New Carrollton, Md. (February 9, 2021) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that overall homelessness in Maryland dropped by 24% from January of 2015 through January 2020, based on data from the annual Point-in-Time Counts. The number of chronically homeless individuals dropped by 25% and veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 35%. The state’s 16 designated Continuums of Care, supported by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, conduct the Point-in-Time Count which is a survey of homeless persons on a single night in January of each year. The count serves as a snapshot of homelessness in Maryland’s communities and is required as a condition of funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“This Point-in-Time Count shows some of the significant progress we have made in Maryland in preventing homelessness over the course of our administration,” said Governor Hogan. “We know that COVID-19 will also have an impact, and that’s why we have focused so much of our efforts during the pandemic response to assist local housing providers and quickly deploy federal funding.”
The 2020 Point-in-Time Count was held prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, as the pandemic began impacting Maryland communities, the department quickly deployed CARES Act resources and made existing awards more flexible so that service providers could use the funding for hotel/motel vouchers, basic supplies, health and hygiene products, and Personal Protective Equipment as warranted by local need. The department also rapidly administered more than $27 million in federal grant funding to local governments and Community Action Agencies to support the continuation of homeless prevention and rental assistance programs.
To further accelerate decreases in homelessness and enhance the services available in rural and suburban counties, Maryland launched a new Balance of State Continuum of Care partnership in 2020. This initiative consolidates the former Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Cecil, and Southern Maryland Continuums of Care in a joint mission to reduce homelessness. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is the lead entity coordinating the 7-county, multi-regional partnership and is providing dedicated policy and planning staff to support homeless services in those communities.
“Our flexible and innovative approach to addressing homelessness, both prior to and during the pandemic, has made a real impact,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our Homelessness Solutions Program will continue to strategically deploy resources as we work toward our shared goal of ending homelessness for Maryland families, veterans, domestic violence survivors, and others experiencing homelessness.”
For more information about the Homelessness Solutions Program, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HomelessServices.
To read the Maryland Homelessness, Five Years of Progress – 2015 to 2020 report, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/5-YearPITSummary.pdf.