CITY OF LAUREL HOMELESSNESS TASK FORCE AGENDA
LAUREL CITY HALL – MEETING ROOM 2
WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2019- 6:00 P.M.
- Approval of the Minutes for the meeting of Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Review of LARS Homeless Client Data information
- What are the services/resources being offered in the Greater Laurel area, including the churches?
- What services are currently needed?
CITY OF LAUREL
HOMELESSNESS TASK FORCE
MEETING MINUTES – JULY 17, 2019
The meeting convened at Laurel City Hall – Meeting room #2 at 6:10 p.m. with Co-Chairman Dr. Michael Schaffer presiding. Committee Members Present: Mr. Donald Whitehead, Ms. Valerie Nicholas, Mr. Keith Sydnor, Ms. Millicent Nwolisa; LARS, Mr. Phillip Ott, Ms. Jenny Wall, Ms. Ruth Walls, Mr. Brencis Smith, Corporal Joseph Johnson, Mr. Robert Love and Ms. Ana Navarro.
The minutes of the June 11, 2019 meeting were approved as written on motion by Mr. Phillip Ott, seconded by Ms. Jenny Wall and carried on a vote of all other members present.
Item #2 on agenda: Review of LARS Homelessness Client Data Information
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receive about $770/month
- Temporary Disability Assistance recipients receive $187/month
Both not livable sources of income in this area. Temporary Cash Assistance amounts are estimated at around $600.00/month
If someone applies for disability, they can get Temporary Disability Assistance which is $187/month but if they have a family, they get Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) while they wait to get their disability approved.
If the person gets their disability assistance approved, they take their assistance away and if they are not approved they still lose the assistance. This is why people constantly keep applying for disability so they can keep getting their $187.
LARS specifically serves the City of Laurel across the three counties; Prince George’s County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County. There are also specific zip codes being served: Prince George’s County Zip Codes include: 20707, 20708
Howard County: 20723
Anne Arundel County: 20724
A request was made by Councilman Sydnor to obtain information from LARS of how many people from zip codes 20707, 20708 (within City limits) are being served.
There is a Point in Time Count that is made by Prince George’s County through CCSI (Community Crisis Services, Inc) for the people not being reported. They go to the camps and try to quantify who is where.
Item #3 on Agenda: What are the services/resources being offered in the Greater Laurel area, including the churches?
Emergency Services Program:
- Food Assistance thru a food pantry that residents can access once a month
- Eviction Prevention
- Assistance with a first months rent
- Security Deposits
- Utility Assistance
Department of Social Services provides assistance with benefits at LARS once a week
Permanent Supportive Housing Program:
Able to house individuals who have chronic homelessness plus a disability with subsidized permanent housing (support provided as long as needed)
Self Sufficiency Program:
Provide Case Management to individuals who are stably housed but need assistance with becoming more financially self-sufficient (2-year program)
All goals with this program are focused around finances looking at debt to see how a payment plan can be put into play to raise your credit score,
LARS recently partnered with Employ Prince George’s which provides assistance with seeking employment and vocational training.
All guests get triaged by LARS first. Runs from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to the end of March beginning of April. This past season they had 24 congregations participate; all different denominations participate. The shelter works out of all 4 counties (PG, HC, AA, MC). Each congregation houses a guest for 1 week in which they provide a warm safe place for them to stay, a hot dinner. Pick up and drop off location is st Elizabeth House (Fish of Laurel, Inc). The schedule is also posted at Elizabeth house. General meetings are held with all congregations throughout the year to prepare for next season. Limits are set to 25 men and 10 women.
GRASSROOTS – DAY RESOURCE CENTER
Provides services Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Access to different services with connections to Howard County resources. A representative from the VA, people who come help get people connected with food stamps. Proof of residency is required. Funding for the center comes from Howard County and Grants. There 30 bed efficiency apartments that are run by the Volunteers of America and their goal is to serve people that cannot get into a regular apartment complex or do not meet the criteria for any other type of housing. The Day Resource Center also provides permanent supportive housing which provides 33 beds Main shelter for Howard County residents 30-60 day housing only assigned case manager who works with them on a housing plan. Recently received a grant from the State for substance use disorder treatment.
CARMAX CARE COMMITTEE
Distributes grants for volunteer activities:
5 volunteers - $500
More than 25 volunteers - $1000
Grant given every 3 years - $10,000
4 additional grants every year - $38,000
Only provided to non-profit organizations
Allows Homeless people to come in and set up a bank account and/or direct deposit for when they get their SSI check. The bank provides assistance with starting to build a credit line and they provide them with a debit card. They also service those individuals with no fixed address.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
Funding a outreach program/team for Homelessness in the County
Non-profit group called Patrons for Peace project, registered nurse and works with the homeless who have very difficult cases that don’t fall in any category and no one knows what to do with them. Helps people get disability when its hard for them to get it. Husband is a Criminal Defense Attorney who helps whenever needed. She also provides assistance with the purchase of medications. Primary goal is to place them in a community where they are accepted.
Helps get Social Security benefits as well as Medicaid for people. Pays for prescriptions, bus passes, provides assistance with electrical bills. Has provided shelter for those in need on an emergency basis. Provides assists as far as West Baltimore. Serves meals daily.
At this point a conversation ensued about cooling centers currently available in Laurel and how long they stay open.
A motion was made by Jenny Walls and seconded by Donald Whitehead then carried on a vote from all the members present to recommend that the City look into opening a cooling center in the city.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.