SHIP plans to set up a host home program.
Frederick, Md (KM). $9.1-million in grants are being doled out by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to local non–profits that work with the homeless population. Some of that money is coming to the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership in Frederick. “The funding is going to be utilized to help us plan a host home program for unaccompanied youth within the Frederick County School System and beyond,”: says SHIP Executive Director Ed Hinde. “But they’re residents of Frederick County and are in need of stable, safe and secure housing.”
Hinde says the host home program needs volunteer families who will provide these young people with a place to live in their homes so they can concentrate on their education and social skills. “And SHIP will provide supplemental services, life skills training and those sort of activities to the child as they mature,” he says.
Host home programs have been tried in other parts of the country, including Minneapolis–St. Paul and Denver, Colorado. But Hinde says one of the most successful ones is in Fairfax, Virginia called Alternative House. “Most of the host home programs around the country are positioned to accept teenagers 18 and older, young adults. Our long term ambition is to be able house minor-age children. We’ll most probably start our program housing 18 and older,” he says.
It’s expected to be up and running by the middle of next year, Hinde says. “This funding grant that we’re receiving from the state will allow us to best fund our planning function,” he says.
He says as of June, 2018, there are 848 students who are homeless; 162 of those kids are unaccompanied young students, or children with no parents or guardians who are responsible for them.
But Hinde says this program is perfect for unaccompanied youth who need assistance to break out of homelessness. “There’s highly vulnerable. They’re very transient. Yet thankfully, they remain in school. That’s our point of contact with them. We’d like to be able to provide them, through a community host home program, the ability to get more stable, secure housing,” he said.
Anyone who needs the services of SHIP can call 240-415-8971.
These grants from the state’s Homelessness Solutions Program are expected to help about 15,000 Marylanders experiencing or at risk for homelessness, according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
By Kevin McManus