Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Releases Encampment Resolution Protocol

BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, February 22, 2024) – Today, the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) released its Encampment Resolution Protocol that outlines the agency’s trauma-informed and strategic approach to rehousing encampment residents. This protocol also highlights the vitality of cross-agency collaboration at the local level in executing a proactive approach that effectively addresses encampments. 

MOHS identifies an encampment as any outdoor location on public property where one or more individuals have established temporary living accommodations, typically involving structures like tents. Outdoor spaces are not suitable for human habitation and can pose severe health and safety risks for encampment residents and members of the surrounding communities. However, the health and safety of all Baltimore residents is a priority in the Scott Administration, and encampment residents represent a vulnerable population that needs to be supported with shelter, housing, and additional resources and aid. 

“The Encampment Resolution Protocol is the City of Baltimore’s comprehensive, compassionate, and humane approach to addressing homelessness in a way that strengthens our communities,” said Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Executive Director Ernestina Simmons. “Our outreach efforts remain client-centered and equitable as we ensure that encampment residents are connected to shelter or housing services prior to resolving encampment sites. This blueprint outlines the multi-agency and cross-sectional collaboration at all levels needed to protect the lives of individuals and households experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Baltimore City.” 

Once an encampment is identified, outreach teams begin engaging the residents to develop a client-centered plan aimed at providing shelter or housing support immediately. MOHS engages our support agencies which include the Baltimore City Department of Transportation that places signage at the site to notify occupants that a resolution is underway and to provide information on resources available. Outreach teams continue engaging occupants throughout the resolution process while MOHS arranges shelter for occupants prior to the arrival of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) for site cleanup. In collaboration with the Baltimore City Department of General Services (DGS), MOHS is able to offer secure storage solutions for impacted encampment residents. This initiative ensures the safekeeping of their belongings while fostering dignity, security, and accessibility as they transition toward stable housing solutions.

"Through dedicated outreach efforts, we're bridging gaps and building trust in Baltimore City's encampments, ensuring every individual is seen, heard, and supported,” said Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Homeless Outreach Program Manager Jessi Stevens. “Over years of commitment, I've navigated the evolving landscape, from the challenges of COVID-19 to transitions in administration, always striving to enhance services and empower those experiencing homelessness."

As an agency that directly affects the Clean and Healthy Communities pillar of Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s Action Plan, MOHS works to rehouse people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, connect individuals to essential resources, and clean encampment areas. This protocol aligns with MOHS’ goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring in Baltimore City.

The Encampment Resolution Protocol has been in effect since January 2024. To view the full report, click here.


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