July 23, 2020
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Department of Community Resources and Services (DCRS) is continuing efforts to house individuals and families facing homelessness, especially those who meet the CDC definition of vulnerable or at high-risk for severe health outcomes or fatality if they contract the COVID-19 virus.
To date, DCRS has provided 3,884 non-congregate shelter nights in well-quarantine hotel rooms for 68 households. The 68 households have also received PPE, daily wellness checks and health monitoring, case management services, and permanent housing plans through local homelessness services providers. This project has also provided upwards of 6,700 meals for clients housed in non-congregate shelter and in unsheltered locations, in partnership with Humanim and grant funds from HoCo Responds, as well as donations.
“As our community continues to respond to this public health crisis, it is incredible to see our Departments working in cohesion and with community partners to house individuals and families facing homelessness,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “All of our residents deserve safe and secure housing and we’re extremely thankful to our Department of Community Resources and local organizations who work around the clock to support this vulnerable group.”
Humanim and Grassroots are partnering in housing case management and efforts to move as many clients from hotels to permanent housing as possible. Additionally, rapid rehousing services are provided through Bridges to Housing Stability, and housing choice vouchers and vacancy updates through the Housing Commission. To date, 15 to 38 households are on track to be permanently housed by August 1st.
Moreover, DCRS is preparing for a potential surge in housing needs following eviction and foreclosure moratoriums being lifted. County Executive Ball has already allocated more than $1.5 million towards rent relief and eviction prevention. Additional planning is underway to understand the types of services that will be needed including cross-sector collaboration, which brings partners, landlords, policymakers, and advocates together to discuss alternative solutions.
Howard County awarded $1.5 million in funding to five nonprofit agencies to provide rental assistance directly to residents suffering from a loss of income related to COVID-19. The application period opened on July 6th.
Applications and funding are still available. Maximum household income limits apply. Residents can visit www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Housing-and-Community-Development/COVID-19-Housing-Information or contact the Housing Department at (410) 313-6318 for additional information.
Residents can contact one of the five non-profit agencies - the Community Action Council, Grassroots, Family and Children’s Services, FIRN and The United Way - to complete an application for up to 3 months of rent payment assistance to pay past due rent and prevent eviction. The Howard County Housing Commission and Bridges to Housing Stability also received funding to provide rental assistance to residents living in their properties.