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Howard County to hold first Youth Count

March 28, 2017

Media Contact:
Marsha Dawson, Department of Community Resources and Services, 410-313-5929 (voice/relay)

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County is conducting its first ever Youth Count now through April 8 to identify unaccompanied youth, both sheltered and unsheltered, between the ages of 14 and 25. This effort to reach Howard County youth who are on their own and may be struggling with housing includes a community-wide “street count” on Wednesday, March 29 between 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Teams of three will divide the County into four areas to conduct surveys.

Additional survey sites will be set up across the County during the two-week period to meet youth “where they are.” Sites include Howard County General Hospital, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Day Resource Center, Columbia Workforce Center, the North Laurel MultiService Center, Howard Community College, the Howard County Food Bank, Howard County Police Department, the Howard County Department of Social Services and the Solomon’s Porch Worship Center in Jessup.

The Howard County Youth Count 2017 has recruited and trained volunteers from the public, private and religious communities to help during the two-week event. The Howard County Office of Local Children’s Board, Howard County Continuum of Care for Homeless Services and the Office of Workforce Development have joined Youth REACH MD to conduct the comprehensive census and survey. Partners include the Howard County Police Department, Howard County Department of Human Resources, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, Howard County Food Bank, Howard Community College, and Howard County General Hospital, as well as non-profit and religious organizations and youth groups.

The Youth Count is a “point in time” count designed to establish the scope of the problem of homelessness among youth and help policy makers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Transition age youth are referred to as the “invisible population” because their numbers are difficult to capture due to their resiliency and ability to find ways to live in situations that are not “traditional” and often not “safe”.

In addition to the Youth Count, a Young Adult Job and Resource Fair will be held on Saturday, April 1 from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M at Long Reach High School at 6101 Old Dobbin Lane in Columbia to offer resources and job leads to youth in need.

To volunteer for the Howard County Youth Count 2017 visit http://www.signupgenuis.com/go/20f0f4423a5f58-youth. For more information, contact Marsha Dawson, mdawson@howardcountymd.gov, Michelle Hippert, mhippert@howardcountymd.gov or Nancy Mercer, nancymercer61@gmail.com. Interested individuals also can follow the initiative on Facebook @yrhcmd.

Youth REACH MD is a multi-jurisdictional state effort led by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Learn more about the state initiative at www.YouthReachMD.com.

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