Experiencing homelessness is challenging when there is warm sunshine, but when the cold fronts creep in, it becomes even more daunting. What’s worse than bone-chilling weather here in Harford County? Bone-chilling weather with rain, sleet or snow. Many of us have fond childhood memories of playing in the snow with our family members and friends. After hours of building snowmen and throwing snowballs there was no better feeling than going inside a warm house, stripping off your wet socks and snow gear and bellying up to a piping hot bowl of tomato soup.
Sadly, that’s not a reality for the more than 150 families with children experiencing homelessness here in Harford County. Living out of your car, unable to afford enough gas to keep the heat running through the night, means many wet, bitterly cold and hungry evenings. Can you imagine what it’s like to experience these conditions? Without adequate shelter, heat and nourishment those experiencing homelessness are at an extreme risk of illness, chronic health problems and in worst-case scenarios, death. Unfortunately, that was the outcome for six people last month in Maryland when temperatures dropped to six degrees with a wind chill below zero.
While none of these individuals lived in Harford County, it’s important to know homelessness does in fact exist within our community. It exists in the mother of three who can no longer afford to pay rent because she got laid off at work. It also exists in the father whose aging mother lives with him and he failed to make ends meet because of unexpected bills and medical expenses.
Now more than ever, the mission of Harford Family House is of utmost importance. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary year, we hope you’ll get involved with us by joining an event committee, volunteering your time or signing up to support our “$30 for our 30 Years” Campaign where we’re asking for a monthly contribution of $30 throughout 2019. Together, we can end homelessness in Harford County – one family at a time. If you’d like to learn more about us, please visit www.harfordfamilyhouse.org or contact me directly.