Harford's homeless

No home

July 05, 2011


Upon review of the recent editorial in The Aegis that highlighted the issue of homelessness in the county, I think it is important to point out how complex this issue is.

The phenomenon of homelessness is not a seasonal issue, rather the tragedy that affects far too many individuals and families in Harford County. Resources, though available, are stretched throughout the year to serve hundreds of people coming through the doors of community and nonprofit organizations. Most individuals experiencing homelessness would like nothing more than to have a safe place to live. Unemployment, financial distress and health-related problems lead to homelessness every day. It is truly an occasion that a homeless person "does not want help."

Homeless services in Harford County serve people throughout the year and it is not uncommon for some agencies to be out of funds by the time warmer months arrive. The only full-service emergency homeless shelter in Harford County (Welcome One), run by FCCAU, serves only 28 adults and cannot accommodate children and families. The shelter is always full, thus leaving individuals and families to survive homelessness by living in cars (when available), tents and anywhere else that can be found. These difficult living conditions often cause people to experience stress, depression and related mental health concerns.

It is the hope of committed volunteers, faith-based organizations, community organizations, local government and concerned and caring citizens, that homeless Harford County residents will no longer need to live in tents or elsewhere because the availability of safe and affordable housing will make it possible for everyone to find housing.

Pat Balducci

Board Member, FCCAU

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