By Stephanie Halcott, Information & Referral Specialist at 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland
Every day, I receive dozens of calls from people looking for help with no place to turn. Thomas, a recent caller, had almost given up hope. I’m glad he didn’t.
Today, Thomas is excited to be starting his new job. His family recently visited him in his home to celebrate — the same home that he almost lost over the summer. Thomas, a veteran, couldn’t believe that he was facing the possibility of becoming homeless just a few short months ago. At the time, paying his back rent and past due energy bills seemed impossible without a job or any financial assistance.
Luckily, Thomas had heard of 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland, a 24/7 health and human services referral hotline. I took his call when he dialed for help.
Baltimore Sun Commentary by Mark Furst - August 11, 2014
Nearly everyone agrees that education is the pathway out of poverty and that a stable family life is crucial to nurturing young children. Yet here in central Maryland, homelessness and family instability present barriers to academic success for too many kids.
Teachers, principals and school superintendents tell us that adverse student mobility — children being forced to change schools repeatedly through life circumstances, including homelessness — is among their most vexing problems in seeing children succeed in school. The best way to deal with homelessness, especially when young children are involved, is to prevent it.
This year's Families Living United Healthy Food Week has provided access to healthy food to thousands of families in central Maryland. Thanks to our generous donors and partners, we collected more than 137,000 pounds of food that was distributed to local food banks, pantries and soup kitchens.
What exactly does that mean for our community? Access to healthy food impacts eating behavior.
When fresh, wholesome food is available in a community, residents’ diets improve and conditions like diabetes, obesity and stunted cognitive development in children are less likely to occur.
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Changing the Odds: Access to Healthy Food
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