Harford Family House exclusively serves families experiencing homelessness with children. This could be a mom and children, a dad and children or a married couple with children. It could also be another adult, such as a grandmother or aunt, with legal custody of children under the age of 18.
Harford Family House currently receives all service referrals from the Harford Community Action Agency who screens prospective families for eligibility.
Yes. According to the Point-in-Time count conducted in January 2015, there were 210 individuals either living on the streets, in shelters, or in other forms of transitional housing, an estimated 40% who were children. More recent data is available on a national scale. According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, nationally (on a single night in January 2017), 184,661 people were homeless in 57,971 families with children, representing one-third (33%) of the total homeless population in 2017. Learn more HERE.
Families experiencing homelessness do whatever is necessary to keep their children off the streets. They are typically working at low paying jobs during the day while their children are in school or with a sitter. They move from place to place or stay in cheap motels until they run out of funds. Eventually, they end up sleeping in their cars, staying in tents, or temporarily doubling-up with friends or family members.
Fewer than 10% of the families HFH serve are experiencing homelessness due to mental illness and none of the families we serve are experiencing homelessness due to substance abuse. Mental illness and substance abuse are more of a factor in the single adult homeless population. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, families typically become homeless as a result of some unforeseen financial crisis that prevents them from being able to hold on to housing. The families we serve often have lost a job, have poor support systems, damaged credit and low skill sets resulting in low wage earnings. Medical illness and domestic violence are also issues for many families.
Currently, 46% of the families HFH serves have a job but they are low paying jobs. In Harford County, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom home is $1411. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a wage of $29.04/hour, 40 hours a week, is needed to afford housing costs of no more than 30% of a family’s income. That translates to 3.4 minimum wage earners per household.
Harford Family House receives all of its referrals through the Harford Community Action Agency who manages the waiting list of families in need.
HFH participates in the Harford Roundtable, a committee formed to create a network of services needed to help a homeless person or family become self-sufficient. This is known as a “Continuum of Care”, and the Harford Roundtable develops and executes the plans in the Homeless Continuum of Care System.
The Community Development Review Board (CDRB) comes together to review and make recommendations for the funding that’s awarded for activities that support the goals outlined by the County in the Consolidated Plan (FY2013-FY2017), which is the County’s plan to serve its low-income residents.
In FY 2018, 88% of the families who left the program obtained permanent stable housing. Through the services and programs provided, families were linked to the resources and skills they needed to return to self-sufficiency. They were given a “hand up,” not a “hand out.”
Whatever your gift or talent, Harford Family House can help you use your time, talents and resources to help homeless families. Please visit our Get Involved section for more details.
While we greatly appreciate all donations, we have limited storage space for furniture. Please take a look at our Furniture Needs List. Depending on your location and schedule and our current needs, we may be able to schedule a furniture pick-up. Please contact Tony Mackenzie, Director of Facilities to make arrangements at email@example.com.
We are always grateful for donations. Please review our supply list gives you an idea of the kinds of things needed by the families we serve. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM. Please call ahead of time at (410) 273-6700 to let us know you are coming.
100% of your donation will remain in Harford County to support the work of Harford Family House. We are a 501 (c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of our current financial statement is available by request – firstname.lastname@example.org.