Harford Family House Celebrates 30 Years of Community Collaboration

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Harford County nonprofit anniversary year highlights continued need to help families experiencing homelessness

Harford Family House is pleased to announce its 30th anniversary of providing housing, support and resources to families with children and unaccompanied young adults experiencing homelessness in Harford County. What began with the act of assisting one mother and her children has grown into helping more than 1,900 individuals from 600 families over the past three decades.

As part of the celebration, the organization is proud to unveil a refreshed, modern logo embracing the tradition of creating a home for the entire family.

Harford Family House’s new logo that was revealed at 510 Johnny’s in Bel Air on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. A portion of the evening’s proceeds were donated by 510 Johnny’s to Harford Family House. The logo was designed by Harford County resident, Anne Fullem, who previously served on the organization’s board of directors.

[From L to R]: Robin Tomechko, chief executive of Harford Family House, Anne Fullem, owner of Anne Fullem Design and Meaghan Yurek, graphic design & communications associate for Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance pose for a photo at the February 6 logo reveal party

Founded January 20, 1989, Harford Family House began as “Holy Family House” – a- partnership between nine Episcopal churches in Harford County. At the time of its inception, Holy Family House was the only available resource in Harford County capable of assisting entire families experiencing homelessness. Faced with the prospect of having to split up their family by staying in a traditional shelter, many clients came to Holy Family House after choosing to sleep in their cars out of desperation. In 2004, with the purchase of the Delle Grove apartment building in Aberdeen, Holy Family House officially changed its name to Harford Family House, Inc. to reflect the combination of the many churches, businesses, community leaders and other supporters who had become a part of the organization.

Harford Family House has transformed hundreds of lives such as former client, Laura Milcarzyk. In May 2009, Milcarzyk fled a situation of domestic violence where she and her son lived in a constant state of fear. With no personal bank account, she could not afford an apartment. Out of options, she turned to Harford Family House who, along with support from the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC), provided her the resources and stability needed to regain her independence.

Laura Milcarzyk and her son, John, in 2013, a few years after getting back on their feet with the help of Harford Family House

Today, Milcarzyk is a proud graduate of Towson University where she earned her B.S. in English with a minor in African/African American studies in 2017. She is currently employed with the Harford County Public Library system and is also a certified passport agent.

Laura and John in 2017 celebrating her graduation from Towson University.

“I would not be the same today without the influence of Harford Family House,” says Milcarzyk.

Thirty years after its inception, Harford Family House is able to assist 29 families at one time, with most clients receiving services for up to one year. The nonprofit provides a fully furnished apartment for each family, life skills classes, transportation assistance, a savings account, meals, daily necessities, clothing, school supplies, employment resources and more.

“Harford Family House was founded on community collaboration, and for our anniversary year, we want to continue to involve our community members every step of the way,” says CEO of Harford Family House, Robin Tomechko. “Together, we can create a Harford County where homelessness doesn’t exist.”

The nonprofit is seeking donations via a “$30 for Our 30 Years” campaign to help conquer homelessness in Harford County, by which supporters are invited to donate $30 per month throughout the organization’s anniversary year. For more information about Harford Family House, to donate or apply to volunteer, visit www.harfordfamilyhouse.org or call 410-273-6700.

About Harford Family Housewww.harfordfamilyhouse.org

Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness in Harford County. Other programs include HUD Supportive Housing for families experiencing homelessness where one family member has a disability, Wheels for Work, providing transportation to and from work while helping families work toward car ownership, and Ready by 21, a program to support unaccompanied young adults ages 18-21 who are involved with the foster care system. Clients are provided with a fully furnished apartment or house and receive case management services and referrals to partner agencies to move them from homelessness and despair to hope and independence.

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