already approved for the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) waitlist managed by the CoC
  • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (18 to 24) 
  • Homeless families with young children as defined by HUD

Referral Process

All referrals for the EHV program must originate from the Baltimore County CoC. Vouchers were issued starting in September 2021.  If you believe you meet the criteria outlined above, please work with your current homeless services provider to process your EHV application.  If you are not currently engaged with a provider and meet the outlined criteria, please call the Coordinated Entry team at 410-887-TIME and you will be connected with a service provider.   

If Your Application is Approved

The EHV voucher will be issued and managed by the Baltimore County Office of Housing (BCOH), which serves as the Public Housing Authority (PHA) for the county.  Baltimore County began issuing vouchers September 2021 and will continue to do so until all vouchers are issued. The BCOH will be responsible for reviewing your application, certifying program eligibility, conducting annual re-certifications for continued eligibility, verifying the unit you select meets federal Housing Quality Standards and ensuring your landlord receives monthly rental payments.

Shelters and Housing Facilities

The County offers a range of shelter and housing programs to persons in Baltimore County who are homeless. These include emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, cold and freezing weather shelters, transitional shelters, rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing.

People seeking access to these services must be referred through the County’s coordinated entry system. Those seeking services for themselves or working to aid others in accessing services should call 410-887-8463.

Preventing Homelessness

Two Baltimore County agencies, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Social Services (DSS), have the primary responsibility for providing services to the homeless, or those who are at risk of becoming homeless. DHCD employs a Homeless Services Administrator, a Homeless Shelter Coordinator, as well as a manager of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

DHCD also employs a team of grants administrators who, among other duties, oversee significant annual grant funding that goes to various organizations that provide services to the homeless and work to prevent homelessness. A majority of the funding for these programs is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Plan to End Homelessness

The County envisions a comprehensive housing crisis response system through which homelessness can be prevented and, when this is impossible, episodes of homelessness can be quickly ended. The 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in Baltimore County is designed to identify and align the future homeless support system to meet the distinct needs of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The plan sets forth a broad range of coordinated strategies that address multiple issues across the continuum of homelessness. It sets out a framework that will prevent and end homelessness—not just manage it.

The plan integrates and enhances existing community planning efforts and priorities. It will continue to evolve over time as a living document that will guide community efforts to respond to emerging issues related to homelessness in Baltimore County. Learn more about the executive summary, "A Home For All."

Tracking Homelessness

The Department gathers data from various sources to estimate the extent of homelessness in the County. The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a Congressional mandate for all jurisdictions that receive federal funding for homeless and homeless prevention services. The Baltimore County HMIS is a cooperative community case management tool that allows governmental agencies and non-profit organizations to better serve their homeless clientele.

Federal, state and local government, as well as non-government grantors, use HMIS data to analyze program performance, which will then help determine funding opportunities. More than 30 Baltimore County non-profit organizations and more than 80 Baltimore County homeless or homeless prevention programs utilize HMIS. The County uses Bowman System's ServicePoint software to deliver our HMIS services.

Contact Us

Department of Housing and Community Development

105 West Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 201
Towson, Maryland 21204

Hours

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone

Director

Terry Hickey

 
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