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Carroll County Department of Social Services works to address homelessness by providing one-stop services

The county’s first Homeless Resource Day will take place on October 1 at Winters Mill High School

 CARROLL COUNTY, MARYLAND (September 20, 2011) – Today, the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) announced that the Carroll County Department of Social Services — one of the department’s twenty-four local offices — will host its first Homeless Resource Day on October 1, 2011 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Winters Mill High School.  The free event will provide one-stop services — including eviction prevention, utility turn-off prevention, and employment assistance — to an estimated 200 individuals and families.

“All across Maryland, more and more families struggling to weather these tough economic times are finding themselves without a home,” said Ted Dallas, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources.  “These individuals — our neighbors and fellow Marylanders — deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, which is why all across the state we are bringing public, private and non-profit organizations together to provide comprehensive, one-stop services.”

The homeless population in Maryland mirrors its population as a whole, consisting of families with children, individuals and the elderly.  According to the Homeless Prevention Program — which is administered by DHR’s Office of Grants Management — a person is most likely to become homeless when: they lack access to affordable housing; they suffer from mental illness or addiction; they experience domestic violence; they lack the skills and training necessary to secure a living wage; and they lack the support of family and friends.

Once an individual or family becomes homeless, they often face considerable systemic challenges to regaining steady employment and housing, such as a lack of access to an official government identification card, preventative health care services, and employment assistance.  By offering these services — and many more — in one centralized location, Carroll County is making it easier for homeless persons to access resources necessary to help themselves.

“This resource day event will provide the homeless and the near-homeless a wide range of preventive and direct services from our public, private, non-profit and faith community partners,” said Frank Valenti, director of the Carroll County Department of Social Services.  I am appreciative of the community support for this event, including the over 100 students from McDaniel College ROTC program who will act as guides – navigating the participants to the various service stations.”

A free shuttle service — beginning at 9:30 a.m. and departing from eight locations throughout the county — will be offered to assist homeless individuals — who may not have access to their own transportation — in attending the event.

Shuttle Pick-up & Drop off sites include:

Westminster – Distillery Bldg., Carroll Hospital Center, Shelters, Carroll Health Department, and
Westminster Elementary School
Taneytown – Public Library
Sykesville – Sykesville Freedom Fire Hall, Carroll Town Shopping Center
Mt. Airy – Twin Arch Shopping Center
Manchester – Manchester Elementary School
Hampstead – Hampstead Fire Hall
New Windsor – Brethren Center
Union Bridge – Elmer Wolfe Elementary School

Last year, the Department of Human Resources — through the Carroll County Department of Social Services and its community partners — provided homeless services to over 400 Carroll County residents.  As of July 2011, more than 4,490 Carroll County residents are receiving food assistance, over 801 applied for energy assistance, and over 200 households are receiving cash assistance.  There are approximately five shelters in the county with a total nightly capacity of 143 beds.

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The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the state’s primary social service provider, serving over one million people annually.  The Department, through its 24 local departments of social services, aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 24 counties.  Carroll County DSS is a field office of the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

 

Filed in: Carroll County, DHS News, Homelessness

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