Family Stability Initiative
It is a disturbing fact that families are among the fastest growing homeless groups.
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 here. A startling 29 percent of adults in homeless families are employed. And the number of homeless students in Maryland has more than doubled in the past five years.
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. One in five homeless children is separated from his or her family.
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.
These families need help now, and at a long-term, systemic level. UWCM has developed a multi-faceted Family Stability Initiative aimed at lifting families out of crisis and move them to self-sufficiency through:
- Prevention: helping at-risk families stabilize before they become homeless
- Shelter Diversion: diverting homeless families from traditional shelters to temporary housing, accompanied by comprehensive case management
- Financial Education: working with these families on financial literacy, asset-building, budgeting and employment
If you'd like to support our Family Stability Initiative with a gift, please visit our secure online giving page.
The Baltimore Sun, "States student homeless population doubles," January 22, 2012. [Online]. Available: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-01-22/news/bs-md-homeless-students-20120106_1_homeless-students-barbara-duffield-homeless-children
National Low Income Housing Coalition, "Out of Reach 2012." [Online]. Available: http://nlihc.org/oor/2012/MD
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development, "The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress," 25 July 2010. [Online]. Available: http://www.hudhre.info/documents/2010HomelessAssessmentReport.pdf
A portion of United Way of Central Maryland’s Family Stability Initiative is funded by The Siemer Institute for Family Stability.