Meet Laura, Front Door Director

Laura is the Director of Front Door – Rapid Re-Housing Program. Front Door connects –80 people to better housing every year.

Laura had no idea that a simple direct conversation with new client Angela would change the trajectory of Angela’s entire family.

“I simply asked Angela, did she have somewhere safe to sleep tonight and if a space was available at Sarah’s Hope would she and her children be able to move-in” said Laura.

Sometimes we forget the power of a question.

That simple question, all in the scope of Laura’s daily tasks at Front Door, literally opened the door to a safe and warm place for Angela’s family to get back on their feet, out of the cold, out of borrowed cars and vans.

Angela’s memory is that it saved her! It was the dead of winter and she was out of options. It was too frigid to sleep in a borrowed car. She needed something more. Something safe and warm.

“I’m determined to make sure no one sleeps outside.”

“I’m determined to make sure no one sleeps outside.” said Laura. “especially if they do not want to sleep outside.”

“We are able to let them know it is their choice,” Laura continues. “Sarah’s Hope is a safe environment, but to many people who have experienced trauma and loss of dignity in shelters, they cannot fathom being on the street or in a transitional housing facility again.”

St. Vincent de Paul is re-defining “shelter” especially for people like Angela who have experienced trauma from past experiences.

“I am so happy Angela trusted me in that moment and made a decision to stay at Sarah’s Hope. She trusted that it was the right choice. She worked with her caseworker to set goals, make a plan and within a short time she and her family were re-housed in a place she could call home.”  concluded Laura.



St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Awarded $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Awarded $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant

12/11/2019 12:00:00 AM EST
a month ago

BALTIMORE - St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore announced today it is the recipient of a $5 million grant awarded by the Day 1 Families Fund, which will support its continuing efforts to end family homelessness in the Baltimore region.  The funds will be used over four years to create new ...

Meet Laura, Front Door Director

Meet Laura, Front Door Director

12/10/2019 12:00:00 AM EST
a month ago

Holiday Giving Opportunities Giving at SVDP

Holiday Giving Opportunities Giving at SVDP

11/12/2019 12:00:00 AM EST
2 months ago

There are many opportunities to give this holiday season at St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore.  The generosity of the community during the holidays helps us to provide essential services throughout the year and truly makes a difference at this time of year.

Prepare a Meal ...

They Filled My Plate and Then They Filled My Heart

They Filled My Plate and Then They Filled My Heart

9/27/2019 12:00:00 AM EDT
3 months ago

Spotlight on Trauma Informed Care

We are all shaped by our experiences, and nothing leaves a more lasting impact than trauma.  Trauma, defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, leaves a physical impression on the brain altering normal responses.  We has humans have all experienced some form of trauma in our lives such as shock, distress, pain, suffering, grief, or heartache.

Recognizing that most of our clients have experienced or are experiencing trauma, SVDP is adopting a Trauma-Informed Care model as the philosophy of care.  The foundation of Trauma-Informed Care is treating everyone with respect as individuals and families.  Once we are operating with a trauma informed filter, we may better meet clients where they are.

We are committed to training all employees and volunteers on the unique needs of those in our care.  All SVDP Homeless Services staff completed Trauma-Informed Care training this summer.  We are excited to team up with Aetna Better Health of Maryland to provide Trauma-Informed Care training as part of orientation.  The Trauma-Informed Care training will help staff recognize the effect of trauma on clients while being mindful of the trauma he or she has experienced.

They Filled My Plate and Then They Filled My Heart

Maryland is the weathiest state in the nation, when measured by per capita income, but not all Marylanders share in the prosperity.  Across the state, a staggering 1 in 10 households struggle against hunger.  When Shay first walked through our doors, she wasn't just hungry, she was empty.  Not only did she not have enough to eat, she had no one to count on.  She was only in her early 20's but Shay was already world weary.  She was starved for basic love and care.  We immediately helped Shay by giving her nutritious food through our Beans & Bread meal program.  Once Shay started coming regularly to Beans & Bread for food, we connected her to a Career Navigator, who identified many barries Shay faced to finding a good job.  Working with the Career Navigator, Shay chose to enroll in our Next Cours food service job training program, and her transformation truly began.  Through Next Course, Shay learned valuable cooking and food service skills and completed a ServSafe Manager's certification that allowed her to launch a new career upon graduation from the program.  Through our Front Door Rapid Rehousing Program, Shay was connected with permanent housing.  She has a steady home, a safe home, and most importantly she has hope.  "I can actually think about a real future now," Shay says.  "I'm not just trying to survive day by day.  I never thought this would be possible, and I'm just so grateful!"

Baltimore Equinox Event 2020

September 19, 2020


New Fundraising Event!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

7PM - 11PM 

Baltimore Musuem of Industry

Join us for this one-night celebration aiming to help people move beyond homelessness - be the light you want to see!  All proceeds will support the shelter and housing programs for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore.  #BETHELIGHT

Tickets are available now, visit

New Early Childhood Development Center Opens at Newly Renovated Arlington Elementary School in Park Heights

21st Century Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in front of Arlington Elementary School

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore announced on August 26th, the opening of a brand new Early Childhood Development Center at the modernized Arlington Elementary School.  The new Early Childhood Development Center was created as part of the Baltimore City Public School System renovation of Arlington Elementary School, which is scheduled to re-open in September.  On Wednesday, August 28th, 21st Century Schools hosted a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate.

The refurbished Arlington site will provided children with a healthy, safe, efficient, modern space, which will support excellence in teaching and learning with flexible, adaptable spaces, learning areas designed for interaction, collaboration, technology equipped classrooms and shared community sapces, including three teaching walls, tablets, touch screen learning and developmentally appropiate robotics.  St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore's Head Start program as 68 center-based slots in 6 classrooms at Arlington, serving 60 families.  The St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Head Start program provides early childhood education services to prepare children for school, while also achieve financial, housing, health stability goals, benefitting the families servied and the entire community.  Stay tuned for the offical grand opening of the Early Childhood Development Center.

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore's Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Development Center

One of the Head Start classrooms at the Early Childhood Development Center

Front entrance of Arlington Elementary School before the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

This year, Camp St. Vincent has been all about learning.  This summer we welcomed over 200 children, ages 5-14 who are experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.  Camp St. Vincent creates and environment where our campers learn through fun.  From field trips to the Maryland Science Center, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the National Aquarium, and American Visionary Art Museum, to in-camp activities like making homemade ice cream, park observations from the historic Patterson Park Pagoda, daily swim lessons, and a rich social emotional curriculum, Camp St. Vincent campers were always learning.

Every year, Camp St. Vincent relies on volunteer camp counselors.  This year, over 130 area high school students gave at least 80 hours of their time in service.  They helped wtih everything.  Everyday camp counselors set up all equipment and tents, led campers in daily sports, and guided them through social emotional activities.  Our volunteers provide guidance, frienship and stability to our campers but also provide them with daily support and love.

The Relationship Between Housing and Economic Mobility

The relationship between housing and economic mobility stable housing is critical to child development and family well-being. For young children, a stable home provides a positive environment for engaging in nurturing relationships with parents and other family members. For parents, a stable place to live ensures that they can devote their attention to their family rather than worry about housing. Parents in stable housing are also better able to find and maintain steady employment to provide for their families. Yet, for many families, stable and affordable housing is out of reach. Many families with low incomes struggle with the cost of housing. This can result in frequent moves, substandard housing conditions, or even homelessness. Housing uncertainty is often a large source of stress that over the long-term poses risks to child and family well-being. With more and more families renting in already tight rental markets, housing assistance programs can provide critical support. Some programs subsidize the cost of housing or provide temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness. Others help families finance the purchase of a home. Families that receive housing assistance are also more likely to enroll in more programs that offer benefits to further support families' well-being. There are many things that all programs can do to support their families to reach their housing goals, specific services vary by community but, Head Start Family Service Coordinators are available to share housing programs and eligibility requirements with their families for the long term success of their families. Source: Office of Head Start (OHS).

Meet Laura, Front Door Director


St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Awarded $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant


BALTIMORE - St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore announced today it is the recipient of a $5 million grant awarded by the Day 1 Families Fund, which will support its continuing efforts to end family homelessness ...

read more

Recent Stories

Meet Laura, Front Door Director

Laura Starsoneck, Director at Front Door

New Early Childhood Development Center at Newly Renovated Arlington Elementary School in Park Heights

New Early Childhood Development Center at Newly Renovated Arlington Elementary School in Park Heights

10 reasons to enroll yourchild in Head Start

10 Reasons to Enroll Your Child in Head Start Preschool


Head Start is a pre-kindergarten program first launched by the United States government in 1965. The program was designed to aid working-class children in specific areas of their development, including education, nutrition and health services ...

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Patterson Park Head Start Staff
Mike Olliver

Patterson Park Head Start Staff

Head Start Patterson Park


May 7, 2018


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Amity Aldrich

Meet Our New Assistant Director of Events and Volunteers


May 3, 2018 - Amity Aldrich has been named Assistant Director of Events and Volunteers for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. Amity will be managing all aspects of corporate and community engagement with an emphasis ...

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Donna Trado, Owings Mills’ Office Manager - Point Breeze Credit Union; April Wright-Ferguson, Director of Sarah’s House Hannah More; Michelle Boyle, Vice President of Development for SVDP

Point Breeze Credit Union donation helps to establish new youth mentoring program


April 16, 2018 - Sarah’s Hope at Hannah More is  our family homeless shelter on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore County. It’s a place where families experiencing homelessness can stay together - whether they are dual-parent ...

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Meet our New Communications Director


Rebecca Campany has been named Director of Communications for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore.  Rebecca will lead marketing and communications at SVDP, which has been a leader in helping people overcome poverty for over ...

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12th Annual Empty Bowls Fundraising Event Was a Huge Success


March 24, 2018 - It takes a small army to put together Empty Bowls every year, and we’re extremely grateful to all of the volunteers, soup makers, bowl makers, and sponsors who made this year ...

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St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore earns $1 Million HUD grant


March 20, 2018 - Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh joined other local leaders to celebrate a $1 million grant to fund the expansion of St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore's Front Door Rapid Re-Housing Program ...

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New Study Shows that St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore’s Front Door Rapid Re-Housing Program is a Success

March 20, 2018

March 16, 2018 - Abt Associates,  a global leader in research and program implementation released the results of a 3-year study of our Front Door Rapid Re-Housing program.

  • 71 percent of families retained permanent housing
  • 93 ...
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SVDP Is Helping Those In Need Overcome Obstacles To Obtain Jobs

Laura Starsoneck, Director, Front Door

Having a stable job not only provides income that allows you to feed and house yourself, it also provides a sense of pride and self-worth. Imagine if all of this was taken away from you ...

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Beans & Bread Wednesday Volunteer Group

Michelle Boyle, Vice President, Development & Marketing

On any given day, in the heart of bustling Fells Point, Beans & Bread can serve over 300 meals to our community’s most vulnerable neighbors.  Few people can understand what it takes to run a ...

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Empty Bowls 2018 - How Can You Help?


Did you know that Maryland, although it is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, is home to more than 760,300 people who do not have enough to eat? Not only that, but ...

read more