Who exactly does HFH serve?
Harford Family House exclusively serves homeless families 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.
Is there really a homeless problem in Harford County?
Yes. According to the Point -in-Time count conducted in January 2013, there were 178 individuals reported to be homeless, with 41% of them being children. An estimated 77,000 families experience homelessness each night in the United States. For more information, please visit here.
Why don’t I see homeless families living in the streets?
Homeless families 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 homeless due to a mental illness and none of the families we serve are homeless 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, (http://www.endhomelessness.org) 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 $1251. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (http://www.nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/2012-OOR-Housing-Wage_Map.pdf), a wage of $24.83/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 does not keep a waiting list. When a space becomes available, we notify our community partners that we are accepting referrals. Referrals are reviewed on a first come, first serve basis.
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, visit http://www.harfordcaa.org, http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/445/Homelessness-Prevention-Program-HPP
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 homeless families to permanent stable housing?
In FY 2012, 82% 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. Contact Tony to make arrangements.
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