Action Plan on Homelessness

The three-year action plan is a “living document” that guides the Baltimore City Continuum of Care’s (CoC) collective work by setting clear, measurable, and achievable goals with specific strategies for policy and programmatic reform, effective analysis of need and performance, and a committed effort to realign resources. The action plan will continue to uphold the value that homelessness is solvable, as evidenced by a comprehensive crisis response system that ensures that homelessness is prevented, and when homelessness cannot be prevented, it should be a rare, brief, and a nonrecurring experience. The plan is ambitious but possible.

This action plan is the result of ongoing, collective processes led by Baltimore City’s CoC, inclusive of the original Journey Home plan, the CoC priorities established in 2017, and multiple efforts over the past two years that aimed to provide comprehensive analyses and specific recommendations. This plan has been developed and guided by key stakeholders and subject matter experts, including people with lived experience of homelessness.

The action plan identifies a series of action items across five essential strategies:

Strategy 1: Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing.

Increasing the supply of affordable housing is essential in our efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring and will yield the best and most cost-effective long-term results. The six interventions within this strategy present a robust, multi-pronged approach to expand opportunities for safe, decent, and affordable housing and supportive services to promote the highest level of independence and community integration for the range of individuals and families impacted by homelessness.

  • Analyze current housing inventory and need
  • Create new affordable housing
  • Launch a new local voucher program
  • Increase investments in Rapid Rehousing
  • Support and promote policies that prevent and end homelessness
  • Expand the Medicaid pilot and health system partnerships

Strategy 2: Create a More Effective Homeless Response System. An effective homeless response system prevents homelessness when possible and rapidly returns households experiencing homelessness to stable housing.

  • Enhance Coordinated Access
  • Implement a homelessness prevention and diversion program
  • Implement a system-wide outreach strategy
  • Implement standards of care and training plan

Strategy 3: Transform the Shelter System. Emergency shelters play a vital role in ending homelessness. Providing a temporary, safe, and supportive environment to address barriers to housing strengthens our system and encourages households experiencing homelessness to seek the assistance needed to end their homelessness.

  • Improve physical shelter conditions
  • Improve and enhance service delivery
  • Engage partners for comprehensive discharge planning
  • Develop a city-wide transportation initiative 

Strategy 4: Improve Access to Employment and Economic Opportunities. Comprehensive employment and income strategy and cross-sector solutions are necessary to support the goals of homeless jobseekers, eliminate barriers to employment and income stability, and assist families to obtain and sustain housing.

  • Integrate employment and income resources through a two-pronged, system-wide referral process
  • Create integrated learning communities
  • Reform policies and practices to support economic opportunity

Strategy 5: Establish a Race Equity Agenda. A race equity agenda is critical to this plan and will ensure that we identify, address, and eliminate racial disparities and create an equitable homeless service system.

  • Revise data collection strategies
  • Provide training and technical assistance on race equity
  • Reform practices and policies to address and rectify racial disparities

More on the Baltimore City Continuum of Care’s structure and plans to implement the Action Plan on Homelessness is available on the Journey Home website.