Homelessness: A Phase of Life, Not a Way of Life


Harford Family House seeks to raise awareness of Harford County’s families with children experiencing homelessness

This holiday season, Harford Family House aims to educate the community on the many families with children experiencing homelessness in Harford County.

“There are families with children right here in our own backyards who are experiencing homelessness,” says Robin Tomechko, chief executive of Harford Family House.“As we head toward the New Year, we encourage our community to remember that homelessness is not a way of life, but a phase of life. Together, we can help families help themselves!”

Harford Family House helps families in need by getting them off the streets and into transitional housing units – fully-furnished apartments they can call home for up to one year. While staying with the organization, adults are strongly encouraged to work, pay monthly rent and attend a variety of educational workshops. Workshops include financial management, housing resources, legal aide, how to manage their physical and mental health and a variety of other topics. Families are also provided comprehensive case management support to help them achieve their short and long-term goals. 

Since its inception in 1989, Harford Family House has worked to provide services to more than 600 families with children experiencing homelessness in the region. Harford Family House has a proven success rate, with 88 percent of families successfully graduating the program to assimilate back into safe, stable housing.

Robin Tomechko, chief executive of Harford Family House along with Lucas C. Taylor and Major General Randy S. Taylor of the Aberdeen Proving Ground at a Dec. 10 holiday party at Grove Presbyterian Church to celebrate the families supported by the organization and foster cheer for the holidays. 

What does homelessness in Harford County look like? One in five children in Harford County is living in poverty, Tomechko explains. Many families in the County are on a wait list for help, housing and support. Without support, these children and their families are cold, hungry and without a place to call home for the holidays.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time,” says Tomechko. “It is our goal to help families in need with dignity and respect. Our community can help us create more homes for those who have lost theirs.”

The nonprofit is seeking donations to help conquer homelessness in Harford County.The organization currently has the capacity to serve twenty-nine (29) families at one time; the cost to provide support to one additional family for one year is $25,000.  Harford Family House is one of the only resources in Harford County capable of providing services for entire families experiencing homelessness. For more information about Harford Family House, to donate or apply to volunteer, visit www.harfordfamilyhouse.org or call 410-273-6700.

[L to R]: Tatiana Calderon, Daniel Schuster of Schuster Concrete, Mike West of Mount Zion Church, Robin Tomechko and Fr. Larry Smith of Christ Episcopal Church dressed as Santa Claus with Rayven, 5, and Rayven, 6, whose families are supported by the organization.

About Harford Family House – www.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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