A new report jointly authored by the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services’ Office of Community Partnerships and the Howard County Coalition to End Homelessness provides a new multi-year outlook on the county’s collaborative effort to build a community where no one experiences homelessness.
“The Path Home” outlines a five-year strategic plan to ensure that homelessness in Howard County is rare, brief and nonrecurring. The Path Home builds upon the county’s 2010 plan focusing on strategies to assist those who are chronically homeless and situationally homeless in Howard County. Goals outlined in the updated plan were informed by a three-month assessment conducted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH). According to the assessment, county resources currently accommodate approximately 33 percent of eligible homeless residents.
“The Path Home demonstrates our commitment to be a housing first community focused on rapidly rehousing individuals and families, and providing ongoing support to help them maintain their housing,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “As a county, we will work together with government, business, faith, and nonprofit communities to ensure that all residents have access to the resources they need for the best quality of life.”
Through the plan, the county will implement a set of strategic goals that align resources and services within the homeless response system. These goals will address capacity limitations with a focus on providing safe alternatives to entering the homeless system whenever possible; increasing exits from emergency shelter; and creating innovative partnerships with landlords, businesses and other community stakeholders to leverage resources and increase housing options.
“The Path Home embodies the Coalition’s goals to create a homelessness response system that allows clients to return to stable, sustainable housing where they can thrive with the dignity of having a place to call home,” says Jacqueline R. Scott, Director of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services. “We have learned many lessons since our initial efforts, and The Path Hometakes these lessons from both local experience and national research to set goals around building a more effective homeless response system. We look forward to working with the community on this important journey.”
The full report can be downloaded at www.howardcountymd.gov/OCP.