Good news: The County Council included $246,500 funding for a drop-in center for youth experiencing homelessness in the County’s FY19 budget.
Community advocacy made a difference, including at the May 9 program on Youth Homelessness in Montgomery County. Messages to the Council made a difference, including via the letter-writing campaign we set up. And this work certainly helped broaden awareness.
Thanks also to the other program participants including Councilmember George Leventhal, who turned community advocacy into a specific funding proposal.
The Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for next steps, for opening the center and designing its programming. We hope and expect that HHS will take its lead from affected community members.
There is work to be done beyond creating an initial drop-in center. Montgomery County has addressed veteran homelessness and is very near reaching the goal of ending chronic homelessness. The County’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness envisions comprehensively tackling youth homelessness next.
The County will need active public and expert involvement. Let me know if you’d like me to keep you apprised of opportunities to help.