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WORKING TO PREVENT & END FAMILY HOMELESSNESS IN CENTRAL MARYLAND

United Way housing programs work to put families on the path to stability. We believe that an affordable house, and a safe house are a basic human need, essential to keeping families intact, protected, healthy and self-sufficient. While the region’s shelter system provides critical services to the homeless, shelters should be used as a last resort – and as briefly as possible – by homeless families with young children.

Families are currently the fastest-growing homeless group. That’s why United Way uses a successful national model to prevent family homelessness and quickly divert those who lose their homes from shelters into housing.

Some of this housing is provided by property management firms through the United Way/Maryland Multi-Housing Association Rental Connections partnership, which assists families in urgent need of affordable housing through easements such as reduced rent and waived background checks or security deposits.

And we won’t stop there. By providing families the support and resources they need to build financial security, we continue to strengthen communities across central Maryland – one family at a time.

SUCCESS STORY: JENNIFER’S STORY

Jennifer’s family was on the brink of eviction when United Way’s housing and income programs stepped in. Not only do Jennifer, her husband and three daughters have peace of mind in their new home, Jennifer also has a better paying job.

HOW IT WORKS

The cycle of poverty is hard to break but we can help families facing homelessness get back on track by focusing on their situation in the long run and not just putting a band aid on the issues they are facing.

Our programs help lift families out of crisis and move them to self-sufficiency through:

PREVENTION

Keeping families on the brink of eviction housed through intensive case management and flexible financial assistance.

SHELTER DIVERSION

Rapidly rehousing families at a homeless organization who might otherwise be split up in the shelter system, and providing supportive services for stabilization and transitional housing.

FINANCIAL EDUCATION

Providing families with tools to become financially secure and self-sufficient.

WHY DO WE NEED IT?

In central Maryland, the cost of housing is unaffordable for many. A person earning minimum wage would have to work 3.3 full-time jobs to afford fair-market rent on a two-bedroom apartment. A startling 29 percent of adults in homeless families are employed.

Homeless families often turn to local shelters – which in many cases, means that a family must be separated at the very time they need each other the most. Most shelters are not equipped to handle large families, dads with children or families with teenage boys.

The ramifications of homelessness on a child emotionally, physically and scholastically are severe and often long lasting. Children from homeless families generally have to switch schools or travel great distances to get there. They’re more likely to show delayed development, less likely than their peers to be tested as proficient in math and reading, and at heightened risk of health and nutritional issues.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Help low-income families have a permanent place to call home by making a gift. No one can create change alone. That’s why we need you.