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Beyond homelessness.

There’s No Place Like Home--Unless You Don’t Have One

More than 4,000 men, women, and children experience homelessness in the Baltimore area on any given night. Families who are homeless, nationally and in Baltimore, represent about one third of the homeless population, and have been the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in recent years.
Imagine for a moment if you had no place to call your own…sleeping on the streets or in a car…couch surfing from friend to friend…no place to cook a meal…no bed for your child to sleep in…no place to relax and simply be with family…no possessions--except those you can carry with you. It’s hard to fully understand the trauma of homelessness and the tragic circumstances of those who experience it daily.

For some, the reasons for being homeless include physical and mental disabilities, addiction, and inability to work. For others the reasons include loss of a job, sudden illness, domestic violence, separation, or other crisis that causes them to fall behind on their bills, become evicted, and lose everything.

Both categories of people face huge obstacles to regaining stability and housing, such as a lack of affordable housing stock in our community, health problems, lack of skills and education, unemployment, low wages, or underemployment, poor credit, and large arrearages for utility bills.

In addition to homelessness being traumatic for the adults, the long term, damaging effects on children are huge. Homeless children are more likely than their peers to have poor social skills, drop out of school, repeat a grade, perform poorly on tests, and suffer from learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Homeless children experience emotional problems at triple the rate of non-homeless children, including high rates of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and stress.

Ending Homelessness in the Baltimore Area

At St. Vincent de Paul, we seek to minimize both the incidence and duration of homelessness, with the ultimate goal of ending homelessness. The best way to prevent homelessness is to help people who may be on the brink of homelessness to stay in their home through eviction prevention, emergency financial assistance to prevent evictions. But once someone becomes homeless, we are ready to step in quickly and help.

Minimizing the length of time individuals and families are living on the streets or in shelters is absolutely key to avoid the long-term, negative effects of homelessness on both adults and children. For this reason, rehousing is always the immediate and central focus of all of our homeless services.  

For those who have experienced a crisis but are capable of sustaining housing, we employ best practices that involve short term interventions such as prevention and shelter diversion services, brief shelter stays to achieve stability, rapid re-housing, and shelter diversion services.

For those with a long history of homelessness and who, due to disabilities or other circumstances, are unable to be self-sufficient, we offer permanent supportive housing services.

Our Homeless Services

Beans & Bread: a homeless day resource program that serves 300 people daily with meals, healthcare, showers, laundry, employment services, case management, and intake to coordinated access system for housing placement

Frederick Ozanam House: a permanent supportive housing program for larger families

Home Connections: a scattered-site permanent supportive housing program for 130 chronically homeless disabled adults

Sarah Hope Family Shelter: A family shelters in Baltimore City providing 24-hour day emergency shelter and comprehensive services for 145 women, men, and children each day

Hannah More Family Shelter: A family shelters in Baltimore City providing 24-hour day emergency shelter and comprehensive services for 85 women, men, and children each day

Front Door Program:  a program providing rapid re-housing, prevention, and shelter diversion services to over 180 individuals and families in Baltimore City and Baltimore County

Cottage Avenue Community: a permanent supportive housing program serving 15 families designed at a time

Innterim House: Transitional Shelter serving 10 families at a time in Baltimore County

Innterim Gardens: Permanent Supportive Housing serving 10 families at a time in scattered site housing in Baltimore County