ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the launch of a new transformative housing assistance program, the Family Home Start Program, with Bridges to Housing Stability. Targeted towards students experiencing homelessness, the Family Home Start Program will provide housing assistance and create pathways to stable housing for families through a security deposit guarantee, first month’s rental subsidy, housing search resources and case management support. You can find more information on the program here.
This past fall, I launched our new comprehensive Housing Opportunities Meant for Everyone, or HOME, package aimed at tackling housing affordability in Howard County. Thanks to HOME, we are able to take steps to ensure our youngest residents can show up to school each day not having to worry about where they are going to sleep that night. By providing their families with the means and assistance needed to find a place to call home, we are giving these students the stability and safety they need to be able to excel in school and achieve a bright future.
Through the HOME package, overseen by Howard County’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the County has provided $1 million in funding to launch the county’s first ever Family Home Start Program. The program will be administered by Bridges to Housing Stability, a local housing nonprofit, in partnership with DHCD and HCPSS. Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) data indicates that nearly 500 of its students’ experienced homelessness in 2022. The Family Home Start Program will provide critical housing support to these students and families, helping them secure and maintain access to stable housing.
Homelessness is a considerable challenge in Howard County and too often impacts a child's ability to thrive and learn. I appreciate the collaborative investment of County Executive Ball on behalf of many of the most vulnerable families and citizens of Howard County. This investment for rental subsidies is a wonderful step in the right direction as we tackle this universal challenge collectively.
“Bridges to Housing Stability is excited to partner with the Howard County Public Schools System and Howard County DHCD on launching the Family Home Start Program on February 5th. In our school system, 431 students are currently experiencing homelessness,” said Jen Broderick, Executive Director of Bridges to Housing Stability. “Family Home Start, will provide security deposit guarantees and first month’s rent, along with short-term case management, for many of these families so they can move from homelessness to stable permanent housing. This will have a lasting positive impact on all members of these families. We’re thankful for the County Executive’s concern about family homelessness, and his support of and trust in Bridges to address this need in our community.”
To learn more about this program, visit the Bridges to Housing Stability “Family Home Start” website at https://bridges2hs.org/family-home-start/.