When people hear the word “homeless,” they often associate it with the men and women they see asking for money along the side of the street. The assumption is often that someone experiencing homelessness has made poor life decisions or is choosing to panhandle versus seek employment. While there are people without a home due to these issues, they are certainly NOT the only contributing factors to homelessness. With November being Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the issues facing our very own neighbors.
There are MANY faces of homelessness, even here in Harford County, and these faces aren’t just single men and women, but families with children, too.
Families with children like:
- Sha’ron, a single mother of four children. She and her family entered our program after spending many nights moving between the homes of friends and family members. Sha’ron held a part time job and consistently worked but could not keep up with her bills. With the help of Harford Family House, she applied for housing, established a savings account and eventually picked up a second job for supplemental income. Within six months, she received a call that a home in Havre de Grace was available for she and her family where they could continue their path toward independence.
- Donna, who unexpectedly took custody of her young grandson who needed daycare services that she was not financially prepared for. After missing multiple days of work because she couldn’t afford daycare, she was let go from her job and was no longer able to pay rent at her apartment. While staying with Harford Family House, Donna got a new job cleaning offices, her grandson enrolled in school and she is working to obtain her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
As you can see, homelessness takes many forms. Despite even our best efforts and greatest intentions, the harsh reality of homelessness is that it can strike anyone, at any time – and without warning. When a family is down on their luck and in need of support, Harford Family House is here to help. We understand every family’s story is different and that no two paths leading to our doors are the same. If you’re interested in lending a hand – whether by volunteering your time, or giving a monetary gift to support our programs and services – know that with your help, we can end homelessness in Harford County one face and family at a time.