Who exactly does Harford Family House serve?
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.
How can a family receive help from Harford Family House?
Harford Family House currently receives all service referrals from the Harford Community Action Agency who screens prospective families for eligibility.
Is there really a homeless problem in Harford County?
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% whom 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.
Why don’t I see homeless families living in the streets?
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.
Aren’t the homeless all alcoholics, mentally ill or drug addicts?
Fewer than 10% of the families HFH serve are experiencing homelessness due to a 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.
How can a person be homeless if they have a job?
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.
How long is your waiting list?
Harford Family House receives all of its referrals through the Harford Community Action Agency who manages the waiting list of families in need.
I have a friend who is about to lose their home. What should they do?
- For resources pertaining to home ownership, rentals and foreclosures in Maryland, visit http://www.mdhope.org or http://www.hud.gov.
- For resources pertaining to homeless prevention and housing in Harford County, click HERE.
What is our community doing to end homelessness?
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 it’s low-income residents.
How effective is HFH in transitioning families experiencing homelessness to permanent stable housing?
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.”
What can I do to help?
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.
I have some furniture I would like to donate. Can you come get it?
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.
I have some things I would like to donate. When can I drop them off?
We are always grateful for donations. Our supply list gives you an idea of the kinds of things we need. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Please call ahead of time to let us know you are coming.
If I give a donation, where does my money go?
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.