National Homeless Youth Awareness Month raises awareness for children and families dealing with homelessness and educates the public on ways they can help end homelessness in their communities. Harford Family House will partner with several local restaurants for National Hunger and Homelessness Week, November 16th to November 24th, to raise awareness and much needed funds during Give Back Nights.
Harford Family House encourages the community to remember homelessness not as a way of life, but as a phase of life. Robin Tomechko, Chief Executive of Harford Family House, says, “There are families with children right here in our own backyards that are experiencing homelessness. Together, we can help families help themselves!”
Harford Family House helps families in need by getting them off the streets and into housing units – fully-furnished apartments they can call home for three to six months. 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.
What does homelessness in Harford County look like? According to Harford County Public Schools, 480 students did not have a place to call home last year. According to the Harford County Point In Time count data, an enumeration of unsheltered and sheltered persons experiencing homelessness on one night during the last 10 days of the calendar month in January, the number of youth ages 0-24 jumped from 71 in 2018 to 102 in 2019. Six percent of these youths were unaccompanied youth. Without support, these children and their families could be hungry and without a 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.”
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. Last year, Harford Family House served 57 families, including 71 adults and 131 children. Harford Family House has a proven success rate, with 83 percent of families successfully graduating the program to assimilate back into safe, stable housing.
You can give back during the month of November by dining out at one of these local restaurants. Each has chosen a date to give back a portion of your check to Harford Family House. Participating restaurants include: Enotria Restaurant and Grill, November 14th, Texas Roadhouse, November 19th, Basta Pasta, November 20th , Sean Bolan’s, November 21st, Acappella Italian Restaurant, November 26th, MacGregor’s Restaurant and Outback Steakhouse TBD. Be sure to check our Facebook page regularly for any additional participating restaurants.
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 the largest resource in Harford County 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.
About Harford Family House – www.harfordfamilyhouse.org
Harford Family House is the largest provider of 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.