The two long-standing Harford County nonprofits working to combat homelessness in Harford County announced the news at Harford Family House’s May 18 “Ahoy! Cocktails by the Bay” fundraising event, where local superheroes raised over $32,000

At a fundraising event billed as “community members putting on their superhero capes to help fight homelessness in Harford County,” two local nonprofits formally announced that they will be joining powers to battle homelessness in the area.

Effective July 1, Harford Family House and the Welcome One Emergency Shelter will merge, combining resources to expand the continuum of care and wraparound services with the end goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in the area. Although often unseen, homelessness is a real crisis in Harford County, with at last count more than 200 people experiencing homelessness, including 80 children.

The post-merger organization, which will retain the Harford Family House name, will offer a strong network of services and support to make it easier for people to get back on their feet and remain self-sufficient. Current Harford Family House CEO Robin Tomechko will continue to serve as CEO post-merger. After a total of nine years with Welcome One, Executive Director Liz Tutino will retire on June 30, and will continue to support Harford Family House both financially and as a volunteer. You can read more about the logistics of the merger at harfordhomelesshelp.org.

Robin Tomechko states, “We are excited for the merging of these two organizations and what that means for those in need. We envision an expansion of services and housing, and a start-to-finish continuum of care for every individual and family experiencing homelessness.” 

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Liz Tutino states, “After almost a decade of serving the Welcome One Emergency Shelter as a board member and then Executive Director, I am excited to retire and serve the merged organization in a different capacity. I know with over 30 years of experience and leadership in the non-profit sector, Robin will undoubtedly lead the merged organization toward its goal to reduce chronic homelessness in Harford County. I will remain there as a volunteer and committed partner every step of the way.”

The news was announced at Harford Family House’s annual “Ahoy! Cocktails by the Bay” fundraiser, which featured a themed cast of community members who commit to raising funds for the organization. This year’s theme was superheroes, and the following community members banded together to raise over $32,000:

· Vickie Horne, Aberdeen Main Street Coordinator – Cat Woman

· Jamila Mettee, Accounting and HR for Frederick Ward Associates & Realtor at Integrity Real Estate – Storm

· Joy Waida, Owner of Joy Home Design – Staging and Interiors – Batgirl

· Mindy Pirczhalski, Realtor at Cummings and Co. Realtors and Mrs. Central Maryland – Super Woman

· Meggin Reeder, Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual – Wonder Woman

· Susan Roarty, Director of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations at The John Carroll School – Captain Marvel

· Gary Barnoff, President of Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan – Batman

· Don Curry, President of TCA Property Management Inc. – Robin

· Joe Ayler, President of Tar Heel Construction Group – Spiderman

· Tim Langhauser, Founder of Compass Home Group – Captain American

· Mike Bennett, U.S. Army SGM Retired – Superman

As the top fundraiser, raising over $6,000, Jamila Mettee received the Buoy of Hope award. The event attracted more than 200 guests who enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres from MacGregors, live music by Sam O’Hare, a silent auction and gorgeous waterfront views at La Banque de Fleuve’s Seaplane Base in Havre de Grace.

According to Harford Family House CEO Robin Tomechko, the event would not have been possible without the support of event sponsors MacGregors Restaurant and Tavern, Harford Mutual Insurance Group, PeoplesBank, Whiting Turner, Harford Financial Group, Donohue, Hart, Thomson Financial Group, APGFCU, Harford County Government, Increditek, Pax Edwards, Budget Blinds, Law Offices of Stephanie Darling, Aberdeen Rotary, Argo Navigation, Palumbo Insurance, Gordon Feinblatt LLC, Jarrettsville Federal Savings and Loan Association, The Traffic Group, Harford Community College, Harford County Public Library, Bronwyn Martin, Ameriprise, Snee, Lutche, Hemlinger & Spielberger, Billy Boniface, Harford Bank, DeCapite & DeCapite, John’s Mens Clothing, Gio Technologies, PFP (Family Security Plan), Boyle Buick GMC, Growth by Association, Elegant Restoration, Autowerks Inc. Greg Dewart, Servant Leader Life Coaching, Mountain View Insurance, SWBC Mortgage, Weichert Realtors-Diana Realty, Chad Shrodes for Clerk of the Court, Winner Pauliny, Wealth Management of Janney Montgomery Scott, McComas Family Funeral Homes, Plaza Ford, Edward Jones, Key Title, and Integrity Real Estate.

About Harford Family House – harfordfamilyhouse.org

Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied adults ages 18-24 in Harford County. We are among the only organizations in Harford County capable of keeping an intact family, including father, together during the crisis of homelessness. It is our goal to end homelessness in Harford County, one family at a time. Since 1989, we’ve served more than 600 families with children, transforming the lives of more than 1,900 individuals.

About Welcome One Emergency Shelter – welcomeoneshelter.com

The Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Belcamp is the only year-round homeless shelter in Harford County, with 26 beds for men and 6 beds for women. The shelter is located in the Riverside Business Park in Belcamp at 1221 C Brass Mill Road Belcamp, Maryland. Since opening in 2006, more than 2,000 people have passed through its doors.

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