Family Stability Initiative
100 South Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
About Family Stability Initiative
It is a disturbing fact that families are among the fastest growing homeless groups.
In central Maryland, the cost of housing is unaffordable for many. A person earning minimum wage would have to work 3.3 full-time jobs to afford fair-market rent on a two-bedroom apartment here. A startling 29 percent of adults in homeless families are employed. And the number of homeless students in Maryland has more than doubled in the past five years.
Homeless families often turn to local shelters - which in many cases, means that a family must be separated at the very time they need each other the most. Most shelters are not equipped to handle large families, dads with children or families with teenage boys. One in five homeless children is separated from his or her family.
The ramifications of homelessness on a child emotionally, physically and scholastically are severe and often long-lasting. Children from homeless families generally have to switch schools or travel great distances to get there. They're more likely to show delayed development, less likely than their peers to be tested as proficient in math and reading, and at heightened risk of health and nutritional issues.
These families need help now, and at a long-term, systemic level. UWCM has developed a multi-faceted Family Stability Initiative aimed at lifting families out of crisis and move them to self-sufficiency through:
- Prevention: helping at-risk families stabilize before they become homeless
- Housing: diverting homeless families from traditional shelters to temporary housing under a "shelter diversion" plan
- Financial Education: working with these families on financial literacy, asset-building, budgeting and employment