Business, Government

Governor Hogan announces drop in homelessness rate in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday that overall homelessness in Maryland has been reduced by 9.47% since 2017, according to data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count. The number of chronically homeless individuals dropped by 14.8% and veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 8.58%.

Conducted by the state’s 16 designated Continuums of Care and supported by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Point-in-Time Count is a count and survey of homeless persons on a single night in January by local homelessness service providers. The count serves as a snapshot of the scope and scale of homelessness in Maryland’s communities and is required as a condition of funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We have made significant progress in preventing homelessness in Maryland by partnering with local housing and community development programs, and their good work and dedication are integral to our efforts,” said Governor Hogan. “We have improved the administration and delivery of state and federal resources, and have supported significant projects that have contributed to this impressive reduction.”

In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly approved Governor Hogan’s proposed legislation to streamline administration of the majority of the state’s homelessness service programs. Previously, the six programs serving Maryland’s homeless were spread between the Department of Human Services and the Department of Housing and Community Development. All six programs were consolidated into one Homelessness Solutions Program, creating a more efficient process for funding and reporting; aligning state funding goals with federal requirements and national best practice trends; providing more local flexibility and control over spending; and expanding supportive housing options. Due in large part to the program improvements, during Governor Hogan’s first term, the State of Maryland provided over $47 million for services to more than 76,000 people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless statewide.

Specific projects and activities supported by the Homelessness Solutions Program and other housing and community development programs include:

  • The opening of the Lower Shore Shelter in Somerset County, previously the only county in Maryland without a shelter.
  • The financing of HELP Veterans Village, which provides 75 units of newly renovated and newly constructed housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans at the Perry Point VA Medical Center in Cecil County.
  • Support for local initiatives that assisted Montgomery County in placing more than 416 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing since January 1, 2016, becoming one of the largest communities in the country to effectively end chronic homelessness.
  • A grant award to expand emergency cold-weather sheltering for homeless individuals in Charles County.
  • Project C.O.R.E. support for Restoration Gardens 2 in Baltimore City, which provides 42 efficiency units for homeless youth and those aging out of foster care coupled with supportive services including case management, life skills training, and workforce development.
  • A recent symposium which attracted over 200 providers and youth from across the state to strategize on how to effectively address youth homelessness.

“The state’s responsive and responsible investment has played a pivotal role in serving homeless and potentially homeless Marylanders,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our agency will continue to deploy its resources thoughtfully and compassionately to do the most good for the most people.”

For more information about the Homelessness Solutions Program, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HomelessServices.

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