Support for Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Howard County
It is the mission of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Homeless Advisory Committee (HAC) to provide children and families experiencing homelessness with comprehensive, personalized services to remove barriers to academic and social success.
The following organizations, which are members of the HAC, work together as partners in education to ensure that children and families experiencing homelessness can excel, access available resources, and are supported to promote hope and resilience.
HCPSS Office of Student Services, Pupil Personnel (Coordinator of HAC)
Pupil Personnel Workers help all schools identify and address barriers in school, at home, and in the community that interfere with academic and social achievement of all students.
The HCPSS Infants and Toddlers Program provides early intervention services for eligible children birth to three years of age and their families and caregivers. Services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays are provided in home and community settings as determined by the Individualized Family Service Plan.
HCPSS Preschool Special Education Services are provided for 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities through regional early childhood centers as determined by the Individual Education Program. Services may be provided in elementary schools or community settings.
Contact: Howard County Child Find Screening and Assessment at 410-313-7046
HCPSS Title I Services: Title I is a federally funded program designed to ensure that all children, regardless of family income, have access to a high quality education. This program provides academic support services to students at Title 1 schools and students experiencing homelessness, regardless of their home school.
The HCPSS Pupil Transportation Office schedules and manages school bus services to public and non‑public schools.
The HCPSS Early Childhood Programs Office oversees state and locally funded prekindergarten programs. Prekindergarten programs provide a wide range of experiences and opportunities to familiarize students with the school environment and prepare students for entering school. Pre-K is provided to any child who meets first priority criteria, which includes income eligibility, homelessness, and foster care. When space allows, additional children who meet second priority criteria (i.e. English language learners, health concerns, learning difficulties) may be enrolled.
The Judy Center Partnership at Cradlerock Elementary School serves children from the districted areas of Cradlerock and Jeffers Hill as well as children from Howard County who attend Head Start. The program helps parents prepare their children for success in school through referral services, developmental screenings for children birth through age 5, interactive play groups, family engagement activities, child development and parenting skills classes, and professional development for teachers.
Contact: 410-381-9024 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Start, which is part of the Community Action Council of Howard County, provides free preschool to eligible 3- to 5-year-old children. Head Start provides family support services, and the part-day and full-day programs.
Dasher Green Center
6680 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, Maryland 21045
- Phone: (410) 313-6210
- Fax: (410) 313-6218
Ellicott City Center
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
- Phone: (410) 313-2750
- Fax: (410) 313-1910
First Presbyterian Center
9325 Presbyterian Lane
Columbia, Maryland, 21045
- Phone: 410-884-3500
Old Cedar Lane Center
5451 Beaverkill Lane
Columbia, Maryland, 21044
- Phone: 410-750-8172
Community Action Council provides programs and emergency services for low-income residents including housing assistance (eviction prevention, first month’s rent, one month’s rent, energy assistance and food bank).
Howard County’s Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS) is a network of community services and supports coordinating efforts to end homelessness in Howard County. The goals of the system are to reduce the number of homeless families and individuals, reduce the number of newly homeless, shorten the length of homeless episodes and reduce the number of returns to homelessness. Individuals and households should contact the Grassroots single point of entry hotline for more information on services.
Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline 410-531-6677
Agency Contact: 410-888-8892
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center operates a 24-hour crisis intervention and counseling hotline and free walk-in counseling. The hotline and walk-in program serves as the single point of entry for the Howard County Coordinated System of Homeless Services. There is also a mobile crisis team that responds with the police to psychiatric emergencies, family crises, and other traumatic events.
The shelter program has 33 beds for families and single women and 18 beds for single men. Supportive services and case management services are available to all residents. Motel placement is available for up to three families when the shelter program is full.
There is also a cold weather shelter that provides overflow shelter from November–March. Additionally, the Route 1 Day Resource Center operates three days a week and provides meals, showers, laundry, and social services to the homeless.
Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline 410-531-6006
The Family Stability Program provides intensive personalized case management with financial assistance to families at risk of homelessness in Howard County. The goals of the program are to prevent homelessness, reduce student mobility, and to enhance problem solving and coping capacities of clients by connecting them with resources, services, and opportunities. Families identified for the Family Stability Program must be referred from Howard County’s Coordinated System of Homeless Services.
Grassroots Crisis Hotline: 410-531-6677
Bridges to Housing Stability, Inc. is a non-profit provider of services to the Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS). Bridges provides intensive case management focused on re-housing and stability support for formerly homeless households. Bridges also provides some transitional housing. All services are accessed through CSHS single point of entry.
Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline: 410-531-6677
The Howard County Department of Social Services (DSS) provides a network of services to promote family stability, employment and self-sufficiency, and a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults. Benefit programs include Temporary Cash Assistance, Food Supplement, and Medical Assistance. The DSS also offers assessment and in‑home services to families and adults, child and adult protective services, foster care, and adoption. Child support establishment and enforcement services are available, as well.
Contact: 410-872-8700 and make selections.