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Hogan announces expansion of cold-weather shelter in Charles

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. - The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced a grant award of $242,924 to expand cold-weather sheltering for homeless individuals in Charles County. The grant will be administered through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Homelessness Solutions Program. This fiscal year, the program awarded $9.1 million in grants to support homeless shelters and services statewide.

First Lady Yumi Hogan visited a shelter in Charles County in fall of 2018 and has been an advocate for increased support for these facilities.

"When I visited southern Maryland and learned of the gap in resources available for the homeless, I knew we needed to provide any help we could," said First Lady Yumi Hogan. "I am proud that our administration is working to address the needs of this especially vulnerable community."

While each jurisdiction in Maryland has a cold-weather sheltering plan, Charles County's capacity is insufficient for the growing demand. Charles County currently maintains 44 year-round shelter beds and access to approximately 50 cold weather beds - provided through a Warm Nights program hosted by local churches - for a total of 94 beds available from October through April. There are an estimated 125 people waiting for shelter in the county due to a lack of shelter space.  Lifestyles of Maryland, based in La Plata, will use the grant to open a facility to bring the unsheltered in from nearby encampments to receive emergency supportive services.

"Preventing homelessness is one of the Administration's top priorities, and a personal priority for myself, the Governor, and the First Lady," said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. "No one in Maryland should be forced to sleep outside during periods of extreme cold, and this funding will greatly help vulnerable homeless individuals and families find safe and warm shelter in Charles County."

The expanded shelter services are expected to be available later this week. For those living in Charles or St. Mary's counties that want more information, call Lifestyles of Maryland at 301-609-9900 ext. 204.

Through the Homelessness Solutions Program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development administers federal and state funding to the 16 local Continuums of Care to support homeless shelters and homeless services programs across the State of Maryland. The program funds cold weather shelters, year-round emergency shelters, Rapid Re-Housing, homeless outreach activities and case management for those in permanent supportive housing. In Fiscal Year 2019, the program is expected to serve approximately 15,000 Marylanders. The Governor's proposed FY2020 budget increases investment in the program by an additional $1 million.

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