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Baltimore County Communities For The Homeless 2008
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Baltimore County Communities For The Homeless 2008


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  • 1. Homelessness in Baltimore County Sponsored by: Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless (BCCH) 2008
  • 2. Myths & Assumptions (National Coalition for the Homeless, July 1998)  MYTH #1: With today’s economy, anyone can get a job. Homeless people just don’t want to work.  FACT: According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 1997 Survey of 29 cities, almost 1 in 5 homeless persons is employed in a full- or part-time job. Eleven years later in Baltimore County this data remains the same or higher. (65% of the men are employed at the west side shelter)
  • 3. Myths & Assumptions (National Coalition for the Homeless, July 1998)  MYTH #3: There are plenty of shelters and services for homeless people. People on the streets don’t want help.  FACT: In most areas, including Baltimore County, there are more people in need of shelter than available shelter beds. In FY 08 8,728 people were turned away from shelters.
  • 4. Myths & Assumptions (National Coalition for the Homeless, July 1998)  MYTH #5: A homeless person could find housing, even with a minimum wage job.  FACT: A minimum wage worker earning $6.55/hour in Maryland would need to work 155 hours per week in order to afford a 2 Bedroom unit. Would you be able to live on that income?
  • 5. Myths & Assumptions (National Coalition for the Homeless, July 1998 & Baltimore County Point In Time Survey 2008)  MYTH #6: America’s generous welfare policies and extensive safety net prevent children from becoming homeless.  FACT: Declining welfare benefits and housing assistance have contributed to record numbers of children who experience homelessness in the US.  Approximately 1/3 of those in shelters in Baltimore County are children
  • 6. What is the TRUTH about Baltimore County? (Baltimore County Homeless Management Information System, 2007, to date)  In 2008, Baltimore County identified 6,303 homeless people (5,400 were identified in 2007).  Of the 6,303 homeless people, 70% were women and children.  The #1 reason for homelessness in Baltimore County: INABILITY TO PAY RENT/INSUFFICIENT INCOME/LOST JOB
  • 7. What is the Truth in the Baltimore County? (Baltimore County Point in Time Survey January, 2008)  67% were families  2,069 were children under the age of 17  9% were veterans  58% were homeless for the first time  41% Caucasian 56% African American 4% Hispanic
  • 8. What Does Homelessness Look Like?  Single women  Single men  Two-parent intact families  Single parent families  Veterans  Elderly  Working individuals & parents  Infants, toddlers, preschool, and school-age children, and teens  College and post college educated
  • 9. How Does Homelessness Happen?  Lack of Affordable Housing  Poverty: Effect of Income and Wages  Physical & Mental Health Concerns  Vulnerability of Single Parents & Extended Families  Domestic Violence  Effect of Political Trends & Influence  Natural Disasters ALL FACTORS MAY CONTRIBUTE TO HOMELESSNESS
  • 10. Income, Wages, & Housing  A minimum wage worker at $6.15 per hour, working 40 hours per week, can afford a monthly rent not to exceed $341.00. The fair market rent for a 2 bedroom unit in Baltimore County is $1,013.00 per month.
  • 11. Availability of Affordable Housing  Barriers to moving into own home:  Security deposits ( may be 2 months rent plus first months rent needed)  Cost of rising utilities  Credit issues  Lack of public transportation and child care limits employment opportunities
  • 12. Physical & Mental Health  2008: In Baltimore County 50% of homeless persons reported no health insurance (Point in Time)  89% of these persons use the emergency room for care, some visiting over 100 times in 1 year  Chronic health problems difficult to treat and monitor mental & addictive disorders, hypertension, diabetes, and  HIV/AIDS  Other health problems frequently occurring in those that are homeless include cancer, incontinence, sores that don’t heal, respiratory infections, and high risk pregnancies
  • 13. Physical & Mental Health  Limited long term resources for follow-up care for individuals leaving mental health facilities  Problems resulting directly from homelessness include cardiovascular, leg ulcers, upper respiratory infections, and frostbite  No follow up provided for treatment following an illness or respite for post surgery
  • 14. Family Composition  Single parents and extended families are More at risk for becoming homeless because; they tend to have less financial resources  and have more environmental stress than two-parent  intact families.
  • 15. What about Children who Experience Homelessness?  1382 homeless children attended Baltimore County Public Schools during 2006-2007 school year. (1200 in 2007)  The Baltimore County emergency shelters have seen up to 110 children a night (2006).
  • 16. How can I tell that a child may be homeless?  Hunger & food hoarding  Aggressive or withdrawn behavior  Frequent fatigue  Difficulty trusting  Numerous absences  Unattended from school medical/dental needs  Inadequate hygiene or  Low self-esteem grooming  Emotionally needy
  • 17. What about the Elderly who experience homelessness?  Severe & harsh living conditions effect physical and mental state earlier.  50-65 year olds cannot receive Medicare  Monthly SSI benefits:$637 /average monthly (7/2008)—BELOW POVERTY LINE  Isolation effects mental capacity  Medically frail and more intensive medical needs
  • 18. Why Should I Be Concerned About Homelessness?  Many households are only two paychecks or a medical illness away from homelessness.  Shelter is a basic human need. It effects children and families and individuals. $37,200 to shelter a family  It costs approximately of 4 for one year. In comparison, to rent a 2 bedroom apartment costs approximately $13,000 per year.
  • 19. What Can I Do About It?  Volunteer  Donate  Advocate  Educate  Participate
  • 21. Where can I get more general information about homelessness?  Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless (BCCH) A community-based group that, through public  education, advocacy, and action-oriented solutions, works to alleviate, and ultimately eliminate, homelessness in Baltimore County.  National Alliance to End Homelessness   National Law Center for Poverty and Homelessness  
  • 22. How Can I learn more about homelessness in my own community?  National Coalition for the Homeless   National Center for the Education of Homelessness and Youth 
  • 23. Sources Burt,M.R., Aron, L.Y., Douglas, T., Valented, J., et. al. (1999) Homelessness: 1. Programs and They Serve. Washington, DC: Interagency Council on the Homeless. 2007 Baltimore County Point in Time Survey 2. 2006 Office of Transitional Living Report on Homelessness 3. Baltimore County Homeless Management Information System 4.