Find help from Human Services Programs of Carroll County.
Basic needs can be met in Carroll County by a number of Human Services Programs. Government agencies and non-profits are focused on addressing housing needs, providing food, and assisting with energy bills. Both government grants and private donations are used to fund these programs.
Individuals that are homeless in the county, or facing imminent eviction, may receive rental or financial help as well. There are several shelters located throughout Carroll County Maryland. In addition to that, a goal of HSP is to rehouse people into low income housing and prevent evictions to begin with.
Financial help for paying bills from Human Services Programs
The community action agencies Emergency Assistance Program provides financial aid for low-income Carroll County residents who are faced with unforeseen emergencies. The focus is on assisting those that are facing homeless or situations that force them into circumstances that threaten their self-sufficiency and independence.
To be eligible for rent or housing assistance, applicants must make an appointment. They will undergo an assessment and need to provide documentation of the household’s expenses and income. The ability of the participant to continue with their improved way of life after services have been rendered is also taken into consideration.
Service Linked Housing connects low-income and at-risk residents who are still in permanent housing to social services and non-profits that operate throughout the community. Program goals include preventing households from falling through the cracks by providing on-going case management and increasing self-sufficiency.
The Rental Assistance Program is small in scope. One of HSP’s goals is to demonstrate that it is possible for very low-income or homeless individuals to return to maintaining long-term housing. Human Services partners with the Carroll County Bureau of Housing and Community Development to operate this short term, emergency Rental Assistance service. While the funding levels do vary, the program will attempt to make supplemental rent payments or directly to landlords, and in some cases the tenant will need to repay the funds so it is in effect a loan.
The Maryland Energy Assistance Program is run by the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP). The purpose is helping lower-income households manage the costs of heating their homes. Similarly, the EUSP - Electrical Universal Service Program assists households in need with paying their current electric bills. For Carroll County residents who are income-eligible, grant funds are paid directly to utility providers. Applications for MEAP services (which begin in July) are available in the HSP office, by mail, or at Senior Centers.
For low income residents in a crisis situation, such as current or impending service termination or a dwindling supply of heating fuel, they are urged to contact the Human Services Programs main office to make an appointment as soon as possible. There may some emergency government grants for paying utilities to prevent a disconnection.
The Family Links Program fills the needs of the at risk population by providing information and referrals to appropriate agencies. This is done as the first step in exploring the many programs and resource options that are available. Some of the assistance that may be available includes Vehicles for Change, food stamps or Compukids.
As case managers from Human Services Programs of Carroll County (HSP) assess each situation, Family Links workers provide crisis counseling to them and also work with the client to prioritize all needs. They will work together to develop an action plan for moving toward their goals.
Second Chances is the Human Services Programs of Carroll County free store. Second Chances resells donated household goods, furniture, gently used clothing, books, and free toys to clients transitioning from shelters to permanent housing. Carroll County residents in need are welcome to visit the office to obtain a voucher to shop at Second Chances. This means low income families can receive free items, clothing, or holiday goods as well.
The Christmas or Holiday Program of Neighbors in Need Year Round helps low-income and working poor Carroll County residents with making the Holidays (including Thanksgiving and Christmas) a wonderful experience. The agency will help people obtain free holiday presents for their families.
Qualified low-income families may either be adopted for the holidays or given the opportunity to shop for free clothes or toys in the Holiday Shop. Not only that, but helping with this project is a gratifying way for generous businesses, individuals, organizations, and churches to experience the joy of being able to give back during the Christmas Holidays.
Shelters in Carroll County
Very short term housing can provide shelter to the homeless. HSP believes that is just the first step of many on the way to achieving self-sufficiency. The federal government funded Supportive Housing Program is designed to provide vital social services, such as housing counseling and case management, to help clients find permanent, affordable housing and regain their independence.
These services are available throughout the program process, from when families reside in the shelter to when they make the transition to permanent housing. Clients will explore signing up for government benefits, resources that can help them pay a security deposit, and more. Services will continue beyond the shelter stay so clients can gain the skills needed to maintain their new self-sufficiency and become valued members of the Carroll County community.
HSP partners with the state of Maryland Family and Children’s Services to operate the Domestic Violence Safe House, a refuge for women who are trying to escape situations of domestic violence. In addition to the female, their dependent children are welcome to shelter at the Safe House as well. Besides providing these individuals a safe and nurturing shelter, Safe House programming includes counseling, legal aid, advocacy and referrals to qualified attorneys.
The Cold Weather Shelter Program offers Carroll County homeless adults, as well as seniors or the general public, protection from extreme weather conditions during the cold, Maryland winter months.
The Intact Family Shelter operates according to the concept of the importance of keeping families together. The center provides a comfortable and safe place to stay. Guests will receive case management services. HSP will offer clients individualized resources and tools to help address the causes of homelessness. The goal is for families who were in the shelter to achieve stability and find permanent housing within a few months.
A Women's and Children's Shelter is another safe location for homeless women, single moms and their dependent children, if applicable. The program supports all efforts made by clients to work toward self-sufficiency, through individualized assessment, case management, access to needed resources and tools. Workers from Human Services work with clients on setting goals, and then achieving them.
The disabled can get permanent housing. There are various solutions and programs for Persons with mental or physical Disabilities. The community action agency administers affordable housing to homeless men and women who are able to independently care for themselves and maintain their living quarters.
Disabled clients are housed in leased apartments and are given access to case management, job training and more. The goal is to promote independence and self-sufficiency. In order to use the housing, clients are required to pay their security deposit, a portion of the rent, client fees, and monthly utility bills.
Permanent Housing for Non-Elderly Disabled Persons is also offered. This provides case management services and support to residents receiving financial housing assistance through special funds from the Carroll County Bureau of Housing and Community Development. The aim is to assist clients with finding and paying the rent on permanent housing, to achieve a greater degree of self-determination, and to gain skills and/or income.
Employment, training, and case management services
Carroll County Family Center is a partner of the Human Services Program. They work to strengthen families by providing programs that help parents achieve self-sufficiency and also learn effective parenting strategies. This is a program where all manner of activity may be taking place simultaneously.
Participants attend classes in ESOL, GED preparation, computers, parenting, health, advocacy skills, budgeting, and other life skills. At the same time, their children can receive quality early childhood services in the Child Development area. Additionally, children from low income families also receive developmental screenings and immunization checks to ensure that their growth and development are as they should be.
The community action agency will also provide case management services, including activities such as crisis intervention, goal planning and help with making connections with other non-profit or charity resources in the community.
Opportunity WORKS is for those in need of life skills and job-readiness training. HSP runs this program as a comprehensive set of assistance programs designed to help clients gain work experience, find employment, and become involved in and give back to the community. Clients can work with case managers to both find and keep employment.
Clients may be placed into work opportunities. These will include helping to operate Second Chances, working for Shop to Help HSP, the HSP free store, or even the agencies e-commerce fundraising business on eBay. So part time jobs or internships are offered.
The Economic Success Program from HSP is another component of Opportunity WORKS. This offers services such as free tax preparation, credit counseling, tax credit education, workshops on financial management, and counseling on the subject of working toward financial independence.
The main office of Human Services Programs of Carroll County is located at 10 Distillery Dr., Downtown Westminster, Maryland 21157. Call 410-857-2999.