Approximately 2,500 men, women and children are homeless in Baltimore on any given night. Four factors are primarily responsible for homelessness: lack of affordable housing, lack of affordable health care, low incomes and a lack of comprehensive services. Chronic illnesses, including substance abuse disorders and persistent mental illness, and other physical disabilities create additional challenges in resolving homelessness.
The Journey Home, Baltimore City’s plan to make homelessness rare and brief, focuses on four major goal areas that address the root causes of homelessness: affordable housing, comprehensive health care, sufficient incomes, and preventive and emergency services.
The plan is overseen by the Continuum of Care, which is a coalition of service providers, funders, advocates, government agencies and community stakeholders working together to make homelessness rare and brief. The Continuum of Care Board acts as a catalyst for strategic planning, collaborating with other systems of care, recruiting philanthropic support, allocating homeless services funds, and coordinating CoC activities and committees.
More information about The Journey Home and CoC board activities can be found at the board's website. Interested community members are encouraged to become a member of the CoC, join a committee or workgroup, or attend public meetings. For a full list of ways to get involved and sign up, click here.
The Mayor's Office of Homeless Services is the designated lead agency for the Continuum of Care and works to implement federal, state, and local policy and best practices in addition to administering and monitoring homeless services grants. HSP administers approximately $48 million annually for programs that include street outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), meal programs and eviction prevention. Each year, through a network of partner providers, the homeless services program delivers housing and supportive services to over 25,000 individuals and families.