To ensure success of The Journey Home in Baltimore, new houses must be in safe locales and affordable to low income families. Additionally, current housing structures of the Continuum of Care transitional housing stock must be improved to aid the homeless, veterans, families and youth to create permanent homes.
- Develop new permanent housing units and use the Housing First approach to target these units to the most vulnerable individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
- Improve the targeting of existing permanent supportive housing units to chronically homeless individuals and veterans.
- Explore how to repurpose some of the Continuum of Care transitional housing stock to create new permanent housing opportunities for individuals, families and youth.
Comprehensive and affordable health care for homelessness in Baltimore is progressing due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) covering most non-disabled adults, whom were previously uninsured. Maryland Medicaid provides the homeless with the ability to address their unique medical needs that even covers mental health and substance use.
- Continue targeted outreach to enroll people experiencing homelessness in Medicaid and connect them to medical home providers that are willing and able to address their unique health needs.
- Develop a comprehensive and integrated behavioral health services system that addresses the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of people experiencing homelessness.
- dentify opportunities to use Medicaid to fund care and case management in permanent supportive housing.
Unemployment, underemployment, and low-wage employment impact the homeless negatively. Many homeless individuals are employed in some capacity, but cannot afford housing in Baltimore due to low “living wages.” Conversely, new policies should be implemented that reduce barriers to employment by increasing minimum wage and access to financial and community based employment assistance programs.
- Advocate to increase minimum wage to a livable wage.
- Coordinate and expand access to public benefits and community-based employment assistance programs and financial services for people experiencing homelessness.
- Advocate for policy changes that will reduce barriers to employment and housing for people with criminal backgrounds and expand the Docket for Homeless Persons to service providers.
Prevention Emergency Services
To eradicate homelessness, Baltimore must restructure the capacity of its homeless service delivery system. This is achieved by focusing on preventing homelessness by ensuring all youth have access to educational resources and quickly returning homeless persons to permanent housing with support services and developing a safe and stable home environment that sustains the Convalescent Care Program.
- Strengthen collaboration between Baltimore City Public Schools and homeless service providers to ensure homeless children and unaccompanied youth have access to schools and other educational resources.
- Develop a model/best practices for hospital discharge planning to ensure patients are discharged to a safe, stable living environment and strengthen and sustain the Convalescent Care Program.
- Strengthen and expand prevention assistance and case management services to individuals, families and youth at risk of experiencing homelessness.