Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Baltimore. Often, they have no place to turn once they lose housing. Baltimore offers a severe shortage of family shelter capacity, which often causes families to be divided, with women, female children and adolescents going to women and children’s shelters, and men and older adolescent males going to a men’s shelter or the streets.

Sarah’s Hope Mount Street (SHMS) is St. Vincent de Paul’s comprehensive family shelter that provides 24 hour services for 80 homeless families in Baltimore City each year located in the heart of the Sandtown-Winchester, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Baltimore City. St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore knew we needed to expand SHMS to serve more families. And that’s exactly what we did. The expanded and renovated shelter is now at the forefront of providing shelter and comprehensive services to vulnerable families, including hundreds of children, who would otherwise have no place to live. The newly expanded Sarah’s Hope provides immediate shelter, stabilization, a supportive environment and access to comprehensive services 150 families each year.

After we completed the shelter expansion, we began much needed work on Sarah’s Hope’s exterior. A more accessible sidewalk and additional green space will soon be completed for families to enjoy during their stay at Sarah’s Hope.

During a partnership with St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, BGE, and Kaboom!, more than 250 volunteers came together on November 10th to build a playground for SHMS. The playground will provide needed resources, not only for the children and families at Sarah’s Hope, but also for the benefit of the community where there exists a scarcity of playground facilities. In addition, picnic tables and benches were assembled and installed around Sarah’s Hope’s exterior. The new playground will bring more than 400 kids in Baltimore City one step closer to having the play-filled childhoods they deserve. By building this playspace together, we are making it easier for all kids to get balanced and active play and making Baltimore more playable.